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The Promise

Butter-drenched lobster? Fresh-baked rolls? You can eat both and still slim down -- provided you don’t eat them together, claims The New Beverly Hills Diet.

An updated version of the 1981 best-seller, the book is written by Judy Mazel, who ran a weight-loss clinic in Beverly Hills and died in 2007. Mazel had no training in science or nutrition but centered her practice and book on concepts she used to lose 72 pounds.

By retraining your digestive system with a fruit-based diet for 35 days, then adhering to strict rules about how you combine carbohydrates, fat, and protein, Mazel says you’ll shed 10 to 15 pounds in 5 weeks and continue to lose weight until you become “skinny.”

What You Can Eat

Plan on eating little more than fruit for the first 35 days. For example, on Day 2 you’ll eat prunes, strawberries, and baked potatoes; on Day 17, only watermelon; and on Day 22, grapes or cherries, and a bedtime treat of your choosing. There are a few “all protein” days, and a few days when you can eat whatever you like.

After the 35-day induction phase is over, Mazel tells readers to eat within the confines of four “conscious combining” principles:

  1. Fruit must be eaten alone at all times. Ideally, you should begin each day with an “enzymatic fruit” such as prune, apricot, pineapple, or persimmon. Wait an hour before eating different kinds of fruit.
  2. Protein can be combined with fat, but not carbohydrates. Once you’ve eaten protein, 80 percent of what you eat the rest of the day should also be protein.
  3. Carbohydrates can be combined with fat, but not protein.
  4. Most alcoholic beverages like beer and spirits are considered carbohydrates; red and white wine should be treated as fruit. Champagne is “neutral” and can be eaten with any type of food.

There are no portion suggestions: Eat as much as you want, provided you follow the rules above.

Artificial sweeteners, additives, non-dairy creamer, margarine and other artificial butter products cause digestive problems, Mazel says, and should be avoided.

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