The Hot Latin Diet
By Dr. Manny Alvarez with Arlen Gargagliano Celebra (2008) Reviewed by: Malena Perdomo, MS, RD, CDE
The Hot Latin Diet is more than just a diet plan, it is a lifestyle change: "the fast-track plan to a bombshell body."
Synopsis of the Diet Plan: The Hot Latin Diet includes meal plans and recipes featuring seven Latin "powerfoods": tomatillos, garbanzo beans, avocado, garlic, cinnamon, chiles and cilantro.
Recommendations include regular exercise, organic foods, wild fish, whole grains, fresh herbs, adding spices to foods, adding alcohol in moderation, eating every three to four hours and never eating after 8 p.m.
The program consists of three phases: Tracks One and Two are for weight loss and Track Three is for maintenance. There is also a section with pros and cons of other diet plans.
Track One: The first two weeks, designed for losing four to six pounds, recommend eating five times per day. The meal plan features seafood and poultry and averages 1,500 to 1,800 daily calories. This track offers two breakfast recipes, two lunch recipes, two dinner recipes and three snacks recipes.
Track Two: The next four weeks, designed for losing 12 to 18 pounds, add lean meat and garbanzo beans and consists of 1,800 to 2,000 calories a day. More recipes are introduced, which you can mix with the meals from track one. Track Two recipes include two breakfast recipes, one lunch recipe, three dinner recipes and three snacks. Readers who need to lose more weight are told to continue with Track Two beyond the four weeks.
Track Three: Designed for lifelong maintenance, Track Three includes two breakfast recipes, two lunch recipes, two dinner recipes and three snacks. Recommendations include increasing physical activity to up to 90 minutes three times per week, eating 1,800 to 2,500 daily calories a day, watching portion sizes and eating equal ratios of protein, fats and carbohydrates.
Nutritional Pros and Cons:
The book includes tasty recipes, exercise recommendations and good behavioral habits. However, the diet and weight-loss claims are not supported by research. There are some nutrition misconceptions (for example, about metabolism) and calorie information that cannot be applied to all women, including Latina or Hispanic women. This diet is also too low in dairy, recommending one to two servings of dairy per week regardless of calorie level.
The recipes might be good for someone who would like to become familiar with cooking Latin cuisine, although the reader must have a supermarket nearby that offers Latin products, as well
as be willing to buy only organic foods. As for the diet plan, it is very similar to other fad diets, only with a Latin twist.