Savannah Guthrie of the Today Show is always open about her pursuit of health and wellness, including when it comes to diet and exercise. The morning news program anchor tries to maintain a healthy balance, which can sometimes be a challenge due to her demanding career and busy family life as the mom of two young kids.
Like many other celebs and one of her Today co-hosts Al Roker, she tried out the popular keto diet. Guthrie experienced both positives and negatives with the meal plan, with one downside that truly frustrated her.
Frozen needle on the scale
The keto diet – which consists of a high-fat and very low-carb intake – has become a favorite for superstars like Halle Berry and LeBron James. Guthrie decided to test out the meal plan, but soon became frustrated with the lack of results.
“It’s not even doing anything,” Guthrie said last September on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, according to Health Magazine, saying she hadn’t lost any weight after being on the diet for seven weeks. “I haven’t lost anything! I haven’t lost a thing. But you know, I’ve eaten a lot of bacon and I’ve liked it.”
While Guthrie wasn’t crazy about the excessive cutback on carbs, she did enjoy indulging in higher-fat foods that she usually avoids. “You can get more fat, which is kind of fun,” she told Dr. Oz last November, according to People. “So in some ways you have to deprive yourself — no carbs whatsoever and that’s really restrictive — but it’s opened up some things that I would never let myself eat a lot of, like cheese and bacon.”
Validation from an expert
Guthrie’s co-host Hoda Kotb and health and nutrition expert Joy Bauer appeared on the show with her, where Bauer validated Guthrie’s discouragement. “Like Savannah knows, I am dreaming of her picking up the phone to call me to say, ‘I’m done! Help me transition,’” Bauer said. “[The keto diet is] very, very difficult, but as a jump start it’s fine. I would say maybe [do it for] a week, like one to two weeks.”
Bauer noted some of the downsides of the diet, especially the lack of nutritious foods. “It’s very very high fat, it’s super high fat, and it’s ridiculously low in protein and carbs,” she said. “So it’s very difficult to stick with, and really, it makes me sad to think that a diet would omit so many fruits and vegetables.”
Sharper mind, slower body
The Today anchor found the mental benefits of the keto diet to be a big plus, where she experienced more clarity and better memory. “Hoda says she thinks it’s making my mind sharper,” Guthrie said of the diet. “I was remembering things that — she’s like, ‘How do you even know that?’ I’d be like, ‘Oh that was on page 252 of that book.’ She’s like, ‘Where’s this coming from, this keto diet’s insane!’ So I do feel like it made me a little sharper.”
While Guthrie enjoyed the mind-renewing aspects of the meal plan, it was having the opposite effect on her physically. “I feel less energy in the sense that I don’t want to work out anymore,” she told Dr. Oz. “I think I need those carbs to feel like I want to go on a run or do aerobics or do whatever I might do.”
Now the journalist seems to have struck a nutritional balance, where she’s still able to enjoy her favorite foods. “I basically avoid carbs, and I try to eat a lot of greens. I’m really good during the week, and then on the weekend I go hog wild. I feel like you have to let yourself have fun. And to me, food is fun,” she revealed to Health Magazine in April. “And I like pizza on Friday night. But during the week, I can stay on the straight and narrow.”
Guthrie seems content with her new plan, not finding perfection but more of a healthy and attainable diet structure. “I should really weigh a lot less than I do, so I must be doing something wrong. What could it be?” she shared with Health. “Probably everything I do all weekend long. The pizza. And I eat dessert. And I drink. Again, these are all great tips for Un-Health magazine.”