YOU: On a Diet

Following an appearance on Oprah, the YOU Diet has topped the diet book charts. Perhaps it’s the lighthearted nature of the YOU Diet’s creators, Dr. Michael F. Roizen and Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, who use comic metaphors to explain complex behaviors of the human body. Or perhaps it is their philosophy, which contends that you need to understand the “why” in order to carryout the “how to” and have successful weight loss. This means understanding your body’s basic (and a bit more advanced) functions, and how emotions, behavior, eating and activities all play a role in them. It is their contention that it is this knowledge that is the real weapon against fat – not willpower or locking your refrigerator to prevent midnight snacking. The YOU Diet motto is to work smart, not hard.

What makes YOU: On a Diet different?

Along with offering basic exercise and healthy eating guidance, the YOU Diet explains nitty-gritty scientific jargon in a simple, humor-filled way that allows you to really understand the importance of healthy eating and daily exercise. This plan, as opposed to many diets out there, believes in making small changes to eventually reach your weight loss goal. One way the diet portion of the plan differs from others is that it contends that eating the same healthy meals on a day-to-day basis will lessen your choices and enable weight loss.

What is YOU: On a Diet?

The YOU Diet believes that you need to.stop trying and start living.. You need to reprogram your body so that your food choices and overall lifestyle become enjoyable and energizing routines, not stressful burdens. A fourteen day meal plan (seven days repeated twice) will enable you to eat smart, and not work so hard at it. Once you have mastered the two week plan, you will have developed eating and behavioral patterns that will help you lose weight long term.

Although the meal plan is based on a 1,700 calorie diet, the YOU Diet shows you how to calculate your calorie needs and see if you personally need to add or subtract calories. The YOU plan stresses that you must eat in order to lose weight. Starving yourself will only make your metabolism slow down and make your body hold on to the excess body fat that you are trying to lose. Here is what a typical day looks like on the YOU Diet:

Breakfast:1 slice of whole wheat bread with 1 teaspoon of peanut butter or apple butter.

Morning snack: Cut up carrots and celery.

Lunch: Veggie burger on a whole wheat bun with 1 tablespoon of fructose-free olive oil-based marinara sauce, a sliced tomato, romaine lettuce, and slices of onion.

Afternoon snack: 1/2 ounce of raw almonds and a banana.

Dinner: Asian salmon with brown rice.

Dessert (only every other day): 1 ounce of dark chocolate with sliced orange.

Beverage: Coffee or tea.

The meal plan is accompanied by recipes and shopping lists to make your life easier. None of the meal plan’s breakfasts, lunches or snacks take more than ten minutes to prepare, while the dinners take no longer than thirty minutes to make. The plan states that it is also imperative to always be prepared for hunger, and to surround yourself with healthy snacks that you can grab without thinking. Thus, various preparation techniques are suggested, including pre-cutting and bagging veggies like baby carrots and grapes, making a batch of a hearty soup (recipes given) and storing serving-size cups in the refrigerator, and always having “emergency foods,” such as a handful of peanuts, dried fruit, and edamame (baby soybeans) on hand.

Some rules to live by on this plan include the following:

Eat three main meals plus snacks daily, so you are never hungry.

No eating within three hours of bedtime.

Dessert is an every-other-day treat.

Use a 9-inch plate to help control portions.

Don’t count calories! Use a hunger scale to ensure that you are satiated after a meal and not overstuffed or underfed.

Day one on the plan involves cleaning out your fridge and going food shopping so that only healthy choices are available to you.

Have a support system, including friends and family.

Know that it is OK to make mistakes, as long as you recognize them quickly and get back on the program.

Other helpful hints are given for eating out and choosing appropriate food labels. Online support is also available in the form of email tips from the creators of the diet, an online community and downloadable workout videos. Beyond food, the diet claims that the perfect eating environment is essential to healthy eating. Bright lights, a warm room temperature, and conversation (rather he sound of music or TV) ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed while you eat.

What are the weight loss expectations?

By following the YOU Diet, you can expect to lose up to two inches off your waist within two weeks. It is advised not to use the scale or an exact number as your final weight loss goal. Instead you should use a weight loss range to account for daily weight fluctuations. You should check your weight, or even better, waist size, on a weekly basis.

Is exercise promoted?

Yes, the YOU Activity Plan is an essential part of this weight loss plan. It consists of strength training, stretching for flexibility and cardiovascular exercise. Everyday you need to walk thirty minutes. no matter what! You can do it thirty minutes straight or broken up into as many as three shorter sessions. Once your body is warm, you need to stretch for five minutes (stretches detailed are in the book or online).

Three times per week you need to do the “Twenty-Minute YOU Workout.” Exercises focus on your foundation muscles, including your thighs, chest, back, and abdominals. These exercises should be done as listed, which usually entails strengthening a muscle and then stretching it. This routine is set up for beginners, but more advanced dieters can adjust the simple exercises to match their skill level.

Are supplements recommended?

Several supplements are recommended, including a daily multivitamin. Other recommendations include having 2 grams of distilled fish oil for omega-3 fatty acids, a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon daily, and 10 tablespoons of cooked tomato sauce weekly. There are also supplements suggested for various health conditions, but as with all supplements, it is recommended to consult your physician first.