From The Flat Belly Diet to the Red Carpet Workout, we take you through the best and the worst of 2009's diet books.
With no shortage of diet books on the market, we've made things easy for you, so before you embark on that carrot and celery detox, check out our list...
:: NAME: The Genotype Diet by Peter J. D'Adamo with Catherine Whitney, published in paperback by Bantam Press, RRP$35.
:: CLAIM: D'Adamo claims that we each have our GenoType (genetic makeup) which tells us which foods we should be eating. So are you Hunter, Gatherer, Teacher, Explorer, Warrior or Nomad?
:: DIETITIAN'S VERDICT: "The Genotype Diet claims that our genetic makeup determines which foods which should eat and which we should avoid. However, scientific evidence to support this idea is lacking. Strangely, the author claims that many perfectly normal and healthy foods are "toxins" and also recommends expensive and unnecessary dietary
supplements, without demonstrating any valid evidence. In addition, readers are expected to sign up and pay extra to access information online about recipes or meal plans for their 'type'. Definitely not a credit crunch diet!"
:: NAME: Gillian McKeith's Boot Camp Diet, published in paperback by Penguin, RRP$24.95.
:: CLAIM: 'Fourteen days to a new you', screams the cover. Those brave enough to try McKeith's latest Boot Camp Diet will soon be swapping cow's milk for daikon and spelt (and possibly a dictionary).
:: DIETITIAN'S VERDICT: "Laid out in a day-by-day format, there are many helpful and sensible ideas in for planning daily diets. But, oh dear, the foods suggested are often esoteric and a challenge. Sprouted chickpeas? Nettle tea? Millet mash? Why would you? Fourteen days of the boot camp diet will, if you follow the McKeith rules, help you lose weight. But if you want hassle and hectoring, why not sign up to a real boot camp, which would also guarantee dramatic weight loss and strange food."
:: NAME: The Lunch Box Diet by Simon Lovell, published in paperback by Harper, RRP$29.99.
:: CLAIM: After that first virtuous morning bowl of porridge, many diets falter at the sandwich shop. In his new book, Lovell addresses our daily eating habits.
:: DIETITIAN'S VERDICT: "The Lunch Box Diet is a positive and humorous approach to weight loss. Written by a personal trainer, it unsurprisingly has good advice on exercise. The basis of the diet is that you eat a healthy breakfast and dinner and prevent yourself overeating high calorie foods and snacks by grazing every couple of hours during the day on vegetables and lean protein from your pre-prepared lunch box. There are some great ideas for eating more vegetables but, in my opinion, some of the meal plans don't include enough carbohydrate. Dieters might be wise to regularly include Lovell's 'active carb options'."
:: NAME: Quantum Wellness: A Step-by-Step Guide to Health and Happiness by Kathy Freston, published in paperback by Vermilion, $RRP32.95. Available now.
:: CLAIM: Kathy believes a healthy mind, body and spirit will lead to a slim figure. Recipes and calorie charts are replaced with meditation, visualisation and spiritual practice.
:: DIETITIAN'S VERDICT: "This isn't a quick fix. But making small changes in your thinking and approach to life could, in the long term, be an effective route to overall wellness. However the reader would need to be willing to invest a fair bit of time and energy in this holistic strategy. I imagine that people will either find it inspiring or too worthy. Also, the quality of the dietary advice is rather hit and miss. For example, it is recommended that for up to 21 days you should avoid gluten and animal products. Putting yourself on a gluten-free diet may mean that you miss out on important nutrients. Similarly, by excluding dairy foods from your diet, you could be compromising your calcium intake."
:: NAME: The Red Carpet Workout by Joe Fournier, published by Headline, RRP$24.99.
:: CLAIM: Marketed as the ultimate diet book for lazy girls, this six week plan aims to shift those bulges in time for Valentine's Day.
:: DIETICIAN'S VERDICT: "This diet requires lots of input from the individual. You need to be up for loads of exercise and be able to work out your own healthy eating plan, with little direction from the author. I liked the fact that you only really needed to read one chapter to understand the diet, but was surprised by the high levels of exercise that are suggested. Four long workouts a week seem a lot for a lazy girl! Some of the dietary advice was rather contradictory. The writers advocate a low calorie diet, which seems to avoid starchy carbohydrate foods, nuts, seeds and avocados. Wholegrain carbohydrates are important for health and nuts, seeds and avocados provide essential fats."
:: NAME: The Flat Belly Diet by Liz Vaccariello and Cynthia Sass, published in paperback by Rodale Press, RRP$26.99.
:: CLAIM: Dealing with everything from MUFAS (monounsaturated fatty acids) to muffin tops, this guide says it will have you bikini-ready in 32 days.
:: DIETICIAN'S VERDICT: "The authors recognise that the issue of emotional eating is crucial in weight management. Their motivational tips and practical ideas could help make this diet very effective. However, their claim that you can lose 15 pounds in just over a month is rather excessive. Most of this, I presume, would be water lost in the first four days. This book has charts, shopping lists and menus and so would probably suit someone who prefers to have lots of practical help. There do not seem to be any possible risks to your health, as the diet is varied, and includes fruits, vegetables, seeds and protein foods."
:: For more information about diet and healthy eating, visit the website of the Dietitions Association of Australian at www.daa.asn.au