The Fast Diet (or the 5:2 Diet)
Fasting has come back into the spotlight of late, with new research claiming that intermittent fasting is not only beneficial for the waistline, but also for curbing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Since Dr Michael Mosley publicly tested it on BBC’s Horizon program in August 2012, the 5:2 diet (or intermittent fasting diet) has been rapidly growing its international following. A best-selling book in the UK building on the foundations of fasting, The Fast Diet, follows Mosley’s advice of controlled fasting for two days a week.
Dr Sarah Schenker, who has written a companion book to The Fast Diet with Mimi Spencer, says that on ‘regular’ (or non-fasting) eating days, it’s important to fill up on meals that use ingredients with a low glycemic index such as nuts, grains and vegetables. “We don’t want people fainting through lack of food on their fasting days,” she said. “The point is to fill up on foods that will keep you fuller for longer.”
The Raw Food Diet
Made famous by celebrities including Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr, the Raw Food Diet follows the belief that the best foods for your body are those which are uncooked and unprocessed. While it is proposed that most foods should be eaten raw, heating is also acceptable, so long as the cooking temperature stays below 104 to 118 degrees Farenheit (as a general rule of thumb). This is because, according to raw foodists, cooking food can diminish its nutritional value – in particular, the enzymes in it. It is these enzymes that help us to digest food while also absorbing nutrients. Once these are removed, it can lead to digestive problems, nutrient deficiency, accelerated ageing, and weight gain. Raw food detoxes are also popular, with many dieters who are after a healthy kickstart at specific times such as the New Year, following the eating plan for a few consecutive days.
The Parisian Diet
Based on three pillars – enjoyment, education, and sustainability – The Parisian Diet, as the name suggests, is modelled on French eating habits. Drawing on the European tradition of regularly spaced meals, it moves from Café to Bistro to Gourmet phases, and lets you eat potatoes, bread, and – in true French style – the occasional glass of wine. “A diet needs to be flexible,” says the diet’s founder Dr. jean-Michel Cohen to MiNDFOOD. “Your life isn’t just one straight line, it has peaks and breaks… Life is a balance of all the pleasures. Don’t avoid the good things because life is not so long.”