Friday, January 22, 2016

Detox Diets

The logic behind detox diets is simple: our modern diet is full of chemicals, additives and junk that our bodies simply aren’t designed to handle; however, if we follow a detox plan, we can ‘flush’ these impurities from our system and feel lighter, healthier and generally happier.

Advocates claim that dieters following a detox plan can do everything from shift a few unwanted pounds to eliminate cellulite, improve their skin, hair and nails, boost immune system function, get rid of recurring headaches, banish fatigue and raise their overall level of well being. Detoxing is recommended as a way to kick-start a new diet plan, and many people attribute their success in various diet plans to using a detox plan at the beginning of their diet. This is most likely because following a detox plan for up to two weeks before starting a more traditional diet programme allows dieters to see more immediate results, and more importantly, makes it a bit easier for people to change their eating habits as a detox usually has more strict rules than the diet plan dieters follow their detox with.

    The specific rules of detox diets differ between plans, but generally the detox diet will involve eating fruit, vegetables, seeds and herbs almost exclusively while eliminating meat, dairy and processed foods altogether. Most detox diets encourage liberal consumption of water and herbal teas but restrict alcohol and caffeine intake significantly, or ban them completely. Many detox diet plans recommend dieters drink specially-formulated drinks and cordials to aid the detoxing process – these are readily available from high street chemists and some larger grocery stores.

A typical detox diet plan is followed for seven days and includes the following rules:

1. Allowed foods: all fresh fruit; all fresh vegetables (except corn which can be detrimental as some people have a latent allergy to it); brown or basmati rice (rice cakes and rice crackers are also permitted); beans; nuts and seeds (unsalted, avoid peanuts for allergenic resons); and, fish in moderation.

2. Allowed drinks: herbal, caffeine-free teas; green tea; water (minimum of eight glasses a day); natural fruit and vegetable juices; and, rice milk.

3. Banned foods: red meats; refined sugars (sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup, brown sugar); artificial sweeteners; dairy products; eggs; wheat and wheat products; gluten-containing grains (barley, oats, rye, etc); corn; caffeine; yeast; alcohol; chocolate; and, any processed or fatty foods

Detox diets have been the subject of a series of high-profile debates among health professionals in the media for a variety of reasons, largely because of the risks associated with following a detox plan for a long period of time.

Critics say that detox diets produce temporary results that often lead to an overall feeling disappointment. Some critics also point out that following a detox diet for a prolonged period can result in serious side effects, ranging from an increase in headaches, lethargy and sickness resulting from the significantly reduced intake of a variety of nutrients, including protein and calcium. Other critics have expressed concern over the potential that detox diets have for inducing an ‘unhealthy obsession with food’ among their followers.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cambridge Diet

The Cambridge diet is a “medically-supervised” very low calorie programme, requiring participants to purchase specific meal replacement soups, shakes and bars (TetraBriks) from ‘counsellors’ who operate under the Direct Selling Association’s code of conduct. Counsellors are there throughout a dieter’s Cambridge experience, providing motivation, support, advice and the meal-replacement foods required. Dieters must fill in a medical record form, which may need to be countersigned by their GP, before entering into the programme.
Following a successful early 80s rollout in the USA, the Cambridge diet was launched commercially in the UK in 1984. The Cambridge health and weight loss plan is based on formula produced by Dr Alan Howard of Cambridge University and Dr Ian McLean-Baird of the West Middlesex hospital in the late 60s. Their goal was to create a diet formula that offered the same weight-loss benefits as starvation, without the potentially disastrous side effects.

The plan is divided into four phases: preparation, weight loss, stabalisation and maintenance. During the first phase, dieters initially meet their Cambridge counsellor to discuss their goals and personal circumstances, so that diet participants can set realistic goals and make informed decisions on where to begin the Cambridge plan. It is recommended that dieters ‘prepare’ for the Cambridge plan by starting out two steps above the step they are going to enter the programme properly on to begin their weight loss. The point of this preparation is that dieters stand a better chance of success if they gradually reduce their intake before setting out on the new plan.   

