Here's A Five-Day Diet That "Reprograms" The Body And Improves Your Health

It reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer!
by Stephanie Shi
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Being on a diet makes you watch what you eat every single day—except maybe for one or two cheat days you have a month or every two months. Some people go all out and fast, which is dangerous just like any other extreme diet program that weakens or even collapses the body. Starving oneself slows down one’s metabolism.

There’s a new diet that researchers from the University of Southern California developed. It’s a five-day, once-a-month diet that mimics fasting and remains safe.

For 25 days of a month, dieters eat what they would normally eat—from the healthy to the junk. Then for the first day of the diet, they would consume 1,090 calories: 10 percent protein, 56 percent fat, and 34 percent carbohydrates. For the second until the fifth day, 725 calories: 9 percent protein, 44 percent fat, 47 percent carbohydrates. Those calories are 54 to 34 percent of what the average person eats in a day.

Participants of the study ate a lot of vegetable soup, kale crackers, and tea in those five days, and followed the diet for three months.

The idea behind this diet is to decrease the hormone insulin-like growth factor, which promotes aging and increases our risk of cancer. Valter Longo, the lead researcher for this diet, stated that “It’s about reprogramming the body so it enters a slower aging mode, but also rejuvenating it through stem cell-based regeneration. It’s not a typical diet because it isn’t something you need to stay on.”

The study had only 19 participants and hasn’t been approved yet by the Food and Drug Administration, but the results are promising: the participants had lower risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and aging. They also lost weight, but the main focus of this diet isn’t the weight, but to help stop people from popping diet pills.

Petronella Ravenshear, a nutritional therapist, observed that this new diet “is less of a stressor on the body that complete fasting. It supplies most of the carbohydrates in the form of vegetables which are packed with phytonutrients and minerals and positively good for us.”

If you’re curious about what to eat in those five days, here’s the menu:

Day One

Maximum calorie intake: 1,090

Breakfast: Black or green tea; one boiled egg (78 calories) and one slice of whole-wheat toast (68 calories)

Lunch: Black coffee or tea; small green salad with avocado, dressed with olive oil (300 calories)

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Snack: Two almonds (28 calories)

Dinner: Large helping of mixed green vegetable soup with borlotti beans, and slice of whole-wheat bread (616 calories)

Day Two

Maximum calorie intake: 725

Breakfast: Black or green tea; one poached egg with a grilled tomato (100 calories)

Lunch: Miso soup (21 calories)

Snack: 7 walnut halves (90 calories)

Dinner: Vegetable chilli with kidney beans and two teaspoons of sour cream (514 calories)

Day Three

Maximum calorie intake: 725

Breakfast: Black or green tea; one slice of whole-wheat toast with two teaspoons of cashew butter (150 calories)

Lunch: Espresso; Smoked salmon (100 grams) with watercress (200 calories)

Snack: Blueberries (100 grams) (57 calories)

Dinner: Large portion vegetable soup (318 calories)

Day Four

Maximum calorie intake: 725

Breakfast: Black or green tea; half an avocado on one slice of whole-wheat toast (220 calories)

Lunch: Espresso; a glass of almond milk (250 milliliters) (60 calories)

Snack: Two squares of 70 percent dark chocolate (110 calories)

Dinner: Large green salad with prawns (100 grams), dressed with olive oil and lemon juice (335 calories)

Day Five

Maximum calorie intake: 725

Breakfast: Black or green tea; two boiled eggs (156 calories)

Lunch: Half an avocado on toast; miso soup (210 calories)

Snack: An apple (60 calories)

Dinner: Large portion of vegetable soup with toasted pine nuts (10 grams) (299 calories)

Sources: Harper's Bazaar, Washington Post, Telegraph

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