Bachie star pulls 'toxic' diet program after fierce backlash

The Bachelor’s Helena has done a major backpedal, stripping back her new weight loss program’s Instagram page by deleting all existing posts after controversial diet advice sparked horrified reactions.

The health and wellness coach launched ‘The Weight Loss Trilogy’ alongside sister Alexandra, and her mum Kathi after being booted from the final three on this season’s The Bachelor Australia.

Alexandra is a wellness coach, while Kathi is a registered GP.

Helena Sauzier and Matt Agnew recline on the set of The Bachelor Australia 2019
Helena Sauzier has kicked off a weight loss program following her stint on the Bachelor 2019. Photo: Instagram/helenasauzier

The program features one-on-one coaching sessions targeting ‘weight loss⁣⁣, healthy eating, movement⁣⁣, mindfulness⁣⁣ and well-being’, but was slammed as ‘outdated’, ‘harmful’ and ‘toxic’ by commenters on her Instagram page.

Now the page has done a turnaround, pulling all existing posts and replacing them with an apology, and two explanations of the program’s research.

The official apology comes after co-founder and sister Alexandra expressed her regret to Yahoo Lifestyle.

“All I’m going to say is that the post has come across completely the wrong way and that is not our intention,” she said. “We’re really sorry.”

“We are not here to promote eating disorders,” she said, adding the trio were ‘heartbroken’ at how the whole thing had panned out.

“We’ve said it wrong and we do acknowledge that,” she said.

Official apology

Sister Alexandra 9pictured left) told Yahoo they were 'heartbroken' over the response. Photo: Instagram
Sister Alexandra 9pictured left) told Yahoo they were 'heartbroken' over the response. Photo: Instagram

Now the page has issued it’s an official statement.

“We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to all of the people that we have offended or mislead with our posts – in particular, the one about snacking,” the post reads.

“We were wrong to post this, as we did not explain the context of this comment, nor how we approach the weight loss journey.”

They added they would not be commenting further.

“We will remove this post and take some time to reconsider our position,” they signed off.

Concern from leading foundations

The post attracted commentary from leading eating disorder and body image foundation, The Butterfly Foundation.

A spokesperson told Yahoo Lifestyle The Butterfly Foundation had ‘serious concerns’ about the program.

“As the leading national voice for those affected by eating disorders and negative body image, Butterfly expresses concern in relation to the release of the ‘Weight Loss Trilogy’ program that has recently been promoted via social media,” they said.

“Butterfly has major concerns that the advice given via this weight loss program imposes unhealthy ‘diet culture’ on people... (And) promotes restrictive diets as an effective and sustainable weight management strategy which research evidence does not support,” they added.

The original post stirred up plenty of controversy. Photo: Instagram/ theweightlosstrilogy
The original post stirred up plenty of controversy. Photo: Instagram/ theweightlosstrilogy

The post that kicked off an outcry

The post in question advises followers that ‘there is no such thing as the perfect snack’, going on to say that snacking is ‘highly discouraged’.

The post claims that the body needs time to repair between meals, and that snacking disrupts this process.

It also advises followers to consider alternatives to snacking.

“Have a glass of water/cup of herbal tea - hunger is often confused for thirst ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣,” one tip reads, while another suggests, “Go for a walk, phone a friend, read a book - hunger is often confused for boredom.”

“Surf the ‘hunger wave’ and understand that it is absolutely okay (and healthy) to be hungry and that it will pass,” reads the most criticised of the points.

Fan backlash

Followers of the page weren’t all onboard with the advice, with many calling it ‘irresponsible’, and some even saying they intended to report the post.

Some even drew a line between the advice and toxic eating disorder messages.

“Absolutely disgusting, for someone that is in recovery for an eating disorder I know for a bloody fact that this is dangerous territory!” one woman wrote.

“I’ve suffered with an eating disorder for 9 years and you have no idea how harmful this kind of information can be,” another agreed.

Others suggested alternatives to the perfect snack question at the centre of the controversy.

“By the way I f**king beg to differ, Vegemite on a slice of toast is the perfect snack,” another countered.

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