Can fad diets really help you lose weight? We checked in with the British Dietetic Association’s annual list of the worst celebrity diets
Find out the facts about celeb diets
No matter how well you know the calories in, calories out equation, or that protein and fat fill you up, it’s hard not to be tempted by what is (or rather, isn’t) on the dinner tables of hot-bodied celebs – you could be just an exotic juice away from Jennifer Aniston’s abs, after all. But can dining al jaro or eating by blood type really give you a body to die for?
The Baby Food diet
Menu: Nothing but 14 jars of pureed or baby food every day.
Verdict: The fruit and veg may contain vitamins, but being pureed, their fibre count drops considerably. The lack of texture is also a dietary disaster waiting to happen, as chewing food is associated with feelings of fullness. Dining al jaro can also wreak havoc with your social life, unless you fancy a candlelit custard for two.
The Raw Food diet
Menu: Raw and uncooked food and non-pasteurised/non-homogenised dairy products.
Verdict: It’s hard to eat raw and overdo the fat and calories, but you’ll also miss out on calcium, vitamin D, iron, zinc and protein – the nutrient most likely to fill you up and stop you overeating.
The Blood Group diet
Menu: Based on your blood group, on the theory that different nutrients are broken down in the body based on the body’s blood type.
Verdict: Tried and tested in the la-la lab, this one is based on pseudo-science. Cutting entire food groups is never a good idea and could set you up for significant deficiencies such as calcium. Sure, you might lose weight in the short-run, but only because your calorie intake is very restricted. Prepare to gain it all back when you do – and biology says you will – cave in to normal food.
Menu: You’ll eat very few calories during the day/week to ‘save them up’ to spend on an alcohol binge.
Verdict: Without calories (aka fuel), vitamins and nutrients from food, your body won’t function properly. By the time Frangelico Friday rolls around, you’ll feel weak, tired and irritable. Binge drinking in a depleted state predisposes you to serious alcohol poisoning, not to mention cancelling out your banked calories at the kebab van as your starving body seizes on your lowered inhibitions.
Menu: The post-noughties answer to Atkins, this diet spans four phases that start with a super-restrictive protein-only approach and gradually introduce ‘luxuries’ such as lettuce and vegies.
Verdict: There is no magic here, just basic maths – this diet works on restricting calories by limiting food choices and portions. Even diet mastermind Dr Dukan concedes constipation, lack of energy and bad breath are likely side effects.