Given up your health res­o­lu­tion al­ready? Get in­spired again with 2014’s top fit­ness reads

Friday - - Contents -

A fat lot of diet lit for 2014.

This month has seen the re­lease of a hefty load of lit­er­a­ture to help you tighten your belt – lit­er­ally if not me­taphor­i­cally – this year, from di­ets that claim to have helped celebri­ties like ac­tress Me­gan Fox stay svelte, to ad­vice on cut­ting out su­gar, low-carb regimes, 5:2 fren­zies and pro­grammes that re­place su­gar with honey.

In­deed, if the sup­posed ex­perts are to be be­lieved, you can eat your­self beau­ti­ful, lose five pounds in five days, and feed your fam­ily on a gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free menu with­out them even notic­ing.

While that might sound too good to be true, there’s cer­tainly a book out there to suit al­most ev­ery taste. Carb-curbers will love the new Atkins

Made Easy, which claims to sim­plify the world-fa­mous carb-free diet to guar­an­tee quicker, eas­ier weight loss to help you “turn your body into a fat-burn­ing ma­chine”.

If you pre­fer not to cut out carbs en­tirely, food writer An­nie Bell’s

Low Carb Rev­o­lu­tion has a host of mouth-wa­ter­ing com­fort food that has all the taste with­out max­ing out on car­bo­hy­drates.

For those who are a bit too fond of com­fort eat­ing there’s a tome to

help you face your in­ner de­mons and give you Free­dom From Emo­tional Eat­ing, cour­tesy of Paul McKenna, while those who pre­fer to em­brace their in­ner glut­ton (within rea­son) can feast on ac­tress Na­dia Sawalha’s the

Greedy Girl’s Diet: Sec­ond Help­ings.

Th­ese are just the cher­ries on top of a di­et­ing mar­ket that’s as vo­lu­mi­nous as ever, with 2013’s sales of fit­ness and diet books up by 57 per cent com­pared with 2012, ac­cord­ing to pub­lish­ing trade mag­a­zine The Book­seller.

Part of the rea­son for the weighty in­crease in sales is the fact that more men are buy­ing diet books, says pub­lish­ing sales ex­pert Su­sanne Ard.

“Diet and fit­ness still tends to be a fe­male-led area but books like

The Hairy Di­eters, re­leased in sum­mer 2012, ap­pealed to men as much as it did to women and kicked off a trend for more men to buy th­ese sorts of books,” she says.

Last year con­sumers all over the world bought into the in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing (IF) phe­nom­e­non, led by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer’s mas­sive in­ter­na­tional hit, The Fast

Diet, which spawned a plethora of other books on the sub­ject – and there’s plenty more of that to come this year.

“It was the best-sell­ing book in this cat­e­gory for the whole of 2013,” says Ard. “Noth­ing else came close. The 5:2 has al­ways been a plan that has ap­pealed to both men and women. It’s quite an easy diet to ap­ply to your life.” Mosley now has another book out,

Fast Ex­er­cise, co-writ­ten with Peta Bee, which fo­cuses on the new con­cept of high-in­ten­sity train­ing, based on the the­ory that it’s more ben­e­fi­cial to do

very short in­ten­sive bursts of ex­er­cise rather than spend hours in the gym.

Juic­ing is back thanks to Joe Cross, whose doc­u­men­tary Fat, Sick & Nearly

Dead prompted a craze across the US and the world. Cross weighed 140kg, was in con­stant pain and suf­fered a de­bil­i­tat­ing skin disease. In des­per­a­tion, he tried to re­gain his health through juic­ing and filmed the at­tempt, trad­ing in his typ­i­cal junk food diet for noth­ing but fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles.

In 60 days he lost 40kg and be­came – for the first time in years – free of med­i­ca­tion. “Juic­ing is some­thing that’s been around for years but has en­joyed a mas­sive resur­gence be­cause of the doc­u­men­tary,” says Ard.

As the UAE’s and the globe’s wide­spread obe­sity prob­lem shows no signs of slow­ing down, so the diet mar­ket will surely con­tinue to flour­ish. Here are some of the top di­ets and ac­com­pa­ny­ing books to lim­ber up for this year.

