In the quest to find effective weight loss solutions, diets are more radical and extreme than ever before. One of these solutions is the ABC diet. This meal plan is often described as anorexic because of the consumption of very few calories. It is designed to be a short-term eating plan that helps overweight people shed pounds quickly. The ABC diet has been deemed effective by those who have followed it, but how safe is it?
The ABC Diet Explained
The weight loss strategy behind the ABC diet is very simple. It is to eat as few calories as possible to lose weight rapidly. Instead of the normal 1200-1500 calories that experts recommend to dieters, this meal plan aims to keep calories under 800. Dieters are advised to eat varied amounts of calories each day, and include 5 days of fasting. Foods eaten should be low-fat, low-calorie and filled with nutrients to avoid malnutrition and side effects.
What Can You Eat on the ABC Diet?
Although it is not a detailed meal plan, advocates of this diet recommend choosing nutrient-rich foods. These foods are fruits, vegetables and lean protein. Carb-loaded foods are highly discouraged, especially those that have been processed. Fruits, vegetables and lean meats are preferred because of their high nutrient content and their ability to successfully curb hunger for longer periods of time. Protein, especially, is a natural appetite suppressant and does not carry a lot of calories.
In addition to protein and fresh produce, followers of the ABC diet are advised to consume complex carbohydrates and foods with natural sugars. Whole grains are great examples of complex carbohydrates. They are digested slowly in the body and this helps to keep blood sugar on an even keel. When blood sugar is stable, insulin production is normal, which leads to weight loss.
What Can You Not Eat on the ABC Diet?
800 calories is a low amount to eat on a daily basis. It can lead to hunger and malnutrition. This is why fresh foods and meats are favored. Dieters, therefore, are warned against consuming processed and fast foods, which contain simple carbohydrates and little nutrients. Simple carbs turn into glucose very quickly, and can cause hunger within a couple of hours of eating them. They are also packed with empty calories that might cause you to exceed your daily limit.
How Does the ABC Diet Meal Plan Work?
As mentioned earlier, calories must vary from day to day. If you consume 500 calories on Monday, for instance, you should aim to eat more or less than 500 the next day. Each week should have one fast day, where you go completely without food. It’s all about calorie counting.
Is the ABC Diet Safe to Follow?
According to experts, it is not wise to try the ABC diet. Extremely low calories mean the possibility of malnutrition is very high. Without the proper amount of nutrients, dieters can suffer from a myriad of symptoms including dizziness, fatigue, mental confusion, muscle weakness and many more. The meal plan also promotes an anorexic lifestyle, which can produce a negative self-image and obsessive calorie counting.
Any pro-anorexic meal plan should always be approached with caution. Although cutting down on your daily calories is a good way to lose weight, eating less than 1200 a day can have negative consequences. It is advisable, therefore, to choose a long-term solution that is sustainable and safe.