You might not live anywhere near New York's famous Park Avenue, but you can diet like the city's Upper East Side ladies who lunch.
The 6-week program from Stuart Fischer, MD, promises to guide you through a complete lifestyle makeover so you’ll look and feel rejuvenated, younger, and more energetic. Experts offer advice on self-confidence, diet, fitness, fashion, beauty routines, and more.
You get a daily menu, exercise plan, and grooming or lifestyle tip. It's a self-improvement guide that goes beyond the scale.
The diet includes three phases:
Phase 1: Inviting Success. The self-discovery stage takes the first 2 weeks. You learn the basics of Fischer’s seven areas of image reinvention and slowly start adding them to your daily routine.
Phase 2: Preparing for Greatness. In the third week, you’ll continue with the diet and practice all your new skills.
Phase 3: Making the A-List. You continue the diet in the final 3 weeks, and exercise more.
What You Can Eat and What You Can't
You get three meals, one snack, and a dessert every day. You also drink a lot of water, since staying hydrated is key.
The daily menu adds up to 1,200-1,500 calories. You’ll eat controlled portions of mostly fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, brown rice, pasta, and some dairy products.
The Park Avenue Diet says when you do enjoy a glass of wine, drink slowly and savor every sip.
Level of Effort: Medium
The Park Avenue Diet emphasizes low-fat, low-sugar meals with lots of fruits and vegetables.
Limitations: As you'd probably expect from a diet, you won’t find candy, processed foods, or full-fat baked goods on this plan.
Cooking and shopping: You cook and shop as usual, as long as you stick to the Park Avenue Diet guidelines.
Packaged foods or meals: No.
In-person meetings: No.
Exercise: Required. You’ll work out a minimum of three times per week. The book provides a suggested workout for each day of the 6-week diet.
Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?
Vegetarians and vegans: This diet could work for you. But if you're vegan, you'll have to tweak the plan yourself, since it doesn't make suggestions specific to vegan diets. A dietitian can help you with that.
Gluten-free diet: This diet doesn't focus on gluten, but you can substitute gluten-free products for many items.
What Else You Should Know
Cost: Just your groceries.
Support: You do this diet on your own.
What Maryann Jacobsen, RD, Says:
Does It Work?
It's low in calories, so you're likely to lose weight. But the plan is very structured, telling you exactly what to eat for 6 weeks, so it may be challenging to keep the weight off once you start adding more foods back to your diet.
Is It Good for Certain Conditions?
Although the diet is focused on basic healthy-eating principles, the calories may be too low for some people. If you have a health condition, check with your doctor to see if the plan is right for you.
Your doctor can help you determine changes in medications that might be needed on this plan. For example, someone on blood pressure or diabetes medication may be able to lower their doses with changes in diet and weight loss. That would be up to their doctor, of course. Never adjust doses on your own.
The Final Word
The downside is that the plan may not help prepare you for eating in the real world. If you're thinking about trying this diet, you should know that keeping the weight off may be difficult.
This diet may work well if you want to shop for and cook your own meals on a structured plan. If you're busy or work long hours, you may not have time to shop and prepare all the meals required.