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    You Ask, I Answer: Dissociated Diets

    dissociated-dietsA friend of mine says the best way to lose weight is with a dissociated diet.

    She showed me her menu.  One day she can eat all the fruit she wants, and nothing else.

    The next day is a meat day, then a vegetable day, etc.

    She says that this makes the body work more and burn more calories since you are tricking it.

    Why is that?

    — Therese (last name withheld)
    Queens, NY

    Human beings are funny creatures.  You have to admit, we can give ourselves too much credit at times — especially when it comes to believing we can trick human physiology with fad diets.

    Can you lose weight with a dissociated diet?  Yes.

    Is a dissociated diet the best way to lose weight?  Absolutely not.

    Remember, losing weight is not difficult.

    The challenging parts are:

    • losing weight in a way that is healthy and keeps nutrition at the forefront
    • losing weight and maintaining that weight loss over a long period of time

    Dissociated dieting does not meet either of those two requirements.

    Bottom line — there is absolutely no basis for dissociated dieting.  Limiting yourself to one food group every 24 hours does not speed up metabolism, “trick the body”, or perform any other magic.

    This kind of eating pattern “works” (for a short amount of time) because it turns eating into a dull and boring “task”.  How much enjoyment can you get from eating nothing but meat or fruit for an entire day?

    Additionally, by limiting you to one food group each day, it automatically restricts your caloric intake.

    On a “meat” day, for example, you can’t have that food as part of a sandwich, a wrap, a sushi roll, or even a salad.  Nor can you have that food with a side of, well, anything.

    By the fourth day on this kind of diet, you lose a pound or two… and your sanity.



    1. Anjuli Ayer said on November 3rd, 2009

      Not to mention the fact that our bodies do not store fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, and cannot store them in a 24 hour period. So if you are eating, say, a lot of vitamin C on your fruit day, you won’t even be absorbing these nutrients. In addition, tricking the body and making it work faster only turns us into more inefficient creatures. If you’re willing to lose some mental capacity to shave a couple of pounds by starving your brain of carbohydrates, you’ve probably got some larger problems to look into.


    2. Andy Bellatti said on November 3rd, 2009


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