8 Celebrity Diets -- Scrutinized

Some are popular, some are plain bizarre. But do they really work?

The Maple Syrup Diet

What it involves:
As you can probably guess from the name, this diet trick revolves around maple syrup. This is usually consumed in the form of 'detox' drinks, which are drunk throughout the day in place of food. The benefits are widely touted as weight loss, detoxification, a stronger immune system, improved concentration and energy and healthier-looking skin, hair and nails. The full detox version involves drinking only maple syrup drinks for up to ten days (five to seven days if you're never followed the diet before), while the relaxed version is less intense and only requires you to consume the drinks in place of one meal per day (two at most).

Who follows it:
Beyonce followed the maple syrup diet for a fortnight in preparation for her role in the Dreamgirls movie. She revealed, "I lived on water, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. I'm not going to lie and say I found it easy, because I didn't. But the thought of my butt looking super huge in front of the camera gave me all the motivation I needed".

The bad points:
You won't be eating food if you follow the full detox plan so you'll experience the effects of hunger crashes.

Expert view:
"Gosh, what could be worse? This is just a very low calorie diet (VLCD)," says Hood. "Maple syrup provides little apart from sugar. The lemon juice will provide vitamins and minerals but little in the form of calories and the cayenne pepper a little bit of nutrition. So it is a very very LCD. In the short term this will get that weight off pretty rapidly to be able to fit into the swimsuit for the summer holiday but once the person returns to the old habits and way of eating the weight is likely to go back on plus extra. In the short to long term is can be very harmful, with muscle wastage and reduced metabolism, nutrition deficiencies and increased risk of developing gallstones. VLCD may be justified in certain circumstances for example when weight loss is quickly required for surgery but would have to be under close supervision. There is a plethora of VLCD and although weight loss can be rapid so has the weight gain afterwards."
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