Just after Christmas we tend to want to start a new diet. Bring on our perfect body after excess eating and try something new that could deliver it quickly for us. This is where celebrity diets come in as many will claim that they have tried something which has had a remarkable effect on their weight with very little effort. We all know in the back of our head that this will not happen, but it is still intriguing and may still be worth a try. The BBC looked further into this matter. And asked the British Dietetic Association (BDA) to look into them and comment on how good they are.
The first that they were asked to look into was clean eating which some actresses swear by, The diet removed all processed foods, particularly refined sugar but may also exclude gluten, grains and dairy, depending on the version that you decide to do. The BDA expressed a concern that by considering that certain foods were dirty it could lead to restrictive eating and possibly eating disorders. They also stressed that food such as wholegrain, fruit and dairy are healthy and the fact that this diet states that they are dirty has no scientific bases. They explained that someone with an allergy or intolerance should avoid certain types of food but there is no nutritional reason why anyone else should. They also explained that some alternatives such as coconut oil and syrups can be much more expensive than alternatives and not be any better with regards to their nutritional content.
The second option they looked at was diet pills and the BDA explained that no one should take these without talking to a health expert first such as their GP, pharmacist or dietitian. They explained that the pills can cause side effects and if they are bought from unregulated websites they may not even be suitable for human consumption and may not have been tested.
The third they looked at was tea-toxes and these claim to help weight loss, reduce bloating and improve skin. The BDA explained that these teas often have added ingredients such as extra caffeine, or diuretics which will make the body extract water or even laxatives. You should not take these for long and weight loss is likely to be form water loss. Replacing high calorie drinks or food with these drinks will cause calorie restriction and therefore weight loss but they can also damage the body and cause dehydration.
They also looked at the 6:1 diet which goes a bit further than the 5:2 diet and so you eat normally for six days and have nothing on the last. The BDA explained that fasting can be difficult for some people and would not be recommended for the old and young or those with a medical condition. They explained that it can make you feel tired and moody and make it hard to concentrate and suggested that you consult a GP before starting.
Lastly the looked into green juices. Many people use powders as well as fruit and veg t make up juices which are thought to help weight loss, detox the body and have other benefits. The BDA explained that the body is perfectly capable of detoxing itself and you cannot think that by having the juice it will negate an otherwise unhealthy diet. People often add coconut oil, avocado and nuts and this can increase the calories so much that replacing a normal breakfast with a juice could lead to weight gain in some cases. Therefore the BDA recommended that if you do have juice that you should limit it to half a cup a day.
It can be really confusing when people claim they have done so well with a certain diet and found it so easy but you are told that if you want to be healthy that you should be doing something very different. It can be frustrating as well because it is great to think that there might be a quick fix and that you will be able to lose weight really easily.
Their advice is that you eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and of various colours to get a range of nutrients. They say to have a starchy food, such a grains or potato, preferably wholegrain with each meal and have lean meats and fish a few times a week including one portion of oily fish. They explain to have three portions of dairy such as a small yoghurt pot or matchbox sized amount of cheese for calcium. To choose low fat options and cut down on high fat and sugar drinks as well. They explain that it is better to make small sustainable changes and have a big variety of foods in appropriate portion sizes.
Just going back to your normal diet after the festive season may not always be enough to lose any weight that you have put on. However, if you start by doing this and then make small changes to improve your diet, you should find that you will start to lose weight over time. You will need to be patient.
There are people that say a rapid weight loss can be good and will help to encourage you to keep going with a weight loss plan, but others that say that it is not a good idea and that you should do I slowly over time. The celebrity diets tend to take the rapid weight loss route and it is likely that these are frowned upon, because often weight is put back on once you go back to your normal diet. This is why making small sustainable changes could make sense in the long run. If you reduce your soft drink consumption, for example, by one a day for the rest of your life, itw ill have a much more long term effect than if you cut it all out for a few weeks and then reintroduce it in the same quantity afterwards.