Master Your Metabolism
Master Your Metabolism: How It Works continued...
Dieters are also encouraged to remove toxins from their homes during this phase, by cleaning out unsafe chemicals used in the kitchen, bathroom, and yard.
Phase Two is all about optimal nutrition to repair damage supposedly caused by an unhealthy diet.
And finally, Master Your Metabolism offers advice on how to rebalance your metabolism to help you burn fat. Strategies for this include:
- Eating every four hours. Eat three meals and a snack daily, nothing after 9 p.m., and no carbs before bed.
- Eating until you are full, not stuffed.
- Including protein, carbs, and fat and every meal and snack.
As you would expect from Michaels, the Master Your Metabolism exercise plan is rigorous and comprehensive. She encourages dieters to get 4-5 hours a week of intense fitness, including both cardio and strength training. Her exercise advice: "Do it even if you hate it."
Master Your Metabolism: What the Experts Say
Eating a healthy, calorie-controlled diet and getting plenty of exercise is a scientifically proven formula for weight control, experts say. Beyond that, the evidence is not so clear.
"There is no scientific evidence that toxins in the environment, yo-yo dieting, or eating foods with artificial ingredients or pesticides cause hormonal fluctuation and weight gain," says Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, the immediate past president of the American Dietetic Association.
Weight control specialist Michelle May, MD, says that hormones serve essential roles in the body, but are not "friendly" or "unfriendly." "Hormones respond to your intake and activity levels in a way that has ensured our survival for thousands of years," she says.
May, author of Am I Hungry? What to Do When Diets Don’t Work, agrees that yo-yo dieting and poor nutrition can keep us from meeting our bodies' needs. But she fears that Michaels' rigid nutrition rules could cause the yo-yo effect, not correct it.
"Demonizing certain foods rarely results in long-term changes in behavior," May says. "Instead, rely on your common sense to help choose balance, variety, and moderation in your eating."
Although Diekman says she likes the book's emphasis on healthy, unprocessed foods, she is concerned about the low calorie levels.
"Menu plans are high-protein, low-carb, with the calories for most days averaging around 1,300 a day, except one was only 700 calories -- which is almost fasting," she says.
Diekman, also nutrition director at Washington University in St. Louis, recommends a daily minimum of 1,400-1,600 calories for most women and 2,000 for most men.
Diekman also points out that not all processed foods are bad.
"Whole-grain breads and cereals, frozen vegetables, canned fruit in juice, and low-salt canned beans are just a few examples of healthy processed foods," she says.
And although fear helps Michaels motivates contestants on The Biggest Loser, the tough taskmaster approach may not be the answer for helping people make permanent lifestyle changes.
"Research has shown fear is a short-term motivator and not an agent for long-term dietary changes," Diekman says.