IN THE NEWS: Top five worst celebrity diets…

Thinking of going on a diet to shape up for Christmas or planning one for the New Year? BDA warns against celeb dietsThe British Dietetic Association (BDA), tells Sell Your Story UK it receives ‘literally hundreds of calls’ from the media every year on the subject of diets and it has now issued the five top celebrity diets to avoid …

1. The Baby Food Diet

Celebrity Fans: Lady Ga Ga, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston are reportedly fans of this diet.

What’s it all about?

This diet calls for eating just up to 14 jars of pureed food or baby food every day or mostly pureed food or baby food and one adult meal or pureed food or baby food instead of snacks.

BDA Verdict: The Ga Ga should be for babies only! This diet works on portion control and guess what? Yes, restricted calories, as a jar of baby food has very few. Although fruit and veg are included they are pureed so have much less fibre and texture. Chewing food is associated with feelings of fullness and satiety, so reach for an apple or a carrot rather than a jar. Also, how anti-social would you be whipping out your jars of baby food and a top restaurant?

2. Raw Food Diet

Celebrity Fans: Demi Moore, Natalie Portman and Woody Harrelson are reportedly fans of this diet.

What’s it all about?

It’s the practise of eating raw uncooked food and non-pasteurised/non-homogenised dairy products. This diet can be used by vegans and meat eaters.

BDA Verdict: This hits a raw nerve! A raw diet can be low in fat and calories but can also be low in calcium, vitamin D, iron, zinc, and protein. Many foods can only be eaten cooked, like rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, beans and pulses, so these are excluded. The diet is unsuitable for pregnant women, children and other at risk groups. In fact some foods are more nutritious if cooked, like carrots and tomatoes. This diet is time consuming, socially isolating and you’ll have an awful lot of chewing to do. For those who use meat in a raw diet, they put themselves at risk of food poisoning and gastroenteritis.

3. Blood Group Diet

Celebrity Fans: Cheryl Cole, Sir Cliff Richard and Courtney Cox-Arquette are reportedly fans of this diet.

What’s it all about?

This diet is completely based on pseudo-science. It claims that different nutrients are broken down in the body based on the body’s blood type.

Blood Group A – No dairy products allowed and a vegetarian-based diet.
Blood Group B – A more varied intake of food and the only blood group able to ‘manage’ dairy products.
Blood Group AB – Combination of diets A and B (confused yet? Yes or no to dairy?)
Blood Group O – High meat intake, no dairy, no wheat, no grains (think Atkins).
BDA Verdict: Blood and sweat won’t make this work! Cutting out food groups is never a good idea (unless medically advised to do so and with help making substitutions from a Dietitian). This diet could lead to significant deficiencies such as calcium. You lose weight on this diet because your calorie intake is very restricted and this diet is not sustainable in the long term.

4. Alcorexia / Drunkorexia Diet

Celebrity Fans: It is widely thought that many top models and other celebrities are fans of this diet.

What’s it all about?

It’s when people eat very few calories during the day/week and think they can save all the calories they have not eaten then use them to binge drink alcohol.

For example, if you favour a VLC diet (very low calorie) to follow the Alcorexia Diet, you could be banking around 1,500 calories a day, which then gives you 10,500 calories to drink during the week. This amounts to:

45 pints of lager (based on a single pint being around 230 kcals). With a pint of lager being 2 units, this gives you a weekly alcohol intake of 90 units.
201 shots of spirits (based on a single shot being around 52 kcals). With a single shot of spirit being 1 unit, this gives you a weekly alcohol intake of 201 units.
52 alcopops (based on a single alcopop being around 200 kcals). With a single alcopop being 1 unit, this gives you a weekly alcohol intake of 52 units.
131 glasses of red wine, or 26 bottles (based on a glass of red being around 80 kcals). With a single glass being 1 unit, this gives you a weekly alcohol intake of 131 units).
To put this in context, the safe weekly alcohol unit intake is 28 units for men and 21 units for women.

BDA Verdict: You must be blind drunk! Following a VLC diet alone is madness, as you will most certainly not be getting the calories, vitamins and nutrients your body needs to survive and function. In addition, you will feel weak, tired have no energy and will become very irritable very soon. Alcohol has little nutrition other than calories. To do this in order to ‘bank’ your calories so you can go a use them on alcohol is pure madness and could easily result in alcohol poisoning and even death. The BDA has received a significant increase in media calls about this diet and it is a worrying trend.

5. Dukan Diet

Celebrity Fans: The Duchess of Cambridge (and her mother Carole Middleton), Jennifer Lopez and Gisele Bundchen are reportedly fans of this diet.

What’s it all about?

A complicated four-phase diet that starts off with a protein only approach that promotes weight loss of around 7lb per week.

BDA Verdict: The Dukan’t Diet is Offal! There is absolutely no solid science behind this at all. This works on restricting foods, calories and portion control again. Once again, cutting out food groups is not advisable. This diet is so confusing, very rigid, full of very French foods that most Brits would run a mile from like rabbit and offal, and even Dr Dukan himself warns of the associated problems like lack of energy, constipation and bad breath – lovely!

Speaking about these and other fad diets, Sian Porter, consultant dietitian and Spokesperson for the BDA, said:

“Sadly, there is no magic wand you can wave. There is no wonder diet you can follow without some nutritional or health risk and most are offering a short-term fix to a long term problem. It may be obvious, but if you want to lose weight you need to eat a nutritionally balanced and varied diet with appropriately sized portions and burn off more calories than you consume. In short speak, eat fewer calories, make better choices and move a bit more!

“On a serious note, glamorous images of celebrities saturate our daily media in all forms. These celebs have an army of people to help them to keep looking good, which is essential to their livelihood and plenty of money to do whatever they think it takes. You need to remember too, a lot of these images are airbrushed and retouched to give celebrities an unachievable body image that does not exist in real life, yet many aspire to. Some people look at these images and will try anything they think will help them achieve the ‘perfect’ body.

“If you have some weight you need to lose, then do it in a healthy, enjoyable and sustainable way. In the long term this will achieve the results you are after.”

For more information and tips about healthy weight loss, please visit http://www.bdaweightwise.com

Have you tried a celebrity diet? Let us know how you got on here: My Celebrity diet experience


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