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Health experts doubt PINK Method diet’s long-term effectiveness

With Spring Break within reach and vacation plans becoming the
topic of conversation, there’s one thing that stands between a week
of tanning and beach adventures: the bikini. Although many have
heard of the “big name” diets like Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers,
Atkins and Jenny Craig, it seems there’s a new diet rising in the
ranks called the P.I.N.K. Method.

According to the P.I.N.K. Method official website, the P.I.N.K. Method
was invented by Cynthia Pasquella, a certified clinical
nutritionist well known among celebrity clients.

Matt Rowling, Ph.D. and assistant professor of food science and
human nutrition, was willing to offer his opinion on fad diets such
as the P.I.N.K. Method.

“I don’t like them. They’re not sustainable,” Rowling said.
“Often times they are restricting something in the diet that in the
end is going to come back and bite them in the butt. They are so
calorie-restrictive [that] when someone eats normal again, they
lose all of the progress they’ve made.”

The P.I.N.K. Method acronym stands for power, intensity,
nutrition and “kardio.” The diet includes a nutrition guide, a
three-DVD workout plan and a specialized online account to help
customize individual goals and track success.

According to the P.I.N.K. Method official diet book, this 82-day
program touts its success by the use of its four phases. In phase
one, women are put on the P.I.N.K. reset. With an eating plan
consisting of a fat-burning whey or hemp smoothie for breakfast and
lunches filled with plants and protein, people are expected to lose
anywhere from five to 10 pounds depending on their starting

Throughout the program, women must return to the reset process
again if there is any point when someone can’t get their workouts
in regularly, a weight-loss plateau is reached and also for four
days between each workout phase.

The second phase is called the P.I.N.K. Primary. During this
second phase, women are allowed more actual food for the day,
except light proteins like skinless chicken breast, fish and beans
and several vegetables on the menu for the bulk of this program.
Starting the second phase also requires the start of the workout
DVDs, which may be short in time but heavy in workout.

The third phase of the P.I.N.K. Method is the Seven-day Shred.
This is to be started when the dieter is five pounds away from his
or her goal weight. During this time, expect to eat the P.I.N.K.
“shred soup,” which contains a combination of olive oil, onion,
garlic, spinach, ginger, cumin, basil, salt, carrots, potatoes,
tomatoes, low-sodium vegetable broth, water, lentils and pepper.
For seven days, women eat a light protein and a fruit for
breakfast, a large bowl of shred soup for lunch and a light protein
and another large bowl of soup for dinner.

Now that the first three phases have been completed, P.I.N.K.
asserts that weight loss is guaranteed for the women who have stuck
with the diet this long. Essentially, all they’ve been eating is
veggies, light proteins and soup; the real challenge is phase four.
During phase four, women are taught how to preserve their weight
loss and change their eating styles for life.

“Why don’t they just start on the P.I.N.K. preservation menu
from the beginning?” Rowling said. “It’s a normal and balanced diet
and uses fewer calories. When you restrict yourself of these foods
for so long, you will go back to them.”

The P.I.N.K. Method has been featured on television shows
including “Dr. Oz,” “Dr. Phil” and “The Doctors,” but experts say
just because it’s been on TV doesn’t make it necessarily the best
diet for you.

“I do not know a lot about the P.I.N.K. Method, but understand
that there are phases that encourage a low-carb, high-protein diet,
and then introduce bouts of physical activity,” said Kayci Guinn, a
recent ISU graduate with a degree in kinesiology and health. “While
low-carb diets can result in weight loss, it is very hard for a
person to sustain that diet for a lifetime. I would suggest anyone
interested in a low-carb diet talk to their doctor or a licensed
dietitian before starting.”

Guinn thinks the P.I.N.K. Method diet would no doubt result in
weight loss, but also doubts its sustainability.

“The weight will come back if a person does not make permanent
changes to their lifestyle,” Guinn said. “Significant alterations
in a person’s diet can be harmful, and speaking with a professional
may help women realize a more specific goal or a safer solution
than this diet.”

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