Five celebrity fad diets to avoid

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Copy of CA_big drip0_CITY_E1 . Party Girl IV Drip Diet: The picture that Rihanna tweeted recently from her hospital bed. Picture: Rihanna/Twitter

London - One recommends sitting in a cold bath after drinking black coffee, while another involves being fed through an intravenous drip.

They are among the top five celebrity fad diets that experts have warned should be avoided in the New Year.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) said that diets followed by the rich and famous were becoming “more extreme” and increasingly involved “medical intervention”.

Dieticians warned there really is “no quick fix” to a slim, trim body for 2013 and said that following celebrity fads could lead to health problems.

Among the most disturbing entries was the Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition Diet, said to be followed by top fashion models.

The KEN involves eating nothing at all. Instead, a liquid formula is administered through a feeding tube inserted through the dieter’s nose. You are attached to a portable pump and liquid bag for ten days and can unhook yourself for only 60 minutes every 24 hours.

BDA consultant dietician Sian Porter described the procedure as “shocking” and something ‘usually reserved for the chronically ill’.

The list also included the bizarre Party Girl IV Drip Diet. Offered at private clinics for about £225 (about R3 000) a time, it involves a high-dose cocktail of vitamins and nutrients administered via a drip of the type used to treat the severely malnourished and clinically ill, supposedly providing a “power boost”.

Porter said: “There is very little evidence that this even works in well people. Even if it did, food and drinking water or other healthy drinks is preferable to having an IV drip inserted into your body.”

She added: “Our concern is that many of these diets are quite invasive. It shows the extreme lengths that people are willing to go to in order to lose weight.

“Eating is a pleasure and people should enjoy their food.”

The carb-free Dukan Diet was named as the worst offender for the third year in a row. The Dukan Diet became the bestselling diet book of all time, with more than a million copies sold in Britain alone. It is credited with Carole Middleton’s svelte figure at her daughter Kate’s wedding to Prince William.

But the BDA described it as “confusing, time-consuming, very rigid” and warned it could cause “lack of energy, constipation and bad breath”.

The Six Weeks To OMG [Oh My God] Diet was dismissed as “six weeks of hell and isolation”. Its London-based creator, Venice A. Fulton, recommends doing exercise first thing in the morning after drinking black coffee, and sitting in a cold bath to burn stored fat.

The BDA attacked as “madness” the increasingly popular Alcorexia or Drunkorexia Diet, which encourages followers to shun calories during the week so that they can binge on alcohol at the weekend. Mrs Porter said: “After Christmas, people often look for a quick fix. They see air-brushed celebrities and aspire to look like that.

“But if it looks too good to be true, it usually is. We see new health fads and diets every year but there is no substitute for exercising and a balanced diet.”

THE EXPERTS’ VIEW

Party Girl IV Drip Diet

What it involves: A cocktail typically including vitamins B and C, magnesium and calcium is fed into the body via an intravenous drip. It claims to provide an energy boost for people who are run down. Celebrity fans reportedly include Rihanna and Simon Cowell.

British Dietetic association verdict: This carries possible side-effects such as dizziness, infection, inflammation of veins and, ultimately, anaphylactic shock.

Ketogenic enteral nutrition diet

What it involves: For ten days a liquid formula of protein and nutrients is dripped directly into the stomach via a plastic tube that goes up the patient’s nose. An electric pump delivers two litres of formula over 24 hours. Said to be a new favourite among models, KEN sends the body into controlled starvation, forcing it to use its own fat for energy.

BDA Verdict: It is shocking that people are electing to have nasogastric tubes inserted in order to lose weight. Not only that but one of the side-effects is having to take laxatives because this diet provides absolutely no fibre.

Alcorexia/Drunkorexia Diet

What it involves: Followers must heavily restrict their calorie intake during the week so they can ‘bank’ their calories to binge on alcohol. On a very low-calorie diet, you could bank 10,500 calories a week for alcohol. This equates to 45 pints a week or 131 glasses of red wine.

BDA verdict: This is madness, as you will most certainly not be getting the calories, vitamins and nutrients your body needs to survive and function. Alcohol has little nutrition other than calories and this diet could easily result in alcohol-poisoning or death.

The Six Weeks to OMG Diet

What it involves: Exercise first thing in the morning after drinking black coffee. You should not eat for three hours after that so the body burns stored fat to stay warm. Sitting in a cold bath also helps, it says. Fruit should be avoided and protein is encouraged, even in a cola drink.

BDA verdict: OMG indeed. Many people’s routine could not accommodate this and a healthy breakfast should be encouraged. The ‘rules’ and competitive diet element encourage extreme behaviour.

Dukan Diet

What it involves: A four-phase diet that starts off with a no carbohydrates and protein-only approach for the first ten days, to encourage rapid weight loss. Carole Middleton, Jennifer Lopez, Katherine Jenkins and Gisele Bundchen are said to be fans.

BDA verdict: There is little solid science behind this. Cutting out food groups is not advisable and, in the long-term, could lead to problems like osteoporosis and kidney damage. Other problems include lack of energy, constipation and bad breath. - Daily Mail

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