As the weather cools, curling up on the couch with comfort food is way more appealing than maintaining a bikini bod. Thankfully, the latest Hollywood trend allows you to do both. Yes, you can be a vego half the week or only give up sugar on certain days and still keep your health on track and your waistline trim – all without feeling like a slave to a diet plan. Make like a celeb and join one of these part-time diet tribes.
The semi-sugar free diet
While there's no disputing sugar is bad for our health – causing inflammation, diabetes, obesity and chronic disease – you don't have to ditch the sweet stuff completely. Sure, reducing your intake of white, refined sugar is a smart health move, but don't fret about fruit or feel guilty about enjoying a slice of cake every now and then. Try to limit sugary food to a once-a-week treat and swap high-sugar fruit like mangoes and grapes for low-sugar options such as berries.
Aside from weight loss, reducing sugar has a whole host of health benefits, including boosting immunity and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and chronic diseases such as cancer. Plus, your energy levels will improve, your skin will clear and that 3pm brain fog will be a thing of the past. Sounds pretty good to us!
Actress Eva credits a semi sugar-free diet for her improved sleep. "I do a sugar cleanse every 30 days or so," she says. "Sugar is terrible ... It's not easy to get away from it!"
The pegan diet
Aka part-time vegans. If you've toyed with the idea of ditching animal products for health or animal welfare reasons, but don't want to commit to a strict vegan diet full-time, try this approach. Follow a vegan menu three or four days a week, or eat like a vegan before 6pm every day and leave the meat or dairy 'til dinner.
Since a classic vegan diet is dominated by veges, legumes and wholegrains, weight loss is often a side effect, as these foods are naturally low in fat. Research also shows vegans have a reduced risk of developing heart disease and some cancers.
Kate recently confessed following a vegan diet had done wonders for her skin. "When I went vegan, my skin was the best it's ever been – skin tone, pores, everything!"
The raw food diet
Loyal followers eat only raw
fruit and veges, fermented foods, nuts, seeds and occasionally raw dairy, meat, fish or eggs. Trouble is, eating raw all day can be hard, so try the "raw 'til 4" rule and enjoy a cooked dinner.
The theory is that raw food contains more nutrients and essential enzymes, which cooking can destroy. Plus, raw colourful veges are high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which reduce inflammation, boost digestion, improve cardiovascular health and fight premature ageing.
Uma is a raw foodie and the Duchess of Cambridge reportedly eats raw a few days a week.
Vege-vores,or flexitarians, go further than "meatless Monday" by skipping meat more often than not. What sets them apart from full-blown vegos is that they indulge in the odd bit of animal protein. If you already do one meat-free day a week, build up your vege repertoire and aim for three to four days a week.
Lots! Research shows the more red meat we eat, the higher our risk of cardiovascular disease. Red meat is also linked to inflammation (the cause of almost all chronic disease).Celeb fans
Gwyneth considers herself a vege-vore, while Anne Hathaway switched from full to part-time vegan, explaining, "I just didn't feel good, not healthy or strong."
The gluten-free foodies
These days, it seems every man and his dog (as well as celebs) are shunning gluten in pursuit of health. If you feel sluggish after pasta, becoming a part-time gluten-free foodie could be worth a try. Swap toast for kumara slices or spiralise your veges instead of spaghetti. Be wary of pre-packaged gluten-free foods as they're often laden with hidden sugars.
Ditching gluten is one of the best ways to beat the bloat. By choosing veges over carb-heavy breads, your digestion will improve. Lots of foods containing gluten are sugary too – think cakes, cookies and pastries. Remove these from your diet and your waistline will thank you.
Hollywood star Jessica credits forgoing gluten for helping her keep up with her young son. "My digestion is better, I feel better, I have more energy," she says.