The Rice Diet

The Rice Diet is another "blast from the past" diet, since it is based on a 1939 diet program.  Back then, a residential weight loss boot camp in beautiful Durham, N.C. was a resource for people suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, obesity and diabetes.  The book Rice Diet Solution, by Kitty and Robert Rosati, captures the key themes used back in Durham and packages up a strict dietary regimen that promises that you will shed 20-30 pounds in the first month and continue to lose 2-4 pounds a week thereafter.

The rice diet focuses on eating very few calories and extremely little sodium.  The few permitted foods (there are only about 30) are low fat and low protein and primarily complex carbohydrates.  Think rice.  Lots of rice.  Followers of the diet will be limited to 800 calories and only 50 mg of sodium at first.   For some perspective, you should know that an order of McDonalds' small French fries has 140 mg of sodium.  In fact, a packet of McDonalds' catsup has 100 mg of sodium! This is truly a low sodium diet.  In addition, you are allowed 5 grams of fat and 20 grams of protein.

The meal plan is pretty straight-forward.  You eat whole-grain carbs, fruits, low-sodium beans, most veggies, non-fat and low-fat dairy and extremely lean protein (fish).  A lot of fiber and not a lot of much else.  For the first week, you eat two starches and two fruits at each meal.  And you limit your sodium intake to 50 mg/day.  Happily, in the following week you get to add another 400 calories and expand to three starches and three fruits/veggies  for each meal.  In the third week you slowly add calories (adding 200 calories each day) until you stop losing weight.

The Rice Diet followers are encouraged to take a multivitamin and optionally an iron supplement every day.  Many people, especially women, should consider adding calcium and vitamin D supplements. Meditation, yoga and other stress management activities are also considered part of the program.

Has the Rice Diet changed your life?  Click on the Comment button and let us know!

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