Clichés aside, there really is no better time to embark on a new health and fitness plan than the start of a new year. If, like us, you’re feeling a tad sluggish (to say the least) post Christmas-indulgences and prosecco-a-plenty, then it’s time to hop on the health bandwagon and put a spring back in your step with our pick of the top 5, Grazia-approved diet plans. Full of motivation and ready to make 2014 your healthiest year ever? We are. Read on to find all out the hottest diets taking Grazia HQ by storm…
1. The Semi-Vegan Diet
Beyonce and Jay Z are the latest A-listers to embark on a vegan regime (Getty Images)
Is it just us, or is the world going vegan-crazy? Beyoncé and Jay-Z unleashed a true vegan frenzy when they announced they were going on a 22-day vegan diet plan last month. Team Grazia beauty are big advocates of a vegan diet plan- a way of life that guarantees serious health-boosting benefits- think glowing skin and higher energy levels. What’s more, the hottest diet book of 2013, Eat Vegan Before 6, hit the UK back in August. Written by Gwyneth Paltrow’s friend and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, it advocates eating a vegan diet for 60% of the time, in this case up until 6pm, after which you can chow down on pretty much whatever you want. Bittman’s book explains how sticking to a vegan diet of pulses, beans, nuts, seeds and fresh vegetables for 60-70% of your day can benefit your overall health and weight (he lost 35lbs in 4 months, FYI) while actually allowing your body to absorb more of the goodness found in the non-vegan foods you indulge in for the other 30-40% of your day. Think iron from meat, protein from dairy and vitamin D from eggs. Traditional veganism sidesteps heavier, animal-derived foods in favour of these lighter, plant-based food groups and as such one of it side-effects is often dramatic weight-loss, which is why so many body and health conscious A-listers, like Natalie Portman, are staunch advocates. Semi-vegan it is then!
2. The DNA Diet
Trainer Matt Roberts is a staunch advocate of the DNA Diet (Matt Roberts PR)
There’s one reason us beauty ladies whole-heartedly approve of this diet plan. Why, we hear you say? Well, based more on science and less about the ‘fad’, this diet is based on the scientific discovery that there is a clear link between our DNA, eating and exercise habits, making this a personalised diet programme based on the body’s genetic response to diet and exercise. As trainer Matt Roberts explains, “We’re finding out all the time how people can get the best from their workout when it’s tailored to their genes.” A very rough guide, he says, is to look at your body shape, which is around 80% determined by DNA. “Tall, lean women with narrow pelvises generally run better and will get in shape better with this kind of cardio. Shorter women with wide pelvises are better at rapid-movement exercises like aerobics, hockey and tennis.” What’s more, in terms of eating habits, research proves that different types of genes can impact on weight. Want to know more? Visit www.my-gene-diet.com which costs £159 and involves a short questionnaire and a mouth swab which then determines your DNA diet type.
3. The Plan
'The Plan' is already a New Yorks Times Bestseller- we predict big things! (Amazon UK)
Finding it tricky to shift that final 10lbs despite eating well? Have you tried diet after diet, eat well, exercise and find you are still gaining weight? Fear not, ladies, as according to a hot new 20-day diet from the US, it’s our reaction to food – not its calorie or fat content – that’s the real cause of weight gain. All hail The Plan! Already a New York Times bestseller, the book has just landed here in the UK and is set to change the way we look at food and dieting. Written by nutritionist Lyn-Genet Recitas, it works on the theory that certain foods – even healthy ones like salmon and porridge – cause inflammation. The diet doesn’t limit calories – it just helps you identify which foods you may have an inflammatory reaction to. And it’s these foods that are causing weight gain, sluggishness, bloating and even premature ageing. According to Lyn-Genet the key to easy weight loss (including up to 10lbs in the first twenty days of the diet) is to eat plenty of your ‘low reactivity’ foods and to cut back on your ‘reactive’ foods. ‘Your weight is nothing more than a reaction to your body’s chemical reaction to foods,’ says Lyn-Genet. ‘Weight gain isn’t always due to eating too many carbs, or too much fat or too many calories. It’s due to eating certain reactive foods that are triggering an inflammatory response.’ For more information on The Plan, click here.
4. Bodyism- Clean and Lean Diet
Lobster Cobb Salad? Yes please! (@cleanandlean)
Eating ‘clean and lean’ foods is the secret behind this bestselling health and diet regime from fitness fanatic James Duigan. A real Grazia fave, this diet advocates that the best way to lose body fat is to detoxify your diet, not only by cutting out bad carbs and processed foods (white flour and sugar) but by eating as organically and as ‘clean’ as possible. As Duigan explains, fat cells are a safe place for the body to store toxins- lose the toxins and you lose the fat. The main aim is to cut out anything that is toxic to the body- in the words of Duigan, the C.R.A.P: caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol and processed foods. Sound good? We think so. Now available in a Kindle version, the Clean and Lean diet has never been more accessible- and with a devoted A-list following (think Elle Macpherson and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) what’s not to love?
5. The Honestly Healthy Alkaline Programme
Honestly Healthy's alkaline offerings promise to reduce the stress on the body's digestive system (@honestlyhealthy)
Championed by the likes of Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow, the alkaline diet involves eating mainly alkaline foods in order to keep the body's pH between 7.35 and 7.45- the level at which our bodies function at their best. As the health boffins at Honestly Healthy explain, “"Food groups behave differently in the body – some provide energy (carbohydrates), whilst others are the very rebuilding and repairing blocks of our bodies and brains (proteins) – and yet others feed our neurological systems, regulate our hormones, and protect us against damage and disease (essential fats). How these foods behave in the body is broken down into two classes – acid and alkaline. Our bodies function best when in an overall alkaline state, PH 7.365 and yet much of our current eating trends and diets are very acid-forming in the body, leading to internal stress on the digestive and other systems." Bam - so there you go. What’s more, an alkaline diet doesn’t just help to shift the pounds- if followed correctly; the diet can also heal a wide range of ailments including arthritis and diabetes. Authors of Honestly Healthy, nutritional therapist Vicki Edgson and organic chef Natasha Corrett, say that the diet can improve energy levels and memory and help prevent headaches, bloating, heart disease, muscle pain and insomnia. Click here to find out more.
6. The Magic Soup Diet
Lose up to 7lbs in 7 days with the new soup diet (Magic Soup Diet)
Us beauty ladies fell head over heels for this gorgeous new e-book as soon as it graced the pages of our Kindles earlier this month. Written by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Head Chef at Nopi, Nicole Pisani and Kate Adams, founder of The Flat Tummy Club, this brilliant new e-book is packed full of warming, delicious but simple soup recipes inspired by the women of Mauritius- did you know that Mauritian women eat special soup post-partum to help them shed baby weight slowly and naturally? The Magic Soup Diet really does work- soup has been shown by researchers to keep us fuller for longer per calorie compared with eating the same foods ‘dry’ and what’s not to love about a steaming bowl of wholeseome, hearty soup on these bleak January days? The book, a total steal at only £4.99, is jam-packed full of delicious recipes with 7 full days of breakfast, lunch and dinner plans- think Apple Cider Beetroot soup, Comfort Cauliflower and Portuguese Lemon Chicken. The perfect post-Christmas indulgence? We think so!