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Things Are Getting Vicious in This Celebrity Keto-Diet Feud

Andy Cohen, Jillian Michaels, and Al Roker.
Andy Cohen, Jillian Michaels, and Al Roker. Photo: Getty Images

Perhaps you’ve heard, or maybe you haven’t, but a slew of celebrities from various walks of life — including Today Show host Al Roker, celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels, and Vinny from The Jersey Shore, alias KETOGUIDO — are currently entering the second week of an impassioned feud over the keto diet.

Don’t worry if absolutely none of that made sense; we are here break down each absurd detail.

Okay, first things first: What is this keto diet?

The ketogenic diet, or “keto” diet, is a high-fat, low-carb diet that became popular early last year after a flurry of endorsements from celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian and Tim Tebow. It has been described as a “detox” that allows you you to eat foods like whipped cream and cheese; the core of the diet is that you cut carbs, and eat fats instead.

The diet has received plenty of scrutiny, especially after some people experienced ketosis, which is what happens when you stop giving your body carbohydrates. This divide in opinion leads us to our celebrity feud.

Hmm … okay. So how did this start?

Along with plenty of nutrition experts, Jillian Michaels takes issue with the keto diet. Last week she called the diet a “bad idea” for “a million reasons” in Women’s Health, and has since gone on several tirades about it. In a video for Shape, she explained the essential structure of our cells, and ended her anti-keto monologue simply: “If you want to look your best, feel your best, and live your longest, that is not the diet for you.”

And how did Al Roker get involved?

Michaels’s comments sent the outer hemispheres of the celebrity universe into a tizzy — especially those who say they’ve seen positive results from trying the diet. And things have gotten quite personal! On Twitter, Al Roker called Michaels “a woman who promoted on camera bullying, deprivation, manipulation and more weekly in the name of weight loss.”

Roker also explained his disdain for Michaels’s comments at length with his Today Show co-hosts on Friday, applying the tried-and-true method of “both sides” to make his point. “There’s science on both sides that says it’s not a great idea and science that says it is a good idea,” Roker said. “I think it’s up to people — with their doctor, with their medical professional.”

Who else has entered the fray?

Glad you asked. Last week, Andy Cohen made Michaels the “Jackhole of the Day” on his show Watch What Happens Live: “Don’t feel bad, keto diet,” Cohen said. “A lot of people think Jillian Michaels is a bad idea.” Yikes!

Additionally, Vinny Guadagnino of Jersey Shore fame posted before and after photos to his Instagram account — the very real and sincere @ketoguido — with the caption “sorry Jill #ketoguido.”

That’s a lot! How has Michaels responded?

Extensively! She personally responded to Cohen’s and Roker’s comments with posts on Twitter. “First of all, I respect you very much,” she said to Roker in a video. “… and if you want to debate the science of keto, then by all means, let’s do that.”

She simply thanked Cohen for helping her “single handedly” sell more copies of her new book.

And in a video posted to TMZ on Tuesday, Michaels re-explained the structure of the human cell and posited that the backlash had a lot do with the fact that the diet is supported by billion-dollar brands. “On the most basic level, it should be common sense that this diet is not ideal,” she said. She also invited all of her critics to debate with her in person. So far, no one has publicly accepted her offer.

Okay … one last question. Why is everyone involved so passionate about keto?

It’s hard to say why one celebrity trainer’s take about a diet is causing other famous people to go into aggressive defense mode.

Regardless, before you start any diet or changes to your lifestyle, please don’t consult any celebrities for your decision — no matter how compelling or vicious they are in a feud. Just talk to your doctor.

Things Are Getting Vicious in This Celebrity Keto-Diet Feud