The Ultrasimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days
Mark Hyman, MD Simon & Schuster, 2007 Reviewed by Amy Jamieson-Petonic, MEd, RD, LD Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson
Toxicity and inflammation are the underlying causes of disease and obesity. When you eliminate foods and beverages that create toxicity and inflammation, you can kick start your metabolism and safely lose up to 10 pounds in just seven days.
The major components of the program include the detoxification diet, a healthy gastrointestinal tract and incorporating daily relaxation techniques.
The diet recommends eliminating the most common allergens, which include dairy, gluten, eggs, corn, yeast and peanuts. Other foods that are eliminated include refined sugars, sugar substitutes, citrus, fast foods, junk foods and caffeine. Additional foods that are eliminated due to their inflammatory potential include beef, pork, lamb, hydrogenated oils, nightshade foods, stimulants, all flour products and all processed products.
The author recommends preparing for the diet one week before you actually begin, slowly transitioning to no caffeine, white flour and processed foods. The author recommends taking 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of buffered pure ascorbic acid (vitamin C) per day to support the detoxification process of eliminating caffeine.
The program also uses a broth (UltraBroth) and shakes (UltraShake). The broth is made of 10 to 15 vegetables, boiled and strained. The shake is made of rice protein powder, flax and borage oil, flaxseeds, non-citrus fruits and optional nut butter or nuts blended together.
The diet is the same each day.
Morning meals: Lemon juice, green tea, UltraShake for breakfast and UltraBroth and UltraShake mid-morning.
Lunch: two cups steamed vegetables, 1/2-cup brown rice, 1/2-cup fruit or berries and an UltraShake. Afternoon snack: UltraBroth and UltraShake.
Dinner: Four to six ounces of lean fish, chicken or tofu or legumes with spices, two cups steamed or sauted vegetables, 1/2-cup brown rice and UltraBroth.
Keeping bowels clear is another important component of the diet. According to the author, if you do not have a bowel movement every day by 10 a.m., that signals constipation. His progressive suggestions for stimulating a bowel movement include ground flaxseed and two to four capsules of magnesium citrate twice daily. If this does not help, take an herbal laxative before bed or magnesium citrate liquid or a fleet enema.
The last component is a 20-minute UltraBath for relaxation, detoxification, enhanced sleep and improved health.
The Ultrasimple Diet
Nutritional Pros and Cons:
The author suggests consuming a diet of fresh fruits (non-citrus except for lemons), vegetables and healthy oils and eliminating processed foods, refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated oils. In addition, he recommends consuming healthful fluids such as green tea and water and daily journaling of progress on the diet. All these are consistent methods and techniques that have been clinically shown to support long-term weight loss.
Bowel frequency varies from person to person and according to current medical experts, a person may have a bowel movement once per day or as infrequently as three times per week and not be constipated. Physical activity is one method to help reduce constipation, but is not recommended with this program. Daily physical activity can be added to the enhanced program.
The diet consists of very healthy foods but is extremely restrictive. It recommends purchasing organic products, which are more expensive, making it cost-prohibitive for some people. It may be difficult to follow a program like this while traveling or dining out. The author does offer solutions to these situations and with proper planning, it can be done.
I would recommend most of the book to someone who is ready and committed to following a very strict program, albeit for seven days. For most people, it would be very difficult to make sweeping changes in their eating habits to follow this. A more gradual approach to the diet may make compliance with the program higher. Long-term weight loss can be achieved by incorporating the foods in this book along with daily physical activity.