Thursday 11 October 2018

Is It Just Me Or Are Fad Diets a Waste of Time and Money?

I had lunch with a friend the other day. While I tucked into a substantial salad she sipped a sad black tea and boasted that she had lost 9lbs on the Cambridge Diet, sticking to protein drinks - it sounded as though she was eating less than my small dog.

A fifth of British women are permanently dieting and many resort to ‘Fad’ diets, which work well in the short term, but when they finish most people regain the weight within six months.

I stopped fad dieting about two years ago, but I still am fascinated by the number of diets out there, including the Cotton Ball Diet the trick is to survive on cotton wool dipped in juice to make you feel full. Extreme or what? All these diets work in the short term, but the downfall is that they can ruin your natural metabolism. The body will get used to the extremely low caloric intake and eventually the speed of the metabolism slows down.

Unbelievably I was on the low carb Dukan Diet for 12 months and survived on expensive slithers of steak and prawns. I suffered bad breath and constipation but lost 5 kilos. However, every time I swapped the grilled steak for a Sunday roast, I put on a kilo or two so never dared progress to the maintenance diet. After a year I gave up completely, mostly out of boredom, and slowly the pounds piled back.

I tried the 5/2 Fast diet (you can eat normally for five days out of seven and ‘fast’ on 500 calories a day on the remaining two non-consecutive days) a few summers ago and discovered that it’s very hard to function normally on 500 calories a day. I survived on miso soup and diet coke, which seems unbelievable now. I know there are benefits to fasting, and particularly as we get older, but I think a monitored fast would be a better idea. Being allowed to scrabble around to find 500 calories seems too wayward an idea and it’s ongoing, weekly, rather than a fast that has a beginning and an end. A friend on the same diet told me she was so ravenous, “she could eat her children”. Yes quite, I really did relate.

I am now mostly vegetarian and so it would be almost impossible to do the Dukan very easily, but I have to say I’m searching around for something, I’m not sure what? I do need to lose a few pounds and can feel my resolve slipping quite fast. Anyone tried the Lemonade or the Blood Type Diet?



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Is It Just Me Or Are Fad Diets a Waste of Time and Money?

I had lunch with a friend the other day. While I tucked into a substantial salad she sipped a sad black tea and boasted that she had lost 9...