Go vegan. Eat orange food on Monday and yellow food on Tuesday. Survive on baby food.
So is the concept of healthy eating a farce? Are we forever doomed to swing between extremes of meticulous, measured nibbling and glutinous over-indulgence?
Thankfully, the answer is no.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular celebrity eating plans, so you can distinguish hype from helpful.
The scoop: The Baby Food Diet has been traced to celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, who's since denied supporting it. It involves eating 14 jars of baby food, with the option of adding in one actual low-calorie meal, each day.
Should you do it? Nope. The jars of baby food are 80 calories: Eat 14 and you end up with rougly 1,000 calories each day plus one real meal. So long as the meal you allow yourself is ~400 calories (think a small piece of grilled fish or lean meat and some sauteed veggies) you'll definitely lose weight. But it will be because you're not eating food, not because mushed-up fruit is a miracle diet product.
The scoop: Snooki reportedly lost weight in 2010 with a diet of cookies: For 3 weeks, she ate 6 of the 90-calorie treats a day and 1 small meal. Alarmingly, the Cookie Diet is not Snooki's creation: Now-retired Dr. Sanford ('The Cookie Doctor') Siegal trademarked the plan.
Should you do it? Probably not. Cookie Diet cookies are no Girl Scout Samoas. The recipe's first 3 ingredients are glycerin (used to add sweetness and moisture), whole wheat powder (for fibre), and beef protein. They have also got rice crisps (ostensibly for crunch), egg whites (for more protein), wheat bran (for fibre), and a smattering of B vitamins.
The scoop: Shortly after Smith took home 4 top awards at the Grammys last February, he started shedding kilos and Instagramming the action. He credited his transformation to nutritional therapist Amelia Freer, who had him working out regularly and eating lots of fresh veggies, fruit, lean meats, and some seafood while abstaining from pastries and ice cream.
Should you do it? Maybe a 'lite' version. While losing a kilo a day is by no means healthy (experts say you should aim to drop 900 grams to 1.3 kgs a week), there's nothing about Smith's eating plan -- from what we can tell -- that's outright unhealthy.
The scoop: A handful of celebrities, including singer Taylor Swift, have chalked up their recent weight loss to the 'miracle' food chia seeds. The seeds are tiny, grayish kernels that come from the beautiful chia flower native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.
Should you do it? Maybe. The seeds aren't completely useless: They're loaded with fibre, protein, and some key B vitamins. But as far as helping with weight loss goes, it's doubtful they'd have any special slimming power. Two tablespoons of the seeds (or about 1 ounce) are 140 calories, or roughly the same as a container of flavored yogurt.
The scoop: Perry claims the M Diet helps her get lean, body only in select areas of her body, namely her waist, hips, and thighs. All she does is swap one meal a day with mushrooms (preferably raw) for 14 days.
Should you do it? No. First, 'there's no evidence that any diet … will help you lose weight in a particular spot,' as registered dietitian Katherine Tallmadge told LiveScience. Plus, of course you'll cut calories by swapping a meal (~700 calories) with a serving of raw veggies (~21 calories for a cup). But there's nothing special about mushrooms, and they might not keep you from snacking later.
Should you do it? No. As opposed to a tablespoon of OO, which has just 1g of saturated fat and more than 10g of healthy mono-or-poly-unsaturated fats, a tablespoon of CO has a whopping 12g of saturated fat and roughly 1g of healthy fat. Experts suggest avoiding saturated fats because they have been linked with raising cholesterol and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The scoop: The day before his 44th birthday, Jay Z joined partner Beyonce in a 22-day 'vegan challenge.' Now, both stars are partners in a vegan food company founded by their personal trainer, Marco Borges, called 22 Days Nutrition.
Should you do it? Sure. Just be sure to replace meat and dairy with foods that have a similar nutritional profile (like tofu, beans, and dark, leafy greens) to ward off deficiencies in some key nutrients, including calcium, iron, protein and vitamin B-12. Instead of Bey and Jay Z's plan, which costs ~$US600 for the full 22 days, try going vegan with a friend for a month.
The scoop: McGraw sticks to a paleo diet, though a meal plan without dairy, refined sugar, or grains isn't the only reason he's likely lost so much weight. The star has also reportedly stopped drinking alcohol and using drugs, both of which can contribute to weight gain when used in excess.
Should you do it? Probably not. Alcohol and drugs obviously aren't good for you, but you don't need the paleo diet to curb or cut these from your diet. Plus, with their emphasis on meat, some paleo diets drastically up the recommended intake of protein and unhealthy
saturated fat, which some research suggests can raise your risk of kidney and heart disease and some cancers.
The scoop: Dunst joins the ranks of Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow, who've all reportedly done the pH diet, which advocates swapping 'acid-forming' foods (meat, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, alcohol) with alkaline ones (fruits, nuts, beans, vegetables).
Should you do it? Nope. The diet is based on the misleading idea that you can change your body's pH levels with food. While your stomach's pH is acidic (it's filled with acid to help with digestion), your blood is slightly alkaline. And the food you eat cannot change the pH value of your blood.
The scoop: Fox told The Telegraph she uses apple cider vinegar (ACV) because 'It just cleanses out your system entirely.'
Should you do it? Go for it, but not as a cleanse. So long as it's consumed in safe amounts (no more than a few tablespoons diluted in water a day), ACV hasn't been linked with any severe health problems. While it certainly won't help you 'detox,' some research suggests that vinegar may help stabilise blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 Diabetes.
The scoop: Last December, reality star Kourtney Kardashian gave birth to her third child. In January, she posted a photo on Instagram of two capsule pills in a dish with the caption, 'Yummy…PLACENTA pills! No joke…I will be sad when my placenta pills run out. They are life changing!'
Should you do it? Probably not. There haven't been very many actual scientific studies of the pills -- which are basically bits of placenta that have been steamed, dried, and ground up -- but some anecdotal evidence compiled by the American Pregnancy Association suggests they could help boost CRH (a stress-reducing hormone), decrease post-partum depression, restore iron levels in the blood, boost milk production, and raise the release of oxytocin, a hormone that, among other things, helps the uterus return to normal size.
The scoop: Christina reportedly went on the 7-day Colour Diet at one point, eating foods of one colour each day. Day one starts with white, which is followed by red, green, orange, purple, yellow, and, on the seventh day, all of the colours.
Should you do it? Sure, but don't limit yourself. Differently-coloured foods often provide different nutrients, so the temporary plan might help encourage you to try new things that you might otherwise ignore, like purple yams, deep red strawberries, and dark green kale. If you start by eating one colour of fruits and veggies every day, you can establish a healthy habit of incorporating colour into your diet, but don't forget the protein and whole grains.
The scoop: Hollywood fitness trainer Harley Pasternak is the author of New York Times Bestseller 'The 5-Factor Diet,' which encourages people to eat five 5-ingredient meals per day, each of which allegedly take just 5 minutes to prep.
Should you do it? It's worth a shot. The plan, which is more of a lifestyle and less of a temporary 'fix-it' diet, is based around the idea that each of your meals contains one of each of 4 main food groups: protein, complex carbs, fibre, healthy fat, (the 5th group is sugar-free drinks, which strikes us as odd but shouldn't do any harm). Together, these factors help stabilise blood sugar and keep you energised throughout the day.
Should you do it? Nope. Our bodies are designed to rid themselves of any toxins or 'heavy metals,' so eating clay doesn't have any proven health benefits beyond what our bodies already do.
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