Jayne Dawson: Take these diets with a big pinch of salt...

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How are you feeling? Apart from fat, I mean.

Obviously you’re feeling fat, that’s a given.

New Year is all about the realisation that the festivities are over, that the cold winds of change have blown in, and that change – mainly – means that it is not acceptable anymore to eat Christmas pudding for breakfast, Quality Street for lunch and trifle for tea.

The good times are over and life has gone back to being its usual harsh self.

There are the triumphs, trials and tribulations of the New Year to face, and the trials always come first.

The very first is fitting back into your work clothes. You haven’t worn them for well over a week, you have lived well for all that time. This morning you will have approached that zip with some trepidation – and your fears will have proved to be well-founded – for you are busting out of your clothes.

Like everyone else who has celebrated Christmas properly, you need to shed a bit of timber. You have come to the right place.

I am an expert in attempting to shed timber. A colleague once asked me how long I had been following WeightWatchers, and a look of bemusement crossed both our faces as the words: “about 25 years, off and on” escaped my lips. It’s true – sort of. In my head there is always a tally of points, though for most of those 25 years I have completely ignored the total.

Still, diets are now on everyone’s mind. There are many diets you could try, many diets you no doubt will try.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) knows this and has released its top five of the worst celebrity diets.

Here they are – make up your own mind, while you chew over the last of the Quality Street. Just so you know, The BDA says they’re all rubbish.

The OMG Diet

Basically, prepare for six weeks of hell. If you survive that your teenage friends – because only teenagers would be daft enough to try this diet – will indeed be rewarding you with cries of “Oh My God”. As will your irate mother.

Here’s the drill: Drink black coffee first thing, exercise, sit in a bath of cold water to encourage your body to burn stored fat, delay breakfast until 10am, ditch all fruit and snacks, load up with protein.

The Alcorexia/Drunkorexia diet

Believed to be followed by some models and celebrities. The key message here is: eat minimal calories through the day and then spend all those you have saved on a big, old binge drink in the evening. In theory, those who follow this diet to the max could bank about 1,500 calories a day, meaning that they could spend around 10,500 calories on alcohol during the week. This amounts to 131 glasses of red wine or 201 shots of spirits. Don’t try it. It would kill you.

The Ken (Ketogenic Eternal Nutrition) Diet

Another model and celebrity diet – aren’t they all. You only have to look at the emaciated bodies of all those thirty-something mothers who have starved themselves down to television proportions to know that something unnatural is going on, and the KEN is indeed unnatural for it involves eating nothing at all. Instead, for ten days per cycle a liquid formula is dripped directly into the stomach via a plastic tube that goes up the patient’s nose and is taped to their face.

Dieters can go about their normal lives but must do so with a tube up their nose and a pump in a bag. They are, however, allowed to unhook themselves for one hour per day for water, black tea and coffee – and photoshoots.

The Dukan Diet

Sounds like the voice of sanity after that little lot, doesn’t it? The Dukan diet has its fans and they seem relatively normal – Carole Middleton and Jennifer Lopez are amongst them – but the BDA still doesn’t like it. For those who give it a go anyway, it’s a complicated four-phase diet that starts off with a protein only phase, and it gives you constipation, lack of energy and bad breath – but hey, no pain, no gain.

So there you are. Five ways to instantly wipe the shine off your world. Or you could take the sensible approach, you know the eat less, move more approach. Such a simple phrase to say, and so hard to do.

Good luck with the struggle and Happy New Year.


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