Wednesday 28 September 2016

From Atkins to the Zone: Twenty years of fad diets

They've been with us for decades and range from being scientifically complex to totally bonkers recipes for disaster, writes Joyce Fegan

Published 10/09/2015 | 02:30

1999 to 2000: Blink and it gone diet - Victoria Beckham
1999 to 2000: Blink and it gone diet - Victoria Beckham
The Apple Cider Vinegar Diet gained much traction when Beyonce said she'd followed it while making 'Dreamgirls' in the same year.
The Dukan Diet was formulated by Dr Pierre Dukan in 2000 but became popular again in 2011, when Carole Middleton referred briefly to having employed its tactics.
Dr Robert Atkins' New Diet Revolution.
Eat Right 4 Your Type.
Enter The Zone.
The Macrobiotic Diet in 2002 was extolled by Gwyneth Paltrow but understood by few.
The Oprah Winfrey Diet was also known as the Best Life Diet in 2007.
Robert Atkins, who died in 2003, was the founder of The Atkins Diet.
Uma Thurman was a proponent of the Paleo diet.

Another year, another fad diet - and this summer it's been the high-street 'teatox', a celebrity favourite. Unfortunately, the diet has made headlines for all the wrong reasons: apparently, it can lead to unplanned pregnancies.

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Another year, another fad diet - and this summer it's been the high-street 'teatox', a celebrity favourite. Unfortunately, the diet has made headlines for all the wrong reasons: apparently, it can lead to unplanned pregnancies.

The manufacturer, in its Frequently Asked Questions section of its website is now warning users that their product "may affect the accuracy of the pill", and added that when it came to taking the tea while pregnant, trying to conceive or breastfeed, they could not comment.

Hmm. What is it about fashionable diets? Each year there's a new one, and deep down, we know they're probably not going to work. We've endured bad-breath, water infused with cayenne pepper and injected ourselves with a pregnancy hormone - all in the name of slimming. See how many of these diet crazes you remember from the past two decades:

1995: The Zone Diet

Originally intended for the medical community, after a little bit of Hollywood public relations this diet took off in the mid-Nineties. It was developed by a biochemist called Barry Sears, who put his research into a book known as Enter the Zone. To this day most of us cannot get our heads around it but we knew it had something to do with eating certain foods at certain times during the day.

1996: The Blood Type Diet

Another year, another scientifically complex diet. Eat Right 4 Your Type hit the shelves and so too did the followers of fad diets. This regime claimed that people with different blood types have different reactions to foods. The doctor behind this tomb listed the various blood types and what to eat accordingly. Again proving just that bit too complex, we gave this theory a short test-drive around the block before abandoning ship once again.

1997: The Cigarette and Cola Diet

In a rebellion against basic nutrition, dieters chose aspartame-laden beverages for sustenance and nicotine to suppress any appetite urges. This diet may have been tried and tested by the catwalk models of the era, but it brought on bouts of acne across the western world.

The Dukan Diet was formulated by Dr Pierre Dukan in 2000 but became popular again in 2011, when Carole Middleton referred briefly to having employed its tactics.
The Dukan Diet was formulated by Dr Pierre Dukan in 2000 but became popular again in 2011, when Carole Middleton referred briefly to having employed its tactics.
1999 to 2000: Blink and it gone diet - Victoria Beckham
The Apple Cider Vinegar Diet gained much traction when Beyonce said she'd followed it while making 'Dreamgirls' in the same year.
Dr Robert Atkins' New Diet Revolution.
Eat Right 4 Your Type.
Enter The Zone.
The Macrobiotic Diet in 2002 was extolled by Gwyneth Paltrow but understood by few.
The Oprah Winfrey Diet was also known as the Best Life Diet in 2007.
Robert Atkins, who died in 2003, was the founder of The Atkins Diet.
Uma Thurman was a proponent of the Paleo diet.

1998: The Sugar Busting Diet

This was the year that processed sugar became public enemy number one. The book Sugar Busters!, originally self-published in 1995 by a man called Leighton Stewart, shot to the top of the New York Times bestsellers' list in 1998, after it was reissued by a big publishing house. Cue the birth of clean-eating.

1999: The Blink and It's Gone Diet

The year is 1999, and Victoria Beckham had just given birth to her and David's first child Brooklyn. Brooklyn was born on March 4, and by March 5, Victoria leaves people wondering if she'd hired a surrogate. The nutritional restriction of the early Nineties has a bit of a Renaissance moment. Also, it didn't matter whether you were a new mother or not, this became the go-to diet.

2000: The 500 Calorie Diet

Victoria's influence carried over into the Millennium year and portion-size-control complemented by snacking became a lifestyle choice. No one was on a diet any more, people just claimed to be eating smaller meals more regularly.

