Diet Review: The Weigh Down
The Weigh Down Diet: How It Works continued...
The goal is to become a natural eater who senses what to eat, when to eat, and when to stop eating. By listening to your body and to God, you can control how much you eat, eat slowly, mindfully and through mindfulness and prayer become less focused on food.
Hunger is the cornerstone of this plan -- mostly, waiting for your stomach to be so empty it growls for food.
“Hunger is a good thing,” says Shamblin, “instead of grabbing for the first thing, you wait for the signal, which helps dieters put food back in its place.”
If your stomach doesn’t growl for 36 hours, Shamblin suggests eating a small saucer of food.
“When you lose weight, you will be more energized and naturally engage in more physical activity,” Shamblin says to justify the absence of exercise recommendations.
The Weigh Down Diet: What Experts Say
Nonbelievers might have difficulty with the overwhelming faith-based approach to losing weight, says American Dietetic Association spokesperson Toby Smithson, RD.
In testimonials, successful losers swear by the program. But Smithson points out that no research studies have been published showing that this approach works.
Washington, D.C.-based weight loss counselor and author of Diet Simple, Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, says she likes the faith-based philosophy and the mindful eating approach.
But she shares Smithson's concern that this type of program is mainly targeted to religious people. And she worries about the nutritional inadequacies of an "eat-whatever-you-like plan." Smithson also cautions dieters about the downside of letting the stomach get too empty.
Getting Too Hungry Can Backfire
“Growling in your stomach is a normal part of digestion and may not always suggest an empty stomach. It could be a result of swallowing air, Smithson says. "Furthermore, when you let yourself get so hungry, your blood sugar can get too low and starvation is likely to trigger a binge or overeating."
Her advice: Forget stomach growling. Instead, use a hunger scale to rate your hunger, eat only when you are hungry, and never go more than 3-5 hours without eating.
And don’t forget the importance of exercise. “Everyone needs to work physical activity, beyond falling to your knees, into their life for a multitude of reasons, including cardiovascular health, strong bones, stress relief, and weight loss," Smithson says.
The Weigh Down Diet: Food for Thought
There are many ways to diet and manage your weight. The secret to success is finding the one that works best for you.
If a faith-based program that relies on praying and divine intervention can help you turn to God instead of the refrigerator, this program may be the answer to your prayers.
But this is not a plan that will appeal to everyone, nor does it provide enough information to help you eat a well-balanced diet or get adequate physical activity.
Use this program to learn how to get in touch with satiety and hunger, eat more mindfully, and overcome emotional eating.
But if you do, I strongly recommend consulting the U.S. government's mypryamid.gov web site for guidance on choosing healthy meals, controlling calories, and getting regular exercise.
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.