Types of Diets
The Atkins’ Diet
This diet (Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution, Dr. Atkins’ Super-energy Diet), ignores calories content and focuses on carbohydrate restriction; but unlike other low-carbohydrate programs, Dr. Atkins’ calls for no carbohydrates (at least for the first week). By doing this, the body begins to throw off ketones (tiny carbon fragments that are by-products of incompletely burned fat) in amounts sufficient to account for substantial weight loss. According to Dr. Atkins, because carbohydrates are the first fuel your body burns for energy, if none are taken in the body will draw upon stored fat for fuel, and as ketones are excreted, hunger as well as weight will disappear.
The pros and cons are many (especially since the diet also encourages high-fat consumption despite its inherent health hazard), but if you are on this diet, Dr. Atkins does recommended a high-potency vitamin supplement. I would suggest following the MVP program outlined in section 136, and taking an additional 1,000 mg. vitamin C with bioflavonoids if you’ve cut out all citrus fruit. Also at least 50 mg. B complex with morning and evening meal, 1 g. potassium divided over three meals, and 400 to 800 mcg. folic acid daily.
The Stillman Diet
Dr. Irwin Stillman’s Quick Weight Loss Diet, often called “The Water Diet” because it requires drinking eight glasses of water daily (in addition to all other beverages), is essentially an all-protein program—no fats or carbohydrates. It permits no vegetables or fruits, no dairy products or grains, and is said to burn up about 275 more calories daily than a diet that contains the same number of calories but includes other elements, such as carbohydrates and fats. You don’t count calories, but you’re not supposed to stuff yourself either, and the average weight loss in said to be between five and fifteen pounds per week.
Even Dr. Stillman recognized the need for supplementation while on his diet. He recommended a multivitamin-mineral tablet for anyone following his regimen, and a high-potency multivitamin-mineral tablet for anyone on it who is over forty or eating very small amounts of food.
My own feeling is that anyone on Dr. Stillman’s all-protein regimen should be taking a high-potency vitamin and chelated mineral tablet twice daily, along with 1,000 mg. vitamin C complex (time release) and a high-potency multiple chelated mineral tablet. Also, because the heavy water intake tends to flush the B vitamins as well as C from the body more quickly, a time-release vitamin B complex would be advisable, as would 400 to 800 mcg. folic acid and 1 g. potassium divided over three meals.
The Scarsdale Diet
This fourteen-day crash diet, on which you can lose up to twenty pounds, was created by the late Dr. Herman Tarnower and made famous in his book The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet (Rawson, Wade Publisher, Inc.) It is basically a variation on the low-calorie, low-fat, low-carbohydrate, high-protein regimen. The difference between the Scarsdale diet and the Stillman and Atkins diets is that Dr. Tarnower added a no-decision factor to his plan. In other words, you eat exactly what’s on the menu for each meal every day. And no switching, at least not for two weeks.
Taking all responsibility from the dieter—except that of following instructions—made the Scarsdale a popular and effective regimen.
As with any diet, because of the sudden cut in food intake, supplements are advised. A basic MVP should be taken if you’re on the Scarsdale. Also recommended are vitamin E (dry form), 200 to 400 IU daily, and a good B complex.
This is a long-term regimen that advocates three meals a day with measured portions of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Through the program is nutritionally well rounded, most Weight Watcher s that I’ve met agree that supplements have helped them keep up their energy while their calorie intake goes down. A multivitamin-mineral tablet, a multiple chelated mineral, and a vitamin C complex, 500 to 1,000 mg. taken one to two times daily should fill the bill.
The Drinking Man’s Diet
This is another low-carbohydrate, high-fat and high-protein diet, but with the added appeal of allowing alcohol to be part of the regimen. Allegedly based on the Air Force diet (the Air Force denies it), this one advocates keeping your carbohydrate count to no more than 60 g. a day.
The diet states specifically that it is for healthy people, and cautions adherents to get at least 30 g. of carbohydrates daily and enough vitamin C.
Anyone on this diet would be well advised to take a vitamin-C supplement, along with a general MVP regimen, and B complex three times a day because of the alcohol.
Liquid Protein and Cambridge Diets
These diets are dangerous and potentially lethal. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration has issued a new ruling that all protein supplements (liquid or powder) used in reducing diets must carry the following label:
Warning—Very low-calorie protein diets (below 800 calories per day) may cause serious illness or death. Do not use for weight reduction without medical supervision. Use with particular care if you are taking medication. Not for use by infants, children, or pregnant or nursing women.
The Cambridge Diet offers three liquid allegedly “nutritionally balanced” meals a day totaling 330 calories, which is an intake that can be aligned to semistarvation. Dr. Sami Hashim, a world-renowned expert in the treatment of obesity, has stated that “anyone who is on a diet of 600 calories or less should be in the hospital.”
Radical diets, such as these, can cause disastrous effects on the body, not the least of which being abnormal heart function and severe deficiencies in vital minerals due to extremely rapid weight loss. I couldn’t in good conscience offer supplement suggestions, since I firmly believe that these diets should not be undertaken without strict medical supervision.
Zen Macrobiotic Diet
Contrary to popular belief, this diet is not connected with the Zen Buddhists, but is the creation of a Japanese man named George Ohsawa. Through it has gained many adherents, it is nutritionally dangerous when strictly followed.
There are ten stages to the diet, and milk is prohibited. You start by giving up dessert and work backwards until you’re in the highest stage and eating nothing but grains, preferably brown rice. The diet, based on the oriental yin/yang philosophy, restricts fluid intake, which is dangerous, as is the lack of nutrients provided in meals consisting of nothing but brown rice. Followers believe that if your thoughts are right you can produce vitamins, minerals and proteins within your own body, and actually change one element to another.
Just in case you thoughts aren’t always right, it would be advisable if you are on this diet, or just a strict vegetarian one, to take supplements. A high-potency vegetarian multiple-vitamin and mineral tablet twice daily along with a good B complex with folic acid is recommended. Also vitamin B12, 100 mcg. one to three times a day.
This fourteen-day diet is for people who crave sweets. The secret is a supplement of fructose, a natural sugar, that not only satisfies your hunger and keeps up your energy, but allows you to lose a pound a day.
Developed by Dr. J. T. Cooper, the fructose diet is basically a low-calorie program, but by taking 36 to 42 g. of fructose a day you are supposed not to crave food. Unlike other dietary sugars, fructose doesn’t require insulin to enter the body’s cells. It is absorbed directly, eliminating the hypoglycemic (low-blood sugar) reaction brought on by excess insulin, which is what makes dieters feel hungry.
Fructose is obtained from vegetables such as artichokes and corn. It is available in powder, flavored 2-g. chewable tablets, and syrup.
Ten glasses of water daily are recommended along with supplements. An MVP is important, as is potassium, 99 mg. (elemental) taken three times a day—one tablet with each meal.
Kelp, Lecithin, Vinegar, B6 Diet
This low-profile but effective diet has been around for more than a decade and is still popular. The basic components of the diet can be obtained in 1 tablet that contains kelp, lecithin, apple cider vinegar, and vitamin B6. There are two potencies available: single and double strength. (With the single strength you take two tablets with each meal and with the double strength you take one.)
As with any diet that cuts down caloric intake, a good multiple-vitamin and mineral tablet taken with breakfast and dinner is recommended. Also a B complex and 1,000 mg. vitamin C (time release) twice daily.