Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Crazy Diets

Almost everyone trying to lose weight, or just trying to feel better, is looking for the perfect food. For me it's my morning smoothies, but others are trying or are forced into other unusual choices. Here are several crazy diets I read about yesterday.

The Beef Jerky Diet

Steve of Best Beef Jerky Beef Jerky Reviews and Beef Jerky Diet Blog is trying to save money and lose weight by following his diet of consuming primarily the free beef jerky that manufacturers send him, V8 juice and water. As he points out, the diet is low fat and high protein, but it's also high in sodium and preservative and low in fiber. Steve claims that the beef jerky diet is also low carbohydrate, but most manufacturers add sugar for curing and flavor. With 20-30 grams of carbohydrates, almost none of which are fiber, in a 4 oz serving, I wouldn't count his diet as low carbohydrate. Recently, Steve has reported that he's been getting groggy and blacking out when he stands up. I applaud him for scheduling a visit with his doctor. Steve's been successful in losing weight because the protein in the jerky spaced out through the day keeps him feeling full enough to significantly cut back his calories. I don't think the beef jerky diet is going to continue much longer. Although he's managed to lose about 30 pounds, I hope that he hasn't permanently injured himself following this diet.

The Prison Diet

Any diet that is low enough in calories compared to your metabolism will cause you to lose weight. According to The Associated Press, Broderick Lloyd Laswell has filed a federal court suit because he has lost 105 of his 415 pounds over eight months while subsisting on three cold meals per day providing 3000 calories per day in Benton County Jail. Laswell has been experiencing persistent hunger, blurry vision and feeling like he was going to pass out. It's not surprising that Laswell is losing weight as he would need more than 4000 calories per day to maintain his weight. The reported average 1/2 pound of weight loss per day is not surprising, although it should taper off as he loses more weight. I would be surprised if Laswell lost his suit. Transgendered inmates must be maintained at the hormone levels at which they enter prison. The courts may eventually find that prisons must provide enough calories to maintain inmates at the weight at which they enter prison if desired. Starvation is torture and Laswell is being involuntarily starved given his caloric requirements. The imposed level of hunger that Laswell is probably experiencing cruel and unusual punishment, even though 3000 calories is plenty for most and I see no reason that jails or prisons should be required to provide hot meals, especially considering potential safety issues around preparing and serving hot food.

The Biggest Loser

Ali Vincent - Winner of Season 5 Biggest Loser from Diets in Review on Vimeo.

Ali Vincent lost 112 pounds, almost 48 percent of her original weight, as the winner of The Biggest Loser. She generated her weight loss by eating about 1200 calories and exercising 8 to 10 hours per day. For every 3500 calorie deficit, you will lose 1 pound. The amount of calories burned during exercise depends on the intensity of the exercise and how much you weigh. In the middle of her weight loss, when she was about 180 pounds, Ali would have been burning bout 10 to 17 calories per minute, or 600 to 1020 calories per hour, or 4800 to 10200 calories per day, assuming high intensity exercise. It's clear how her regimen caused her to drop the weight so quickly, however, most people would not have the time, determination or health to maintain such a rigorous workout schedule with such limited caloric intake. I'm curious what her maintenance regimen will look like in the long run.

My Plan

My weight loss plan is not a crazy diet. I'm doing Weight Watchers and have lost 14 pounds in 3 months in addition to the 10 pounds I lost during IVF treatments. I currently get over 30 points, about 1500 calories per day, and I have been doing 30 minutes of intense exercise 2 to 3 times per week. I don't want to exercise extremely and risk aggravating previous serious injuries. I'm not in a hurry and prefer to give my body time to adjust as I lose the weight. I'm very happy with my progress and plan to continue for many months.

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1 comment:

Steve said...

Thanks for the link. I gave you a mention in return on Beef Jerky Diet.

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