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Eat Fact, Not Fiction! Leicester’s Dietitians debunking diet myths on getting holiday body ready…
Press release date18/07/2017
With the holiday season dawning, our attention suddenly turns to our summer bodies (or lack thereof!)
Press release

Many of us often turn to ‘quick fixes’ to help us speedily get in to shape, but what is the best, and healthiest, approach to get there? As Dietitians at Leicester’s Hospitals delve deeper in to the world of programmes promising instant summer bodies, the potential underlying dangers to our health becomes questionable. 

‘Juicing’ and ‘Detox’ diets are common approaches which are advertised in the media to promote rapid weight loss. These short cut diets may help to shed a quick pound or two but what do they mean for our long term health? While some of the principles of eating ‘clean’ are in line with good evidence for losing weight, such as minimizing processed foods, eating more fruit and vegetables and reducing consumption of refined sugar and alcohol, many other ‘clean eating’ suggestions are dangerously restrictive, not evidence based and could be potentially dangerous for nutritional needs.

Juicing is one example of a ‘quick fix’ diet which limits important nutrients including carbohydrates, fibre and essential fatty acids. This has many serious implications to our nutritional needs, particularly when considering the lack protein, essential for muscle growth and repair. If this is not provided, our body will scavenge it from other sources such as muscle tissue meaning that any quick weight loss is likely to compromise water weight and muscle mass, which is not sustainable. The Lemon Water Detox is another commonly practiced ‘quick fix’ technique, involving squeezing lemon into a glass of water to ‘improve digestion and promote metabolism’. There is no evidence to suggest that any single food will boost metabolism, and is similarly likely to compromise essential vitamins, minerals and important food groups within our diet.

Katy Sparrow, Dietitian at Leicester’s Hospitals, provides further advice: “The most sustainable way to promote a healthy weight loss is to ensure a balanced and varied diet, including not only fruit and vegetables but also 2-3 portions of lean protein sources such as meat, fish, eggs and pulses. Also ensuring meals are based on starchy carbohydrates (preferably wholegrain options), and including 2 – 3 portions of dairy daily. 

“Limiting high sugar and high fat foods such as chocolate bars, fizzy drinks, crisps and cakes will also help to ensure calorie intake is not excessive and support sustainable weight loss. Avoiding any diets which claim to ‘cleanse’ or to ‘detox’ will also ensure the body is not deprived of important nutrients which are essential to the balance of good health.”

For more information on a healthy, balanced diet please refer to the Eatwell guide:



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