3. Dr Andrew Weil

Esteemed Medical Doctor, Andrew Weil has pioneered an integrative approach towards nutritional wellbeing. Of particular concern to Weil is how food can help reduce the risk of disease, as outlined in his highly influential book Eating Well for Optimum Health.

In the book Weil is highly critical about most diets, including many of the low-carbohydrate diets. Instead, he advises people to think of the worst diet you can possibly think of - high in fats, sugars and salt - and then do the exact opposite.

Weil's top tips

  • Consider adopting some of the elements of the Mediterranean diet - wholegrain products instead of refined carbohydrates, good fats in the form of fish, plenty of nuts and seeds and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Go for unprocessed foods whenever possible.
  • Avoid margarine and limit full-fat dairy consumption.

4. Dr Sandra Cabot

Regarded as controversial by some of her contemporaries, Australia's Sandra Cabot is a world leader in the field of detoxification, as outlined in her hugely popular book The Liver Cleansing Diet. Cabot says that by focusing on the health of the liver you can achieve weight loss and improve general health and wellbeing.

Cabot focuses on eating easily digested, high-nutrition foods with an emphasis on raw fruits and vegetables.

Cabot's top tips

  • Drink plenty of freshly squeezed juices. They are easily digested and absorbed and contain a wealth of living enzymes.
  • Grind flaxseed, sunflower and almonds together to form a super mix that provides the liver with essential fatty acids and soluble fibre. You can now buy this pre-mixed from many health stores.

5. Dr Rick Donald

Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Naturopath and Nutritionist, Rick Donald gained considerable attention with his book Feast and Famine. In the book he knocks down the traditional food pyramid, replacing it instead with ‘The Food Funnel' - with the wide end making up 50 per cent of daily food intake and including vegetables, legumes and sprouts. The narrow end comprising dairy, processed grains and sugar.

Donald does not believe in counting calories or weighing foods, preferring to give all foods a Potential Fat Index (PFI) classification. PFI-1 foods are the ‘fat blasters' that actually help the body to reduce stored fat, PFI-2 are ‘fat burners' or ‘fence sitters' and PFI-3 are ‘reward foods' or ‘best-to-avoid foods'.

Donald's top tips

  • Eat only as much as you can burn. Fuel in equals energy out, with the unused portion being stored as fat.
  • Don't stress about your weight - stress can lead to an over-production by the adrenal glands of the steroid hormone cortisol, disrupting blood sugar metabolism and contributing towards weight gain.
  • Eat fish at least three times a week for improved brain function.