I know, I know. Losing a pound a day may not sound like a healthy way to lose weight, but stay with me.
And in case you’re wondering, I’m not getting paid to promote some crazy diet. Not a penny. This blog is completely unbiased and just a helpful hint for those of you who may be dealing with weight issues like me.
I’ve shared my struggles with losing weight in previous blogs like My Menopausal Middle. In my 50’s as a post-menopausal woman, the weight just wouldn’t quit creeping up on my body. And losing weight seemed impossible.
In the past, I had used Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig to lose weight, but those diets didn’t seem to work for me anymore. I’d lose weight the first couple of weeks and then my body seemed to catch on that I was up to something and put a screeching halt to the whole process.
It’s still early on, but I think I found a new diet that actually works for me. I’ve lost five pounds in five days eating foods I actually like – and I don’t feel like I’m starving.
Before I reveal the name of the diet, however, let’s play a game of 20 questions – except we’ll only use five.
Who am I? Here are your hints:
- I used to be a fat guy.
- I am 49 years old and an award-winning chef.
- I had my own cooking reality show.
- I have written 11 cookbooks, including five New York Times best sellers.
- I was named People magazine’s “Sexiest Chef.”
Did you guess? If not, the answer is the very cute Rocco Dispirito.
As Rocco said in a recent New York Times interview, his doctor half-jokingly told him 10 years ago, “You might want to start writing your will because I don’t like what I see in your numbers.” With his parents’ history of heart disease, the doctor predicted a bad outcome 20 years down the road.
The doctor’s visit was a wake-up call. That and his inability to wear a regular chef’s jacket anymore, which he says was totally humiliating.
Two years ago, after watching Rocco on a TV show discuss his weight loss program, I went out and bought his book, The Pound a Day Diet.
I hated the name of the book, because it sounded like another Hollywood extreme fad diet. In fact, this diet has its share of critics because of the rapid weight loss and possible side effects.
For example, although a diet designed for quick weight loss can help keep dieters on track, ABC News’ Dr. Jennifer Ashton noted, she added that in some cases these types of diets can be associated with risks. Those risks include electrolyte abnormalities, cardiac consequences, and multiple other medical issues. So, with that in mind, clear this diet with your doctor before beginning.
Even though I was put off by the title, Rocco said in the TV interview that the diet was based on a Mediterranean diet with lots of veggies, fruits, and lean protein which were put into use in fast and easy-to-cook, tasty recipes. That part made sense to me.
Alas, my life got really crazy after that care giving for my Mom and I never got around to using the book. But last week, I pulled it off the bookshelf and decided to give it a try.
Now, the first phase of the diet is super strict – with six small protein-packed meals equaling only about 850 calories a day during the week and 1,200 calories on the weekend. This phase, with virtually no carbs, is meant only to be used for the short term to help motivate people with its quick results. Phase 2, shows you how to re-balance portion size, eat less meat, and add more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Phase 1 seemed too extreme to me, so I’m not being quite that strict. I’m eating more like 1,000 calories a day. Even so, for the first five days, I lost five pounds.
One of the staples of his plan is a morning chocolate shake packed with protein made up of just six ingredients. I used it a couple of times, but since I prefer real food over shakes for my meals, I usually stick with my typical oatmeal or cereal with fruit on top, half a glass of orange juice, and coffee for breakfast. Without the cereal, I was starting to crave some carbs and this breakfast fulfills that need so I don’t feel deprived.
The only recipe I can’t endorse is what Rocco calls “The Green Monkey” – a vegetable drink I just couldn’t tolerate. So I skipped that and chose a different snack. Everything else I’ve tried has been great and the diet has been pretty easy for me so far.
Here’s another tip. Rocco recommends drinking green tea. I’ve never liked it before, but I found one I love – Bigelow’s Green Tea with Wild Blueberry and Acai. Yum!
What I like best about the diet is that the recipes are healthy, easy, and fast – and the unique but simple combinations Rocco suggests are delicious.
Yesterday, I made the miso soup with shrimp for lunch – fabulous! For dinner, my husband and I used the Salisbury steak recipe and he loved it. (By the way, hubby has lost 11 pounds so far.) These are recipes I will continue to use even after I’ve lost my goal weight.
Now I hear Rocco has a new book out, Cook Your Butt Off! Lose Up To A Pound A Day With Fat-Burning Foods and Gluten-Free Recipes. According to reviews, the book looks at ways that people can slice calories from their favorite meals and turn their kitchens into home gyms. Ummm, that’s an interesting concept!
So, stay tuned. I’ll let you know in a few weeks if I keep losing weight and manage to keep the pounds off on Phase 2 of the diet.
If you have tried this diet or have any diet tips you’d like to share, please comment below. In the meantime, stay healthy and happy everyone!
Images courtesy of Stuart Miles and Serge Bertasius at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.