Expect to lose up to 14 pounds, five inches off your waist, and a heavy percentage of body fat during the first two weeks of the plan alone” is the proclamation of David Kirsch, the creator of the New York diet. Apparently the desire to change one’s life in two weeks is a very ‘New York’ mentality and that is what this body makeover plan claims to do. The diet promises not only weight loss in the first 14 days, a decrease of possible double digits in fact, but also increased energy and toned muscles.
The nutrition behind the plan is based on Kirsch’s ABCDEF theory, which means no alcohol, bread, starchy carbohydrates, dairy, extra sweets, fruit or fats. The diet’s eating plan is broke down into 3 phases, starting with Phase 1, which restricts all of the above foods and allows only high protein lean meats and low starch vegetables, such as chicken breast, mushrooms, egg whites, salmon, low carbohydrate vegetables, and whey protein, all totalling less than 1000 calories a day. Progressing to Phase 2, the dieter is permitted the addition of a carbohydrate, such as berries or sweet potatoes, still remaining under 1000 calories per day. Lastly, Phase 3 is the lifelong maintenance stage and allows for the slow integration of some of the forbidden foods from Phase 1. If it seems similar to the Atkins plan, that’s because it is in that it stresses high protein, low carb eating, however this has been shown to have great short term results for those who want to have a quick weight loss.
A typical day in the first phase would consist of the following meals:
Egg white scramble with 6 egg whites, 2 tbsp green onions, 1 medium chopped tomato and ½ cup spinach
Chicken Salad made with 4 oz of cooked, chopped chicken, 2 cups green leaf lettuce, ½ chopped cucumber, ½ cup chopped mushrooms, dressed with 1 tsp olive oil and a splash of fresh lemon juice
1 whey protein shake (approximately 200 calories)
4 oz of grilled salmon with steamed vegetables (½ cup broccoli, ½ cup cauliflower)
In addition to strict nutrition, the plan also stresses fitness and exercise. There is a fitness evaluation recommended to begin the plan that assesses whether someone is able and equipped to be on the weight loss regime. If not, there is a pre-plan for those who are not ready to start the actual plan. The prescribed exercise routine focuses on strengthening and toning muscles and is defined by the individual participant’s fitness level.
As with all diets, there are advantages and disadvantages to the New York diet. The first major drawback is the sheer strictness of the nutrition plan. It is hard to exist on less than 1000 calories a day, especially if exercise is incorporated on top of this. A plan this severe is sure to have participants fall off the wagon on occasion due to excessive hunger. Another disadvantage is that the diet relies heavily on protein shakes which can be very pricey. In addition, many cannot grasp a program without the essential nutrients that are missing when dairy and fruit are restricted.
On the flip side, the New York diet has been proven to be effective and quick. Combining diet and exercise is the ‘healthy’ way to go about losing weight, even if the timeline for losing is too short for the weight loss to be sustained long term. The fact that participants are supposed to take a fitness assessment before beginning the program encourages responsible, healthy fitness at the dieter’s level leading to fewer injuries.
All in all, the question remains “What can be lost in a New York minute?”