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Extreme diets 'just a quick fix'

12th January 2011


People should think twice before embarking on overly strict diet routines that encourage them to cut out entire food groups, a leading nutritionist has warned.

According to consultant nutritionist, Aveen Bannon, extreme diets only provide quick fix results and are not a long-term solution to weight problems.

"There are so many conflicting health messages out there when it comes to New Year dieting. There are lots of extreme diets, including the cabbage soup diet, maple syrup diet and three-day diet. What the majority of these diets have in common is that they recommend cutting out food groups like caffeine, alcohol and sugar and are generally very low calorie," Ms Bannon explained.

However while these diets promise quick weight loss - up to 14lbs in two weeks - they are not particularly healthy and a person could find themself experiencing negative side-effects, including tiredness, constipation and bad breath.

"In these cases, you actually lose a lot of water initially, which is what explains the weight loss, so the rapid results are what appeal to people. However if these diets are followed for a prolonged period of time you run the risk of having an imbalanced diet and losing muscle mass, which can have a knock-on effect by lowering your metabolism and bone mass. This can impact long-term bone health," Ms Bannon warned.

She said that the best way to approach New Year dieting is actually very simple.

"Rather than eliminating everything, focus on what you want to improve. Get to bed as early as you can, drink more water, include more fruit and vegetables in your diet and look at your portion sizes."

She added that with a healthy diet and regular exercise, ‘you will see lasting results instead of a temporary fix'.




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