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RHOBH Star Teddi Mellencamp Gets Choked Up Over Allegations She's Running A 'Scam' Diet Program

teddi mellencamp defends scam diet company

Teddi Mellencamp is going on the defensive.

As we previously reported, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star came under fire over her All In By Teddi diet program. Some former clients recently came forward to anonymously accuse her accountability coaching method as a “scam,” even going so far as to label the program “sick and unhealthy.”

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Since these allegations came to light, the reality star has scrambled to answer for the accusations. In a video on Instagram, she said she was “100 percent” confident in the program’s transparency from the beginning. She added:

“We believe in you. We will fight for you, and we know that the best is yet to come.”

Now on the latest episode of her podcast Teddi Tea Pod with Teddi Mellencamp, she launched an emotional defense of her business. She started by explaining:

“The reason I started All In With Teddi had nothing to do with the business. I had no big plans about creating a business. I wanted to change my own life. I wanted to grow. I wanted to feel good in my own skin. I wanted to know that I was worth it, and I hadn’t felt that way in quite a long time. I created my own happiness by taking care of myself and I used Instagram as a tool to hold me accountable. I would post my workouts, I would post healthy, clean eating, and I used my followers to help hold me accountable to lifestyle changes I was making.”

After fans on social media reached out with interest in following her method, the actual business began to take form. She began to get choked up as she continued:

“And I realized that my calling, my purpose, was not just to change my life, it was to help others feel good in their own skin, feel confident, feel comfortable, reach their goals, to know they’re not alone. And that has been something that lights me up every single day. It makes me feel proud, I am excited about it, and I love every second of what I do. I know that so many lives have been changed. I love the community that’s been formed.”

She went on to share her emotional state following the accusations. She said:

“There are times where you are seriously like, ‘Gosh, I just want to cry myself to sleep right now. This is really hard.’ … If you know your why and you know your purpose is good, then you’re going to be OK. That’s how I feel. I am sad. I am emotional. I hate to see hate… Thank God that I went All In on me, because I have the ability to know this is going to be OK. I am going to be OK.”

Throughout the podcast — and elsewhere — she further addressed the specific allegations (or as she called them, “misconceptions”) against the program, which some have called a “starvation company.”

Counting calories

One of the most alarming allegations about the program was that clients were restricted to as low as 500 calories a day. Mellencamp denied this claim, saying there was “never” a 500-calorie limit. She said:

“We would never encourage anyone to starve. Every person has different needs, different goals, and we focus on clean eating.”

In an email to Page Six, the 39-year-old added:

“Our focus has always been on clean whole foods and our basic Jumpstart menu is 1100-1200 calories per day. There are a variety of nutritional food options on our menu. We have found that clients do best following a simple menu in the initial stages.”

No proteins — but lots of soup

On the podcast, Mellencamp denied restricting proteins from the All In diet. Instead, they encourage “lean, clean proteins” and “protein-rich vegetables.” Regarding the allegation that the program only allows soup for dinner, she claimed:

“[Soup] was something that was easy and caused less stress for me at the end of the day than opening up the pantry and going, ‘Oh my goodness, what am I gonna make?’ This is during the jump start where you’re trying to figure out how to start navigating a life where you organize your meals. A lot of us have a lot of bad habits when it comes to eating dinner too late and not eating things that actually fuel your body.”

It kiiiiinda sounds like she pushed what worked for her on other people — then charged them hundreds of dollars for it.

She further clarified in a statement to Today:

“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.”

Forced daily workouts

John Mellencamp’s daughter acknowledged that clients do get kicked out of the program if they fail to participate in daily exercise — but that’s just part of accountability coaching. She shared:

“When you sign up to the program, you are signing up to be active every single day. … But if there’s a repeated situation where somebody has signed up for the program and they’re not being active in some capacity, we aren’t doing the job that they’re paying us to do. So yes.”

She did note that exceptions can be made for family emergencies or illness. (How magnanimous!)

Coaches without health certifications

This may be the most suspicious and dangerous allegation against the program — and it’s true. While Teddi herself claimed to be an “AFPA-certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant and AFPA-certified Personal Trainer,” none of the accountability coaches are trained professionals. Instead, they’re just people who have gone through the All In program.

This info is actually found right on the website for the program, where it states:

“Our coaches do not carry any fitness, medical or health certifications. Each coach has completed the accountability program and lives this lifestyle.”

So it’s less like nutrition and health experts leading clients and more like clients helping more clients, who help more clients. Almost like a pyramid scheme of unqualified people not eating enough…?

The Page Six email stated:

“We truly believe that the lived experience makes all the difference. Our coaches are not licensed health professionals and have no healthcare training. We practice what we preach and it isn’t about certifications. If people are looking for certifications, then they need to go elsewhere, but if they want a helpful, nurturing, supportive accountability coach, they’re in the right place.”

It’s easy enough to tell clients to “go elsewhere” for trained professionals, but continuing to employ untrained coaches to advise on health matters seems REALLY dangerous to us!

Requiring NDAs

The mother of three confirmed that clients do have to sign NDAs, which she called “consent forms.” She clarified in her email:

“We require a consent form when you come through which actually protects them as much as it protects us because we want to make sure that you are not pregnant. You have not had a past eating disorder. That we are not licensed professionals and we have no healthcare training. So when people are saying NDAs, we want to make it clear that this is as much for you as it is for us. And then, the company has also evolved a lot from when we first started. I originally had an NDA because when I first started the show, people were signing up solely because they wanted to talk to me. And then I realized, like, ‘Okay. I need to put some things in place so people are signing up for the right reasons, not just to talk to a ‘Real Housewife.'”

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Encouraging eating disorders

The bottom line of the accusations is that it seems to be paying a LOT of money for a program that might lead to developing eating habits which fall more in line with eating disorders than diets. Of the potentially “triggering” required weigh-ins, Teddi defended:

“We use the scale as a measurement tool, so it’s not a punishment, it’s not anything like that. Because our entire business is over text message, we have to have a way to measure your accountability.”

However, she did admit that the program is “not for you” if you’ve suffered from an eating disorder.

Again, it’s easy enough to simply tell ED survivors not to sign up… but for an accountability company, she’s really not taking any responsibility for the ways this program could cause serious harm. Being “transparent” upfront doesn’t absolve you from guilt, it just shows that you knew about all the ways the program is toxic and potentially dangerous and decided to sell it anyway. That’s like a drug dealer putting up a sign that says DRUGS ARE BAD 4 YOU.

In our opinion, Teddi needs to take a serious look at the ways her company is problematic and genuinely own up to these issues instead of being so defensive — and essentially telling people they just can’t handle it.

We also hope this exposure stops more people from getting trapped in this program!

[Image via Judy Eddy/WENN]

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Sep 18, 2020 14:00pm PDT