Diet plans are at the height of popularity this month as an estimated one in three British adults vow to lose weight or improve their fitness as part of a New Year’s resolution. No doubt there will be some of you - and some of us here at Cruise HQ as well - who have been in this situation year after year and are getting bored of the same old routines, so why not try one of these exciting – and often questionable – diet plans which are taking centre stage in the great January health buzz of 2014.
5:2 Diet - Eating normally for five days a week doesn’t really sound like the basis for a successful diet, however medical journalist, Michael Mosely, has devised a diet plan which lets you do exactly that.
Mosely’s 5:2 diet plan allows dieters to eat what they like for five days a week (this is on the basis they don’t over-eat, of course) and then for two days a week their calorie intake is reduced to just 500 calories for women and 600 for men. This method of intermittent fasting is said to lose 1lb a week in weight and also have a wide range of other health benefits such as improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but could you put up with the hunger?
Paleo diet - Based on the diet which Mother Nature gifted to us, The Paleo diet returns to our historic roots by focussing on the foods which our early ancestors once ate. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a staple part of this diet plan, as well as helpings of meat and seafood which would’ve been eaten by our hunter-gatherer ancestors as-and-when available.
The Paleo diet is said to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease, help you lose weight and improve athletic performance amongst other claims, but whether or not you can stick to these caveman tactics is another question.
Japanese Diet – Everyone is aware that Japanese people live for a lot longer than we seem to – so why not try stealing their secret by copying their diet? The Japanese Diet aims to prolong your life and help you lose weight along the way by mimicking the typical diet of a Japanese man or woman. Foods that have been given the green light include fish (at least three times a week), tofu, bamboo shoots, seaweed, pickles and small and occasional servings of meat for added protein.
This diet also focuses on cooking methods, with the traditional Japanese method of steaming being favoured over frying or roasting in order to preserve all of the goodness in your food. Victoria Beckham is a strong believer in The Japanese Diet so it can’t be that bad can it?
Alkaline Diet – By eating 80% alkaline foods and 20% acidic foods the Alakaline Diet aims to reduce weight based on your inner Ph levels. This diet plan - which was devised by Sienne Miller’s sister and leading chef Natasha Corret, believe it or not - has seen some highly successful results however many have questioned this approach.
High alkaline foods which are advised include raw spinach, green vegetables, nuts and pulses, where as highly acidic foods such as meat, fish, dairy, tea, coffee, soda and alcohol are all a no-go. Which level of the Ph scale would you rather be at?
DASH diet –The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet plan was developed by the US National Institutes of Health in order to lower blood pressure without medication, turns out that when coupled with exercise it is also a great basis for losing weight.
Chow down on grains, fruits, vegetables, low or non-fat dairy, lean meats and fish, as well as nuts, seeds and legumes, and you could lose weight as well as cutting down the risk of many diseases including some cancers, strokes, heart disease and failure, kidney stones and diabetes. Sounds great, but could you handle the DASH diet?
Which one of these would you like to try? Think you could last longer than a month? Whichever you try, make sure you get lots of exercise as this is key to success in any diet plan.(Written by Jake Gauntley)