The Clean & Lean Diet

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Want to know Elle Macpherson's trade secrets? Then you'd best read the Clean & Lean Diet, developed by her personal trainer and fellow Aussie, James Duigan.

The Clean & Lean Diet is exactly how it sounds, and unlike many other diet books, is gimmick free. It recommends going back to nature with pure, organic foods and cutting out the nasty stuff, such as caffeine, refined sugar (Duigan dedicates a whole section to how nasty that stuff is for your body), alcohol and processed foods.

The book, which promises "your best-ever body" is divided into two parts. The first part is dedicated to cleansing your system of the toxins that make you fat and outlining the foods and drinks that will help you lose weight and make you feel energised. The second half of the book describes the 14-day kickstart program, with a complete meal plan endorsed by nutritionist Alice Sykes, recipes to make at home and illustrated exercises.

"So do you need to be a supermodel, with hours of time to exercise to get results from Clean & Lean Diet?" Duigan is often asked. "Absolutely not," he told Health & Wellbeing. "That's my fiancé on the [book] cover. She's a normal person with a full-time job, and she lost 8kg following the Clean & Lean Diet."

Duigan's promise? "So now read on, follow each step and watch your body transform," he writes. "I promise you, this works."

Watch the video above to see James and Lee from Bodyism go through their favourite body-toning exercises for you to do at home.

Health & Wellbeing's verdict

Well, Macpherson's obviously in tip-top shape. But will the diet get results for the rest of us? Health &Wellbeing road-tested the diet to find out.

"After reading The Clean & Lean Diet I felt inspired to try the 14-day kickstart, as I consume more 'nasties' than I'd like to admit (namely white wine, Diet Coke and chocolate), and as a result I am often dragging myself through the day, picking myself up with more caffeine and sugar," Health & Wellbeing producer Holly Enriquez says.

"The kickstart involved cutting out all of the processed, sugary foods and eating loads of vegetables, lean meats and fish and nuts. It also limits fruit due to its high sugar content but still allows one (organic) coffee a day, which was a huge relief!" she says.

"The diet was relatively easy to follow and because it's protein-rich, I didn't felt like I was 'dieting' as I never went hungry. The only thing I couldn't come to terms with was eating chicken for breakfast, so I swapped this for the other options such as eggs, smoked salmon or a protein smoothie."

"After 14 days I have noticed a real difference. I have more energy and have been in a better mood (no more grumpy mornings). A friend of mine also commented on how clear my skin was looking! And the scales reveal that I have lost 1.5kg — most of it from my tummy it seems, which is less bloated," Enriquez says.

"I am definitely going to carry on some of the principles from the book into my normal diet. It's amazing how strong your will against your sugar cravings can be when you see the benefits!"

More about James

Fifteen years ago James Duigan moved from Adelaide to London to study fitness and personal training. He met Elle Macpherson four years later when she approached him at the gym where he was working, and asked if he would train her.

"We worked on my body, attitude, balance, strength and consistency," Macpherson writes in the forward, describing her work-outs with Duigan.

"James' approach is non-gimmicky and straightforward. Soon I became in the best shape ever — mentally and physically."

Duigan also works with Hugh Grant, Victoria's Secret models, international royalty and many other celebrities. Five years ago he launched his own company, Bodyism, which is one of the most exclusive gyms in the UK.

The Clean & Lean Diet, by James Duigan is published by Kyle Cathie ($27.99).

Watch the video above to see James and Lee from Bodyism perform their favourite body-toning exercises for you to do at home.

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