After another warm and sunny bank holiday where shorts and sundresses started to appear, a lot of us have decided that we’ve really got to step up the diet a notch.
We all know that healthy food and exercise are key for losing weight and toning up, but we still expect miracles and want to see results immediately. Celebrities seem to rave about the latest fad diets that make you lose a stone in seconds, but do they actually work?
We’ve had a look at some of the most popular fad diets to see what benefits (if any) there are.
Top 5 fad diets
- Paleo Diet
Better known as the caveman diet, this diet restricts the types of food that you eat. Basically, you can eat anything that was around when we were living in caves (fruit, non-starchy vegetables and meat), but nothing man-made (so no ice-cream, chips or alcohol). This diet claims to be the only diet “proven by natural selection to fight disease, provide maximum energy, and keep you naturally thin, strong, and active”.
- Raw Food Diet
We know that fresh fruit and vegetables are good for us, but in this diet, everything must be raw (not cooked above 46°C), so that the food’s enzymes are not damaged. Some people stick to raw fruit and vegetables with seeds and nuts, but extreme followers also eat unpasteurised dairy products, raw fish and raw meat, which can cause illness.
- Fasting Diet
Stemming from a similar theory to the Paleo Diet, the Fasting Diet believes that the body is used to periods of feast and famine. So to replicate this, dieters choose two non-consecutive days where they ‘fast’, eating only approx. 500 calories (ideally vegetables, grains and fruit). Then on the other five days, you can eat anything you like (including alcohol).
- Mediterranean Diet
Most of us feel like we eat better when on holiday in the Mediterranean regions. This diet builds on this principle by suggesting fish and chicken instead of red meat, plenty of vegetables, and oil instead of lard or butter. This diet also advocates the benefits of red wine (in moderation) with meals, which could be why it’s quite popular!
- Dukan (French) Diet
Based on the idea that the French not only look chic, but actually enjoy their food, the Dukan diet promises weight loss from eating unlimited food. You begin by eating nothing but protein, then gradually introduceg unlimited vegetables on alternate days. Once you reach your target weight you choose one day a week (Thursdays usually) to just eat protein.
Whilst many of these will help you to lose weight in the short-term, the health benefits are often questioned as most suggest cutting out specific food groups, which can lead to a lack of certain nutrients.
We’ve found a selection of books, gadgets and equipment to help you on your way to fitness.