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fad diets

Having eaten our way through the festive season, our thoughts reluctantly turn to 2016 and the uphill diet struggle that lies ahead.

Of course, there's always a plus side – the one here being that, no matter what happens, we'll never have to survive on water and cayenne pepper like poor Beyoncé.

Celebrities have gone to some fairly extreme lengths to achieve their red-carpet worthy bodies – it seems having iron-cast willpower is a prerequisite for an A-lister.

Here's a look at some of the more bizarre celebrity eating regimes…

The Master Cleanse
What it is: Lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water are mixed into a special drink, of which almost two litres must be consumed every day. This is combined with a special laxative tea to keep things moving. 

Celeb fans: Beyoncé famously used this diet to shed the pounds for her role in Dreamgirls, and again before her appearance at the 20015 Met Gala.


The Baby Food Diet
What it is: One of more meals a day is substituted for baby food, which in theory seems like it could be a good idea. After all, food intended for babies is probably super-healthy, right? Yes, but it's also devoid of taste and texture.

Celeb fans: Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon have reportedly given this faddy diet a go.


The M-Plan
What it is: One meal a day is swapped for a mushroom-based substitute, apparently helping you to lose excess weight around your tummy, thighs, upper arms and bottom, while maintaining your curves.

Celeb fans: Katy Perry and Kelly Osbourne are both M-Plan fans.


The Alkaline Diet
What it is: Alkaline dieters avoid acid-producing foods that can cause the body to stress out. Recipes on the alkaline programme are mainly based on fresh fruit and vegetables, while coffee, junk food, sugar, salt and alcohol are major no-no's.

Celeb fans: Victoria Beckham reportedly swears by this eating plan.


The Blood Type Diet
What it is: This diet, created by naturopath Peter D'Adamo, is based on the suggestion that particular foods have different chemical reactions depending on our blood type. For example, those with Type A blood should avoid meat altogether, while Type B can eat certain meats.

Celeb fans: Miranda Kerr (a Type A, doncha know) follows this regime to keep her catwalk queen figure in check.



Holly Hagan is the latest in a string of reality stars to use her weight loss to earn her a few quid, but she’s getting a lot of criticism for it.

The Geordie Shore star has just released her second diet book, Lose 5 Pounds In One Week, a short-term diet manual which aims to help women lose weight quickly.

While a quick flick through Instagram reveals women are already following along with the plan, the book has come under huge fire for suggesting women eat just 800 calories a day or less to drop the pounds.

Even though it’s a short term regime, 800 is still drastically lower than the 2,000 calories women are recommended to consume every day to stay healthy.

One picture in particular, reposted to the book's official Instagram page, shows a reader finishing off her day on 758 calories with an ice lolly.

"Lose 5lbs this week and put on 7lbs next week when i finally eat again … Great, where do I sign up?" one commenter wrote. "Can't believe this is even legal, selling eating disorders to the unfortunate teens who look up to this clown. Horrible."

Holly says the plan in the book is one she used herself to lose six pounds in a week, and that it’s not dangerous if it’s only carried out for the time advised.

She took to Twitter just now to defend herself, saying 800 calories a day was not an unsafe amount to consume.

"5:2 diet is 500 calories some days and the NHS website says you can maintain 800 calories a day for 12 weeks," she wrote.

"If you want a proper story report on crime and injustice in the world, not the fact I'm helping people achieve a healthy weight Rant Over!" 

The book was written with the help of personal trainer Ashley Lucas, but a rep for Holly says it offers "general information about diet and nutrition… not advice."

The rep also stressed the fact that Lose 5 Pounds In One Week is based on a short-term diet plan.

"The plan is designed to be followed for seven days, without starvation, supplements, or cutting out entire food groups.

"It is designed so be about small sacrifices for a week, combined with specific techniques."


The fashion world bowed down last weekend when Beyoncé took to the Met Gala red carpet in a sheer Givenchy gown that showed off her figure to perfection.

While it's clear Beyoncé's famous curves are not going anywhere, it was obvious that the singer had shed a lot of weight ahead of the style event of the year. 

A source close to the singer revealed that Beyoncé had turned to the extreme Master Cleanse detox plan, resulting in a total weight loss of around 15lbs.

