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The OMG diet plan

Tags: diet , nutrition

In the news there has been a lot of debate about the new controversial diet – the OMG diet - which claims to help you lose 20lb in just six weeks.

The diet book, which was written by a personal trainer and the title is said to have been inspired by the infamous TV show ‘The Only Way is Essex’ as it’s based on competitive dieting, has already sold 120,000 copies globally. 

We asked nutritionist, Lyndel Costain, to review the diet to find out if there is any truth behind these claims and to advise us on safe and responsible ways to slim down.

Does the diet work?

A catchy title, a quick weight-loss promise (“…you will lose fat at the rate of up to 3.5lbs per week”, “everyone can get super skinny…”), motivating language, a smattering of ‘science’ and quirky rules - six weeks to OMG has all the trappings of a top selling diet book.  And yes, if you follow the rules to cut right back on carbs, not snack, and be active for at least 45 minutes a day you will no doubt burn more calories than you consume – and lose weight.

While unnecessarily restrictive, the six-week plan at least includes a variety of foods with no key food group totally off limits.

Is it safe?

My biggest concern lies with the language which reinforces the message that skinny is the best way to be and encourages rapid weight loss which is generally unhealthy.

The PR-friendly rules involving skipping breakfast, drinking black coffee and taking cold baths remind me of rituals held by people that I have worked with, with eating disorders.

Is OMG sustainable and responsible? I think not.

For further advice on diet plans, read the following article; 'no need for a complicated diet plan' from the NHS. 

What’s the alternative?

There is no magic to weight-loss. Any ‘diet’ no matter how unusual or sensible, that results in you consuming fewer calories than you burn (via metabolism and activity) will result in weight (and fat) loss.

Healthy and effective weight management relies on commitment, planning, and developing a set of skills and strategies that allow you to ‘get your head straight’ about food and weight, and keep making helpful food and activity choices.  

Here are a few well-known tips linked to successful weight loss: 

  • Keep a daily food diary so you’re reminded of what you are eating and make better choices.
  • Eat regular, varied meals (and plan any snacks), starting with breakfast.
  • Half fill your plate with veg/salad and split the other half between protein and carbs.
  • Build in at least 45 minutes of activity daily.

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