The OMG Diet

The latest diet import from England is the OMG (for “oh my god”) diet. This diet is inspired by a British reality show The Only Way is Essex. This diet promises that you will drop 20 pounds in six weeks. You even get to blow up balloons!

This diet is the poster child for fad dieting. It has all the components: a book Six Weeks to OMG, celebrities (OK, reality celebs, but they count) and huge results in short order based on pretty crazy ideas. What more do you need?

The OMG diet has a few (somewhat bizarre) rules. First, you should limit your carb intake to 120 grams a day. The book suggests drinking cola instead of eating broccoli, but that could just be personal taste. Given the six week duration of the diet, skipping veggies for such a short time isn’t too terrible.

Rule two: stay away from smoothies. Not really a Jamba Juice hater, but the diet says that the fructose (fruit sugar) that is in smoothies suppresses your natural feeling of fullness. This makes you eat more food than necessary, hurting your weight loss goals. Not too crazy, it is scientifically sound and doesn’t really have a down side. Sorry Jamba Juice.

The third rule is pretty much my favorite: take an ice water bath every day. Wow, talk about suffering for your weight loss! Sure, sitting in ice water will burn calories as your body tries to avoid death by freezing, but really? The increased calorie burn is negligible compared to the discomfort and potential health risks.

Rule number four: skip breakfast and work out instead. Moderate exercise is a good thing for most people (only your doctor knows for sure). But breakfast is an important way to kick-start your metabolism. Breakfast eaters burn more calories while at rest than those who skip breakfast. This is a dumb rule. Instead, have a low calorie, high fiber breakfast then THEN work out.

Rule five says to drink two cups of coffee before you exercise.  This can actually work, as long as you don’t trick out your coffee with sugar, crème or other accoutrements. The caffeine acts as a stimulant and increases your “at rest” calorie burn rate. It won’t make you burn more calories while you exercise, but it might jack you up enough to work out a few more minutes, anyway.

Rule six makes sense, too. Eat three meals a day but don’t snack. Several studies have shown that people who snack end up eating more calories than people who don’t. So eat three low-calorie, well balanced meals and avoid that bag of chips on the couch.

Rule seven proves that you can’t make this kind of thing up. The OMG diet recommends blowing up balloons. Yes, balloon inflation as exercise. OK, it does strengthen your transverse abdominal  muscles, but really? Why aren’t clowns skinnier then?

So will the OMG diet help you “get the skinny on” in six weeks? Any crash diet is dangerous. Attempting to lose 20 pounds in six weeks WILL put your health at risk. About half of the rules are in the sketchy-to-bonkers range, but the others (I’m looking at you, 2, 5 and 6) have been employed safely by dieters for quite a while. I’d leave this diet to desperate Brits and find a better diet over at PickMyDiet.  Good luck!

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