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For $599, a Real Housewive's 'Accountability Program' Teaches What Sounds Like Disordered Eating

Illustration for article titled For $599, a Real Housewives Accountability Program Teaches What Sounds Like Disordered Eating
Image: VALERIE MACON (Getty Images)

Anyone who has seen an episode of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in the last three years knows Teddi Jo Mellencamp Arroyave (John Mellencamp’s daughter) and has heard her boast about her “accountability program,” called All in By Teddi, a weight loss system she founded after losing 80 pounds after giving birth. On the show, it comes across as mundane, rich people nonsense: all of the dangers of Weight Watchers and diet culture—that is, meal plans and exercise plans—for an exponentially higher cost: $599 for a two-week jump-start program, $525 for the postpartum program, $399 for the monthly program, $165 for the weight and weightless program, and $95 for a maintenance program, according to the official “All In” website.

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Earlier this week fashion influencer Emily Gellis Lande, recently in headlines as a critic of Tanya Zuckerbrot’s F-Factor Diet, began sharing anonymous accusations from former All In by Teddi clients. They claimed her program instructed them to consume only 500 to 1,000 calories a day while performing at least one hour of cardio daily, Today reports.

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Yahoo! reports that participants were made to sign non-disclosure agreements. (According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 1,600 calories is the lowest calorie level the average sedentary adult requires for nutritional health. Consuming only 500 - 1,000 calories certainly qualifies as disordered eating.) “One day I added carrots to one of my meals and was told that in the future it needed to be a green vegetable because carrots have too much sugar,” one former client said. Others claimed they were only allowed a can of soup for dinner. “Teddi’s diet is starvation with cardio,” Gellis Lande told Today. “I want to prevent other people from falling for this scam.”

Mellencamp Arroyave responded by telling the publication that the diet “has evolved,” and denying that the guidelines “mention a specific calorie count.” She continued: “We have found soup to be easy to digest in the evenings, which is why a lighter meal such as soup, salads or veggie-prominent dinners are encouraged while on the program.”

According to People, All In accountability coaches “do not have any fitness, medical or health certifications,” and “the only requirement is that potential coaches must complete the program themselves before they are hand-selected by Teddi.”

Naturally, the accusations got back to Mellencamp Arroyave, who posted on Instagram on Wednesday, “I’m so incredibly proud of the over 15,000 lives we have helped change. I am so proud of our clients. I love all of our coaches. I love that I can wake up every single day and feel good about what I do. I live and breathe it,” she said in a video. “If it’s not something you want to sign up for, you don’t. That’s why I love that we are very transparent from the beginning.”

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If that’s the case, I wonder why the All In website gives no details into what the program actually entails!

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

snide-o-mite
Snide-O-Mite

I’m related to someone who regularly follows this approach minus shelling out $600 to a celebrity’s daughter. You don’t need to do that.

When this person gets around actual food, her instincts take over and she eats until she gets physically ill. I once caught her eating a whole cake that was easily 3,000 calories total. But then she goes back to starving herself.

She’s a size 4, trying to get down to a 0. I cannot imagine what her metabolism is like, but because she's a "healthy" weight, her doctor is clueless.