Following a season of over indulgence many of us will be looking for ways to shift those extra pounds.
And with so many diets on the horizon it can be hard to decide which is best for you, but luckily Channel 4’s How to Lose Weight Well is on hand to help.
In a brand new series, which aired last night, doctors Xand van Tulleken and Helen Lawal trails six types of meal plan on hopeful dieters.
Each participant trialed the diet from one week to three months wolfing down everything from exclusively potatoes to cabbage soup while one man bravely ate nothing but Greggs.
Scroll down to see the results, they might just surprise you…
Best friends Charmaine (right) and Caroline (left) were determined to shift a stone in just one week with the help of two crash diets
In tonight’s episode, best friends Charmaine and Caroline from Watford were determined to shift one stone in just seven days in time for their spa day.
Trying out a seven day crash diet, Charmaine, who originally weighed 11st 9lbs, was given the cabbage soup diet – allegedly tried by celebs including Sarah Michelle Gellar and Dolly Parton.
‘It’s really hard being a mum-of-two and eating healthy at the same time because I feel like I just need to treat myself for getting through the day with the kids,’ she told How to Lose Weight Well.
‘I want to get there I was before I had the children.’
Charmaine was given the cabbage soup diet which sees the participant eat nothing but the soup for seven days with the promise of losing up to 10lbs
Meanwhile Caroline ate a diet of nothing but potatoes for one week which she admitted would be a struggle
Meanwhile, self-confessed foodie, Caroline, who originally weighed 12st 4lbs and admitted her ‘bad habits’ included melted cheese on toast, tested out the potato diet seeing her eat nothing but the veg for seven days.
‘It’s going to be a struggle,’ she admitted at first.
On day one, Charmaine was feeling exhausted, while the excitement of Caroline’s spud meals quickly wore off.
‘It’s really taken it out of me,’ Charmaine told How to Lose Weight Well. ‘It really has. I feel really sluggish.’
While Charmaine lost just 4lbs on her diet, the potato diet saw Caroline lose a whopping 12lbs in just one week
Caroline added: ‘I’m really bloated. I’m going to turn into a potato by the end of this!’
But incredibly, by day five, during their fitness pole class, the friends seemed to be feeling better and their energy was picking up – and just two days later when their challenge was over, the pair were delighted with the verdict:
‘I lost 12lbs!’ Caroline squealed, seeing the results of her monotony potato diet. ‘I’m on cloud nine.’
‘It’s really good for one week!,’ said Charmaine, who shed 4lbs on her cabbage soup diet. ‘I would rather have had potatoes for a week if I was going to lose 12lbs. Screw the variety!’
CAROLINE: POTATO DIET
Caroline ate nothing but potatoes for one week.
Weight before: 12st 4lbs
Weight now: 11st 6lbs
Total weight loss: 12lbs
CHARMAINE: CABBAGE SOUP DIET
Charmaine ate nothing but cabbage soup for one week
Weight before: 11st 9lbs
Weight now: 11st 5lbs
Total weight loss: 4lbs
David, who weighed 17st and John, who tipped the scales at 16st 2lbs, desperately wanted to trim down for a friend’s wedding in six weeks times.
‘It would horrify me if I knew the calorie content of what we consume,’ John said on tonight’s show.
‘My speciality is my ham and cheese sandwiches,’ admitted David.’ I place a block of cheese and then get the squirty mayonnaise, roll it up and end up eating seven or eight.’
For this couple, doctor Xand van Tulleken chose two diets which questioned what was more important for our weight – convenience or wholesomeness.
David and John were given their diets for six weeks in the hope of slimming down for a friend’s wedding with David (left) given a diet of Greggs while John took on the Wholefood diet
David was delighted to have lost two stone after eating nothing but Greggs for a total of six weeks while John managed to lose 1st 5lbs
While John was given the wholefood diet which involved cooking from scratch, David was given the Greggs diet and had to eat nothing but sausage rolls and egg sandwiches – which has alleged fans including Jake Gyllenhaal and Milla Jovowich.
