Skip to main content

The Worst "Diet" Ever

I belong to a Facebook group called 'PMG': Physician Moms Group.  While I don't see eye to eye on every issue, there is a certain common ground by virtue of being female, physicians, and moms, and the group posts interesting articles.  Recently, one of the docs asked the group's advice on trying this diet: Military Diet Plan The group provided mixed responses, but I was horrified that any physician would consider this, either personally or to recommend to patients, and here are three reasons why:

1. Diets don't work. 

The word should be eliminated from our vocabulary.  The scientific literature supports this very strongly, that if you attempt to lose weight in a radical fashion, you may achieve a few short term gains or results, but within a year you will gain the weight back, and, most likely, put on a few extra pounds for good measure.  Best case scenario with this diet: lose 10-15 lbs rapidly, which will be muscle mass and water, and then gain all the weight back.  Worst case and more likely scenario: lose 10-15 lbs of water and muscle mass, regain all of the weight and then add on a spare 5 lbs or so as your body reacts to temporary starvation and compensates by adding weight to prevent future 'starvation'.

2. You will lose muscle.

Muscle is critical to long term, sustained fat loss.  The more muscle you lose, the lower your resting metabolic rate goes and the harder it becomes to lose weight.

3. This diet does not teach you how to eat, at all. 

Most of us have lost touch with how to eat in a healthy way to sustain our bodies with the energy they need.  Portion sizes have gotten outrageous and packaged, convenience foods dominate any grocery store.  If you are going to lose weight, LONG TERM, you are going to need to learn to eat correctly.  That means correct serving sizes and mostly whole foods.  This diet does not give you a clue as to how to do that.

Diets don't work.  Please don't even try, you are just hurting your long term efforts.  Small, sustained changes over time are your best bet, along with gradual fat loss. Doctors don't know everything.  We receive very minimal training on nutrition in medical school.  So if your doctor recommends this diet, or something similar, consider politely declining. Keep moving! Dr. V and staff

About the author

Sarah Vlach