December might not seem like the optimal time for dieting, but for some of us, getting into that Christmas party dress or suit might be at the top of your agenda. Whether we're looking to squeeze into that outfit that was in the sale (but one size smaller than you!), or you're just wanting to get in better shape, we often tend to seek for a quick and easy solution and in most cases, they don't work.
As much as we might not want to acknowledge it, university has actually been known as a prime time for weight gain. According to the Daily Mail, by the end of their university career, nearly two-thirds of students that gained weight had put on between 1-5 stone. But if you notice this, or are tuned into social media nowadays, it's no surprise that students are prone to try a few 'fad diets' in their time.
Veganism is actually a lifestyle choice for many people rather than a 'diet' - in fact the BBC released a story today about a man claiming discrimination which is only applicable to philosophical beliefs. There is a trend however for students choosing to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet for weight-loss purposes. There are also other occasions where students have chosen to eat vegan meals for charity e.g. the University of Chester equestrian teammates went vegetarian for lent in aid of sponsors. Renowned TV chef Jamie Oliver admits to having 1-2 vegan days as part of his weekly routine. All-in-all, it's quite common for people to dabble in veganism especially with it being an increasingly prevalent topic over the past few years, particularly in relation to carbon footprints and general health. Our marketing exec Alex tried a vegan diet for three days (no meat and dairy). Her thoughts?
"Frankly never again. I found I had little energy and was always hungry, to be honest, I just missed cheese too much!!"
Power to those who manage to do it though, it's definitely admirable!
Rice and Beans Diet
This is a diet that is on trend right now (well, aside from the stars on "I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, who don't have a choice!), which has been shown to work in reference to weight loss. Dieticians have calculated that camp mates on the show lost an average of 51kg between them over the three week filming period. However, generally this diet isn't as extreme as those celebs in the jungle.
For seven days, the idea is that you will consume any amount of rice and beans that you desire for breakfast, lunch and tea (or as some parts of the UK call it, dinner). Weight is then lost by slashing calories, sodium, fat, sugar, and protein.
This diet has also been adopted by individuals who are wishing to raise awareness of world hunger, and highlighting how we so often take food for granted in our privileged lives.
Smoothies & Juices
Every week there's a new 'super food' to bung into your breakfast smoothie that 'melts fat' if drunk every day. Because all you need to do is bung a few ingredients into a blender, smoothies can be a quick and easy breakfast or meal replacement idea, so it makes for a great diet staple if you are on a budget or faced with time constraints with 9am lectures (frozen fruit and veg tend to me much cheaper and last longer).
Smoothies and juices are great when incorporated into your routine, but be mindful that whizzing up a few fruits and veg is unlikely to provide you with everything you need to nourish your body. One student we spoke to said:
"I bought Gillian McKeith's detox book to try some new recipes, and forgot to put any liquid into my beetroot smoothie... it broke the blender, oops!".
Probably safer to just order pizza next time.
A 'Teatox' (tea detox) has become increasingly popular in recent years. Popular brands like Bootea and Skinnymint all offer 14-28 day boxes.in which you drink a morning and an evening cup of tea using specific herbs and spices. However, a word of warning - detox teas often contain ingredients that have a laxative effect. So, take with caution and do not overuse them to avoid awful cramps and other potentially embarrassing side effects.
Alternatively, green tea is a safer option which can be incorporated regularly into your daily routine - this provides a number of great anti-oxidants without any of the scary side effects.
Generally, the best method to stay healthy is to eat the right amount of body nourishing food and take around 30 minutes of exercise each day. We'd love to hear if you've tried any weird diets whilst you've been at uni!
And if you're inspired to get healthy now rather than munching on lovely Christmas food, why not check out our new homes page - we have loads of houses with large kitchens to store your blender!! Also, premium tenants, head over to our offers page and see what restaurant discounts you can get with your CSL keyfob.