Lindsey Hall

Lindsey Hall

Health and Fitness Writer and Yoga Teacher

Lindsey has worked in the active leisure sector for a number of years and in a variety of roles, including health and lifestyle promotion. She enjoys travelling, walking, yoga, and is an avid charity fundraiser....
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Five Celebrity Diets You Should Avoid

The British Dietetic Association has revealed its annual list of the top five celebrity diets to avoid in the New Year.

This list of tragic and crazy diets is published annually by the BDA, who literally receive hundreds of calls, letters and emails from professionals around the world on this subject. Topping the list for 2014 is a brand new entry…

1. Breatharian diet (new entry) – followers believe they do not need to eat food or drink any liquids because they can achieve sustenance from air and sunlight alone. Sounds crazy? Actress Michelle Pfeiffer has reportedly revealed she believes she was involved in a cult that followed the diet.

2. Biotyping diet (new entry) – Boy George has reportedly cited biotyping as attributing to his weight loss in 2013. The BioSignature system relates to six different hormone types and fat accumulation in different body sites and is largely based on the principles of metabolic typing. It aims for ‘site’ specific body fat reduction, measured by skinfold calipers, through hormone balance. By choosing certain foods, cutting out others, adding a training programme and taking supplements, the promise is it will ‘spot reduce’ fat. The BDA actually refer to this diet as “Bio-nonsence” on the premise that it relies far too heavily on the use of supplements, supplied by the founder of the BioSignature brand, Charles Poliquin.

3. Gluten-free diet (new entry) – Gwyneth Paltrow is a well-known advocate of this ‘diet’ which involves cutting out all foods containing gluten; the protein found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. It is vitally important for those with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity, but for the rest of us, there is no credible research that shows a gluten- free diet leads to weight loss.

The bottom line is if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. The simple fact is – there is no ‘wonder diet’

4. Alcorexia and the drunkorexia diet (non-mover) – it’s widely thought that many top models follow this very low calorie (VLC) ‘diet’ which involves eating very few calories during the day or week and banking those ‘saved’ calories in order to majorly binge-drink over the weekend. The BDA says: “this is a worrying ‘diet’ that could end up causing immense damage to the body.” NB: the safe weekly alcohol unit intake is 21 units for women and 28 units for men.

5. Dukan diet – this has previously held the number one slot in the BDA’s annual list for the past three years. Dukan is a complicated high protein, no/low carb, four-phase rigid diet that promotes rapid weight loss. Its celebrity devotees include Jennifer Lopez and the Duchess of Cambridge’s mum, Carole Middleton. Even the creator of the diet, Pierre Dukan, who, in 2013 was banned from practicing as a GP in France, has warned of associated issues with the diet including lack of energy, constipation, the need for a vitamin and mineral supplement and bad breath.

Speaking about these fad diets, Sian Porter, chairman of the BDA’s communications board, said:

“The bottom line is if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. The simple fact is – there is no ‘wonder diet’. Maybe it’s not as exciting, but the truth is, if you want to lose some weight, do it by: eating a healthy balanced diet, watching your portion sizes and being physically active. Think of it as a marathon approach to achieving your weight loss goals. Aim to make permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle that are sustainable in the long-term, not forgotten by the end of January.”

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