Fitness

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Hollywood’s new diets are all about the science

Kate Porter

Published 30/10/2012 | 09:28

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Britney Spears. Photo: Getty Images
FIGHTING THE FLAB: Actress and singer Jessica Simpson. Photo: Getty Images
Television personality Kim Kardashian arrives at the grand opening of the Kardashian Khaos store in Las Vegas...Television personality Kim Kardashian arrives at the grand opening of the Kardashian Khaos store at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada December 15, 2011. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)...E

Forget counting calories, says KatePorter, a new wave of high-tech dieting is sweeping Tinseltown.

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THE SCHWARZBEIN PRINCIPLE

Calling all boffins – this is the diet for you. The Schwarzbein Principle was created by Dr Diana Schwarzbein, an endocrinologist who based the plan on the successes and failures of her diabetic patients. This regime aims to help you shed fat, but also reverse metabolic aging, end food cravings and even tackle addictions.

How does it work?

Schwarzbein doesn’t just limit her plan to diabetics – it’s for everyone want to lose weight or just live more healthily. She advocates a low-carb eating plan that’s packed with healthy fats. There are two programmes: one for healing, and one for maintenance (once you’ve sorted out that dodgy metabolism).

As she writes, “The low-fat, highcarbohydrate movement promised long, healthy lives and trim, athletic bodies. But instead it caused prolonged high insulin levels, which in turn increased the number of people with heart disease, Type II diabetes, excessive weight gain and many more chronic conditions and diseases.” So she wants dieters to try a high-protein, lowcarb diet…

Here’s the science bit:

Great news for fat fans: the bottom line of Schwarzbein’s research was that a low-fat, high-carb diet causing weight gain by raising insulin levels. She followed Type II diabetic patients for several years and concluded that you burn body fat when you eat healthy fats, making them an essential part of the diet. “Eating fat is essential for reproduction for the regeneration of healthy tissues and for maintaining ideal body composition,” says the good doctor.

What can I eat?

The plan includes breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner. On the menu are lots of good oils and fats, unprocessed foods, lean proteins, and fibrous root vegetables. Butter, eggs and meat can form a large part of your diet (in this respect, it is similar to the Atkins diet) but salt, sugar and caffeine are no-nos. Think spinach and cheese omelettes, deli meats, tuna, avocados, nut butters, olive oil and fresh fruit.

What about exercise?

Exercise is one of the five essential aspects of the Schwarzbein Principle, along with nutrition, stress management, eliminating stimulants and other drugs, and hormone replacement therapy. She believes working out is vital to prevent insulin resistance, boost metabolism levels and maintain a healthy weight. But she is a doctor, so her advice is to start slowly and build up your tolerance and endurance. And above all, take up a sport that you enjoy and try to do it for 30 minutes a day.

Who's tried it?

Britney Spears, Cher, Cindy Crawford

Why you should too:

This is a scientifically based plan, which won’t yield overnight results; any weight loss will be gradual. As Schwarzbein says, first you have to heal your body then you can look to shape up or slim down. At this stage you can add more carbs, and just judge your body’s reaction to find out what levels suit you. She also makes it clear that this diet is good for those who are resistant to insulin or who have hormonal imbalances.

Why you shouldn’t:

Healing your metabolism can take months – and some people just don’t want to be parted from their carbs. Also, as with other high-protein diets which restrict fruit and veg, you may find yourself constipated… as well as bloated and retaining water (though Schwarzbein says this does pass).

THE ROSEDALE DIET

Tried the South Beach Diet, the Atkins plan or the Hamptons Diet? This hot new regime picks up where those plans of yesteryear left off… Anyone who’s failed to lose weight on those diets is urged to check out the Rosedale diet as it offers much more satisfactory results – especially for anyone who’s overweight or diabetic.

How does it work?

Devised by Ron Rosedale and Carol Colman, the 21-day diet targets the hormone leptin— which controls hunger pangs and the sensation of being full — and aims to keep it within normal levels.

As a result, it means you feel you have eaten enough quicker than normal, making it a great way to tackle over-eating.

