2017-03-08 / Features

As I See It: A Diet That Works


Anyone in the reading audience believe in diets? Anyone ever get involved with one that works? Well, I’ve got a winner and it involves only some minor sacrifice. Believe it or not, there is no need to exercise. There is also no need to give up food that you have come to love, e.g. pizza, spaghetti, rib eye steak, Caesar salad, ice cream, cookies and pastry, bread, French fries, etc. Here is some background information.

In terms of introduction, the reader should be aware that most of the diet claims in print and on TV are based on eliminating salt from your intake. Reducing salt results in a net decrease of water in your body. This accounts for the claims that “you will lose 5 pounds the first week.” And once one returns to a regular diet, there is a 5-pound gain with no net loss in weight. In effect, back to square one. One question thus remains: how does one lose weight and not regain it?

Some time ago, my daughter gave me a book (for Father’s Day) titled The Fast Diet. She recommended I read it and give it a shot since I had repeatedly expressed a desire to lose some weight. Well, it was indeed a “fast” read. Here are specific details regarding the diet.

I refer to it as the “5-2” diet. Why? Over a week, you can eat anything you want for 5 days, but are restricted to 600 calories per day for 2 days. In effect, it involves intermittent fasting. The authors of The Fast Diet, Mosley and Spencer claim that “Fasting is nothing new. Your body is designed to fast. We evolved at a time when food was scarce; we are the product of millennia of feast or famine. The reason we respond so well to intermittent fasting may be because it mimics, far more accurately than three meals a day, the environment in which modern humans were shaped.” So, fasting is an ancient fact that can evolve into a modern method of weight loss.

The authors’ claim that the diet has been embraced by numerous celebrities (including one of my not-so-favorite people, Beyoncé). More importantly, I too have adopted it for 8 months, and am still going strong. I lost 5 pounds the first three days and my weight has slowly but gradually decreased during the ensuing 8 months to where I have lost 15 pounds. It really has been gratifying since, like many others, I have never stayed on a diet for more than a month or two.

The net result of the diet is that I’m actually better looking than I was before (remember, Modesty is not my middle name). I may have also lost a few strands of whatever hair was there. My height? I may also be a bit shorter. But I do feel better, my shirts fit better, and I now need a belt for my pants.

What about the fast days? The authors have provided numerous recipes that can “best suit your fast days.” My wife Mary has set up the following 600-calorie regimen:

Day 1: 2 hardboiled eggs with pepper and a tablespoon of mayonnaise – chopped up into a leaf of lettuce – for breakfast. Some combination of cucumbers, string beans, carrots and celery for lunch. Dinner consists of a 6-ounce no-fat steak with green peas and a lettuce salad, with some of her special dressing and a dab of feta cheese.

Day 2: Oatmeal with either 3 or 4 blueberries or a strawberry. Lunch remains the same. Dinner? An 8-ounce portion of tilapia or shrimp with peas and the same salad.

Note: There are NO appetizers or desserts or snacks during the 2 days. NONE!! Are there cravings, especially at night? Of course. But then, I’m reminded that I will have it tomorrow.

The calorie intake for both days is approximately 600 calories, and that includes lots of water. It turns out that there isn’t much to dieting at all. The major negative impact is that it has affected my social life, since there is no dining out for two days.

I’m often asked whether the 2 days must be consecutive. The answer is no. My two days are usually Monday and Tuesday, but have also been Monday and Wednesday. They were once Sunday and Wednesday and once Monday and Thursday.

Another positive feature of the diet is that it gets you thinking about calories. I no longer slather mayonnaise on my sandwiches; I use half as much. I no longer eat cookies. A tablespoon of ice cream has at times replaced a bowl of ice cream. On occasion, other portions are smaller. And it all has been relatively painless – so painless that I intend to stay with it.

Finally, the authors made some unsubstantiated beneficial claims on intermittent fasting, including:

 Can be beneficial against aging and disease

 Can increase longevity

 Can repair genes

 Can regenerate stem cells

 And (of course) result in lost weight.

I hope they are right.

Give the above a thought if you are interested in losing weight. I think it will be a rewarding experience if you try it. I also need to mention that there is another option. You can move to Venezuela, where it has been reported that individuals have lost 19 pounds during the short regime of their new dictator.

Visit the author at: www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page, Basketball Coaching 101.

The preceding story is not an endorsement by the Queens Gazette. As always, clear any diet or exercise regimen with your doctor.

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