The British Dietetic Association (BDA) recently revealed its much-anticipated annual list of celebrity diets to avoid in the New Year.
There are seemingly endless amounts of diets out there all professing to be the key to a better you. Many diets claim to be "healthy" when in reality, they are anything but.
The BDA receives hundreds of calls from the media every year on this subject and comes across a huge range of weird and whacky diets and diet claims. Here are the BDA's top 5 worst celeb diets to avoid in 2017:
1. Clean eatingCelebrity Link: Miranda Kerr and Jessica Alba are allegedly fans of this "diet."
What's it all about? The idea is to avoid all processed foods by eliminating refined sugar, cooking from scratch, and choosing foods in their natural state. But some extreme versions exclude gluten, grains, dairy, and even in some cases encourage a raw-food diet.
BDA Verdict: While it is beneficial to reduce refined sugar and limit processed food intake, the idea of foods being "clean" and "dirty" is concerning. In some circumstances this way of thinking is a prelude to "Orthorexia Nervosa" — an obsession with foods that the individual considers to be healthy, and elimination of any food deemed unhealthy. In many cases, foods that are actually nutritionally beneficial are deemed as unhealthy, such as those containing whole grains, fruit and dairy, with no basis in scientific evidence. Unless you have a medically diagnosed intolerance or allergy to these foods, there is no need to eliminate them and doing so could lead to deficiencies in your diet.
2. Diet pillsCelebrity Link: Kim Kardashian has reportedly used diet pills to lose weight.
What's it all about? Many of these pills claim to keep fat from being absorbed by your body, or "melt" fat, while others claim to suppress appetite or boost metabolism.
BDA Verdict: Danger! Diet pills should never be taken without first consulting your doctor, pharmacist, or dietitian, as even regulated weight loss medicines on prescription can have nasty side effects, including diarrhea. Diet pills sold online are often unregulated and can contain substances not licensed for human consumption like pesticides and have proven to be fatal.
3. TeatoxesCelebrity Link: Nicki Minaj and Kylie Jenner's Instagram accounts feature these products, and Britney Spears reportedly uses them.
What's it all about? Teatoxing is short for "tea detoxing." These tea products have varying claims from detoxing the body, improving skin, reducing bloating, and losing weight.
BDA Verdict: These teas often contain extra caffeine in the form of guarana or yerba mate, diuretic ingredients such as dandelion and nettle, and the laxative, senna, which is not safe to take for longer than a week without medical supervision. They might create the impression of weight loss and detoxification, but this is usually water-weight loss. Any further weight loss would most likely be due to substituting these teas in the place of high calorie drinks or food or as part of fasting plan. There's also a risk of side effects such a diarrhea, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance.
4. The 6:1 dietCelebrity Link: Coldplay singer Chris Martin reportedly followed this "diet," claiming that it made him more creative and improved his voice.
What's it all about? The 6:1 diet involves eating like you usually do for six days and then for one day a week, some followers of this diet completely fast, meaning they don't consume any food for 24 hours.
BDA Verdict: Completely fasting unless properly managed is likely to lead to a lack of concentration, tiredness, and low mood, which isn't going to make you more productive. There is no evidence that a diet like this would make you more creative either, and depending on your age, health and lifestyle, fasting could be dangerous. If you want to go down the fasting route, it is important to choose an evidence-based plan and consult a medical professional to ensure that this is done in a healthy and safe way.
5. Green juicesCelebrity Link: Blake Lively and Gwyneth Paltrow reportedly consume "green juices."
What's it all about? Another means of "detoxing" and weight management, green juices are essentially juices or smoothies made up of various fruits, vegetables, powders etc. Fans claim benefits ranging from detoxing to rejuvenation and weight loss.
BDA Verdict: The body is perfectly capable of detoxing itself without the aid of these green liquid concoctions. Adding a green juice to an unhealthy diet is never going to make up for poor choices when it comes to food. In addition, people add in ingredients like nuts, coconut oil, and whole avocados to their green breakfast juices too — meaning these juices can add up to as much as 400 calories per glass. If you are still eating your normal breakfast on top of this, you are more likely to gain weight from consuming more calories, rather than lose weight. A green juice is not a magic fix. Keep your veggies and fruit whole and limit juices and smoothies to 150 milliliters per day.
Sian Porter, consultant dietitian and spokesperson for the BDA, says if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
“Make small sustainable changes you need to make forever," he said. "An eating pattern for life should be the one you can stick to in the long term, not a quick fix. Enjoy a rich variety of foods in appropriate portion sizes — moderation is key as well as being physically active. Losing weight is challenging and keeping it off is too, but it's not impossible. Don't make it even harder for yourself by following a fad."
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