Dieting A-Z

Dieting A-Z

Dieting A-Z

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  • Author: Laura Heaps, MyVillage

Dieting A-Z


A - Atkins

We all went mad for the low carb fad a couple of years ago with sales of Dr Atkins' books going through the roof. Bad breath and reports of heart and liver damage (not to mention one too many fried brekkies) have seen most of us go back to bread and Atkins profits drop monumentally.

B - Blood group
It's one of the weirder diet fads out there but celebs like Martine McCutcheon and Courtney Cox Arquette swear by the blood group diet. The theory is that certain foods disagree with certain blood types, meaning that O typers should avoid carb, A's should be veggies and B's should keep away from anything processed. Sounds bloody silly to us.

C - Cabbage soup
The smelliest diet around, the Cabbage soup diet works by cutting down calorie intake to starvation levels. Whilst eating as much cabbage soup as you like the dieter is discouraged from eating anything else other than the occasional banana or tomato. Great if you like to fart like a trooper, have a house smelling of granny and pass out walking to the bus stop.

D - Detox
Detoxing must be sensible - even Carol Vorderman does it! The detox diet claims to help you to lose a stone in ten days, banish cellulite forever, clear your skin and make your hair gleam. Detoxing involves methods ranging from massage to colonics, fasting to body brushing and means no more booze, lattes, fags or fish 'n chips.

E - Easyweigh
Allen Carr is a guru when it comes to giving up smoking; however his system which says you should be able to enjoy the foods you like and still lose weight has been panned by dieters as unrealistic.

F - Food combining
Food combining is the sort of diet that will stop you ever eating out again - you'll dedicate your life to separating out your nosh in to food groups. The basis of the diet is that weight gain is due to eating patterns not excess calories so you'll lose weight by eating 70% veg and 30% starch in the right order.

G - Grapefruit
There are different versions of the grapefruit diet; some limiting you to 800 calories a day, others saying to eat 'til you're stuffed. Whichever you choose to follow you're required to scoff a grapefruit before every meal, which supposedly speeds up your metabolism to break down your food more quickly.

H - Hamptons
Very New York, the Hamptons diet is for just the sort of people who holiday in the place of the same name. Created by Dr Pescatore it's yet another low carb diet, which has seen some success in the US. High in monounsaturated fats and low in starch you can adjust your carb intake to suit how much you want to lose.

I - Idiots
Claiming to help you lose nine pounds every eleven days, is one of the world's top dieting websites. Working on the basis that forever changing your eating patterns is the way to keep your body burning those calories - but let's face it, if your mind doesn't like to be confused why would your body.

J - Juice fasting
Just about the lowest calorie diet around juice fasting might get you off the roast beef but it will have you wee wee weeing all the way home. Usually between two and five days long the dieter eats nothing and survives instead on fruit and vegetable juices, salt, sugar and additive free. Works purely because you're limiting your intake so massively.

L - LA shape
What body shape are you? A pear? An apple? Knowing this, according to the LA Shape diet, helps you to understand where your body stores fat and how best to shift it. Although protein shakes aren't for everyone there is a lot of sensible advice here - including eating steamed veg and fish and eating proteins relevant to your shape.

M - Montignac method
Currently the world's number one diet the Montignac method, aka the GI diet, uses a food's glycemic index to work out whether or not it'll aid weight loss. Rather than stopping you from eating any one type of food it allows almost everything in moderation, including chocolate and doesn't deprive the body of nutrients.

N - Nutrisystem
A hit stateside, the Nutrisystem is aimed at those people who are far too busy to be boiling up lentils all night. An exercise programme is combined with pre-packaged meals concentrated on 'good' carbs.all well and good you might think but all those additives in the ready meals can't be the best idea.

O - Ornish
Dean Ornish's Eat More, Weigh Less scheme has, for obvious reasons, captured plenty of dieters' imaginations. Rather than changing the amount of food you eat, change the type of food you eat - which means less meat and more veggies until you're on a pretty much vegetarian diet. Less calorie counting and more scoffing.

P - Pritikin
The Pritikin diet was designed as a means to help people with heart disease; weight loss is just a happy coincidence. A sensible but extreme diet which cuts out animal products, refined foods and most types of fat - effective but very difficult to stick to if you're used to pasta, burgers and the odd packet of crisps.

R - Radiant health
Another of those low carb diets, the Radiant Health diet is based around the idea that the more carbohydrates you eat the more you want. Like the Atkins meats, eggs and cheese are the mainstay of your meals, with carbs kept to under 70g per day, however this one eases you in to the diet, lowering your intake each day meaning you store less fat and the fat you do store gets burnt off more easily.

S - Scarsdale
The Scarsdale led the way in the 70s with its claims that you could lose up to a pound a day by following the plan to the letter. Snacking is out and herbal appetite suppressants are positively encouraged to supplement the strict thrice daily meals consisting of fruit, veg and lean sources of protein.

A little known diet created by Tamir B Katz MD the TBK diet follows the premise that we suffer from heart disease, cancer and allergies because we eat an unnatural diet. So, apparently the best thing to do is to eat and drink like a caveman, meaning you can only scoff things that would be available to pre-historic man that are edible in their raw unadulterated heard it here first.

U - spud-U-lite
The days of avoiding tatties could be over for Atkins fanatics. A Dutch seed company has developed a low carb potato, nicknamed Spud-U-Lite by dieters, which could make those carbohydrate cravings during weight loss a thing of the past and greatly improve your choice of meals.

W - Weightwatchers
Britain's favourite diet for many many years now we all remember our Mums going in for a weigh up and now celebs on both sides of the pond are singing Weightwatchers' praises. With a sensible points based diet you're able to have a 'little bit of what you fancy' - the only problem comes when you have a Saturday night blow out and can't eat for a week.

X - X factor
Snore.another Atkins copycat, Leslie Kenton's diet was invented to ease something called Syndrome X, also known as Insulin Resistance. There are two options depending on your needs - Ketogenics limits carbs to just 20g a day, Insulin Balance to 35g. Has exactly the same pros and cons as the Atkins - bad breath and rapid weight loss.

Z - Zone
A very precise meal plan is created for Zone dieters, based on gender, activity levels and percentage of body fat. Strict meals mainly made up of protein can leave you with little energy and deficient in minerals and vitamins but the pay off is speedy weight loss while eating steaks and roast beef.

Laura Heaps, MyVillage, 21st October

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