The NHS has this week warned new year dieters against quick-fix solutions as Brits look to lose weight for 2020.
A senior NHS doctor has said some faddy diets can lead to heart problems and even unplanned pregnancies.
So, how do you make incremental changes – which keep you in pursuit of your weight loss goals, while maintaining a diet of fun food?
A fitness blogger has moved to recreate your favourite dishes with up to 400 fewer calories.
Graeme Tomlinson – also known as The Fitness Chef – wants to help you hit your January weight loss goals.
He recreated 10 of the country’s most-loved meals with a healthy twist, as part of Frylight’s #CaloriesUncovered campaign.
It comes as NHS England medical director Professor Stephen Powis said using pills and detox teas have a “slim chance of success” and can cause serious complications.
Going on a diet is the most common New Year’s Resolution and, although the NHS endorses getting in shape, Prof Powis advised against using diet pills, “tea-toxes”, and appetite suppressant products, which can be harmful.
Products promising quick weight loss by reducing appetite and fatigue can have damaging side-effects, ranging from diarrhoea to heart problems, and can even interfere with oral contraception, causing unplanned pregnancies.
Graeme, 30, made shepherd’s pie, fry-up and spaghetti bolognese with alternative ingredients.
Impressively, he managed to cut out up to 400 calories per meal.
Graeme tells MailOnline : “I’m a firm believer in small changes reaping big rewards.
“Looking at ways to reduce the calories in the food you already know is the easiest way to make a positive step towards a calorie deficit for fat loss.”
His swaps are actually very simple, too, with 20 per cent fat mince with a five per cent fat alternative in the chili and spaghetti bolognese.
In his low-calorie bangers and mash dish, he changes pork sausages for chicken alternatives and potatoes for mashed carrot, swede and parsnips.
In his fry-up, he uses bacon medallions NOT rashers.
Helen Bond – Frylight consultant nutritionist – explains: “People need to ditch the ‘diet’ mentality – going on a diet infers there’s a start and stop date, so you only change your diet during these times.
“Instead, plan to change your eating habits for good, making small steps towards a healthier diet, and focus on the huge number of other benefits that eating well will have for your weight and overall health.”
Prof Powis, meanwhile, has advised those wanting to shed a few Christmas pounds to lose weight “gradually and safely”.
He said: “New Year’s Resolutions are a great time to make a change, but the reality is there’s a slim chance of success with diet pills and detox teas – and people could end up doing more harm than good.”
This follows calls earlier this year for social media giants to crack down on celebrities posting misleading “get fit quick” adverts, prompting Instagram and Facebook to restrict endorsements of risky products.
Prof Powis recommended the NHS Long Term Plan, a 12-week weight-loss schedule to be used alongside an app, for those wanting to get in shape.
The NHS also offers a Diabetes Prevention Programme, and both of these regimes can be found on its website along with healthy recipes.
Health professionals also recommend the Couch To 5K app for first-time runners, Strength And Flex, and the NHS Fitness Studio apps.
Quitting smoking is the second most popular New Year’s Resolution, and the NHS Smokefree app can help those wanting to cut down.
The Drink Free Days app is also recommended by the NHS for people wanting to try Dry January.
Prof Powis has also spoken out against so-called “party drips”.
“At a time when health misinformation is running riot on social media, it is reckless and exploitative of these companies to peddle ineffective and misleading treatments, and those celebrities and influencers who help them do this are letting their fans down.
“People who are healthy do not need IV drips. At best they are an expensive way to fill your bladder – and then flush hundreds of pounds down the toilet – but at worst they can cause significant damage to your health.
“While many of us want to enjoy ourselves at this time of year, it is important to remember that nothing beats eating well and drinking sensibly when it comes to staying well, and a much better way to ‘cure’ a hangover is through drinking plenty of water and getting some fresh air.
“Miracle hangover cures and quick fixes simply don’t exist, and anyone online who says they do is probably out to make a quick buck at your expense.”