The Mayr Method may be the secret to Rebel Wilson’s weight loss—but is it healthy? 

Jaime Milan, reviewed by Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D.
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Earlier this year, Rebel Wilson shared that 2020 was going to be her “year of health” and she wanted to lose enough weight to get down to her goal of 165 pounds.

Since then, it’s apparent that the 40-year-old actress has been hard at work. She showed off her progress last month in a gorgeous blue cocktail dress, and now she’s looking even more fit on a scenic hike in Australia. 

Her dramatic transformation made us wonder exactly *how* she was losing weight. After a little sleuthing, we found out that Wilson has been following the Mayr Method, created by Dr. Franz Xaver Mayr, an Austrian physician, nearly 100 years ago.

What Is the Mayr Method Diet?

Dr. Franz Xaver Mayr reportedly believed that everything is connected to the gut, and what we eat (or don’t eat) can affect our overall health and wellbeing. According to People, “Mayr believed that most people are poisoning their digestive systems with the foods they eat and how they eat them.”

While we can certainly get behind a healthy, gut-centric meal plan, there are some other practices of the Mayr Method that seem a little restrictive...or just plain strange (more on that later). For starters, most people looking to follow the program spend a week or so at a VivaMayr “medical center” (there are three locations throughout Austria and one in London), which will cost nearly $2200—not including flights or accommodations. Those looking to save money may try to follow the plan by buying the book on Amazon instead.

Wilson posted in March about visiting the VivaMayr resort in Austria and said she “can’t wait to go back.” 

According to People, “The center revamps their clients’ diets to eliminate snacking, reduce gluten and dairy intake and change how they chew their food.” While the diet doesn’t restrict calories, there are a few key habits Mayr Method dieters practice, like eating slowly; stopping eating when they’re satisfied; drinking between meals (but not with meals); eating their biggest meal at breakfast, a smaller meal at lunch and their smallest meal at dinner; and no eating raw foods after 3 p.m.

Additionally, detoxing and fasting seem to be central themes within this plan (side note, we don’t recommend either). Dr. Maximilian Schubert, the medical director of VivaMayr, told TODAY, "In general, the first step is always a monotone and restricted diet, to really calm down the body system, food-wise," he explained.

VivaMayr’s website says the program combines diet and exercise with modern complementary medicine, traditional diagnostics and therapies according to F.X. Mayr. 

If you’re wondering what those therapies could look like, here’s a glimpse: Services at VIVAMAYR range from widely practiced wellness rituals (think: massage, yoga and acupuncture) to somewhat disturbing services like bloodletting, colon hydrotherapy and a $230 service called “Emotional Detoxification with Psychological Consultation.” 

Is the Mayr Method Diet Healthy?

While we’re all about eating gut-healthy foods and eating intuitively, we don’t think you need to practice disordered eating behaviors (like counting your bites of food or not drinking water at mealtime) to do so. Simply eating your food at a table without distractions will suffice.

Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D. says, “Any diet that has lots of rules and puts restrictions on what, when and how much you eat raises major red flags. Diets like this are hard to follow, so when someone eventually stops, they tend to gain some or all of the weight back that they lost. Rebel would be much better off with something like the Mediterranean diet, which is backed by research and is easy to follow for life.”

Additionally, some of the medical services practiced at VIVAMAYR’s resorts are concerning. We firmly believe you can achieve a healthy lifestyle and lose weight without resorting to extreme and dangerous practices such as bloodletting. While we’re rooting for Rebel Wilson as she continues her “year of health,” we hope she’s not harming herself in the process.