The K-Pop industry is notorious for their strict standards on their trainees. The diet culture is one that both males and females were forced to endure, and TREASURE is one of them.
In an interview with MMTG, members Hyunsuk and Junghwan reminisced on the lengths they’d go in order to secure a proper meal pre-debut.
When we were trainees, we had lunch boxes.
Rather than a diet that focused on calorie restriction, the YG Entertainment trainees were given food that lacked salt. Its main disadvantage was its tendency to lack taste.
They called it a ‘diet.’ Low salt diet.
They were forced to eat each meal and report it to the staff in charge for monitoring.
We had to take pictures of them. ‘We’re eating now,’ then we took a photo of it.
According to Hyunsuk, “it was so hard to keep eating” the low sodium lunch boxes. The TREASURE members eventually found a loophole in the process that helped them avoid the diet: since the staff members only checked if they finished eating, they could take a photo of any empty plate and pretend they ate their assigned food there. In reality, they actually scarfed down meals from the convenience store in the building.
We went to the convenience store next door and ate something else. After about 30 minutes, we’d take pictures of an empty plate and be like, ‘I’m done eating.’
To avoid suspicion, the trainees implemented a Mission Impossible-like plan. They used their great teamwork to warn each other of any passing employee who could implicate them.
Since we have a lot of members, we would have one person on standby in the waiting room in Basement 1, one person on standby on the first floor, one person on standby on the second floor to track staff movements, and one person on the third or top of the fourth floor to track the member going to the convenience store.
They took their roles seriously, updating each other in real time. They would say things like, “First floor: safe,” “Second floor: roger,” and, “No movements observed in the staff.”
We would make a group chat with ten people…we would secretly get things [from the convenience store] then share them.
The members fortunately now have the freedom to eat whatever they want! Check out the full video below to learn more about them.