So what does the book consist of?
-17 diet plans varying in the amount of carbohydrate they include depending on what phase of the diet you are in.
- 17 minute/day workout video
The whole idea of the diet is to boost your metabolism to keep it high as possible. Your metabolism is how effectively your body burns the food you eat as energy instead of storing it.
The concept is pretty straight forward: The doctor claims that you can reset the body's metabolism, then confuse it, then boost it and then maintain it.
Allow me to explain:
Phase 1: ACCELERATE (Day 1-17) The idea is to boost weight loss rapidly by cutting out almost all carbohydrates with the exception of two plain low fat yogurts and two low sugar fruits. Meats and starch-free vegetables are unlimited, a little bit of oil is also included. With all the restrictions it comes out to about 1200 calories. Still above what I would consider a starvation diet but if you are a fairly active individual, this will likely not be enough to sustain you. This phase is also very restrictive and a multi-vitamin may be needed at this phase.
Phase 2: ACTIVATE (Day 18-34) This phase reintroduces carbohydrate but using a technique called "carbohydrate cycling" meaning carbohydrates are added and removed throughout the week in an attempt to confuse the body's metabolism. The only thing added from the previous phase is two grain servings (bringing the total to about 1500 calories)
Phase 3: ACHIEVE (Day 35-51) This phase is meant to introduce healthy balanced eating. There is now a limit on meats, more fruits and grains are added and there is even an optional alcohol and 100 calorie snack option. The goal is still no processed or refined foods though.
Phase 4: ARRIVE (Day 52 onward). This phase is meant to maintain your weight. You are to stick to your plan through the week and only treat yourself on the weekend (but don't binge). If you regain more than 5 pounds you are supposed to go back to phase 2.
My thoughts on this diet?
I don't buy it.
1) Just watching the video on the website made me suspicious. People in the video claiming to have lost 10-20lbs in 17 days was an immediate red flag for me. Any sane health professional will tell you that if you want to lose weight at a healthy pace that gaurantees you are losing fat and that you will be likely to keep it off, would tell you no more that 1-2lbs/week is ideal. This is because when you lose faster then that you are losing water and muscle mass: two things that contribute to your metabolism. So when you lose these things, you ultimately make it more difficult to lose weight in the future.
2) There is no scientific evidence that carbohydrate cycling helps you to lose weight faster. There are certain foods that have been known to boost your metabolism such as green tea and grapefruit, but the increase is so minimal it really doesn't make a difference. This is a snake oil promise. The reason you lose weight at the start of this diet is because of the calorie deficit, not carb cycling.
3) Giving people the green light to go nuts on weekends with their diet is a bad idea. It doesn't teach you anything about long term weight maintenance and I've seen what happens when people 'let go' on the weekend.....they REALLY let go. Treats should be planned in rather than dedicated to a day.
The Pros of This Diet?
-Ignoring the first phase, the third phase appears quite balanced in my opinion
-The diet does not ignore the importance of exercise
-The doctor does talk about eating regularly to stop yourself from binging which is a big key to losing weight
The Cons of This Diet
-It teaches you no long term weight loss skills
-It's terribly restrictive in the first two phases. You are mostly losing water and definitely not getting enough vitamins
-It's dangerous for those prone to eating disorders, those with diabetes, teens, elderly and pregnant women
Really what this diet is trying to do is evoke an emotional response in you to think it's the solution to all your problems. Numbers can be magical that way because they act like the light at the end of the tunnel. It's not the first of its kind in that sense:
Remember The 7 minute workout? Thin in 30?
Diets aren't worth following unless they are sexy, exciting and make promises that are hard to believe.
Well let me tell you this one is hard to believe and I believe you are being scammed. In the end healthy effective weight loss is balanced eating while living and active lifestyle. It really just comes down to calories in versus calories out.
Carb-cycling doesn't solve your problems
Carbs are not evil
If you really look at the core of this diet, it makes sense why it might work: it encourages you to cut out the junk food, eat a less processed diet and be active everyday.
So here is a crazy idea:
-Cut out the junk food
-Eat less processed food
-Be active everyday
See what happens in 17 days :-)