I Tried Angela Bassett’s Diet For A Week; Here’s What Happened
Angela Bassett has not aged since What’s Love Got To Do With It. That’s not a matter of opinion, that’s a simple fact. As such, we were all taking notes when the 60 year old shared her weekly meal plan during a recent interview because whatever she’s been doing has clearly been working.
When Ms. Bassett broke down her diet, it actually sounded pretty doable. She wasn’t really denying herself anything; she was just focusing her daily meal plans on specific goals. She would load up on lighter, energy-boosting foods at the beginning of the week, then she’d swap some of those items out and go heavier on protein. Then, on the weekends, she’d add in some good fats, and voila!
Since I’d like to be #BodyGoals one day myself, I decided to try out Angela Bassett’s diet and see what it would do for me. Besides, what good is knowledge if you don’t use it? Click through to see what happened when I tried her meal plan for a week.
- On Mondays and Tuesdays, Angela centers her menu on fruits and carbs, but not all carbs are created equal. She mentioned eating Ezekial bread, but it was the only carb she specifically pointed out. There are carbs that are better for you, and those are usually less processed. So although I could probably pretend I don’t know the difference between fries and a baked sweet potato, my body isn’t playing those games with me. So for my carbs, I stuck to steel cut oats, brown rice, and quinoa. She burns off those calories with some cardio.
- Wednesday and Thursday are all about protein and veggies, and she chooses to strength train on those days. But no matter what she’s eating Monday through Friday, it can’t have any fat.
- Friday-Sunday, Angela adds good fats to her diet (think salmon, avocado, olive oil, almond butter, etc.) and she pairs that with lower-impact exercise like Yoga, if she works out at all. Angela seems to prefer meditation and massages for the weekend, so the basic idea is to rest up because constant exercise is very tough on the body and getting your rest is a key component of getting fit.
Although she eats vegetables every day of the week, she doesn’t touch dairy, flour, or bread (unless it’s Ezekial bread, which is sprouted bread). Angela wasn’t clear about whether she consumes refined sugar and alcohol, but I would assume that she probably avoids those foods. If she does, it’s probably in moderation. For my experiment, I tried to steer clear of them, or at least drastically limit my intake.
The actress prefers to work out in the morning, though, which isn’t really conducive to my schedule, so I stuck to working out at night. Here’s how this played out for me day-to-day…
Day 1 kind of got off to bad start because I forgot that you’re not supposed to have any protein whatsoever. Breakfast was a half up of steel cut oats with maple syrup and cinnamon, but I had fish with roasted potatoes for lunch. From there I decided to flip the day’s menu like it was the last day of the plan. Keeping that in mind, I had Teriyaki steak and shrimp, grilled hibachi veggies, green salad, noodles, and salmon nigiri.
I did some time on the treadmill to clear my mind because Angela typically does yoga or rests on the last day of her week.
Day 2 was a struggle. I have never been a vegetarian, and my meals are usually structured around some type of protein. I’d toyed with the idea of doing meatless meals on occasion, but I had never worked out the menu. Angela’s diet forced me to dive into a vegetarian menu for a couple of days.
I redid the oatmeal I had the day before for breakfast, and that was so filling I wasn’t really hungry again until dinner. Speaking of dinner, I was kind of at a loss for what I could actually eat. I settled on making cauliflower risotto with asparagus and mushrooms. I added some diced tomatoes, onion, and garlic for extra flavor. It wasn’t bad, but it was more of a perfunctory meal.
Before dinner, though, I needed to hit the gym. At the gym, we were focused on cardio and lower body work that day, and the trainer put us through all of the paces–including a brutal set of hill sprints.
Day 3 was a little easier with meal planning. Breakfast was pretty simple with a cup of black coffee (sweetened with stevia) that I drank with my plate of strawberries and pineapples. It was kind of refreshing, and I didn’t feel so sluggish after eating it. Lunch was a taco salad which came with some complications while ordering because it meant that I had to make a few substitutions to get it diet-compliant. For example, they didn’t have the kind of dressing I wanted, so I got it with mango salsa and some lime juice instead. Dinner was an Amy’s brand vegetarian rice noodle bowl that I think was likely meant to be more of a side than an entire meal, but I treated myself to a limeade bar for dessert.
