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Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017

Diet Smashing

Posted Friday, July 25, 2008, at 10:41 AM

After two weeks straight of barbeque celebrations from the fourth of July through various family birthday parties, my husband and I noticed our clothes were starting to feel a little snug. Even after cutting two thirds of my hair off, I'm still a few pounds heavier than I was at the start of this summer. We had watched the show Celebrity Fit Club, and thought that Dr. Ian Smith seemed like a knowledgeable, reasonable guy, so we decided to try his Fat Smash Diet.

The Fat Smash Diet is divided into four phases over a ninety day period. According to Smith, the purpose of four phases is to re-wire the dieter's relationship to food and activity toward a healthy lifestyle. The strictest phase of the diet is Phase I, the detox period. While Smith explains that this phase will "clean your body and mind of impurities naturally without fasting or putting any toxins into your system," he gives no scientific evidence as to why such a restrictive diet is necessary for weight loss. The foods NOT allowed during this nine day phase include: meat, white rice, all types of bread, anything with sugar, any caffeinated beverages, sports drinks, sodas (diet or regular), cheese, dried fruits, fish, whole eggs, and fried foods. But don't worry. You can have as much tofu, chick peas, and lentils as you like. Yum! And, oh yeah, all the fruits and vegetable you like. Don't get me wrong. I love fresh fruits and vegetables, but without a little more protein and fat in your diet, you will be hungry thirty minutes after eating a salad.

But the restrictive food list was not the real problem for me, because to be honest, I was so bored from my food choices, that I didn't really want to eat. My biggest problem was quitting coffee cold turkey. Smith seriously underestimates the effects of caffeine withdrawal combined with such a minimalist diet. Such a restrictive diet sets a person up for serious failure. Anyone used to a cup of coffee every morning before work is likely to have a caffeine withdrawal headache by noon of the first day of this diet. Most dieters still have to go to work or take care of their children, and they need to be functional. While the blinding, caffeine-withdrawal headache I had for the first two days was an eye opener for me about my addiction to coffee, I still don't understand what a diet guru has against a zero calorie beverage. It's down right cruel!

I could go into explaining the next three phases of the diet, but since my hubby and I couldn't last beyond the first two days of phase one, I really don't see the point. Yes, anyone with willpower of steal who can follow the Fat Smash Diet to the letter will lose weight. However, more realistic diet and exercise programs, such as Weight Watchers, Body for Life, and Nutrisystem, are equally effective, less restrictive, and have a lower drop out rate. Diets are only effective if they are reasonable enough for dieters to follow. If anyone else wants to share their diet successes or frustrations, feel free to post them here. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to finish guzzling my coffee.

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Lori Savery-Hinze
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