We all struggle a bit with confidence and pressure during swimsuit season – even fashion models worry about how they look in a new suit. This insecurity can lead to dangerous diets and “cleansing” routines that are a terrible idea. By depleting your body of salt and essential nutrients, you could make yourself terribly ill – and not at all beach ready.

Dolce & Gabbana model David Gandy shared his unhealthy approach in a recent magazine interview; stating that his “slower” metabolism at age 37 required dramatic and drastic measures. Gandy was interviewed alongside fellow model Bianca Balti; the pair star in a recent series of fragrance ads. When asked about what they did to prepare for their photo sessions, Balti mentioned she opted for a light breakfast, while Gandy outlined a much more hazardous approach.

“Mine is a bit more intense than that,” said Gandy, describing his “salt depletion” ritual. “You deplete all the salt two days before you shoot, and then the day before you dehydrate yourself,” he said. “Literally the day before you drink only one glass of water. And that night you take a boiling hot bath. By the shoot you’ve got no liquid in you whatsoever.”

Why Salt Depletion is a Bad, Bad Idea

When you eliminate sodium entirely, you are missing out on one of the minerals your body needs to function properly. Low sodium can lead to dehydration (particularly when you shoot to become dehydrated) and can leave you feeling sick and tired. At first, you’ll just have a headache and become incredibly thirsty, but extreme dehydration can deplete other critical electrolytes and leave you at an increased risk for everything from heart problems to urinary tract infections.

Working hard to look your best is a great idea for your overall health and for your confidence levels when it comes to the beach, but depriving your body of water and minerals is never okay. You need even more water than usual in the summer – so drink up, be confident and enjoy a fun, healthy day at the beach, worry-free.