The overall calorie intake was easily under 1000 for the day, so I kind of felt like I was still going to bed hungry even though I ate every meal, which didn’t happen the day before. I was extra hungry that day because it was upper body and cardio day at the gym, which is usually a tougher workout because our trainer for that likes to give us a real challenge. I’m certain she’s an ex-Dora Milaje, but I haven’t been able to prove it yet.
Thursday couldn’t have arrived sooner. I was fully ready to step into day 4 of the plan. I had never been so excited about protein before. I only got to eat once on Thursday, though, because I didn’t have time to grab breakfast, and I got home really late. By the time I got back to my place from work, I was too exhausted to even think about dinner. But for lunch, I had a large green salad with some roast turkey and grilled chicken. It was pretty satisfying and it was light enough that I didn’t slip into a food coma.
This also meant that I never made it to the gym that night, but I did walk a mile that evening. With a few hills and sets of stairs along the trek (and the heat), I counted that as cardio.
Things got a little bit complicated on Friday (Day 5) because although Angela mentioned that she adds good fats into the mix, there weren’t any specifics on what else she eats that day. I decided to go with my best guess of balancing fruits and veggies with protein and limited carbs. This worked out fine for breakfast when I had turkey sausage, eggs, and cucumbers, but things went a bit left at lunch. I had a green salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil with some baked chicken wings. Then I had a small serving of seafood alfredo (I couldn’t resist). I cleaned it up at dinner with chicken and broccoli teriyaki.
I fully intended to work off that alfredo at the gym, but work ran a bit long and I missed all of the classes for the night.
Between a house party and a birthday bar crawl, Angela’s diet was completely shot for Saturday. I had a brown rice bowl with shrimp and guacamole for brunch, which was pretty easy to prepare, but traditional meals didn’t happen after that. I had some nibbles at my friend’s house party, where there were jerk wings, samosas, cookies, cupcakes, brussell sprout salad, pasta salad, and sangria. Of course, there were also chips with salsa and guac, and a cheese platter. All of it was delicious, so this was a minefield. Then at my other friend’s bar crawl, I had some tasty seafood dumplings and a few glasses of wine. My favorite bar was the last stop of the night, where there was more wine and comic debates as we tried to determine just what exactly made one friend’s drink smell like an old man’s socks.
I found a decent-ish balance by Sunday. Admittedly I had a roast beef sandwich with some fries. While the weekend diet is pretty much my best guess, this probably isn’t something Angela would eat. For dinner, I did much better, even though we went to barbecue spot. I stayed on-plan with some Whiskey-Glazed Salmon, collard greens, and green beans that were so good I’m thinking about when to go back and get more as I write this. I could see myself ordering it again, and it’s a satisfying option on the nights I want something lighter.
RESULTS BY THE NUMBERS
Starting Weight 252.8
Ending Weight: 247.2
Beginning: 38 inches
Ending: 37.33 inches
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the results, but it was tough to stick to the diet. Unless you’re incredibly disciplined and patient (or have your own personal chef), this is a hard diet to follow during a holiday weekend. Social gatherings are kind of just a time when you can understandably decide to indulge, or you can do your best to stick to the diet with what is being offered. There was no way I was going to pass up all of the goodies my friend laid out at her party, but you do you.
On a more routine week, this diet is easier to stick to with a few tweaks. For example, it’s really tough to do a completely fat-free diet because a lot foods that you should be able to eat on Angela’s plan have fat in them. Even the Ezekial bread has a half gram of fat, accounting for 5 calories of fat. Even some fruits and vegetables have fat in them as well, like avocado, so if you’re going to follow Angela’s diet, it might be better to aim for low-fat instead of no-fat.
And don’t forget, this is the diet that works for Angela and her physical needs so her diet may not produce the same results for you as it does for her. If nothing else, though, this diet does make you more mindful of what you’re eating and all of the ingredients that go into creating the foods you love.
Personally, I’m considering adding a cycle of this diet to my montly meal plan. I think with some better meal prep and a realistic expectation of how the diet works, I could have even better success with it next time.