Fad diets are becoming more extreme and more bizarre as society desperately seeks a shortcut to weight-loss. We take a look at some common culprits to see if they help or hinder healthy weight-loss.
Cutting out carbs
A lot of people who want to lose weight immediately cut their carbohydrate intake. Seen as the enemy of weight-loss, foods like bread, potatoes and pasta are shunned and typically replaced with more meat.
Experts believe cutting out carbs completely is not a healthy way to live – carbohydrates are an essential part of our diet and provide us with energy. Switching refined white carbohydrates for wholegrain varieties is a more sensible option.
Not eating after 6:00pm
Some people believe that the food we eat in the evening is not burned and therefore stored as fat. Recent research however suggests the time that we eat is irrelevant, it is what you eat over a 24-hour period that is important.
While this doesn’t mean you should go crazy with heavy late-night meals, as long as you are eating sensibly throughout the day, eating something light in the evening will not affect your weight-loss.
The 5:2 diet has become incredibly popular in recent years, with followers preaching the benefits of fasting for two days a week. Despite the hype, the NHS has warned that there is very little scientific evidence that fasting is effective or healthy in the long-term.
Instead of restricting the amount of calories you eat, you may want to consider being more mindful and aware of your eating habits so you are not over or under eating.
A necessary diet for those with a gluten intolerance, the gluten-free diet also became synonymous with weight-loss in 2014. Celebrities embraced the diet and the public quickly followed.
Experts say that there is little evidence that eradicating gluten from your diet can aid weight-loss. If you think you may have a gluten intolerance, ensure you seek a diagnosis from a medical professional.
If you have tried every diet in the book but are still struggling to lose weight, you may want to look at the way you think about food, rather than the food itself. Understanding your emotional connection with your eating habits is a great first step to changing them.