This 30-day weight-loss plan is the brainchild of American nutritionist Cynthia Sass. It claims to teach dieters how to eat the right proportion of high-nutrient foods and comes with a guidebook full of straightforward tasty recipes.

There is no calorie counting but during the first five days, intake is restricted to spinach, almonds, raspberries, organic eggs and fat-free plain organic yogurt.

During this initial 5-Day Fast Forward stage it is claimed the average dieter will lose 8lb.

The next 25 days known as the Cinch! Core comprises of three meals a day plus a couple of well-balanced snacks.

Meals can be selected from the menus and each one contains the right proportions of protein, carbohydrate, wholegrains and fat.

There is also a daily Chocolate Escape allowing dieters a small piece of dark chocolate every day. Cynthia also recommends 30 minutes of brisk walking daily.

According to Sian Porter, consultant dietician and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, The Cinch! provides plenty of wholegrains, protein and fibre. “The first five days do seem a bit gimmicky but this diet will certainly provide the right balance of nutrients,” she says.

Sian is supportive of the chocolate allowance as research has proved diets are less likely to work if people start to feel deprived.

“However you would need to be quite organised to follow this diet and it would be hard to stick to in a restaurant,” she says.

“Also I fear it would rather leave you hanging once the 30 days were up.”


THIS 30-day lifestyle plan was created by Brazilian fitness trainer Regina Joseph who claims that in one month it will leave devotees feeling stronger, energised and ready to show off their perfect beach bodies.

The diet comes with an accompanying book complete with menu plans. Regina also advocates a daily use of Pilates and the Brazilian martial art capoeira.

While the BBP is not a low-carbohydrate diet, it is made up largely of fruit and vegetables and dairy is limited.

The emphasis is on fresh fruit including Brazil’s acai berry which is claimed to have antioxidant qualities. There is also heavy use of Brazil nuts and other local food.

Although there is a daily dessert allowance the meals are particularly light and are typically smoothies, salads or soups.

Nutritional therapist Fleur Borrelli says: “It is rich in antioxidants which help combat the ageing process. Grains are limited and this, with the exercise, will help promote lean muscle while burning fat.

However this plan seems to incorporate a lot of fruit which can lead to low blood sugar levels and cravings. The BBP is too low in protein with not enough healthy fat.”

Fellow nutritionist Joanna Lyall says that while the diet sounds good in theory it is really nothing more than a gimmick. “Eating a Brazilian diet in the middle of a cold English winter would defi nitely leave people feeling undernourished. And what do you do once the 30 days are over? I imagine any weight lost would quickly go back on.”


One-in-four Swedes is now supposedly following Sweden’s answer to the Atkins Diet.

Devised by doctor Annika Dahlqvist, it advocates the almost complete elimination of carbohydrates and fruit is highly rationed.

Followers are encouraged to eat plenty of fat and generous quantities of meat, cheese and eggs. It works on the theory that carbohydrates lead to an increase in blood sugar.

Insulin is then released into the body to bring down the sugar levels which results in hunger and prevents the body from burning fat.

Although many LCHF followers lose a lot of weight on the diet it has divided medical opinion in Sweden.

In 2008 two dieticians complained to Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare about Dr Dahlqvist’s methods.

She was later vindicated by the board which claimed her diet was scientifi c and did have good results for obese and diabetic patients.

However dietician Helen Bond says this is not a diet she would recommend. “It is far too rich in saturated fat which would lead to an increased risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.

“After all a gram of fat is the equivalent of nine calories. A gram of carbohydrate only equals four calories.

“Carbohydrates have an important role to play in any diet,” she stresses. “Not only do they provide energy but are also a source of many B vitamins which support the nervous system, stabilise mood and provide us with healthy skin, hair and eyes.”


This simple diet has caused an 85 per cent rise in the import of bananas to Japan.

Dieters have a banana for breakfast (more than one is allowed) followed by whatever they like for lunch or dinner although fried food is prohibited and portions should be moderate.

Puddings are not permitted.

They can have a snack mid-afternoon and this should be fresh fruit although chocolate is also allowed. There is no exercise requirement although dieters should only drink water.

They also need to ensure they have their last meal at least four hours before going to bed and they should aim to be asleep by midnight every night.

“This is quite a fun diet and not at all prescriptive as there is no calorie counting or complicated meal plans,” says Sian Porter.

“It puts an emphasis on breakfast which is a good thing as people who struggle with their weight often skip this all-important meal. It also discourages overeating by banning puddings and late-night snacks.

“However it is a little free and easy about what you can eat during the day. There is also no mention of exercise which is crucial not only for weight loss but for any healthy and well balanced lifestyle.”


Popular with A-listers such as Jennifer Lopez and Gisele Bu¨ndchen, the Dukan Diet was supposedly used by the Duchess of Cambridge’s mother Carole before the royal wedding and one-and-a-half-million French women are said to swear by it.

Created by French doctor Pierre Dukan, the diet prescribes 20 minutes of brisk walking and up to two litres of water a day.

It is made up of four stages: during the Attack phase dieters can eat only proteins such as meat, fish, shellfish, chicken, eggs and fat-free dairy.

This stage lasts between one and 10 days depending on how much weight needs to be lost. Side effects can include constipation and a dry mouth.

The Cruise phase alternates days of just protein with days of protein and vegetables (although potatoes, avocados, beans and peas are excluded).

You should stay on the Cruise phase until you reach your target weight. Most dieters will lose an average of 2lb a week during the first two phases.

Next comes the Consolidation phase where some banned foods, such as fruit, mature cheese and wholemeal bread are reintroduced.

Participants must stick to this phase on a ratio of five days for every 1lb they have lost.

Once dieters reach the Permanent Stabilization phase they are allowed to eat a normal diet but must stick to just protein on one day a week plus three tablespoons of bran every day.

Although the recipes in the accompanying book look tasty, the British Dietetic Association has put the Dukan Diet top of its list of celebrity diets to avoid as it isn’t nutritionally balanced and could lead to long-term health problems.

A French study of 4,761 people who had completed the Dukan Diet revealed 35 per cent regained all the weight they had lost after one year and 64 per cent were back to their pre-diet size after two years.

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