Now the holidays are over and our lives are settling back into their routines, and everything is pretty much the same as it ever was – except for the few extra rolls we are carrying around our waists. You need to lose a few kilograms but be careful before jumping on the trendy diet bandwagon.
Millions are expected to turn to celebrity-led diets in a bid to shed weight gained over the festive break. But a study suggests that trendy weight-loss techniques favoured by the stars are likely to end in failure.
Findings show the average ‘crash’ diet lasts just 15 days and 35 per cent say they end up putting on more weight than they lost in the first place, with an average 4.7 pounds [just over 2kgs] creeping back on post-diet.
The Dukan diet, said to be followed by the Duchess of Cambridge’s mother Carole Middleton, Jennifer Lopez and Gisele Bundchen, involves cutting out various food groups and has become increasingly popular over recent years.
Meanwhile the low-carbohydrate, high-protein Atkins diet remains a favourite despite mixed reviews.
However a poll of 2 000 women conducted by Hovis Wholemeal bread suggests that a balanced diet is a more effective way of losing weight in the long-term.
Commenting on the study Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton said: ‘It’s worrying to think that women put pressure on themselves to lose weight quickly and then suffer emotional repercussions if they give up or don’t see the desired results. ‘The secret to a healthy lifestyle is not crash diets.’
She added that increasing the amount of exercise will allow dieters to eat more of what they want without packing on any extra weight.
Nearly half (48 per cent) of the women questioned said their failed dieting attempts came from trying to cut out all savoury snacks and one in three (33%) women tried to remove all bread from their diet.
The majority of Brits notice the pounds piling on 22 days after their diets end and only one in five women successfully reach their target weight.
In November the British Dietetic Association issued its annual list of the five worst celebrity diets to avoid in the New Year.
Experts named the Dukan Diet, which works on restricting foods, calories and portion control as the worst celebrity weight loss plan to follow and said it has ‘absolutely no solid science behind it at all’.
Many women questioned said their failed dieting attempts came from following plans that were too restrictive The BDA receives hundreds of calls every year on the subject of diets and analysed results to form a list of the most unreliable, difficult to follow or unhealthy diet plans.
Sian Porter, consultant dietician and spokesperson for the BDA, said of weight loss fads: ‘Sadly, there is no magic wand you can wave. 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.
‘Glamorous images of celebrities saturate our daily media in all forms. 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.’
Hovis has now launched a Facebook campaign called ‘Stop snacking, start moving’ to help women diet successfully.
Written by Sadie Whitelocks, this piece originally appeared in the Daily Mail