Forget "fad" diets and eat less, say UK experts

Fri Jan 8, 2010 10:01am EST
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By Paul Casciato

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Now that you're discovering all the extra flab from the Christmas and New Year food and booze binge, you're casting around for the latest diet to lose it all in time for summer.

But take care before you choose.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) said this week that there are many varied "fad" diets offering miracle weight loss, but warns consumers that losing the pounds while on one of them is simply due to eating fewer calories.

"It may not sound the most exciting way to lose weight but healthy eating, activity and long-term behavior change not only works but helps you maintain weight lost too," said Rachel Cooke, registered dietitian at St Martins' Hospital in Bath and BDA spokeswoman.

The BDA has produced a list of the "worst fad diets to avoid this New Year" including such regimes as the maple syrup, blood group, warrior, peanut butter and banana or the cabbage/fat-burning soup diets.

It said some regimes, such as the cabbage soup diet were based on "pseudo science" and that adhering to them over the long term could result in nutritional deficiencies.

"Firstly, no food can burn fat; only physical activity can do that," the BDA said of the cabbage soup diet in which the adherent exists largely on home-made cabbage soup.

The BDA also blasted the myth of the detox diet, saying that the human body is a complex organism that is more than capable of detoxing itself.   Continued...

<p>A woman prepares coffee in the kitchen of her apartment in Havana September 5, 2007. REUTERS/Claudia Daut</p>