Latest diets finding favour with Kiwis

Last updated 05:00 16/06/2013
FAST FOOD: Millie Elder-Holmes endorses rapid fitness, a diet high in essential fats.
RAPID'S HER WAY: Annabelle Fay.

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Battling the bulge and wondering whether to fast, shun carbs or up your fat intake?

Kiwis are piling into the latest diet crazes - but one expert says the best way to see the number on the scales creep down is to eat like our grandparents did.

"It's so disappointing that people keep resorting to diets. Can't they see they don't work?" said Auckland registered dietitian Mary Rose Spence.

The latest diets finding favour with Kiwis include 5:2, an intermittent fasting diet proving a hit globally, and another closer-to-home weight-loss regime called Rapid Fitness.

Well-known Kiwis Millie Elder-Holmes and songstress Annabelle Fay are among New Zealand celebrities endorsing Rapid Fitness, developed by Auckland personal trainer Jay Harrison.

It focuses on the consumption of organic meat and vegetables, excludes carbs and grains and ups the intake of "good fat" like butter, coconut oil and avocado which kick-starts fat burning.

Fay says she "feels lighter", and has glowing hair and skin.

"This is a lifestyle choice, it's not a fad. It's teaching you a way to eat long-term to be healthy.

"I'm travelling at the moment, but I still manage to follow it. It can be annoying but if you ask someone nice enough, they can pretty much give you a grilled piece of meat and vegetables," she said.

Instead of cutting out certain foods, Nelson-based publisher Robbie Burton has been following the 5:2 fasting diet for the past six weeks, which sees people eat normally five days a week, and fast for the other two.

Burton has made a pact with a friend to stick to the diet for three months. He has lost about 5kg, but said it's not all about weight loss.

"It's been nice to lose a bit of weight, but I'd like to see if I can improve on my high glucose and cholesterol. And that's what interests me in this diet because there appears to be good science behind it," he said.

The fasting days are anything but a breeze, but he likes that he can eat whatever he wants on his off days.

"I don't go crazy, but I don't fret over every mouthful," he said.

Spence is critical of fasting, and diets which eliminate certain food groups. She says about 65 per cent of Kiwis are overweight, and they'd be better off eating the way their grandparents did.

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"They were much more into three square meals a day, having dinner at the table at night and even breakfast together. There was a bigger focus on vegetables, and much less emphasis on processed food.

"It just amazes me that food is such an important part of our health, but people just don't understand it. We've removed ourselves so far from the fact that food is our fuel. "


RAPID FITNESS: The concept: A diet high in essential fats, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates. High fat intake starts a process called ketosis which uses fat to fuel the body and kick-starts weight loss. What you need to do: Follow three programmes, called Kick Start, R28 and Retain. Fasting days are also required where you only drink lemon water. What you will eat: Fats like butter, coconut oil and avocado. Organic meats and vegetables. What you won't eat: Grains, carbohydrates, processed food.
INTERMITTENT FASTING: The concept: Fasting brings about metabolic changes and rapid weight loss and decreases insulin levels in the body. What you need to do: Eat normally five days a week. On two non-consecutive days, you will need to fast and are only able to eat up to 500 calories. What you will eat: Anything you want except on fasting days. A diet of 500 calories could include 80g of oats with 100ml skim milk (171 calories) and a tuna sandwich for lunch (280 calories). What you won't eat: Nothing is forbidden. WHAT OUR GRANDPARENTS ATE: Three square meals a day consisting of lots of fresh fruit and veges, and home baking. Far less processed food.

- Sunday Star Times


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