After a Christmas period filled with food, alcohol, and indulgence, many of us promise ourselves that we’ll try to lose some weight in the new year.
But the rush to faddy diets now comes with a warning label, courtesy of the British Dietetic Association. The organisation has released a list of five of food regimes endorsed by celebrities in 2017 that should be avoided.
It debunks the diets’ supposed methodology, suggesting that some “health” trends sometimes do more harm than good.
Sian Porter, a consultant dietitian for the BDA, said: “As practising dietitians, we hear it all when it comes to the latest health and weight-loss diets. In reality, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Scroll on to discover five celebrity diets that have been ripped to shreds by the BDA.
Celebrities linked: Megan Fox, Sting.
What is it? The plan involves a strict diet of raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The diet is promoted as a cure for obesity and other diseases.
BDA’s verdict: “A carefully planned vegan diet with the necessary supplements like vitamin B12 and vitamin D can be healthy, but it is not a guarantee of losing weight. A vegan cake is still a cake, [and] vegan foods often contain the same calories as non-vegan foods.
“The human body can digest and be nourished by both raw and cooked foods so there’s no reason to believe raw is inherently better. Raw food can be time-consuming to prepare, hard to find when eating out, and is not suitable for certain groups like children or pregnant women so family meals could be a challenge and you could miss hot food.”
Is it worth it? No. The challenging diet could damage your health in the long run, according to the BDA.
Celebrities linked: Tom Brady, Gwyneth Paltrow, the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson.
What is it? The plan states that by changing the pH levels of the food you consume, you can change the pH balance of your blood and produce health benefits.
BDA’s verdict: “While encouraging people to eat more fresh veggies is a good thing, the pH of your food will not have an impact on the pH of your blood – and you wouldn’t want it to! Your body is perfectly capable of keeping its blood within a very specific pH range (between 7.35 and 7.45).
“Diet can change the pH value of urine, but […] it’s not related to the pH of your blood, which cannot be affected by diet.”
Is it worth it? No. Though the diet does encourage you to ditch processed foods, which is always a good thing, eating alkaline foods will have no effect on your overall health, the BDA said.
Celebrities linked: Kim Kardashian, LeBron James, Halle Berry, Mick Jagger, Rihanna, Alec Baldwin, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Jones.
What is it? Dieters consume little to no carbs (about 20 to 50 grams a day or 5% of total calories), filling up on fats and proteins instead.
BDA’s verdict: “A carefully dietitian-planned ketogenic diet can be a very effective treatment for people with epilepsy. For weight loss, there’s no magic, the diet works like any other by cutting total calories and removing foods people tend to overeat.
“Initial side effects may include low energy levels, brain fog, increased hunger, sleep problems, nausea, digestive discomfort, bad breath, and poor exercise performance.
“It can be an effective method of weight loss in the short term with careful planning but it is hard to sustain for many in the long term and most of the initial weight loss seen is often associated with water/fluid losses.”
Is it worth it? No. The BDA said over-restricting any food group is a bad idea and leads to uncurbable cravings, often causing the weight to pile back on.
Celebrities linked: British MP Keith Vaz urged 100 other parliamentarians to follow the plan over the 2017 summer recess.
What is it? The plan is named after the Italian village that supposedly “founded” the Mediterranean diet, reportedly the most healthy diet in the world.
This take on the Mediterranean diet contains considerably more fat and less carbs than the typical version. Dieters are advised to consume plenty of vegetables, nuts, legumes, and fish while steering clear of red meat, starchy carbs, and sweetened treats.
BDA’s verdict: “The authors may well be the only people in the history of the planet who have been to Italy and come back with a diet named after an Italian village that excludes pasta, rice and bread – but includes coconuts – perhaps because they have a low carb agenda.
“The suggestion that this Italian village should be associated with recipes for cauliflower base pizza and rice substitute made from grated cauliflower or anything made using coconut oil is ridiculous. It also uses potentially dangerous expressions like ‘clean meat’ and encourages people to starve themselves for 24 hours at a time every week.”
Is it worth it? Not this version. While a typical Mediterranean diet is a healthy option, BDA said, this “hijacked” version has some potentially dangerous advice.
Katie Price — nutritional supplements
Celebrities linked: British glamour model Katie Price.
What is it? The supplement and meal-replacement range include hydration, breakfast, and lunch, and dinner replacements. It claims to support weight loss and muscle tone.
BDA’s verdict: “Rapid weight loss can be motivating, but it is unsustainable. Appetite suppressors are not a healthy, advisable or sustainable way of losing weight either. Interestingly the website admits that their claims have not been evaluated by the appropriate authorities.”
BDA spokesperson and registered dietitian Nichola Ludlam-Raine added: “Selling supplements, especially protein supplements, is an easy way to make money. Whey protein is a fairly cheap ingredient that companies can make a lot of profit on when sold in fancy packaging.”
Is it worth it? No. Although the meal replacements are low in calories, the line’s claims are unsubstantiated.
Business Insider has contacted Price’s representatives for comment.