The Atkins Diet
A lifetime nutritional philosophy that has been embraced by an estimated 20 million people.
The Atkins Diet represents the low-carbohydrate backlash against the 1980s philosophy that promoted all things carbohydrate-based. We derive most of our glucose supply from carbohydrates -- sugars and starches that can quickly be broken down into glucose during digestion. Glucose molecules can then be burned rapidly to give a quick energy boost.
Atkins restricts carbohydrate consumption on the grounds that since carbohydrates are the body's primary energy source, its secondary source (fat) is rarely used up unless carbohydrates are cut down. Nutritionists are not convinced.
The Cabbage Soup Diet
This, as the names suggests, involves eating unlimited amounts of cabbage-based soup for about a week.
Dieters are allowed to consume other things: for example, on day one, you can also have fruit, and on day two you can have vegetables. But since cabbage has absolutely no fat-burning powers, experts say most people just lose water. They may also smell bad.
Basically, this diet boils down to low calorie eating. You eat plenty of cabbage with other low calorie items for a solid week, which is sure to lead to quick weight loss.
The F-Plan Diet
Everyone did this in the 1980s. Created by Audrey Eyton, the F-Plan sang the praises of carbohydrates. The simple baked potato has never been the same since. The theory behind the F-Plan is that fiber fills the stomach and reduces the desire to overeat. The book, The F-Plan Diet, was a bestseller when it was published in 1982.
The Grapefruit Diet
A descendant of the 1930s Hollywood Diet, the Grapefruit Diet involves eating a lot of grapefruit, along with a bit of black coffee, the occasional egg, the odd piece of dry toast and, in some very generous versions, small amounts of meat or fish in the evening. Calorie intake is restricted to less than 800 kilocalories per day. The recommended adult calorie consumption per day is 2,000 to 2,500 kilocalories for women and 2,500 to 3,000 for men.
The Hollywood Weekend Turbo Diet
Hollywood's "best-kept weight loss secret", which can help you lose around 14kg after just three weekends on the regime. Or so they say. The diet involves consuming a formula made up of plant extracts combined with vitamins and minerals. According to the HWT diet's enthusiastic advertisements, "subjects participating in clinical trials lost 4 percent of their body weight in 48 hours". The HWT plan is one which comes with various creams which "dissolve deep stored fat on contact wherever applied". Best avoided.
The Paleolithic Diet
The Palaeolithic Diet works on the principle that, although what we eat has changed dramatically over the 10,000 years since farming was invented, our bodies have not evolved very much during that time. Hence our actual food intake bears no resemblance to what the human digestive system expects.
The Paleolithic diet involves removing as many as possible of the processed, artificially created foods, beverages and stimulants that we consume. Similar to the Raw and Living Foods Diet, which claims we should eat nothing that has been cooked. For many, this is a way of life, as opposed to a "fad" diet. The Paleolithic recipes are actually very healthful and anyone would do well to incorporate some into their daily meals.
See: Paleolithic Recipes
The Russian Airforce Diet
A fairly Spartan regimen with meal plans such as: day one, lunch -- two eggs, one tomato; or day five, breakfast -- 5.25oz of ham, one cup of carrots. Dire.
The Zone Diet
The formula of this diet is to consume 40 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat. Not only is the diet supposed to make you lose weight, its creator, Barry Sears, claims that it increases mental focus, enhances physical performance and even slows the ageing process. But nutritionists claim that the Zone Diet is a waste of time, since it is energy intake, not nutrient composition, that is involved in weight loss or gain. This is covered more extensively in our article, "Diets, Diets, Diets", also. Link below.