What with summer on the way (so we’re told) many of us are embarking on new diets in order to get that coveted bikini bod – or at least to trim down now so we don’t feel quite so guilty gorging on an ice cream or six.
Here at HQ there’s a plethora of fads that are being tried and tested, with the office ‘biggest loser’ competition really heating up.
The two newest trends on the up are the 5:2 ‘fasting’ diet that has hit the headlines recently, and the Alkaline Diet; Victoria Beckham’s nourishment of choice at the moment. So, since we’re all trying for a March Makeover we’ve decided to have a dig into these two taste trends and see how good for you they actually are (and see what we’re going to pick for office fat camp!).
Up first, it’s the 5:2 Diet, as tried by Ali.
Made famous by the BBC Horizon documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer with Dr Michael Mosley, the diet is based on eating normally for 5 days, and for the other two restricting your intake to less than 600 calories; these are your ‘fast’ days.
Although claims have been made that this diet can increase life-span, improve thinking and protect the brain in older age as well as helping to defend against disease, the general medical consensus is that there isn’t actually any firm evidence.
You can pick any two days to be your ‘fast’ days – Ali picked Tuesday and Thursday – which makes it sound like a simple way to drop the pounds.
“I actually felt great that day after each fast day – wasn’t even as hungry as usual. Plus I felt lighter and more energetic. I think I lost a bit of weight too, even though I don’t really have that much to lose.
“However, the actual day of fasting was gruesomely hard. It doesn’t matter how much I had going on that day or if I had started in a positive or negative mood, all I could think about was the hunger ravaging my body. Work was bad enough, but not eating much for dinner was even worse. I had pretty low energy and was usually in bed by 9, grumpy and eager for the day to end!
If I did it as you’re meant to, i.e. for 2 days a week, I would be spending about a third of the rest of my life in starvation. Which is a pretty unpleasant prospect.
Still, I think I’m going to give it another go. The benefits are huge!”
In the second round, favoured by celebs such as the aforementioned Mrs Beckham along with Gwnyth Paltrow and Kirsten Dunst, it’s the (not so) glamorous Honestly Health Alkaline Programme. This diet involves mainly eating alkaline foods in order to keep the body’s pH between 7.35 and 7.45.
Reported to have many benefits, including helping battle arthritis, diabetes and cancer as well as the aging process, it is also reported to improve energy levels, memory and help prevent headaches, muscle pain and insomnia.
By increase alkalizing foods such as fruit and veg, and cutting down on acidic foods such as meat, salt, and refined grains, we are helping our bodies maintain its natural pH levels, which helps prevent the illness and weight gain brought on by an imbalance.
Sounds just like healthy eating, right? But cutting out pasta, wheat, and dairy, as well as your morning cuppa makes it pretty challenging. Plus – monitoring your pH levels involves testing your urine. That’s enough to put all of us off!