New Year, New Diet Disaster?

There is nothing like the start of a New Year and nothing like a celebrity endorsement to encourage us to sign up to the latest diet in town. Many such plans leave us exhausted and disillusioned with precious little loss on the scales to reflect the torture we’ve put ourselves through.

So here is a round-up of the top five diets to avoid, and the top five that have stood the test of time and definitely worth giving a go. By eliminating the ‘bad’ diets and embracing a ‘good’ one that suits you, it’s possible to turn previous failures into future success.

Top Five Diets to Avoid

Each year, The British Dietetic Association gives their view on the very worst of the diets doing the rounds. For 2014, topping the list comes the Breatharian Diet. Similar to Madonna’s alleged Air Diet when you pretend to eat the food on the plate in front of you

but instead ‘fill-up’ by gulping air, true Breatharians believe that you do not need food or drink and can sustain yourself on air and sunlight alone.

Second place goes to the Biotyping Diet, which singer Boy George reportedly cited as helping his weight loss. Based on choosing foods to suit one of their six different hormone types (each reflecting a part of the body where you deposit fat, like your stomach or hips), it relies heavily on supplements and pseudo-science. You can lose weight on it, but only because the complex rules mean you end up eating less food and doing more exercise than usual.

The Gluten-Free Diet as advocated by Gwyneth Paltrow comes in as the British Dietetic Association’s daft diet number three. While clearly an essential dietary step for anyone with coeliac disease or gluten-sensitivity, there is no credible evidence that giving up gluten without good dietary reason leads to weight loss per se.