Rocco DiSpirito earned his fame as a chef. Cooking amazing food every day is not conducive to weight control, and Rocco was no exception. A few years ago he found himself pegging the scale at 230 pounds, and thought that there must be a way for him to enjoy food while controlling his weight. His quest to lsoe 50 pounds became the basis for his book, The Pound A Day Diet.
Rocco’s diet is based, loosely, on the Mediterranean Diet, which has a lot of fans. Rocco’s approach is more restrictive and prescriptive, which drives a very aggressive promise for success. He says that if you follow his plan, you will lose a pound a day. That’s right, every day you will drop one pound.
Like many diets, the Rocco Diet has phases, in this case two. The first phase lasts four weeks. During that time your calorie intake is drastically limited. During the work week you are allowed only 850 calories. On weekends you zoom up to 1,200 calories a day. This is well below the government’s recommended 1,200 calorie per day minimum. If you stay well, you will lose weight, though.
Phase two is the maintenance phase, where you increase your calorie intake a bit, yet control it to the point that you don’t regain all of the weight that you so painfully lost over the previous four weeks. Phase two is your “plan for a lifetime.”
Rocco does not leave you on your own through this diet. His book contains 60 recipes, with shopping lists and serving size guidelines. The Rocco Diet proposes eating six small meals instead of three, which helps suppress hunger. This could be critical in keeping you on the program during those long days of only 850 calories.
Could this diet work for you? Rocco’s book is very prescriptive, and a lot of us like that. The menus and shopping lists serve to eliminate confusion and mistakes. The calorie intake level, though, is a point of concern. Eating so little can trigger dehydration, malnutrition, headaches, constipation, gallstones and muscle loss. Clearly, this is not a diet to adopt without first having a very specific discussion with your doctor. But if you’re up for the challenge, this could be a quick way to drop a couple dozen pounds.