90-Day Diet: What is it and Does it Work?
By now I’m sure you’ve heard of quite a few popular diets that involve a magic time frame that will lead you to weight loss success. Whether it be 21, 30 or 90 days, they all promise an easy plan to help you achieve your weight loss goals for good.
One of these diets is simply named, The 90 Day Diet. It involves three months of eating a variety of food groups, but only on certain days of the week. Also included: one day per month dedicated to water. Interested? Read on.
What is the 90 Day Diet?
The 90 Day Diet was developed by Pat Sutton, a self-described nutritionist and food intolerance expert. After years of struggling with weight loss, Sutton developed The 90 Day Diet, which boasts claims that adherents will lose weight, raise their metabolism and even live longer lives.
The 90 Day Diet follows the idea of food combining, which refers to specific combinations of foods that are compatible with each other in terms of digestive health. This method may sound strange, but a similar process of eating has been around for quite some time and has roots in Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu system of medicine. The idea behind this method is that eating the wrong food combinations can cause indigestion, fermentation, gas and bloating.
Sutton uses an example of a piece of apple pie causing bloat and intestinal distress because the apples are digested first and quickly, while the carbohydrates stay longer in your system. She also points out that our early, primitive ancestors ate their foods separately, the way she currently recommends. If a hunter came to his group with a wild boar, for example, it was eaten that day and not typically combined with a vegetable that was gathered.
Sounds confusing? I admit, I thought so too. Here’s a more simplified look at Sutton’s plan.
5 Steps to Start the 90-Day Diet
- Throw away all foods that are not allowed on the diet. This includes all chocolate with less than 70% cocoa solids, anything with refined sugars and processed food snacks such as potato chips
- Go shopping. Choose lean meats, eggs, cheese yogurt, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Nuts, butter, cream and oils are allowed sparingly.
- Familiarize yourself with the 90 Day Diet food chart created by Pat Sutton which lays out which types of foods cannot be combined (poultry and rice for example).
- Plot your days on a calendar, following the “Your 90 Days” chart on the 90 Day Diet website
- Start every morning (except water day) by eating fruit and drinking water for breakfast and then follow your daily calendar (protein day, starch day, etc.) accordingly.
Important Tips for Success
- You can eat fruit every day (except water day), but make sure it is consumed at least 1 hour before a main meal.
- Include “superfoods” such as blueberries, spinach, avocado and salmon in your diet for an even bigger health boost.
- To boost your metabolism, squeeze more exercise into your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or try walking instead of driving.
Is The 90 Day Diet for You?
First and foremost, you should always check with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise regimen. It’s also important to note that while fad diets are always popular (I’ll bet you or someone you know has tried at least one) they are generally proven to not be a long lasting solution to maintaining a healthy weight.
According to WebMD, fad diets don’t help you keep off weight in the long term and you should instead invest in their long term, simple strategies for maintaining weight. Also, if overeating is a problem, the solution may not be as simple as changing your diet, but rather seeking psychological guidance as well. While The 90 Day Diet offers a variety of foods, the idea of eating one food group on certain days of the week isn’t necessarily a well-rounded diet that is realistic for most people to follow.