Experts warn slimmers over 'dangerous' fad diets

fit beautiful woman holding...

You might be trying to squeeze into that Christmas party dress, or planning to shift the festive pounds when the New Year arrives, but beware the 'magic bullet' fad diets, say experts.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has warned against a whole raft of celebrity-endorsed, fad diets, which promise to detox the body or instantly slim your problem areas, advising slimmers that they could be doing more harm than good.

In its annual fad diet hit list, the BDA took issue with a particularly popular plan - the Paleo or caveman diet - which advises ditching the likes of bread, pasta and dairy and eating like our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

Despite having rumoured celebrity fans in Matthew McConaughey and Megan Fox, the lack of dairy could lead to weaker bones due to low level of calcium, and the BDA suggests the diet is not only time consuming, but socially isolating.

Alongside the caveman plan, the unlikely trend of eating a spoonful of clay a day in a bid to aid detoxification came in for criticism, with the BDA warning that it doesn't work, and can cause a range of health issues, from constipation to arsenic poisoning.

Also making the list was the Vegan Before Six diet, thought to have found an A-list fan in Beyonce. Advising that a vegan diet isn't necessarily always a healthy one, the BDA said: "The danger is that post-6pm becomes a window of opportunity to hoover up a myriad of foods high in calories, saturated fat and packed with added salt and sugar, undoing your healthier choices."

The Association, which has 7,500 dieticians as its members, warned that cutting out sugar is another tricky diet choice, since it is not only near impossible to achieve, but it would mean cutting out healthy fruit, veg and nuts that have benefits outweighing the sugar peril.

Sian Porter, consultant dietician and spokesperson for the BDA, told the Daily Mail: "It seems as a nation we are constantly on the search for the magic bullet approach to losing weight, wanting a quick fix to give us the bodies we see so often on TV, in glossy magazines and adorning billboards up and down the UK.

"The truth is that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Have you given up on fad diets, or do you think you've found that weight loss 'magic bullet'? Leave your comments below...
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