Dietitian breaks down Rebel Wilson's weight loss

It's hard to believe she was once typecast as "Fat Amy" in Pitch Perfect, because comedienne Rebel Wilson is looking downright slim. The Australian actress recently shared photos on Instagram of her new, whittled down self, reporting that she's now only 8 kilograms — or about 18 pounds — away from her goal weight. While fans have been inspired by Wilson's before and after photos, the story of how she lost the weight may sound a little...complicated to those of us without a science degree. That's because Wilson has been following something called the Mayr Method, which focuses on eating foods that are high in alkaline content (per Today). Alkaline? Isn't that a type of battery?

In an interview with The List, registered dietitian-nutritionist Grace Goodwin Dwyer, MS, MA, explained the theory behind this weight loss approach. "Fans of alkaline-eating — which has been around for decades — think that eating certain foods creates a less acidic, or more alkaline, environment inside the body, which in turn prevents disease," she explained. But Dwyer said that there's no actual evidence supporting that foods are more beneficial to the body specifically because they're higher in alkaline content. "Your body's pH is carefully regulated by your kidneys — not by any foods you might eat," she said.

The reason people lose weight on the Mayr Method

Although a food's alkaline level might not actually have any relationship to whether a person loses weight eating them, according to Dwyer, "many people might feel better on the Mayr Method because foods that are purportedly 'alkalizing' tend to be fruits and veggies." And we all know we should be eating lots of fresh produce if we want to stay healthy. "It is well-established that eating a wide variety of produce improves health in a wide variety of ways, ranging from an improved microbiome profile — which in turn, supports the immune system and gut-brain axis — to lower risk of chronic diseases," she explained.

There are other reasons why people lose weight on Wilson's diet, Dwyer added. "The Mayr Method espouses chewing slowly and eating mindfully. While it's unclear whether these strategies lead to weight loss, they are definitely helpful practices for improved digestion," she said. "Chewing thoroughly and enjoying your food without distractions helps increase your foods' contact with digestive enzymes and reduces the risk of bloating, respectively."  In fact, even if you're not on a diet, you should borrow these pages from the Mayr Method playbook. "These are great strategies to consider! If you find yourself constantly distracted while eating — with your phone, TV, laptop — you might be eating more or less than you actually need because you're not able to tune into your own hunger cues."

Rebel Wilson's weight loss may also have to do with her exercise routine

Not only is Rebel Wilson eating more mindfully with a focus on foods high in fiber and vitamins, and high alkaline levels, the star of Isn't It Romantic and The Hustle (via IMDB) has also been doing some serious hustling at the gym, Dwyer pointed out. "Rebel seems to be doing HIIT workouts with her trainer," she noted. "HIIT is an efficient and effective way to raise your heart rate and increase strength. Plus, some people really enjoy the 'all-in' vibe these workouts involve!"

That doesn't mean that you should necessarily incorporate HIIT — which stands for high-intensity interval training — into your own fitness routine, though, Dwyer said. "Whatever workout is best for you is going to be to the one that you enjoy enough to do consistently," she explained. "If you're inspired by Rebel's journey, start with focusing on getting stronger and eating more nutritiously, rather than focusing on what your scale shows. That number is not an accurate reflection of health nor happiness."