The second phase is losing weight. This is the ‘real’ start of the diet. For most those with a BMI over 25 and at least one stone to lose, the Cambridge diet starts at the ‘sole source’ level – meaning that the Cambridge diet is the only source of nutrition for dieters. During the weight loss phase(s) of the diet, participants should drink at least 2.25 litres of water each day, and are allowed as much unsweetened black tea or coffee as they wish to drink. This ‘sole source’ step of the diet shouldn’t be followed for more than four weeks at a time. IF four weeks have elapsed and the dieter still has more weight to lose in order to meet their agreed upon target, they should follow the ‘add a meal’ menu for a week.

The ‘add a meal’ menu is designed to provide a break after four weeks on the sole source part of the programme. It allows dieters to integrate selected lean proteins and vegetables into their diet along with the Cambridge meal options. Generally, this means dieters are allowed their standard three or four Cambridge meals as well as: 80g of white fish, 80g of skinless poultry meat, 80g of Quorn or tofu, or 80g of cottage cheese as well as two tablespoons ‘white or green’ vegetables, such as cauliflower, lettuce, mushrooms, cabbage, broccoli, celery, courgettes, spring greens, marrow or cucumber.

As a dieter progresses through the Cambridge weight loss steps, the amount of ‘real’ food allowed to supplement the supplied shakes, soups and bars increases gradually as well. The variety of foods diversifies slightly each time the caloric intake rises.

The Cambridge diet site and literature claim that their meal replacement bars, shakes and soups are good value for money and readily available at reasonable prices. One of the criticisims of the diet, however, is that you have to buy the products from Cambridge’s recommended resellers and prices are on the high side. Additionally, the diet is criticised by nutritional and dietary experts for failing to educate dieters about their eating habits – this results in a high number of participants simply regaining the weight they’ve lost once they leave the Cambridge diet programme behind.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Cabbage Soup Diet

Nutritionists and dieticians are almost universally agreed that cabbage is an amazing food. It’s rich in iron, folic acid and vitamin C, contains oodles of beta-carotene, potassium and glucosinates and, perhaps most importantly, has very few calories per serving. Because of this, the cabbage soup diet is often touted as an excellent approach to immediate weight loss.
However, the experts agree that the cabbage soup diet plan has nutritional limits and should only be followed for a limited time. This is because the diet excludes nearly all foods apart from the cabbage soup itself. Though the plan encourages dieters to take a multivitamin supplement, many people are essentially starving themselves while on the diet due to a lack of essential carbohydrates, fats and other key nutrients.

The key food for this diet is cabbage soup – you make this yourself and though the recipe varies from region to region, the general ingredients are:
1 head of cabbage, shredded or chopped.
2 large onions, chopped.
2 green peppers, chopped.
4 stalks celery, chopped.
1 to 2 cans of tomatoes, diced or chopped.
4 carrots, sliced.
1 package onion soup mix (optional).
Season with salt, pepper and any herbs of your choice to taste.

The idea is, throw all the vegetables in a big pot, cover with water and boil gently for about 10 minutes, reduce heat and simmer until all the veggies are soft, then add black pepper and herbs to taste.

You then follow the daily eating plan specified below, consuming as much of the soup as you wish along with eight glasses of water and ONLY the foods listed here:

Day 1: Any fruits, but no bananas.

Day 2: Any vegetables, raw or cooked, including potatoes.

Day 3: Any fruits or vegetables, but no bananas or potatoes.

Day 4: Up to eight bananas and up to eight, 8oz glasses of skim milk.

Day 5: Up to 20oz of beef and six tomatoes. You can substitute skinless chicken or fish in place of the beef.

Day 6: Beef, skinless chicken, or fish and vegetables. Drink 8 glasses of water and eat at least one bowl of soup.

Day 7: Brown rice, vegetables, and unsweetened fruit juice.

There are a number of variations to the cabbage soup diet recipe as well as the specific foods that should be consumed on each of the seven days in the plan. It is recommended that dieters do not follow the cabbage soup diet plan for more than seven days. If dieters wish to follow the cabbage soup plan for a longer period, they are generally advised to eat a normal, balanced diet for one week and then spend a week on the soup – alternating between the two to guarantee a steady supply of the vitamins and other nutrients required for a healthy lifestyle.

The cabbage soup diet is well known for producing dramatic results for some people, however, health professionals advise that the dramatic weight loss reported by participants is typically down to loss of water and muscle fibre rather than any lasting fat reduction.  more info..!