Celeb diets to avoid in 2017

If you’re planning to start a weight-loss diet this January, you may be tempted to find your inspiration from the many celebs who have endorsed or claimed to have tried various diet plans during the past 12 months.

According to the British Dietetic Association (BDA), there’s a seemingly endless amount of diets out there, all professing to be the key to a better you. And while many of these diet claim to be healthy, in reality they may be anything but.

“We hear it all when it comes to the latest way to shed pounds from the good to the bad, and at times, even the downright dangerous,” says Sian Porter, consultant dietitian and BDA spokesperson. “As a nation we’re constantly on the search for that magic-bullet approach to losing weight. But the truth is, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Instead of following a fad celeb diet, Sian recommends enjoying a rich variety of foods in appropriate portion sizes, as well as staying physically active. “Losing weight is challenging and keeping it off is too, but it’s not impossible,” she adds. “Don’t make it even harder for yourself by following a fad.”

To help you wade through the influx of information on weight loss that’s available, each year the BDA produces a list of the diets you should avoid if you want to lose weight healthily – and keep it off. Here are the top five worst celeb diets to avoid in 2017:

1. Clean eating The idea is to avoid all processed foods and eat only ‘clean’ foods, by eliminating refined sugar, cooking from scratch, and choosing foods in their natural state. However some extreme versions of clean eating will exclude gluten, grains, dairy, and even in some cases encourage a raw-food diet.

BDA says: While it’s beneficial to reduce refined sugar and limit processed food intake, the idea of foods being ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ is concerning. In many cases, foods that are nutritionally beneficial are deemed as unhealthy such as those containing wholegrains, fruit and dairy, with no basis in scientific evidence. Unless you have a medically diagnosed intolerance or allergy to these foods, there’s no need to eliminate them and doing so could lead to deficiencies in your diet.

2. Diet pills Many of these pills – that is, those not prescribed by a medical professional – claim to keep fat from being absorbed by your body, or ‘melt’ fat, whilst others claim to suppress appetite or boost metabolism.

BDA says: Diet pills should never be taken without first consulting your GP, pharmacist or dietitian as even regulated weight loss medicines on prescription can have nasty side effects including diarrhoea.

3. Teatoxes Short for ‘tea detoxing’ this involves using tea products that have varying claims from detoxing the body, improving skin, reducing bloating and losing weight.

BDA says: These teas often contain extra caffeine in the form of guarana or yerba mate and diuretic ingredients such as dandelion and nettle and the laxative, senna, which aren’t safe to take for longer than a week without medical supervision. Accompanying side effects can include diarrhoea, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and gut damage.

4. The 6:1 diet This diet involves eating normally 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 says: 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. Depending on your age, health and lifestyle, fasting could also be dangerous.

5. Green juices 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 says: Your 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. Keep your veg and fruit whole and limit juice/smoothies to 150ml per day.

Not sure which diet to follow? Ask your local Careway pharmacist for advice on losing weight healthily as well as over-the-counter products that may help. Find your nearest Careway pharmacy by using our Pharmacy Finder.