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  1. Low carb, the 5:2 diet, detox, cabbage soup … there is no shortage of novelty diet programmes promising to help you lose weight fast.

    The big question is, do they work? Most do lead to fast – sometimes dramatic – weight loss, but only for the pounds to creep back on again at the end of the diet.

    More worryingly, many fad diets are based on dodgy science or no research at all, prescribing eating practices that are unhealthy and can make you ill.

    In 2011, the British Dietetic Association warned against following popular diets such as the Dukan diet, which it said was complicated, not based on scientific evidence and reportedly did not lead to long-term weight loss.

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