8 editors, 8 diet plans-who will lose the most (without losing her mind)?
The Baby Food Diet
The plan: Celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson kicked off a pureed-food craze a couple years ago when she reportedly advised clients to replace two meals a day with jars of Gerber (seriously), plus a healthy dinner. Anderson has since denied endorsing the diet, but Hedi Slimane and Lady (goo-goo?) Gaga are rumored to be devotees.
Editor’s take: Shamed by the prospect of loading a grocery cart with infant food, I order 100 jars from Fresh Direct (the delivery guy still gave me a strange look). I tried mixing vegetables with fruit and protein, but after gagging on the beef pilaf, I stuck with the sweet fruit varieties. In fact, I became a pureed banana and apple addict, which flooded my system with so much sugar that I felt high. And moody. In other words, a total wreck.
The payoff: I have never wanted bread more in my life (maybe because I craved texture?) and would actually go home and cram four slices in my mouth at the end of each day. So much for a healthy dinner. I did lose four pounds by day five, but I was also miserable and hallucinating. Not worth it.
The Blood-Type Diet
The plan: Developed by Peter J. D’Adamo, ND, Eat Right 4 Your Type (a classic, first published in 1997) is based on the premise that each blood type requires a specialized diet to aid weight loss and improve conditions such as asthma, heartburn, and headaches.
Editor’s take: In the past, I’ve tried veganism and other elimination diets, which left me mostly hungry and unsatisfied-maybe because Type A’s, according to D’Adamo, are more suited for vegetarianism. For my O type, meat is actually recommended, which is great because I’m very active. It was easy to check which foods got the green light using the Blood Type Diet app-though it turns out a few of my diet staples (coconut, corn, avocado) are no-no’s.
The payoff: After a month on the plan, I’m a believer. Although I miss some of my favorite foods (dairy is redlined for O), the plan has actually expanded my diet. I used to avoid fruits, but cherries, pineapple, and figs are okay. Now I eat meat without guilt, I stay fuller longer, and the weight is slowly coming off.
The Clean Program
The plan: Introduced in 2009 by cardiologist Alejandro Junger, MD, the Clean Program’s 21-day detox excludes common allergens and inflammatory foods. Its dining plan of two liquid meals a day (DIY fruit-and-almond-milk smoothies are fine, though Junger sells a $425 bundle of vitamin supplements and protein powders on his site) and one solid lunch has found favor with svelte foodies such as Gwyneth Paltrow.
Editor’s take:Nixing booze, coffee, cheese, gluten, and sugar for three weeks sounded like a rejection of life, but Clean’s expansive list of approved foods introduced me to new staples like quinoa and kale. Other than a brief breakdown at the end of week one that involved salaciously pinning dozens of salted caramels to an ad hoc Pinterest board, for the most part I didn’t miss my old diet. In fact, when my 21 days were up, I extended the plan for 14 more.