Gwyneth Paltrow is sharing more details about her struggle with long COVID, revealing that she ‘gained a lot of weight’ during the pandemic and her metabolism has slowed down.
In the latest episode of the Dear Media podcast The Art of Being Well, the 48-year-old spoke with her functional medicine practitioner Dr. Will Cole, and said that COVID — and permienopause — have both made it harder to maintain her famously slim physique.
Gwyneth admitted that she used to be able to ‘snap back’ really easily after putting on a few pounds, but over the past year — since contracting COVID-19 early on — that hasn’t been the case.
Tough: Gwyneth Paltrow is sharing more details about her struggle with long COVID, revealing that she ‘gained a lot of weight’ during the pandemic and her metabolism has slowed down
Oh no! Gwyneth admitted that she used to be able to ‘snap back’ easily after putting on weight, but over the past year — since contracting COVID-19 early on — that hasn’t been the case
Interview: In the latest episode of the Dear Media podcast The Art of Being Well, the 48-year-old spoke with her functional medicine practitioner Dr. Will Cole
‘I’ve noticed over the past couple of years that my metabolism is slowed down,’ she said.
‘I know a lot of that is perimenopause. I’m 48 years old, and I know that women tend to lose up to 30 per cent of their metabolic speed once we enter this phase of life, et cetera. So I know some of it is that.’
But since this past year has been particularly hard, she thinks her struggle with long COVID has also contributed to her weight issues.
‘I think maybe some of it is because I got COVID,’ she said. ‘My physician in New York was saying that that was affecting a lot of his patients’ metabolisms as well.
‘What I really noticed was the snap back that I used to have — you know, if I gained some weight and I wasn’t happy, I could quickly eat really well for a couple of days, exercise a lot, and it would all be gone.
‘And that was not happening over the past year,’ she added.
‘I gained a lot of weight over COVID,’ she went on. ‘COVID happened and I didn’t do my eating plan. I just was like having alcohol and pasta all the time and then I sort of hit a wall.’
‘I think maybe some of it is because I got COVID,’ she said. ‘My physician in New York was saying that that was affecting a lot of his patients’ metabolisms as well’
‘I gained a lot of weight over COVID,’ she went on. ‘COVID happened and I didn’t do my eating plan. I just was like having alcohol and pasta all the time and then I sort of hit a wall’
What IS ‘intuitive fasting’?
Intuitive fasting is the combination of two dieting practices: intermittent fasting and intuitive eating.
Intuitive eating has been described as the ‘opposite’ of a traditional diet because it encourages people to feed themselves, rather than restricting.
Devotees of this practice are urged to eat whatever their body is craving, while avoiding strict habits like calorie counting and restriction of any kind.
Those who follow an intuitive eating plan are told to learn what their body wants; they should eat when they feel hungry, but learn to know when their body is full and satisfied.
A key principal of the practice is recognizing the difference between physical hunger – when the body needs food – and emotional hunger – the idea that you are eating to satiate an emotion.
Intermittent fasting means going without food for specific periods of time during the day; rather than focusing on what you eat, it places the emphasis on when you eat.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, intermittent fasting will encourage the body to ‘exhaust sugar stores and burn fat’ while helping to prevent unnecessary calorie intake.
However, she added, she has lost 11 pounds since she started Dr. Cole’s ‘Intuitive Fasting’ plan, which includes a week of bone broth.
While Dr. Cole uses the title ‘Dr.’ and promotes ideas about health, he is not a graduate of medical school, but rather has a doctorate of chiropractic from Southern California University of Health Sciences, a private school that focuses on alternative medicine.
His book, ‘Intuitive Fasting,’ is the first book to be published by Goop Press as part of the lifestyle brand’s new publishing partnership with Rodale Books, a division of Penguin Random House.
It features a four-week ‘Flexible Fasting Plan’ that combines multiple intermittent fasting protocols and a customized food plan to ‘reduce inflammation’ and ‘reset the body.’
