With the excesses of Christmas behind us, there’s a raft of slimming books being published to help fulfil those new year resolutions to fight the flab and do more exercise.
But while faddy diets such as the grapefruit diet, cabbage soup and acai berry come and go, experts are now advising readers to tackle their spare tyres through mind control techniques and general life changes rather than calorie counts and unachievable exercise programmes.
Here’s a look at some of the new releases expected to fly up the best-sellers list.
· Escape The Diet Trap by Dr John Briffa (Fourth Estate, Jan 5, £14.99), sets out to show how conventional advice – to eat less and exercise more – actually causes the body to resist weight loss.
His science-based approach to weight loss works with the body, won’t offer any quick fixes or unrealistic exercise rituals, but rather concentrates on eating the right foods to stay healthy and establishing a healthy relationship with food.
This one is probably ideal for yo-yo dieters who can’t keep the weight off, as it’s more a way of life than a diet and there’s no calorie counting involved.
· Diet Rehab by Dr Mike Dow (Michael Joseph, Jan 5, £12.99) treats obesity in the same way as other addictions.
Dow, who trained at the famous Betty Ford Centre in California, throws at us scientific studies which claim that it takes two weeks to detox from junk food, compared with the two days it takes to withdraw from cocaine.
He explains that we crave certain foods as they actively change our brain chemistry, making us feel happy or relaxed.
His 28-day programme gradually substitutes these problem foods with healthier alternatives and activities that release the same brain chemicals and avoid the crippling highs and lows of a cold turkey detox.
· Skinny Meals In Heels (Murdoch, Jan 5, £14.99) is aimed at ‘girls on the move’ and sees food writer and stylist Jennifer Joyce making stressed dinner parties a thing of the past with this guide to cooking and entertaining without the calories.
With glamorous line illustrations, it features chapters on everything from snacks and nibbles to weekday dinners in under an hour.
· For those looking for a more cerebral answer to their weight problems, diet coach Janet Thompson offers a step-by-step plan in Think More, Eat Less (Hay House, March 5, £12.99) to re-programme your thoughts surrounding food.
It shows how your hormones control your body weight and how you can manage them by introducing a system whereby the food you eat helps to burn fat and cleanse your body. Its aims are to ditch dieting, calorie counting, weighing and measuring, and embrace a whole new understanding of your body.
The 72-year-old former athlete and scientist looks to our ancestors’ lifestyle of eating a lot and moving a little, claiming that we can beat obesity, diabetes and heart disease by living simply on meat, fruit and vegetables – and practically no carbohydrates – and embarking on only brief, intense periods of exercise.
· And if you just want something to slip into your handbag when the willpower is low, look no further than The Little Book Of Diet Help, by Kimberly Willis (Piatkus, Jan 5, £9.99), a pint-sized guide which offers common sense tips for when you’re out and about.
Did you know, for instance, that rubbing your finger between your nose and top lip can help relieve cravings? Acupressure, hypnotherapy and yoga are also advised, but most of it is about common sense.