A few months ago, I bought The Clean and Lean Diet by James Duigan after seeing his name touted in all my favourite magazines as the man who has whipped stars like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Elle ‘The Body’ MacPherson into shape.
The book comes complete with a diet plan, recipes and an abundance of information on how to clean up your diet, along with some suggested exercises to help you tone up.
I have to say I found the introduction to the book fascinating; James offers lots of information on nutrition without glossing over anything – it really does make you think about what you are putting into your body.
The general concept of the diet is to not eat or drink anything that has been processed. Fizzy drinks? Ditch them. Crisps? Forget it. Caffeine? Is surprisingly allowed in small amounts…the idea is to eat things that are as close to their natural state as possible, and ideally organic.
As James explains, most animals have been pumped with antibiotics and hormones to make them grow as large as possible, meaning these toxins are passed into their meat. Eating organically cuts the toxins from hormones, pesticides and antibiotics and actually increases the amount of nutrients in fruit and vegetables.
The diet starts with a 14 day detox – an intense, low carbohydrate and incredibly clean two week diet to kick start your weight loss. This is what I followed; however as a pescetarian I had to amend much of the meal plan.
The drawbacks to this diet are that it is designed for carnivores, so vegetarians and vegans may really struggle. I did the best that I could though, substituting some meats for Quorn and extra fish instead. I’m aware that Quorn is highly processed so it probably doesn’t entirely conform to James’ clean plan, but it’s a lot less fatty than meat and still seemed to do the trick!
When I first cast a glance at the meal plan I was worried…(Quorn) Chicken and green beans for breakfast was a far cry from my typical porridge but I was willing to give it a go, and after a couple of days it didn’t seem too strange to be eating vegetables for breakfast – I even enjoyed it!
What was even more enjoyable was the weight loss. I was steadily losing 1lb a day for the first few days, but as James explains in the book this is down to ketosis – where the body flushes out excess water when it’s consuming a high protein and low carbohydrate diet.
If the concept of lots of protein reminds you of the Atkins diet, think again. The Clean and Lean diet doesn’t advocate cutting carbohydrates or eating excessive quantities of fatty proteins like cheese, butter and oils. Instead the idea is to eat food as close to its natural state as possible, with the most beneficial and natural sources of carbohydrates coming from the vegetables you will be eating in abundance throughout the 14 day kick start diet.
Some of the meals may take preparation or you may find it best to swap some of the lunches for dinnertime if it’s more practical for eating at work…either way, this diet is something that doesn’t require any specialist equipment or culinary skills so I believe it’s a plan that most people could benefit from.
While I was hungry for the first couple of days – 4 almonds doesn’t normally qualify as a snack – after a little while I got used to eating less and found that the protein was keeping me fuller for longer than usual. However I think that anyone who is really active should probably be eating a bit more, this is a very low calorie diet!
This intensive plan couldn’t really be continued in the long term, but as a 14 day diet perhaps before a holiday or big event I would definitely recommend giving this book a go. After 14 days I had lost 4lbs and particularly noticed a difference on my waist and thighs. Not quite at Rosie Huntington-Whiteley level but definitely an improvement!
The Clean & Lean Diet by James Duigan is available now on Amazon.
Have you tried the Clean & Lean Diet? If so, did it work for you?