‘You started me on the bone broth cleanse,’ she told him in the podcast, ‘which was incredible [and] hard, but that process of letting my digestive system rest and for the lining to start to heal a little bit over those first six days, I felt like I never could have found or started to listen to that intuitive voice about what I wanted to eat or not eat had I not kind of done something a bit drastic to kind of do that reset.
‘Because I think so much of coping with business and everything is food and it’s mindless eating and everything,’ she said. ‘And then when you’re not digesting well, it’s affecting all kinds of things.’
Gwyneth also divulged that she has been suffering from ‘brain fog,’ telling Dr. Cole: ‘I have it so bad today, by the way, I’m, like, I can barely string two words together.’
Brain fog is one of the most common symptoms of long COVID.
Though Gwyneth and Dr. Cole spent most of the podcast talking about Dr. Cole’s four-week diet program and its benefits, the Goop founder also briefly touched on her kids’ eating habits and how she ate growing up.
‘Well, my daughter [Apple] is actually very healthy, but my 14-year-old son [Moses]… right now is still powering through nuggets and French fries,’ she said.
‘Well, my daughter [Apple] is actually very healthy, but my 14-year-old son [Moses]… right now is still powering through nuggets and French fries,’ she said
Yum! Gwyneth admitted she ‘grew up with multiple courses of antibiotics and cans of SpaghettiOs and fast food and super processed flour’
As for her childhood, Gwyneth admitted she ‘grew up with multiple courses of antibiotics and cans of SpaghettiOs and fast food and super processed flour.’
However, she added: ‘My mom, I have to say, was pretty good and kind of got on a health kick with us on the early side.’
Gwyneth first revealed that she has been suffering from long COVID in an article written for Goop last week.
‘I had COVID-19 early on, and it left me with some long-tail fatigue and brain fog,’ she wrote in the Goop piece. ‘In January, I had some tests done that showed really high levels of inflammation in my body.’
Paltrow, who starred in the 2011 pandemic thriller Contagion, said that after her diagnosis, she sought care and guidance from Dr. Cole.
‘After he saw all my labs,’ she said, ‘he explained that this was a case where the road to healing was going to be longer than usual.’
He started her on a program that includes refraining from consuming sugar or alcohol, working out, and adding supplements including butyrate, fish oil, B vitamins, vitamin D3, vitamin C, zinc, and selenium.
Helpful? However, she added, she has lost 11 pounds since she started Dr. Cole’s health plan, which includes a week of bone broth
Surprise: Gwyneth first revealed that she has been suffering from long COVID in an article written for Goop last week (pictured in February 2020)
‘Everything I’m doing feels good, like a gift to my body,’ she said. ‘I have energy, I’m working out in the mornings, and I’m doing an infrared sauna as often as I can, all in service of healing.’
She said that in the wake of the debilitating battle, adjustments of ‘cleaning up [her] diet’ and ‘exercise, and even thought patterns … left [her] feeling energized, healthier, and — believe it or not — wanting more.’
In addition to the supplements, Paltrow said that hiking has been a beneficial form of exercise for her.
‘Moving your body and sweating out toxins makes an enormous difference, of course,’ Gwyneth said. ‘But beyond the benefits of a sauna and even my favorite workouts, when I go for a hike, I know I’m getting something different – stimulating my brain and body in ways I can’t get otherwise. Nature heals, really!’
Gwyneth also wrote a forward for Dr. Cole’s book, explaining that the idea of intuitive eating can be confusing, especially after years of following diets rather than your body’s needs.
‘If there’s anything difficult in these pages, it is Will’s request that you be willing to listen to yourself, to your own body, to your intuition,’ she wrote. ‘While this might seem simple, it is usually not easy, at least not at first.
‘But with Will’s voice guiding you to recalibrate yourself and the newfound understanding of what your body is asking for and how you can respond, it becomes doable – and, I’d go so far as to say, exhilarating.’