The UK has given us a lot to talk about this year: the Olympics, The Only Way Is Essex, if fancying Harry from One Direction makes us card-carrying members of the Cougar Club (uh, yes). But at the top of the list is Six Weeks To OMG, a new diet plan from London author Venice A. Fulton.
With the subtitle "Get skinnier than all your friends" and a warning to seek medical advice before starting the program because “dying is the wrong OMG”, it's clear this isn't your average diet book. It's made Fulton a millionaire in a matter of months, but is there any substance to his unorthodox approach? We put some of his controversial recommendations to accredited practising dietitians Katie Thomsitt and Samantha Cowan to find out.
OMG rule #1: Skip breakfast
Cowan and Thomsitt are adamant: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for good health and weight management. "Skipping breakfast will often result in poor food choices later on," says Cowan. Thomsitt suggests a breakfast that’s high in fibre and low in sugar, like 1/2 cup rolled oats with 250ml skim milk or two slices of multigrain toast with 1/4 avocado and two poached eggs.
OMG rule #2: It doesn’t matter if carbs come from broccoli or coke, just don’t have too many
"It does matter!" insists Cowan. "Complex carbs – like starchy veggies, legumes and wholegrains - are low GI, meaning they remain in your digestive system for longer, creating a feeling of fullness and a steady release of energy, whereas high-GI foods (white bread, soft drink, lollies) create a rapid rise in energy levels, then a rapid drop."
OMG rule #3: You don't need eight glasses of water a day
Cowan and Thomsitt disagree with Fulton's advice, noting that if you wait until you're thirsty to knock back some H2O, you're already dehydrated. "Dehydration can be mistaken for hunger, leading to unnecessary snacking," adds Cowan. Thomsitt suggests sipping on plain, still or sparkling water to keep thirst at bay.
OMG rule #4: You should only eat three square meals a day, no snacks
"Small, frequent meals provide our bodies with a constant supply of fuel, so that we feel sufficiently energised to perform at our best, physically and mentally," explains Cowan. "Eating small frequent meals also provides more opportunities to kick-start your metabolism." Thomsitt says that sticking to three meals per day can be helpful for weight loss but if you’re feeling hungry in between, grab some fresh fruit or yoghurt to avoid overeating at your next meal.
OMG rule #5: Half of all meals should be protein
According to Thomsitt, half a plate of protein is probably more than you need and could lead to excess energy intake, resulting in weight gain. Instead, aim for 1/2 non-starchy vegetables or salad, 1/4 lean protein (100-120g) and 1/4 low-GI carbohydrates. Good protein options include chicken without the skin, eggs, lentils or lean minced meat.
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