NEW DIET FAD IS SEMI-STAR­VA­TION

CityPress - - News - ZINHLE MAPUMULO zinhle.mapumulo@city­press.co.za My take: Zinhle Mapumulo – What Dr Peter Hill says about this diet:

There is never a short­age of di­ets that prom­ise to make weight loss eas­ier and quicker. Many claim that obe­di­ent fol­low­ers will shed ki­los within days and even keep it off for good.

To put this to the test, I em­barked on the lat­est fad diet on every­body’s lips – the 13-day me­tab­o­lism diet.

Any­one who has ever been on the 13-day me­tab­o­lism diet – or the cof­fee diet as some call it – will know that it is tor­ture sold as a quick weight-loss plan. The diet tests you to the limit, es­pe­cially if – like me – you’re some­one who loves sweet del­i­ca­cies and be­lieves pasta should be a sta­ple food.

If you’re won­der­ing what a 13-day me­tab­o­lism diet is, well, it’s an eat­ing plan that re­stricts your calo­rie in­take by dras­ti­cally re­duc­ing the amount of sugar and high­carb foods con­sumed.

The diet, which claims to melt away ki­los within a few days and keep it off for two years, changes each day, but pro­teins are a must and you have to eat three meals a day.

“Eat” in this con­text is a strong word. For ex­am­ple, on day one, a cup of black cof­fee with no sugar is your break­fast.

This will make your stom­ach rum­ble all morn­ing un­til re­lief ar­rives in the form of lunch, which is two boiled eggs and steamed spinach.

Hunger pangs in be­tween can only be re­lieved with a glass of wa­ter. There is grilled steak for din­ner, but you’ll still go to bed hun­gry.

Day two is a bit kin­der with two slices of whole­wheat bread with but­ter and black cof­fee – ob­vi­ously with­out sugar – for break­fast. For lunch, it’s grilled steak with a let­tuce and cu­cum­ber salad. Din­ner is ham – as much as you can eat.

I en­dured the first two days be­cause I was still in that I-can-do-it mind-set. Day three was prob­a­bly the worst – my growl­ing stom­ach woke me up.

As I pre­pared my lunch – two boiled eggs (again), green beans and a salad – I cursed the day I de­cided to do this.

I skipped break­fast that day be­cause I could not stom­ach bread and black cof­fee. By mid­day, I was at the can­teen order­ing a beef burger with potato wedges be­cause if I had eaten those boiled eggs and green beans, I swear I would have stran­gled some­body.

A beef burger had never tasted so good. But I must ad­mit I felt guilty af­ter­wards and tried to stick to the eat­ing plan for the fol­low­ing few days – sneak­ing a choco­late here and there. On day seven, you are al­lowed to eat any­thing you like.

But you know what? As painful as it was, I lost 2.5kg in two weeks. Although I am not to­tally happy with the end re­sult – I was aim­ing for 5kg – I am con­soled by the fact that I can squeeze into my tar­get dress with less help than be­fore.

A healthy diet is one based on con­trolled car­bo­hy­drates (no sugar or re­fined carbs like pasta and white bread), mod­er­ate pro­tein and suf­fi­cient healthy fats.

Low-fat or fat-free di­ets and prod­ucts are likely to be un­healthy, as they of­ten con­tain hid­den fats and sugar. That in­cludes mar­garine and cer­tain seed oils, such as sun­flower oil.

Avoid any­thing with added sugar, in­clud­ing sweet­ened bev­er­ages, fruit juice (loaded with sugar), cakes, bis­cuits, sauces and canned fruit.

Pay at­ten­tion to the con­sump­tion of fruit and starch-laden veg­eta­bles.

Calo­ries do count, so por­tion size is im­por­tant. If you want to lose weight, eat less.

Watch the pro­teins – meat, fish, eggs, It’s good for you, but we need much less of it than we think we do.

This is a low-carb, low-fat and low-kilo­joule diet. Most of the weight loss is prob­a­bly due to wa­ter loss and some fat, and per­haps even mus­cle-mass loss be­cause it is in ef­fect a semi-star­va­tion diet.

This diet is un­healthy and un­sus­tain­able be­cause you are es­sen­tially starv­ing the body.

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