Fad Diet Series: 7 Day All You Can Eat Diet

Of all the misleadingly named diets out there, this is probably the worst. The medical weight loss consultimplication of the diet is that you get this huge buffet of foods spread before you that you can dig into and still lose weight, but the truth is that you will be eating a very restricted diet for the seven days that this diet lasts.

Understanding the All You Can Eat Diet

As with many of these crash fad diets, the 7 Day All You Can Eat Diet has a strict plan for what you eat on each of the days. Here’s how it goes:

  • Day 1: Eat all the fruit you want, except banana

  • Day 2: Eat all the vegetables you want, with soy sauce, vinegar, or mustard

  • Day 3: Eat all the fruit and vegetables you want

  • Day 4: 5 bananas with 5 glasses of milk

  • Day 5: 4 3-ounce steaks (beef, chicken or fish) with fresh vegetables

  • Day 6: Same as Day 5

  • Day 7: Same as Day 5

So, as you can see, although you can technically eat all you want of fruits or vegetables, you aren’t really being allowed to eat all you can. Instead, your diet is so heavily restricted that you’re likely to create a calorie deficit.

The theory is that eating more nutrient-rich foods will give your body a sense that it is doing better receiving the nutrients it needs and therefore will lose your hunger. Also during the period, there is no exercise recommended. It’s worth noting that the original version of this diet didn’t necessarily include the 7-day plan above, but, rather, included a wide assortment of fruits and vegetables, emphasizing “fat-burning” “BOMs”: berries, onions, and mushrooms.

Does It Work?

Proponents of the diet, including Dr. Mehmet Oz (who was recently called before Congress to answer charges that he was misrepresenting nutrition claims on his show), claim that you can kick-start your weight loss and lose 10 pounds in a week. Although proponents claim they have done studies to prove the effectiveness of their diets, they haven’t published in medical journals about their weight loss success. Instead, if you look at the actual published records of their diets, the success rate is actually very poor.

In 2010, Dr. Joel Furhman, the nutritionist who invented the 7-day, published a paper on one of the concepts he talks about on the Dr. Oz, show, that eating a high nutrient density diet will stop the so-called “toxic hunger” that made people constantly want to keep eating. According to this survey, about 80% of people said that they had experienced a change in their hunger, with 51% saying they experienced a dramatic or complete change in hunger.

But what about weight loss? This is where the story gets pretty ugly for Dr. Fuhrman’s claims. In 2008, he reported a retrospective weight loss study on 56 patients who undertook his high nutrient density diet. Of these patients, only 33 were still on the diet after a year (59%), and these patients lost an average of 31 pounds. Only about 19 patients returned for follow-up after two years (34%), and over the two years the average weight loss was 53 pounds. In other words, this diet has perhaps a 60% chance of resulting in weight loss of about a half pound a week, and only a third can get those results after two years.

Based on this data, it sure seems that this is hardly an effective diet.

If you are tired of fad diets and are looking for effective weight loss in Denver, please contact Med-Fit Medical Weight Loss Clinic.

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Dr. Angela Tran