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Celebrities celebrating ‘Pound A Day’ diet

In this file photo, a woman buys fruit at a market in Barcelona, Spain. The Pound A Day and Mediterranean diets have long been touted as heart-healthy, but that’s based on observational studies. Now, one of the longest and most scientific tests suggests this style of eating can cut the chance of suffering heart-related problems, especially strokes, in older people at high risk of them. The study lasted five years and involved about 7,500 people in Spain. Results were published online Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 by the New England Journal of Medicine. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Whoopi Goldberg recently joined the ranks of celebrities experiencing weight loss on the Pound A Day diet, a Mediterranean-style eating plan designed to drop a pound each day for every 5 days.

The diet was designed by chef Rocc DiSpirito, who told the media he wants people to be able to eat what they love and still be able to lose weight. How does he help them accomplish this? By providing great recipes that teach the body how to burn fat efficiently and keep it off for good.

SEE ALSO: Mediterranean diet: Healthiest way to weight loss and living longer?

“It’s a chef’s point of view that’s been missing in the world of health,” DiSpirito told ABC News. “These recipes are easy to make and they taste great.” In a television interview he added,  “I am surrounded by the most delicious food available on the planet every day of my life. And if I can do it, anyone can do it.”

How does the Pound A Day diet work?

The Pound A Day diet is a modified version of the Mediterranean diet, a diet acknowledged as one of the world’s healthiest. The Mayo Clinic indicates the Mediterranean diet has been indicated as an excellent way to help reduce the risk for heart disease with possible implications for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.  The diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, and limited unhealthy fats.

Using the Mediterranean diet as a guideline, DiSpirito designed a plan to appeal to people who wanted to use the healthy eating program specifically for weight loss. The Pound A Day diet consists of two phases, the first is a 28-day plan that aims to correct the dieter’s calorie and carbohydrate intake to speed up their metabolism and result in the pound-a-day weight loss. Dieters are limited to 850 calories on weekdays and 1,200 calories on the weekends.  The goal is to use the weekday/weekend program to get down to an individual’s goal weight where phase two can then take over.

In phase two of the Pound A Day diet, dieters focus less on calories and focus more on portion control and what they are eating. An emphasis is placed on consuming less meat, more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. At this point, the diet is supposed to have restructured an individual’s metabolism, allowing them to branch out as far as ingredients are concerned as long as portion control is practiced.


Is the Pound A Day diet safe?

Of course, with all diets that are picked up by celebrities, questions have arisen as to the safety of the Pound A Day diet. According to some experts, the first phase of the diet may categorize it as a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD), a meal plan that does not provide the body with enough calories or nutrients to function at normal levels.

“… a person taking less than 1000 calories per day is going to have trouble getting in enough nutrition to maintain a healthy body — vitamins, protein, minerals, and other nutrients must be carefully consumed in order to avoid malnutrition when a person is on a diet with so few calories,” Dr. Brian Quebbemann told Medical Daily. “Their body will change from an active calorie-burning mode to a calorie-storing mode, [which will in turn, decrease their metabolism, causing weight gain rather than loss.]“

SEE ALSO: Celebrity diet trends: What the stars are doing to stay thin

There are also potential mental side-effects, according to Dr. J Shah, chief medical director of Amari Medical. Shah indicates rapid weight loss may make an individual feel alert initially, but after a few weeks they may experience confusion, mind fogginess, anxiety, and eventually depression. The dieter may even lose memory, orientation, and develop renal or cardiac complications.

The safest idea?

Before starting the Pound A Day diet, consult with your doctor or nutritionist. 850 calories a day may be enough for you or it may not; it all depends on your current activity level and body size.

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