The celebrity diets experts want you to avoid in 2018

Including ones reportedly followed by Gwyneth Paltrow, the Duchess of York and Kim Kardashian

By Olivia Blair

Thanks to social media, we’re now inundated with a constant stream of celebrities appearing to look flawless.

When the celebrities then reveal how they get their figure, it can be very tempting to try and copy this but, all too often, we forget the huge amount of money, resources and people they have to help them stay in shape. Not to mention the careful editing of photos on social media hiding any cellulite or wrinkles.

In addition to this, the British Dietetic Association (BDA) – the professional body and trade union for UK dieticians – is now warning of five diets favoured by celebrities that should be avoided in the new year.

“In reality, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” said Sian Porter, spokesperson for the BDA. Always ask for evidence and get your advice from someone properly qualified and regulated with nothing to sell or promote.

In reality, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Make small changes you will be able to sustain forever and aim for an eating pattern for life – which should be the one you can stick to in the long term, not just a quick fix you will inevitably give up on. Enjoy a rich variety of foods in appropriate portion sizes – moderation and keeping physically active are key.”

With this advice in mind, here are the diets they say you should especially keep away from in 2018:

Raw vegan

Having apparently been favoured, at times, by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Megan Fox and Sting, this diet is essentially what it says on the tin: It involves going vegan and eating raw food (food that has not been heated over 40-48°C or refined, pasteurised, treated with pesticides or processed at all).

The BDA say that while a vegan diet can be healthy, if it is supplemented with vitamin B12 and D, it is not a guarantee of a losing weight: ‘A vegan cake is still a cake,’ they say.

“While some foods are good to have raw, others are more nutritious cooked –like carrots – and some cannot be eaten raw at all – like potatoes,’ the BDA says. ‘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.”

As well as this, raw food can take a lot of time to prepare and is a bit of a pain when you’re eating out. Plus for certain groups like children and pregnant women, raw food is not suitable therefore it’s not really a family-focused diet.

“It may not damage your health in the short-term, but it could in the long-term if not balanced,” the BDA say.

Alkaline

The alkaline diet has been one which has popped up quite a bit over the past couple of years, due to its apparent support from celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle Macpherson and the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson.

Followers of the diet believe that eating more alkaline and less acidic foods will help change the pH balance of the blood and reduce health risks.

“Worryingly some wrongly claim it can treat cancer and that incorrectly “acidic” foods cause osteoporosis,” the BDA warn.

The diet is based on a ‘misunderstanding of human physiology’, according to the association and they reiterate that ‘the pH of your food will not have an impact on the pH of your blood – and you wouldn’t want it to!’

“You’ll more likely lose weight as you are cutting out processed foods and eating more healthily –nothing to do with acid or alkali nonsense,” they say.

Well, that’s that then.

Nutritional supplements

Katie Price launched her own nutrition products and supplements earlier this year and nutritionists were quick to condemn it.

The range claims to promote weight loss, decrease snacking and makes “unsupported claims to support muscle tone and maintenance”, according to the BDA.

A spokesperson for the association, dietician Nichola Ludlam-Raine says: “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.

“Although useful in the right scenarios, protein supplements are often mis-sold as the only answer to weight loss, with misleading claims attached to them.”

The association also says that rapid weight loss, although motivating, is unsustainable and that appetite suppressors are not a ‘healthy, advisable or sustainable way of losing weight’.

The BDA summarises: “She [Price] may have business talent but no nutrition qualifications. Meal replacement products work by restricting calories, whoever’s name is on them and they do not need to be part of a healthy balanced weight loss plan.”

Pioppi diet

This lesser-heard of diet was touted by the labour MP Keith Vaz, who encouraged 100 MPs to follow the diet over the summer months, suggesting it could reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes – which he has.

The diet is named after the small Italian village of Pioppi and recommends followers eating a higher fat diet than the traditional Mediterranean one, including lots of vegetables, nuts, legumes and fish. They are discouraged from eating red meat, starchy carbs and sweetened treats.

The BDA says that while the advice to eat plenty of fruit, veg, fish, olive oil and alcohol in moderation falls in line with government guideline, ‘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 association labels the fact that the village should be associated with cauliflower-based pizza, cauliflower rice and anything with coconut oil ‘ridiculous’.

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“It also uses potentially dangerous expressions like “clean meat” and encourages people to starve themselves for 24 hours at a time every week,” the BDA say. “Following a more typical Mediterranean diet, would also be kinder on the wallet, as the dietary approach in Pioppi is unlikely to be cheap.”

Ketogenic diet

A whole load of celebs are said to follow the ketogenic diet – a very low-carb, high fat, moderate protein diet similar to Atkins and Paleo – reportedly including Kim Kardashian, Halle Berry, Alec Baldwin and Tom Jones.

The diet typically excludes grains, dairy, soy, most fruits and starchy veg, carbohydrates which are allowed are non-starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds.

By significantly decreasing the amount of carbs in your diet, the body switches from burning carbs to burning fat which causes an increase in the levels of ketones in our body, which followers say can help lose weight, control hunger and improve your health.

“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,” the BDA say.

“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.

“It is never a good idea to “over-restrict” any one food group (including carbohydrate), as this can mean it is more difficult to achieve a balanced diet overall with respect to vitamins, minerals and fibre in particular. If consuming high fat then the type of fat needs to be considered.”

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