The Rice Diet Solution
The Rice Diet Solution: How It Works
The Rice Diet Solution starts with 800 calories then gradually increases to the final, maintenance phase that allows 1,200 calories per day for the rest of your life. Experts warn that very low calorie diets less than 1,200 calories daily should be followed with medical supervision.
Clients who go through the North Carolina program lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and successfully lose weight. "When they come off fried foods, coffee, processed foods, and sugar and shift to more natural foods, their bodies feel better, migraines go away, symptoms for fibromyalgia disappear, and they no longer crave unhealthy foods," says Rosati.
Originally, the low-sodium diet plan was developed for patients with kidney disease to help lower blood pressure. Today, the severe sodium restriction works to trigger water loss. "The average American consumes 7,000 milligrams of sodium a day and when we reduce that to 50 milligrams in the detox phase one, they lose water and within 48 hours they lose their appetite," Rosati says.
Amy Jamieson-Petonic, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, with years of weight loss counseling experience, disagrees. "You can't blame salt for your appetite; there are so many factors that impact appetite including a huge psychological component that goes beyond salt."
The Rice Diet Solution only allows an average of 16 to 20 grams of protein daily, which is much lower than the Dietary Reference Intake recommendation of 46 to 56 grams per day. Rosati dismisses the national recommendation and suggests studies exist to support a lower protein intake.
The Rice Diet Solution: What the Experts Say
The Rice Diet Solution works best in a controlled environment, like the Durham clinic, with support services, medical supervision, and a boot camp mentality. When it comes to doing it at home, it may prove difficult. Additionally, many of the diet's recommended products are not widely available and require special orders.
The diet "has some good components including exercise, stress reduction, lifestyle changes, and an emphasis on whole foods," says registered dietitian Jamieson-Petonic. "What concerns me is when you eat less than 1,200 calories per day, your body thinks it is starving and responds by lowering basal metabolism, which could set up the undesirable yo-yo syndrome."
Which means such an inflexible and low-calorie diet is hard to sustain, could trigger binging, and has the potential for nutritional deficiencies. It's also a challenge when you eat out or attend social events.
Additionally, experts warn that low- may lead to the loss of muscle mass. "Lean and low-fat protein is important in everyone's diet," says Jamieson-Petonic, "especially if you are trying to lose weight, because it maintains muscle mass and keeps you feeling full longer than other nutrients."
Some experts would like to see outcome studies on the rapid weight loss documenting the long-term effectiveness of the Rice Diet Solution. "The 20 to 30 pound weight loss includes fluids, which do not offer the same health benefits as does losing the same amount of fat," says Jamieson-Petonic. She also believes that the fasting phase of the plan could result in side effects and advises consulting your medical doctor before starting the plan.