Drop all animal products, plus a few other things from your diet, and get a great-looking bod and better health. That’s the plan laid out in the best-selling book Skinny Bitch.
Co-authors/modeling industry vets Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin don't offer specifics about how many pounds you'll lose or how long it will take. They simply note that you'll get slim if you adopt their "way of life."
They say that the massive changes you’ll likely need to make with this diet are worth it -- for the sake of your health and waistline, and the well-being of animals. But don't expect to be coddled while making the transition.
They take tough love to the extreme. Anticipate lots of four-letter words, graphic descriptions of animal processing, and little sympathy for any beliefs that conflict with theirs (which are sometimes outside the mainstream).
Does It Work?
Follow their plan and you’ll likely be eating a lot fewer calories than you do today. Very low-calorie diets tend to result in weight loss. But can you stick with it, and will it meet your nutritional needs?
Research has shown that vegans tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than meat-eaters. And at least one study found that people who ate a vegan diet lost significantly more weight than those who followed a low-fat diet that incorporated animal products.
If you decide to go vegan, make sure you get adequate protein, calcium, and other important nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, and zinc. A registered dietitian can help you with a full plan. As a start, non-dairy sources of calcium include bok choy and fortified soy milk. Tofu and beans are good vegan sources of protein.
The authors also recommend fasts and cleanses, which mainstream medical experts warn against.
What You Can Eat and What You Can't
You need to cut all meat, dairy, eggs, and fish. You'll also need to shun sugar, artificial sweeteners, and refined carbs.
Caffeine and alcohol are strongly discouraged. But an occasional cup of coffee or glass of organic sulfite-free red wine is allowed. They also ask you to eat only organic.
The ideal Skinny Bitchbreakfast is fruit. Lunch is a salad and/or vegetables. Dinner is something "heavier," such as a fake chicken patty or tofu stir-fry.
Level of Effort: High
Unless you're already a vegetarian, be prepared for a major lifestyle overhaul. Even the authors acknowledge that adapting to their regimen may leave you feeling "deprived, angry, overwhelmed, and frustrated," especially for the first few months.
Limitations: You'll need to kiss your carnivorous ways good-bye.
Cooking and shopping: You may also need to find a new grocery store. Your regular shop might not stock certain recommended items. Dining out may be difficult. Many of the foods you'll eat require prep work of chopping (think whole fruit and raw veggie salads).
In-person meetings: No.
Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?
There's some wiggle room. For example, while Skinny Bitch recommends a fruit-only breakfast, it also includes a list of acceptable packaged breakfast items.
What Else You Should Know
Costs: The net cost of embracing the Skinny Bitch diet should be minimal. You'll probably pay more for organic produce and many organic/vegan packaged products. But you'll no longer be shelling out for costly meat, poultry, and fish.
Support: This is a diet you do on your own.