With all of that holiday wine, steak and dessert now solidly packed onto your midsection, there’s no better time to tweak your eating habits. But instead of doing the typical routine of picking a diet and giving up on it a week later, you could take U.K. man Andy Leeks's approach.
Leeks, who just lost over 30 pounds with this plan, tried 10 different diets in 50 days. Sound crazy? Let him explain why, after many failed attempts to stick to one diet, he gave this plan a shot.
“The answer [for past failures] was surprisingly simple: Boredom," he wrote in a recent MailOnline column. "I'd start a new diet with loads of enthusiasm, only to abandon my best-laid plans when the novelty wore off - usually once I'd learned all there was to learn about the plan and any weight loss started to slow.
“Which is why I came up with the idea of trying out ten different diets in 50 days. Would it be possible to lose weight by changing diets regularly - without losing interest?
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“I've always had a short attention span and this seemed an interesting challenge. Fifty days seemed like a nice round number, and would mean I had to stick to each diet for only five days.”
And so, Leeks started his revolving door of diets. First, he did the 5:2 diet – a plan in which you eat only 500-600 calories a day for two days and then eat whatever you want for three days. He lost five pounds in five days on this one. Next, he moved on to the Special K diet. This is exactly what it sounds like; you replace 2-3 meals a day with Special K cereal. He lost 5 pounds in 5 days on this plan too. (The only drawback is he’s now had enough Special K for a lifetime.)
After those two attempts, he tried the NHS-recommended balanced diet, the grapefruit diet, the Atkins diet, a calorie-counting diet, the cabbage soup diet, the juice cleanse diet, and the raw-foods-only diet. His least favorite of all was the cabbage soup diet, and it’s easy to see why.
“As many other cabbage soup dieters have reported, it gives you bad breath and terrible wind,” he wrote. "I felt sorry for my poor wife."
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So which diet did he have the most success with? To his surprise, it wasn’t any of the trendy, highly-marketed plans. It was the NHS balanced nutrition diet.
“There was only one way of eating out of the ten that I could stick to long-term - and that's the diet set out by the NHS,” he wrote. “And now I know it can really work just as well as a plan with stricter, faddier rules.
"It's nearly two months since I finished my ten-diet whirl, and unlike any other time I've dieted, I still feel determined to stick to healthy eating."
"This was the first January in ages where I haven't been tempted by the latest New Year diet," he added. "In fact, I truly believe I will never do another diet again, thank goodness!”
Does he recommend his revolving door diet to others? Not particularly. He was aware of the potential risks of shocking his body with such rapidly changing nutritional input and saw a doctor before beginning the trial. His doctor gave him the green light to go ahead with his experiment, and he wouldn't recommend anyone try the diet without getting the same approval.