The Honey Diet: is this the new 5:2?

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Honey, fertility
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Ok, bear with us, because we couldn't believe it when we heard it either. But according to new research, you could drop as much as a dress size in 3 weeks just by eating a spoonful of honey before bed every night!


How can something that's sweet and sugary help towards losing weight, we hear you cry?

Well, according to founder and nutritionist Mike McInnes, it's all down to the metabolic power of honey. He's found that honey triggers changes to the metabolism that ensures you won't succumb to those pesky sugar cravings we all fall foul of, and it even helps to burn fat while you sleep!


Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?

No calorie counting, no strict starvation diet, no expensive foods, and you can still lose up to 3lbs a week while you sleep. McInnes says the secret to the Honey Diet all lies in replacing sugar with honey. The natural sugars found in honey make it a near-perfect weight-loss food, which means you can still enjoy the family meals, snacks and treats usually banned on other diets as long as you substitute sugar for honey throughout the day and add a large spoonful to a hot drink before bed. Stick to this, plus a few more simple rules, and the mechanisms that tell your brain you're craving sugar can be stopped!


So how does it work? 

The diet is said to work so well because the body burns more fat during the first few hours of sleep than at any other time, including exercise. This, coupled with the exclusion of refined sugar from your diet - a step that would rebalance the brain signals that tell us we need even more sweet stuff once we start to feel a dip in energy from refined sugar - could lead to amazing results for your figure.


The Honey Diet - what you need to know 


Forget starving yourself and expensive health foods - follow these simple rules and you could lose up to 3lbs in a week! Why not pin them to your fridge to help you remember?


What can I eat? 


1. Replace sugar with honey

We've all been programmed to think that fat is the enemy when it comes to weight loss, but there is a lot of evidence to suggest that the real villain is sugar. Cut out all sugar, including sweeteners, by using honey as an alternative. Start your day with honey in hot water, replace sugar with honey in tea and coffee, on cereal, and in all your cooking throughout the day.


If, like us, you're a bit of a snacker, try spreading honey on wholemeal toast or a wholemeal cracker, or add a teaspoon to some natural yogurt. Most importantly, don't forget to drink some hot water with one or two tablespoonfuls of honey in 30 minutes before bed. 


2. Choose unrefined carbs

The refined white flour found in white pasta and white rice can cause blood sugar spikes. Wholemeal bread, pasta and brown rice are fibre-rich so they are good for your digestion, take longer for your body to process and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Make sure that the wholemeal carbs make up less than a quarter of your meal, and fill your plate with protein and vegetables. 


Worried you'll feel hungry with less carbs? Try filling up on beans and lentils instead of potatoes and bread as often as possible and make your new mantra less 'carbs with everything' and more 'carbs on the side'.


3. Protein, protein, protein

By making sure you have protein in every meal, you will feel fuller for longer and avoid blood sugar spikes leading to cravings. Try to keep protein as lean as possible to keep the calories down, such as fish (not breaded or battered), chicken (no skin), pork (fat trimmed), beef (steak or 5% fat mince) or eggs. 


Also, don't forget vegetable sources of protein such as hummus, peanut butter, lentils, beans and pulses!


4. Salad, veg and fruit

It probably goes without saying when it comes to dieting, but there's no such thing as too much salad and vegetables when it comes to the Honey Diet. Try to aim for two pieces of fruit a day too. As it can be high in sugars, opt for low-carb fruits such as berries and rhubarb.


5. Full-fat dairy

It may seem odd to include full-fat diary in a list of things you can eat on a diet, but when the fat is stripped from dairy products it usually means they're replaced with bulking agents, sweeteners and sugars. But don't go too crazy. Just a small pot of yogurt or cottage cheese, a small piece of cheese and around a pint of milk a day is all you need.


What can't I eat?


1. Say goodbye to junk food

This diet only works if you avoid empty calories present in processed foods. So as well as steering clear of sugary snacks such as cakes and biscuits, you'll also need to cut out crisps, diet fizzy drinks, fried food, processed food (anything in a packet), takeaways and pastries.


