So we're at the grocery store, That Nice Boy I Married and I, picking up cocoa powder and cream of tartar so I could try making chocolate meringues. At the checkout there's the usual array of magazines, and on the cover of Women's World, one of the more inane of the women's magazines -- you know, one of the ones where nearly every headline throughout the magazine ends with an exclamation point: "Super-Easy, Super Delicious Family Suppers!" "Sense Your Way To Success!" Take The Work Out of Working Out!" Etc. The biggest, splashiest headline of all read TURBO LOW CARB! The San Diego miracle diet that's EASIER THAN ATKINS! Discover the "secret weapon" that blocks calories from being absorbed! LOSE 2 SIZES in 17 days!
Okay, I bit. Normally, I would have stood by the checkout and skimmed the article without buying, but we were in a hurry, so I ponied up the $1.79 so I could report back to you guys. So what is this new "miracle diet," and how is it "easier than Atkins?"
Devised by a Dr. Mike Moreno, it is, indeed, a low carb diet, I'm pleased to say. But it's a pretty low fat version, focusing on chicken breast, turkey breast, and white fish. It's split about 50/50 between whole eggs and whites-only. (Take a look here for the low down on the comparative nutritional value of whites and yolks.) It calls for low fat and fat free dairy, as well as fat free salad dressings.
I'm not a big fan of fat restriction, and weight my diet toward as much as 75% of calories from fat. Really low fat, low carb diets -- ie, nothing but lean protein -- are actually dangerous, will make you sick. Still, this version has some olive oil, and probably enough fat -- and carbs, from a fruit a day -- to prevent "rabbit sickness."
In fact, this reminds me a lot of the now-abandoned Weight Watchers "Core" program that my sister has done really well on. Wouldn't be my choice, but it's not a disaster.
It's the claims that this diet is "easier than Atkins" that make me snort. "...(T)here's no diet math -- no carbs to count, no equations to figure." Um, when was it that Atkins called for equations? Because I don't remember any equations being involved. Indeed, if you just stick to meat and eggs and a couple of cups of salad a day, you're fine, no figuring at all.
They're also claiming that it will keep you more "satisfied" than Atkins, but I find it hard to imagine being more satisfied with a ground turkey burger with fat-free cheese than I am with a rib eye steak. Too, Dr. Moreno wants you to add back two servings of concentrated carbs per day -- a serving being defined as a sweet potato or 1/2 cup of brown rice, oatmeal, or quinoa -- after the first 17 days. I don't know about you, but for me that would trigger major hunger, not to mention weight gain.
Oh, and that "secret weapon that blocks calories from being absorbed"? Probiotics. I have no idea if that's true, but they're good for you in a lot of ways, so I have no problem with 'em, so long as you're not eating sugary yogurt.
So there you go. If it sounds good to you, the book is called The 17 Day Diet. I'll probably go on eating the way I do, thanks.