Although you don’t need to count calories or carbs, you do need to pay close attention to what you’re eating. For example, starches and wholegrains are off the menu for the first three weeks of the plan; after this, you can enjoy certain foods but you have to exercise portion control. Here’s the science bit: By directly influencing your leptin levels, this plan acts on receptors in the brain to help control your appetite. This makes the Rosedale diet particularly effective for those with high cholesterol levels or diabetes – but anyone seeking to lose weight in a healthy way can benefit. The main difference between this diet and other plans is that losing weight is no longer an issue of self-control. As Rosedale puts it, “Control leptin and you control your weight.”

What can I eat?

Those following the regime are encouraged to eat plenty of healthy fats, especially unsaturated fats, but basically this is a low-protein and lowcarb plan. Think plenty of green vegetables – but lay off the starchy carbs: recommended at first are avocados, olives, nuts, shrimp and goat’s cheese. Also to be avoided are foods which interfere with leptin levels: bananas, cantaloupes, corn, dried fruits, grapes, honeydew melon and oranges.

What about exercise?

Hmmm, what about it? Rosedale doesn’t necessarily want you to sweat it out at the gym – he recommends 15 minutes of exercise a day.

Who's tried it?

Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Simpson.

Why you should too:

Tackling over-eating by targeting the physical sensation of being full is a great diet device – thanks,Rosedale! It has an undeniable effect on your body and weight loss can be achieved for almost anyone.

Why you shouldn’t

This diet can be pretty restrictive, so you have to decide if you’re willing to pay the price for those great results it promises. And the fact the Rosedale is happy to overlook the benefits of exercise may suit some people, but probably isn’t a good idea for those who are overweight in the long term.

THE O2 DIET

The futuristic-sounding O2 Diet is a plan based around filling your body with antioxidants, devised by US dietician and nutrition expert Keri Glassman. Glassman, a regular on CBS’s The Early Show, says the diet can not only help you to lose weight – it will make you healthier and even more attractive!

How does it work?

There are two main phases to the diet: a four-day cleansing period kicks things off, “maximising weight loss, inspiring confidence, and delivering immediate results”, followed by a second four-week phase. By tucking in to lots and lots of foods loaded with antioxidants, Glassman says you can increase your mental clarity, have more energy, sleep better and be less stressed. Oh, and you’ll shed some pounds along the way too.

Here’s the science bit:

The O2 diet is based on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity scale, developed by the United States Department of Agriculture to show how well various foods protect the body against free radicals. Eating produce which is high on the scale can increase antioxidants in the body by 10 to 25 percent – which helps protect your body against heart disease, cancer, aging and additional health conditions.

What can I eat?

Fruits and vegetables feature a lot on the O2 menu, especially super foods such as mango, pomegranate, papaya, beet, berries, lettuce, spinach and avocado. Other foods which rate highly on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity scale, include quinoa, legumes, soy milk, steel-cut oats, wholegrain bread, seeds, nuts, fish, turkey, lean meat, extra virgin olive oil, green tea, tofu, red wine and dark chocolate.

What about exercise?

Glassman gets a little confusing on this point, stating that exercise generates free radicals (a bad thing) in the body, which means that those undertaking a strenuous workout should make sure they take on board an extra 50,000 Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity points to compensate. However that’s not to say that dieters are discouraged from exercising; Glassman points out that it can have a great effect on the body, increasing bone density and reducing the risk of heart disease. Who's tried it? Kim Kardashian, Mariah Carey.

Why you should too:

There’s a wide range of really healthy options on offer here, and Glassman is a certified dietician so she’s keen to make you feel good – and she knows her scientific stuff. Also it’s a refreshing change not to have to keep count of calories, or carbs, or fat… As she says, “This simple program is a positive, empowering new way to approach eating that will leave readers slim, sated and beautiful.”

Why you shouldn’t

Eating this way is expensive, unfortunately, and may leave you out of pocket. Also although there’s no fretting about calories, it can be a little tricky keeping track of all those Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity points – not exactly readily available on supermarket food labels.

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