The Pa­leo diet

Also known as the ‘Cave­man Diet’ and favoured by the likes of Ray Mears and Mi­ley Cyrus, the main rule of thumb with this one is to eat the foods the hu­man body has evolved to eat, as our Pa­le­olithic, hunter-gath­erer an­ces­tors did. It’s full of spe­cific foods – meat, fish, veg­eta­bles, nuts, seeds, fruits and roots. It won’t al­low highly pro­cessed foods such as su­gar, re­fined fats and dairy (un­less raw). No calo­rie count­ing ei­ther. Ti­tles cov­er­ing this in­clude Nom Nom Pa­leo: Food for Hu­mans by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong, which is full of wry hu­mour and de­li­cious recipes with ac­com­pa­ny­ing step-by-step pho­tos and car­toons; The Pa­leo Diet: Food your body is de­signed to eat by Daniel Green, which is an au­thor­i­ta­tive book of recipe ideas writ­ten by the TV chef and healthy eat­ing ex­pert; The Pa­leo Diet Made Easy, by Joy Skip­per, a prac­ti­cal il­lus­trated cook­book of 360 quick and sim­ple dish ideas; and Your Per­sonal Pa­leo Code by Chris Kresser, a flex­i­ble plan to help you tai­lor the Pa­leo ap­proach to your par­tic­u­lar life­style and re­quire­ments.

In­ter­mit­tent fast­ing

The 5:2 plan was the talk of the weight-loss world through­out 2013 and so the trend con­tin­ues this year, with a plethora of books out this month ex­plor­ing the theme. IF, as it’s known, is based on the the­ory that you can eat pretty much what you like for five days and then fast for two to achieve the weight loss you want. New, tasty recipes de­signed to make fast­ing eas­ier are fea­tured in Jac­que­line White­hart’s The Com­plete

5:2 Cook­book. Vari­a­tions on the theme in­clude The Ev­ery Other Day Diet by Dr Krista Varady and Bill Got­tlieb, who claim that 500 calo­ries is the per­fect and safe in­take for Diet Day, which is al­ways fol­lowed by Feast Day, when you can eat what you want and still lose weight. There’s also 5:2 Veg­e­tar­ian by gas­tronome Celia Brooks, in which the IF con­vert, who lost around 9kg in four months, of­fers a feast of veg­gie fast­ing recipes for non-meat-eaters.

Just juic­ing

Two big juicy books have hit the shops this year and they’re set to fly off the shelves. One is The Re­boot With

Joe Juice Diet in which Joe Cross shows you how to power up your sys­tem through juic­ing.

The other is that of Ja­son Vale, juice mas­ter to the stars, whose best-sell­ing book 7lbs In 7 Days is be­ing boosted with another guide,

5lbs In 5 Days, in which he in­tro­duces a new pro­gramme to re­shape and rein­vig­o­rate your body in five days. The idea is that you can lose the weight you’ve al­ways dreamed of with­out re­strict­ing what you can eat or drink at the weekend.

Shelve your su­gar

We’ve read so much over the years about cut­ting out sat­u­rated fat and low­er­ing our carb in­take – well, now it’s the turn of su­gar to take some flak. A new book, The Su­gar Detox, co-au­thored by Brooke Alpert and Dr Pa­tri­cia Far­ris, claims that the white stuff not only causes obe­sity but is also linked to other se­ri­ous health con­di­tions in­clud­ing poor brain de­vel­op­ment in chil­dren, cataracts and even Alzheimer’s.

The diet, de­vel­oped by a nu­tri­tion­ist and der­ma­tol­o­gist, in­volves a three-day detox to rid your sys­tem of su­gar and a three-day skin fix to help you look and feel great. A four-week eat­ing plan with recipes aims to help you lose – and keep off – un­wanted pounds.

In another quest to cut out su­gar, The Honey Diet by nu­tri­tion­ist Mike McInnes sug­gests re­plac­ing su­gar with honey to help you lose weight, sleep bet­ter, think more clearly and re­store the im­mune sys­tem. His re­search has found honey is ab­sorbed by the body in a dif­fer­ent way from su­gar, help­ing to re­duce your crav­ing for ‘bad’ sug­ars dur­ing the day and to burn off ex­cess weight at night.


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