But a new book by diet expert Zoe Harcombe, The Harcombe Diet - £7.99, Accent Press - claims we could all banish bloating and lose up to 14lbs in five days. Here’s how…
Start by eliminating the foods that can cause sensitivity which leads to bloating. 'You can have meat, fish, eggs, salads, vegetables, although not potatoes, and natural live yoghurt in unlimited quantities, with 50g dry weight of brown rice allowed daily, so you will also not be hungry during the diet – and even enjoy soup with main meals as long as it's wheat- sugar- and dairy-free,' Zoe says.
'And you can drink herbal teas, decaffeinated tea and coffee, no milk. Snack on natural live yoghurt, crudités, hard boiled egss or any plain meat or fish.' For more information, visit www.theharcombediet.com.
Day 1 - Breakfast: Bacon and eggs - the bacon should be fresh from the butchers, not packaged with added ingredients. Lunch: Salade Niçoise - lettuce, cucumber, pepper strips, tomatoes, cold green beans, anchovies, tuna steak or tinned tuna, hard boiled egg, olive oil, seasoning; natural live yoghurt. Dinner: Chicken and vegetables stir-fried in olive oil, with brown rice
Day 2 - Breakfast: NLY or 100g brown rice cereal - Kallo is a good brand - with soya milk. Lunch: Plain or ham omelette made with eggs, herbs, seasoning and a knob of butter - no milk; mixed salad. Dinner: Fresh salmon to start, followed by steak and a selection of vegetables
Day 3 - Breakfast: Scrambled eggs made with eggs, seasoning and a knob of butter - no milk. Lunch: Cold cuts of meat and brown rice salad - brown rice cooked and left to cool with chopped peppers, cucumber, spring onions, celery added. Dinner: Roast leg of lamb with rosemary & a selection of vegetables; NLY
Day 4 - Breakfast: Haddock in butter or 100g Brown rice cereal. Lunch: Chef’s salad - mixture of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions, celery, diced ham, chicken and/or turkey, hard boiled eggs, olive oil. Dinner: Pork chops or salmon steaks and selection of vegetables
Day 5 - Breakfast: Plain or ham omelette - as before. Lunch: Roast chicken with vegetables or salad; home-made coleslaw -shredded cabbage, carrots and onions, mayonnaise made with egg yolk, seasoning & sunflower oil - NLY. Dinner: Paella - brown rice, Mediterranean vegetables and seafood.