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The two questions to ask before starting a new diet

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FROM paleo to gluten-free or vegan to Atkins, with so many diets doing the rounds it can be confusing separating weight loss fact from fiction.

Australian nutrition icon Dr Rosemary Stanton offers one simple solution to working out what diet best suits you.

All you have to do, she says, is ask yourself 'Can I stick to this diet for a long time?' and 'Does it leave out any major food groups?'

If you answer 'yes' to the first question and 'no' to the second, you will be taking the first steps to healthy and achievable weight loss.

"The diet needs to be something that you can stick to for good," Dr Stanton said.

"It's not a matter of changing your eating habits for three weeks ... it's got to be forever.

"It also needs to be healthy and provide what your body needs."

Dr Stanton said most diets failed her simple quiz.

"Most of the diets fail because usually the person can't stick to it," she said.

"It's all very well to say you're going on a diet that's all eggs or pasta, but you can't stick to that sort of thing forever.

"There's no such thing as a healthy diet that restricts the type of things you can eat."

Dr Stanton said eating smaller serves from the five food groups was the best way to go.

She said not feeling bad about the occasional junk food was also part of a healthy approach to shedding the kilos.

"In my 50 years of experience I have never found that a diet of no junk works for more than a couple of months, because you just can't stick to it," Dr Stanton said.

"It should be eaten without a feeling of guilt because when you feel guilty you get no pleasure from it.

"Make a conscious decision to enjoy it and make sure the junk food is the best quality that you can find."

Fad diets throughout history

CLEAN AWAY THE FAT: In the 18th Century, a Scottish doctor called Malcolm Flemyng suggested his obese patients clean up their act and lose weight by eating soap.

CHEW CHEW CHEW: In the 20th Century, another doctor - Horace Fletcher - was renowned for his liquefied diet. To shed the kilos, all you had to do was chew your food 100 times, swallow the liquid component and spit out the solid remains. Dinner party anyone?

THE WIGGLES: Tapeworms were one of the hottest go-to diet tools in the early 1900s. A lot of brave souls swallowed these scary looking little critters in the hope of losing weight.

DEAD WEIGHT: In the 1970s, Dr Robert Linn prescribed his Last Chance Diet program, claiming his patented weight loss shake would kill the kilos. The concoction, called Prolinn, was jam-packed full of animal hide, tendons and other slaughterhouse by-products as well as sweeteners and artificial flavours. The US Government had to outlaw the product after it killed a few people.

BREATHE DEEPLY: Everyone loves a bit of fresh air - especially Breatharians. And so they should because air is the only thing these people consume. This is not a diet recommended for anyone who likes living.

YELLOW PERIL: Consuming nothing but lemon juice is just one of the modern-era diets loved by celebrities.

TICKLE ME PINK: To follow the seven-day colour diet simply eat foods of one colour on any given day.

ARM NEWSDESK

Topics:  diet general-seniors-news health and nutrition kick the kilos


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