2001: The Hummus and Carrot Diet

In 2001, the Posh Spice lifestyle was continuing but it had morphed slightly to include nutritional foods. We were eating carrot and celery sticks and asking our parents to buy us this thing called hummus. We'd never heard of chickpeas before but we knew it was low-fat and Victoria was eating it.

2002: The Microbiotic Diet

This was the one extolled by Gwyneth Paltrow but understood by few. Its marketers never really seemed to be able to sell this one to the masses, the name itself wasn't the most accessible and Paltrow's clean-eating lifestyle was about a decade too early for us. Basically your diet was to consist of 40-60pc of well-chewed whole grains and then lots of vegetables.

2003: The Atkins Diet

Although this had an outing back in 1992, when Dr Robert C Atkins (below left) first published his book, The Atkins Diet Revolution, it regained popularity in 2003 after the death of its founder. Carbohydrates, in all their forms, were banned but followers of his diet were welcome to load up on rashers, sausages and eggs. Hair went limp, skin greased up and bowel movements became more fluid but none of this mattered because the weight was dropping off.

2004: The South Beach Diet

It was sort of like that macrobiotic one and a tamer version of the Atkins diet but the masses weren't really able to get their heads or mouths around it. Developed by another cardiologist, Dr Arthur Agatston, it promised to curb cravings, leave you feeling satisfied and help you lose weight. Despite the claims it never got into the diet Zeitgeist.

2005: The Juice Diet

Katie Price, who we had formerly known as Jordan, employed the help of Jason Vale in this year to lose weight after giving birth to her second child Junior. She lost a colossal amount of weight in a very short time and this became the dream diet. We decided to punish ourselves by living off liquidated food for weeks at a time.

2006: The Maple Syrup Diet

Also known as the master cleanse this extreme detox took off in 2006. The reason this gained so much traction was because Queen Beyonce said she'd followed it while making Dreamgirls in the same year. All you had to do was live off hot water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper for a couple of weeks.

2007: The Oprah Winfrey Diet

This was actually known as the Best Life Diet based on the New York Times bestseller written by Oprah's personal trainer. You prepared yourself for weight loss for a few weeks and you slowly upped your levels of movement and then you launched into a full-blown diet.

2008: The Banana Diet

 This became so popular in Japan that bananas sold out across the country, even in the summer months when sales of the fruit usually dip. Japanese actress Kumiko Mori said she had lost lots of weight on something bizarre named the morning banana diet and this one statement saw Dole Japan increase its banana import by 25pc in 2008. You basically had a banana for breakfast and ate normally the rest of the time.

2009 The HCG Diet

Perhaps one of the most bizarre diets on this list, HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone produced during pregnancy by the cells that form the placenta. It helps mobilise fat stores for energy purposes. The diet meant you had to inject yourself with the hormone and live on a very low-calorie diet too. While we know most dieters tend to put weight loss ahead of health, this one didn't last too long.

2010: Weight Watchers

Thanks to Dreamgirls' Jennifer Hudson, Weight Watchers jumped back into the number one diet spot in 2010. The singer and actress became the company's ambassador, a deal that ended mysteriously last year, after she lost lots of weight on their point-counting regime. Maybe she grew tired of counting and wanted to go back singing.

2011: The Dukan Diet

Formulated by Dr Pierre Dukan in 2000, this became popular again in 2011, when Carole Middleton referred briefly to having employed its tactics. It was also published in the US in the same year. Much like the Atkins diet it promoted a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. It was condemned by the British Dietetic Association.

2012: The Paleo Diet

The year 2012, might as well have been replaced in the calendar as year paleo. By 2013, it was the most searched for weight-loss method in Google. It goes something like this: choose raw food, eat like your ancestors and pretend that weird nutty balls are the new Ferrero Rocher. Uma Thurman (pictured) and Megan Fox both became fans of it.

2013: The 5:2 Diet

Briefly then in 2013, the BBC's Michael Mosley brought us down another path on the weight loss journey. You ate normally for five days and starved/lived off 500 calories for the other two days of the week. People talked about it and tried it, but it seems to have lost favour amongst the dieting community.

2014: The Vegan Raw Food Diet

Kind of a hybrid of the paleo and macrobiotic diets, plus trimmings of the sugar-is-public-enemy-number-one sentiment, the vegan lifestyle took off in 2014. Unlike vegetarianism of the Nineties, your morals didn't matter, as the vegan and raw-food diet became a way of life and a kind of personal brand to follow.

2015: The Clean Eating Diet

Cue food porn overload and gym snaps on Instagram. Clean-eating, which is a mix of paleo and super nutrition, is now one of the most popular hashtags you'll find on social media. Clean-eating isn't so much a diet as a way of life. Diet has now become a dirty word but clean-eating is an accepted way of maintaining some ideal weight while pretending you're really being health conscious.

Irish Independent

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