2. No carbs one day a week

As well as cutting out unrefined carbs, take one day a week to completely steer clear of carbohydrates altogether. This means no bread, pasta, flour, potatoes, rice and cereal. 


So what on earth can you eat!? We're the first to admit that a day without carbs won't be easy, but by sticking to fruit and veggies, meat and fish, not forgetting eggs, yogurt, nuts and seeds, you're much less likely to be storing any unwanted nasty fat.


3. Bye bye potatoes 

The most likely culprit to send your body's insulin levels soaring, the Honey Diet recommends a complete ban on all forms of potato - so that's crisps, chips, boiled, mashed, baked and roated. Sorry guys!


How about some meal ideas?


We've put together some lunch and dinner recipe ideas for you to try if you decide to give the Honey Diet a go!



Pumpkin and orange soup

Spiced carrot and lentil soup (pictured)

Smoked salmon and broccoli frittata

Peppered tuna with warm bean salad

Chicken and white bean soup 





Honey glazed sesame salmon

Honey mustard chicken 

Honey soy glazed tuna

Smoked salmon salad with Dijon honey dressing (pictured)

Honey, lemon and ginger stir-fry

Chicken, lentil and butternut squash salad 



Want to know more? You can buy The Honey Diet by Mike McInnes, published by Hodder & Stoughton, on 2nd January for £13.99. To pre-order a copy at £12.49 (p&p free) call 0844 472 4157

Where to next? 

How to lose weight fast 

Bad diet habits you didn't know you had

The 8 Hour Diet


Are you going to be trying the Honey Diet? Or do you know someone who's had success with it? Let us know in the comment box below! 

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Raw Honey is best people! Large scale tests on US supermarket honey now reveal that roughly 75 percent of honey on the market isn't even real. According to investigation by Food Safety News, today's mass produced honey is often times void of real pollen, artificially processed and laundered from China. Honey manufacturing experts and the World Health Organization agree that real honey must contain true microscopic particles of pollen, to be considered real, with an identifiable source. Honey void of pollen is an artificial, nutrition-void, watered-down scam Much of the honey hitting supermarket shelves is derived from an ultra filtering procedure that heats honey to high temperatures, forcing the natural substance at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen. In this way, manufacturers conceal the identity of the source of the honey, which is a technique used by the Chinese, who have illegally dumped tons of their honey on the U.S. market for years. The Chinese are responsible for dumping dangerous antibiotics, artificial sweeteners, and leeching copious amounts of heavy metals into imported honey products.


Thanks, Sandra. I do try to cut down on bread, but sadly, Cheese is one of my favourite foods. You'll be pleased to know that I haven't had any today. I had a toasted bagel for breakfast, and a sardine pate sandwich with lettuce and tomato (on wholemeal, seeded bread) for lunch. Turkey steak with mashed potato, cauliflower and carrots, for tea. I don't really fancy getting the norovirus, though! I had a bout of that about three years ago, and was in hospital for Christmas day morning! Hope that you are reasonably fit and well, now.

Sandra Clarke

Hi CBB I too am 66, my digestive system doesn't cope too well with fats ,onions and garlic but like you I eat loads of fruit and veg. Since losing weight last winter with a bout of norovirus, I stopped eating cheese and bread and the weight hasn't come back. So my advice is to steer clear of them and hopefully the weight will come off. Good luck! SJC47


Honey Diet I intend to try this. I am getting married in July next year and want to lose at least two stone (though I accept that this may be a bit ambitious). I don't care for sweet foods, but will struggle to do without potatoes. I don't eat takeaways at all, though I do usually have half a standard pizza cooked at home (eaten with pasta and sauce) once a week. I've tried sweet potatoes - but find them TOO sweet. I'm very "picky" with my food. Dislike onions, mushrooms, and garlic - and generally find recipes, wherever they are sourced from, will usually include one or more of these foods. I enjoy fish, and always have fresh fruit and vegetables every day. I dislike "fatty" foods of any kind. Do not have fried foods, and always cut off any fat from meat. Despite what most "experts" agree is a reasonably healthy diet, i weigh far too much for my height of 5' 2". I am 66 years of age. Wish me luck, readers!

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