SugarBusters!: The Premise
This diet program, described most recently in The New SugarBusters! Cut Sugar to Trim Fat, has become a virtual classic among calorie counters. The message is straightforward and clear: Sugar makes you fat; only by avoiding it, as well as foods that cause blood sugar to rise, can you hope to lose weight and keep it off. The diet doesn't restrict your total carbohydrate intake, but it prohibits or severely restricts certain carbohydrate foods such as refined sugar, honey, white potatoes, white bread, beer, rice, pasta, and corn. SugarBusters! also includes a little bit of food-combining theory in the mix, recommending that you eat fruits by themselves. You don't need to count calories, weigh foods, or calculate grams of carbohydrates on this plan, but you are expected to balance the portions on your plate and "eyeball" your portion sizes. And no going back for seconds or thirds.
Gains and Losses/What's the Damage?If you set aside some unproven explanations as to why the diet works, SugarBusters! offers up a healthful diet plan that encourages dieters to eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while avoiding junk foods and sweet desserts. However, physical activity takes a back seat in this diet. The suggestion to exercise for at least 20 minutes four days per week isconsiderably less than the amount of exercise recommended in current national guidelines. A change in diet combined with an increase in regular physical activity is the best formula for weight loss and weight-loss maintenance. Very little dairy is included in the SugarBusters! diet plan, so it's likely to be low in calcium and vitamin D. But a multivitamin plus a calcium supplement should be more than enough to make up the difference.
That's the wrap on low-fat, low-sugar, and low-dairy diets. If one seems right for you, get to it!
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