It started first with the Ultimate New York Body Plan, which was based upon similar principles of that used in the TV show series, "Extreme Makeover". Now, the follow up diet, The Ultimate New York Diet is starting to gain real popularity. Is the diet really a good choice to follow?
This diet was founded by the owner of Manhattan's Madison Square Club, David Kirsch. He has also personally trained a variety of celebrities including the famous supermodel, Heidi Klum.
The program is touted to have the benefits of being able to maximize nutritional intake, stabilize hunger and support metabolism, all things that most dieters are looking for.
The plan goes by an easy to remember guideline named the 'A, B, C, D, E' list that lets you know which foods you should be avoiding. These include:
- Starchy Carbs
- Extra Sweets
- Fruit and Fats.
Because this plan cuts out so many foods, this really helps to ensure that it is in fact lower in calories, which again means an easier time for you in the weight loss department. Obviously you could still end up gaining weight if you over did it on the foods that are allowed, however with a drastically reduced selection it will be more difficult.
Kirsch claims that you should be able to expect to lose up to 14 pounds while on the diet, which includes 5 inches off your waist in the very first two weeks on the plan. This in itself demonstrates that the diet may be slightly overreaching in what will actually happen as losses like this are extremely atypical, if not impossible to achieve (assuming it is true weight loss and not simply water weight).
The food selection on this diet does tend towards a high protein, low carbohydrate approach so water weight is likely lost in the first place - hence he is able to make claims such as the one above. The problem is that once people moderate the plan again, if they choose to do so, that original fourteen pounds won't stay off.
The diet itself is divided into three phases that are meant to last for an eight week duration however Kirsch does stress that it is a diet that can be maintained for a lifetime.
The first phase of the diet is like the introduction and is what will be most strict, to really kick start the weight loss process. It will only last for two weeks however so it is something that is manageable by most people.
You should also aim to consume as much water as possible during this time as well because whenever on a higher protein diet your body will require more water intake to help the kidneys.
During this stage your calorie level is recommended to be 800 to 1000 calories.
During the second phase you are allowed to add one extra carbohydrate containing food to your diet per day.
All of these are slow digesting forms and will have less of an impact on your blood sugar levels.
This phase also lasts for a two week duration and will bring the calories up slightly, but still to only about 900 to 1100.
Finally the diet finishes off with the third phase, which is also classified as the 'lifelong' phase that you could follow for an indefinite period of time.
Basically what you want to start doing during this phase is slowly introducing more variety in your diet while still keeping a lower carbohydrate approach. You can allow yourself to cheat a little more on weekends for example but get back to the high-protein, low carbohydrate eating as soon as you can afterwards.
What About Exercise
Exercise is definitely recommended by the program however it is detailed in short ten minute bursts of exercise that you do at least once per day. No doubt that this is a good thing however because on a measly one thousand calories per day, you definitely won't have much energy to do any more.
So How Does This Diet Stack Up?
In general this diet does take a good approach in terms of limiting carbohydrates to lose weight. Because of the fact that most people, when they do overeat, are overeating on highly refined and processed carbohydrate rich foods, eliminating these from ones diet will cause a weight loss.
However, the big faults of this program are:
- Not setting a strict recommendation for protein intake. If you are bringing calories to this low of a level, you better be making sure you are consuming 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight so you do not lose muscle mass. Furthermore, this program gives a general recommendation for calories levels. While 900 calories may be mildly appropriate for a 100 pound woman, for a 200 pound male, it will likely put him into a state of extreme starvation.
- Not setting a fat guideline. The diet says that you should be eliminating most fats, however nuts are recommended. While nuts are definitely a good source of healthy fats, unless you are actively making sure to consume enough, in the long term you could suffer real health consequences on a very low fat and low carbohydrate diet.
- For the first two weeks, if protein is sufficient, it might be alright, but after that, at the very least fat should be brought up to about 0.5 grams per pound of body weight (at which point protein could come down to one gram per pound).
- This program makes no strong recommendations about what to eat before or after a workout, therefore if you are working out quite intensely, after the initial two week phase one portion you will probably suffer an extreme crash from lack of muscle glycogen in the body (since there are no carb up periods implemented either).
All in all this is not a plan for someone who is looking to put in some good workouts along with their diet. It might be a good plan (assuming the above modifications are made) for those who only do some casual walking throughout the day or only hit the weight room a few times a week and perform very low volume lifting, but for the vast majority it is just not going to cut it.
The diet will in no doubt give you weight loss, at that calorie level it would be hard not to, however the weight loss you experience is likely to be composed of a large amount of lean tissue so you will not be really any better off because of it.