‘Wow – one meal down in about twenty seconds,’ said David, as he gorged on another Greggs delicacy.
But John, who could eat only unprocessed foods, including eggs, seafood, meat and vegetable, could be seen rustling up a delicious seared salmon benedict.
Just six weeks later, judgement day had arrived as the couple attended their friend’s wedding.
John, who had the pain of cooking fresh every day on the wholefood diet, was pleased after shedding a whopping 1st 5lb – a tenth of his body weight.
‘I would so recommend this diet,’ he told How to Lose Weight Well. ‘It’s not that hard. I’m getting things from it that’ll benefit me for the rest of my life.’
Meanwhile, David who had to restrict his calorie intake to just 1800 a day on the Greggs diet saw even more impressive results after losing an incredible two stone – making it the most successful out of the six trialled.
‘It’s been quite painful,’ David confessed. ‘I’m glad I stuck it out. If you’ve got the willpower then do it.’
DAVID: CONVENIENCE FOOD DIET
David ate nothing but Greggs products for six weeks, limiting his calories to 1300-1800 a day.
Weight before: 17st
Weight now: 15st
Total weight loss: Two stone
JOHN: WHOLEFOOD DIET
John cut out grains, sugar and dairy as well as caffeine and alcohol for 30 days cooking everything from scratch.
Weight before: 16st 2lbs
Weight now: 14st 8lbs
Total weight loss: 1st 5lbs
Sisters Karen and Tracey from Portsmouth had three months to shed some weight in time for their Summer holiday to Spain.
This time round, doctor Xand van Tulleken questioned whether it’s our genes or metabolism that determines our weight.
Karen, who weighed 14st 8lbs, was given the metabolic diet, which required a specific ratio of protein, fat and carbs.
Determining she was a ‘mixed type,’ her ratio was 50 percent carbs, 30 per cent proteins and 20 per cent fat.
Sisters Karen (left) and Tracey took on a long haul three month diet with Karen signed up to the Metabolic diet while her sister took on the Genetic diet
Karen lost a total of 13lbs while her sister lost a grand total of 1st 12lbs on her Genetic diet
‘I think about food from the minute i wake up until the minute I go to bed,’ she said. ‘Cake is my downfall.’
On the other hand, her sister Tracey, who weighed 15st 9lbs, turned her hand to the genetic diet, meaning she avoided anything white for next three months and focused on the green stuff.
‘We’re as bad as each other,’ Tracey confessed. ‘We’re like terrible twins – even though she’s five years older! I want to be slim, trim, tall and terrific for Spain.’
While it was a tough start for Karen who confessed that even her ‘finger nails started tasting really good,’ just two weeks into her three month metabolic diet, she started noticing the changes:
‘The top roll seems to be going,’ she said. ‘I’m starting to see a bit of a shape.’
And three months later, she was even more pleased after losing a respectable 13 lbs.
But it was sister Tracey’s genetic diet which came up trumps as she proved she ate enough green to make her lean, after shedding 1st 12lbs.
‘I’m over the moon! I’m thrilled,’ she beamed. ‘Hand on heart, its been a complete lifestyle change. The demon has gone and the angel is in its place.’
How to Lose Weight Well airs on Monday nights at 8pm on Channel 4. Episode one is available to watch on All 4
KAREN: METABOLIC DIET
Suggests a diet dependent on three different types of person:
Protein type – high fat high protein
Carb type – Low fat high carb
Mixed type – 50 percent carbs, 30 per cent proteins and 20 per cent fat.
Karen followed the mixed type diet for three months.
Weight before: 14st 8lbs
Weight now: 13st 9lbs
Total weight loss: 13lbs
TRACEY: GENETIC DIET
Outsmarts your ‘killer’ genes and cuts out refined grains and starches.
Karen ditched any ‘white’ foods for three months instead focusing on a diet of meat, fish and vegetables
Weight before: 15st 9lbs
Weight now: 13st 7lbs
Total weight loss: 1st 12lbs