Wish you could make like a celeb and go on the latest designer diet, but you can’t afford the steep price? Who wouldn’t be motivated by strict meal plans, medical supervision, and a hefty down payment to “force” you to commit?
Cosmo weighs in on the popular diet programs and spells out the big fat-burning lessons you can learn from each one—and hopefully, with all the gumption you can muster, apply pronto.
Post-Holiday Fix No. 1: Cohen Diet
How it works: Your blood sugar levels and liver and hormonal functions are monitored to create a tailor-made eating plan that balances nutrients so fat is burned faster.
You can lose: 15 pounds or more in the first four weeks
Celebs who tried it: Bea Alonzo, Judy Ann Santos
1. Stick to three meals a day every five hours, the average time it takes to digest meals, and the optimal schedule for controlling hunger.
2. Avoid refined sugar, alcohol, milk, bread, and anything with added fat or food additives that ruin the body’s natural processes.
3. For snacks, crackers and low-sugar fruit are allowed in regulated quantities.
4. Increase metabolic rate by having real yogurt—one with live cultures and milk, sans artificial additives and sugar.
Post-Holiday Fix No. 2: Mediterranean Diet
How it works: You eat like the Greeks. That means ditching salt, replacing butter with olive oil, and loading up on herbs, spices, whole grains, fruits, and veggies.
You can lose: 4 to 6 pounds in two weeks
Celeb who tried it: Penelope Cruz
1. Feast on fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acid that promotes good cholesterol.
2. Fruit is better than store-bought juice, or pick varieties with vitamin-infused pulp.
4. A quick lesson on reading labels: A “good source of fiber” is 2.5 to 4.9 grams and “high fiber” equals 5 grams. You want to consume 25-35 grams of fiber a day, but do so gradually to avoid digestive problems.
Post-Holiday Fix No. 3: New Atkins, New You
How it works: It trains your body to burn fat by reducing your sugar and refined carb intake. It’s the same low-carb, high-protein diet we’ve come to know, with new tips to smooth transitions between phases.
You can lose: 7 to 15 pounds in two weeks
Celebs who tried it: Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta-Jones
1. Snack on 1-oz. servings of protein-packed nuts when attacked by the munchies.
2. Follow The Rule of Sevens: One ounce of almost every protein food (the size of a small matchbox) equals seven grams of protein. A 5’3”-tall woman needs 16 oz. daily (112 grams, equal to a pound of meat). The protein will make you feel full.
3. Up your veggie intake to counter the possible “extreme diuretic effect” (feeling weak and dizzy) of a carbless diet.
4. Say no to refined carbs, grains, foods with added sugar, juices, dried foods, most snacks and sweets.
Post-Holiday Fix No. 4: 17-Day Diet
How it works: Creator Dr. Mike Moreno prescribes 17 to 60 minutes of daily workouts and four 17-day meal plans, including one for PMS. The idea is that when you pull a switcheroo every 17 days, you rev up your metabolism.
You can lose: 10 to 15 pounds in 17 days
Celebs who tried it: Former beauty queen Joyce Ann Burton-Titular
1. Steam (don’t boil) veggies to retain nutrients. Put them in a collapsible metal or bamboo steamer, so the boiling water never touches the produce.
2. Refrain from eating carbs, including fruits, after 2 p.m. to curb weight gain.
3. PMS-ing? Eat five to six small meals a day to steady your blood sugar.
4. Exercise for a minimum of 17 minutes every other day.
Post-Holiday Fix No. 5: Dukan Diet
How it works: Reach your “true weight” in four phases: In “Attack,” you add protein to your diet. In “Cruise,” you add greens. In “Consolidation,” you reintegrate forbidden foods, while in “Permanent Stabilization,” you must take the stairs whenever you can, eat three tablespoons of oat bran daily, and have one pure protein day every week.
You can lose: 7 to 10 pounds in five days
Celebs who tried it: Kate Middleton, Jennifer Lopez, Gisele Bundchen
1. Subsist on lean meats and seafood—protein helps you burn more calories.
2. Load up on oat bran to curb cravings.
3. Walk 20 to 35 minutes after every meal to boost calorie combustion by 30 percent.
This story originally appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine, January 2012.
* Minor edits have been made by Cosmo.ph editors