The Master Cleanse might not be a favourite of nutritionists, considering it involves surviving on a combination of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper, but it's definitely Beyoncé's go-to diet plan. The 33-year-old previously lost 20lbs for her 2006 role in Dreamgirls by following the same strict menu.

It might sound bizarre, but Bey's not the only one who's embarked on a downright crazy diet plan to shed weight for a movie role or red carpet event. Here are a few other celebs opting for crash diets…

Amanda Seyfried
The actress has spoken out a number of times about the "intense" pressure on Hollywood stars to stay thin, which she calls "twisted." However even she was forced to stay on a strict plan for her role as Cosette in Les Miserables, saying her meals usually consisted of "Spinach. Just spinach. Spinach and some seeds." Delish…


Anne Hathaway
The former Oscars host had to drop a huge 25lbs from her already slim frame to play Fantine in Les Miserables. "I was in such a state of deprivation, physical and emotional… It took me weeks until I felt like myself again," she said of her extreme dieting, which involved her living mainly on a paste of porridge oats and water.


Victoria Beckham
The mum-of-four embarked on the Five Hands diet to lose weight after giving birth to her daughter Harper. As the name suggests, the diet involves living on just five handfuls of high-protein, high-energy food per day.


Nicole Kidman
The Australian actress was asked to lose as much weight as she could for her role in Cold Mountain. She doesn't exactly have any to lose, but she made a valiant effort by surviving on just three hard-boiled eggs a day in the weeks leading up to filming. Plus an extra if she was really hungry, of course.



The whole world seems to be on a clean eating buzz at the moment, and while it makes your Instagram feel a lot more annoying to scroll through, things could be a lot worse.

Forget juice cleanses and raw food, over the last few decades any number of crazy fad diets have come and gone. Some of them seem kind of legit, and others are just plain bizarre.

Here are a few that would send us running for the nearest Burger King…

1. The Baby Food Diet
In theory this seems like it could be a good idea. After all, food intended for babies is probably super-healthy, right? Yes, if you subsist solely on jars of puréed baby food your diet will be low in sugar and fat… but it will also be devoid of taste and texture. Puréed beef? Sounds delightful!

2. The Cabbage Soup Diet
This famous diet apparently leads to weight loss of up to 10lbs per week… along with a serious amount of bloating and flatulence. Yay! Along with some severely restricted meals, you’re only permitted to eat low-sodium cabbage soup for the duration of the diet.

3. The Master Cleanse
Beyoncé reportedly endured this awful diet to lose weight for her role in Dreamgirls. Lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water are mixed into a special drink, of which almost two litres must be consumed every day. This is combined with a special laxative tea to keep things moving. This one is just a bit too drastic for us…

4. The Grapefruit Diet
To complete this diet, a grapefruit is eaten before every meal. While many have reported weight loss, it’s thought to be due to the fact that dieters are only allowed to consume three meals per day, all of which are seriously low in fat and calories. So what you’re saying is that if I eat a grapefruit before every pizza, I’m not going to lose weight? Oh. Okay then.

5. The Sleeping Beauty Diet
Getting enough rest is key to maintaining a healthy weight, that much can’t be denied. But the premise of this diet, as favoured by Elvis (whose weight loss journey didn’t end well, if you recall), is to sleep excessively, so that you miss lots of meals at once. If you can’t naturally sleep for days on end, don’t worry, you can take sedatives! Charming.



No matter how devoted you are to weight loss fads, the only way you can truly maintain a healthy weight is if you follow a balanced diet.

Since it isn’t always easy, here are a few ways you can make some tiny adjustments to your eating habits:

Listen to your body
Try not to eat out of boredom. Instead, listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry.

Don’t skip meals
When you skip a meal during the day, you compensate for the missed meal and this causes you to overeat. Instead, eat regularly throughout the day.

Cut down
Instead of filling your plate, cut down on your portion sizes and add some variety to your meals.

Plan ahead
When you plan your meals a week in advance, it ensures you get a good mix of different foods and nutrients in your diet.

Be patient
Make small changes as you go along and you will eventually see the changes in your body. Rome wasn’t built in a day!