With additional reporting by Francesca Specter.
Every new year comes with its own share of diets, from juice cleanses to gluten-free meal plans to Slimming World.
And UK show How To Lose Weight Well revealed what is being tipped to become 2019’s food trend – eating plan was based around potatoes.
While another involved eating cabbage soup exclusively. Other slimmers on the show were challenged to eat a diet based on their specific genetic makeup or metabolism – with mixed results.
With this in mind, we take a look back at some of the most popular ones over the past decade.
2008 – Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers remains the most popular commercial diet in the world. In 2008, the company launched its Momentum programme, which encouraged slimmers to eat filling foods as part of a points-based system.
2009 – SlimFast
SlimFast brought out its new ‘3-2-1’ diet plan in 2009: three 100-calorie snacks, two 200-calorie meal replacements and one dinner. However, in December that year, the company was forced to recall all its canned products due to bacteria contamination.
2010 – Juice cleanses
The LA trend for juicing became big business in 2010, with everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Salma Hayek singing its praises. Juice cleanses involves drinking nothing but fruit and vegetable juice for a period lasting anything from days to, in extreme cases, weeks – a process said to ‘detoxify’ the body, according to its advocates.
2011 – Dukan diet
In the year Kate Middleton married Prince William, the low-carb, high-protein Dukan diet – said to be followed by both the bride and her sister Pippa to get in shape for the big day – enjoyed a surge in popularity. Dukan dieting involves three phases: the cruise phase, where dieters eat nothing but vegetables and protein; the consolidation phase, where cheese, starch and fruit is reintroduced; and the stabilisation phase, which involves daily oat bran and protein.
2012 – Intermittent fasting
The Silicon Valley-inspired 5:2 trend for intermittent fasting (where you typically eat just 500 calories for two days of the week) became the talk of the town in 2012. Unlike some of trends in this list, the “fast diet” received a lot of praise. Though many Australians found it a bit too restrictive.
2013 – Paleo
Also known as the Caveman Diet, paleo eating, which was pioneered by New Zealand nutritionist Jamie Scott, became big business in 2013, when it was the most searched-for diet.
Paleo became the hottest diet trend around, mostly due to celebrity followers such as ‘Paleo Pete’ Evans.
2015 – Atkins Diet
The low-carb weight loss programme was still going strong in 2015, over a decade after Roberts Atkins passed away from heart failure in 2003.
2016 – Vegan
Australia has been marked as the third-fastest growing vegan market in the world after stars and athletes including Novak Djokovic and Venus Williams popularised animal-free eating.
2017 – Gluten-free
One-in-three Australians are eliminating gluten, dairy or meat from their diets, according to Australia’s largest ever diet survey released by the CSIRO. Consumers believed choosing these free-from foods would be beneficial to their health.
2018 – Keto diet
The ketogenic eating plan, which is based around low-carb, high-fat eating, was the most searched-for diet of 2018. Celebrity followers including Kourtney Kardashian and long-term devotee Halle Berry.
But are diets really any good for us?
While some people swear by certain slimming programmes, nutritionist Jenna Hope warns against following fad diets for the sake of it.
She says: “Fad dieting can be difficult and unsustainable due to restriction and social isolation. Fad dieting over a number of years can also lead to an impaired metabolism later on in life making weight management more challenging.”
Jenna suggests you focus on adding colour and fibre to your meals, rather than focusing on restriction and limitation. “Fruits and vegetables are rich in fibre and are therefore a great way to leave you feeling fuller without providing excess calories.
“Additionally, ensure you are staying hydrated to prevent mistaking thirst for hunger. Beans and pulses are another really good addition to soups, stews and salads to help lower energy intake whilst feeling full and satiated.
“Finally, ensure you are snacking on protein rich foods to help prevent blood sugar crashes. Boiled eggs, nuts, seeds and hummus and carrots/ oatcakes are really good snack options.”
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