10 Dec 2013

We are surrounded by the constant bombardment of celebrities looking fabulous and thin; don’t forget the super mums who shed baby weight in days! However such dramatic weight loss and restrictive diets can lead to numerous health issues from osteoporosis to kidney failure. We all know how important it is to eat a well balanced diet rich in nutrients and food from all the various food groups. However we forget this in order for a quick fix solution. Of course you are going to lose weight when you cut your calorie intake to dramatically low levels, but this is not sustainable and comes with a mountain of health issues. Are you willing to pay the price? If you are anything like me you will want to know what these crazy diets are and avoid them like the plague.

1. BREATHARIAN DIETshutterstock_95345359

Celebrity advocate: Actress Michelle Pfeiffer has recently revealed that she has participated in a cult that followed the breatharian diet.

What’s involved? Forget food and drink, you supposedly can survive on air and sunlight instead.

BDA (British Diet Association) verdict: Serious health hazard with risk of dehydration, malnutrition and potentially death. Do not attempt this any cost.


Celebrity advocate: Boy George has attributed this diet to his weight loss.

What’s involved? Carefully selecting specific foods in order to change the body’s hormonal balance, resulting in reduced fat in certain areas.

This BioSignature system relates to six different hormone types and fat accumulation in different body sites and aims for ‘site’ specific body fat reduction.

BDA’s verdict: Many people will lose weight on this type of diet due to the restriction of certain foods, reduced calorie intake and encouragement of exercise. However there is next to no scientific evidence that hormones are attributable to fat metabolism. Simply nonsense.

3. GLUTEN-FREE DIET shutterstock_118087417

Celebrity advocate: Gwyneth Paltrow is committed to this diet

What’s involved? Avoiding all foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and oats.

BDA verdict: Many foods contain gluten; in fact wheat is a staple of millions of people worldwide. However people wrongly associate gluten products with high sugar and fatty products such as cakes, pastries, breads and biscuits. When in actual fact it is the heavy processing of these grains that can cause digestive upsets. Eaten in their most natural form or as close to their natural form, in wholesome healthy products such as porridge they can be part of a balanced nutritional diet


Celebrity advocate: Many top models and actresses

What’s involved? Consuming as little calories as possible and skipping meals in order to allow for drinking calories from alcohol.  This is known as ‘banking’ calories during the day/week in order to binge drink at the weekends.

BDA verdict: This is extremely detrimental to health. Not only will it induce weight gain later on due to a slowed down metabolic rate, but also girls may suffer from malnutrition, exhaustion, poor digestion and countless health issues.

Celebrity advocate:  Carole Middleton (The Duchess of Cambridge’s mum), and Jennifer Lopez have reportedly followed this diet.

What’s involved? This four-phase diet starts off with a no carbohydrate, only protein diet for the first 10 days. This promotes rapid weight loss.

BDA verdict: Cutting out major food groups particularly carbohydrates is not advisable. This will encourage health issues such as constipation, fatigue and could lead to kidney damage and osteoporosis. It is important to have a well-balanced nutritionally dense diet.

written by Eshere Ward

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