Another season brings with it another menu of celebrity endorsed, and often rather insane diet regimes, to get us in shape for Christmas.
Last year we saw Brits in their masses chomping on all kinds of strange delights, including buttery coffee and charcoal water. With Instagram stars and A List celebrities preaching about their latest diet success, there are certainly plenty of new dietary fads to choose from.
However whilst we’re busy loading up our salads with Maple Syrup or sprinkling our cereal with Cayenne pepper, we may be missing the dangers these diets pose to our longer term health.
Just how much damage can fad diets be doing to your body? Step away from the syrup...
The Paleo Diet
What is it? Old school eating. Stone age old schools. You eat what our distant ancestors did. Animals (including bone, catrilage and organs), eggs, fruits, raw nuts and seeds.
What’s the damage? Research suggests that following the paleo diet could actually lead to rapid weight gain and insulin resistance. It also cuts out fresh legumes and whole grains, and there's been no evidence of these being particularly bad for you. So fill up.
The Grapefruit Diet
What is it? Just grapefruit. And lots of it! One with every meal actually. Unless you prefer it in juice form, in which case a glass of grapefruit juice with every meal is perfectly fine.
What’s the damage? Grapefruit is highly acidic, leading to a dry mouth (which leads to bad breath!) Too much can cause disrupted sleep, dizziness, high blood pressure and pain when peeing. Ouch.
The Atkins Diet
What is it? The celebrity favourite of the early noughties. Cut the carbs and the sugar, including fruit juices and grains.
What’s the damage? Atkins became very well known for it’s connection with bad breath. A lack of carbs can also lead to tiredness, dizziness, constipation and insomnia.
The Cookie Diet
What is it? Cookies. Low-calorie ones. Made popular by Dr Sanford Siegal, on this diet you can stuff your face with special low calories cookies, in place of your breakfast, lunch, and any snacks in between (have a normal dinner though, you know, for variety!)
What’s the damage? Um... where’s the nutrition? You won’t be getting your daily vitamins and nutrients from a low cal biscuit. Sure, short term, you’ll drop a few pounds. Long term, your body will suffer.
Mono Meal Diet
What is it? One food group. Over and over and over and over and over….
What’s the damage? Eating just one type of food for every single meal won’t only cause you some serious boredom, but will deprive the body of nutrients, which can lead to sleep problems, kidney issues, bad skin, excessive tiredness and bowel trouble.
The Baby Food Diet
What is it? Grown adults. Munching on pureed foods intended for babies. Cheryl Cole was rumoured to have enjoyed a baby food diet ahead of her 2011 US X Factor tour.
What’s the damage? Baby food doesn’t contain all of the nutrients, fibre and protein an adults body needs to function. You’re more likely to crave real food, leading to metabolism issues, unsuccessful weight loss efforts and blood sugar problems. It’s also pretty embarrassing for your other half when you tuck into a bowl of pureed carrots in the Village restaurant! (So don't ask us to mush up your food!)
The Master Cleanse
What is it? Liquid. Everything. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, including a lovely herbal laxative tea to get everything moving. The Master Cleanse promises to help you overcome the ‘psychological need to eat’.
What’s the damage? Laxatives cause dehydration, irritable bottoms, diarrhoea and embarrassing gas. Some testers of this diet also reported acne, lack of concentration, poor energy levels and dizziness.
The Tapeworm Diet
What is it? The tapeworm concept is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around forever. It just appears to have become a popular choice over the years thanks to our quest for quick fixes! The diet involves deliberately ingesting the tapeworm parasite, so that it can eat the food you’ve consumed.
What’s the damage? Despite the fact you have a living parasite sat in your body, enjoying your Sunday Village Carvery? It’s also possible for the worm to wriggle it’s way into other parts of the body through your blood, including your eye, liver or even your brain. Shudder.