Catchy title right? Author JJ Virgin explains how dropping 7 foods can help you lose 7 lbs in just 7 days in her new diet book, The Virgin Diet. I’m usually hesitant to review a diet book since many are boring, rarely groundbreaking or just plain against my own beliefs. After learning this book was about discovering your personal food intolerance, I was eager to give to it a look.
And since I was sent a copy, I made sure that one of you gets one too. Continue reading to see how you can win your own copy!
Virgin, a 25-year veteran of the health and fitness industry, claims that common “diet” foods are actually what is causing you to gain weight and not be able to take it off and food intolerance is to blame. The 7 foods most likely to cause food intolerance (or high-FI foods as she calls them) are gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, corn, peanuts and sugar and artificial sweeteners. While she doesn’t say these foods are off limits for everyone indefinitely, she suggests through listing symptoms that you may be intolerant to one or more of them and never have realized it before.
She goes into more details about why these high-FI foods can lead to weight gain, how to remove them from your diet, the false advertising behind such “healthy” foods as soy and non-fat dairy, why moderation will make you fat, how to maintain a healthy diet without high-FI foods and how to test which ones are particularly bad for your unique biological profile.
I found this book to be so interesting that I couldn’t wait to read certain chapters and finished in record time. I believe that the author doesn’t think most of the above foods are necessarily bad for you but that due to how it gets put on our table is. From chickens being fed a soy diet to stripping the fat from dairy products and rGHB hormones fed to the cows, the food we eat today is drastically different from what we did 100 years ago. I found the studies to be so interesting and made me want to eat only free range, grass-fed animal products.
The case against gluten, corn and peanuts is a whole other ball game placing blame basically on our government for not looking out for our well-being. I can live most easily without these three. As for sugar, I’m convinced I’m addicted and her chapter on it proved this is probably true however, I’m a healthy weight and an active individual. I’ll quit it when I’m ready and in my 20’s, I’m not ready. She does agree though that we are predisposed to certain tastes. Some of us have a sweet tooth and she agrees it can be genetic but says not to use that as an excuse. Instead, feed your sweet tooth with nut butters, fruit, cinnamon, vanilla, coconut, dark chocolate and even chocolate protein powder.
There are some but not many recipes in the book. She wants you to use her favorite food suggestions and be creative. I like this approach but some people may not. The recipes do not include nutrition information as the diet is not about counting calories.
The Rest of The Book
She asks the reader to eliminate the 7 foods for 21-days. No slip ups. This is all or nothing 21 day elimination phase! If you accidentally eat something like soy, she wants you to wait at least another 21 days before introducing it back into your diet. After the first phase, you slowly reintroduce one food group a week at a time to see if in fact you may be intolerant to it. The four foods you are allowed to reincorporate into your diet are soy, gluten, dairy and eggs. However, it’s not like it’s time to go binge on fro-yo the week you’re allowed to reintroduce dairy. You get to have one greek yogurt a day for 4 days. Then you eliminate it again for the next three to see how you feel. The following week, you keep dairy out again and this time try it with gluten. If you experience no symptoms, at the end of the 4 week phase 2, you can eat the foods during Phase 3 or rather… life. As for corn, peanuts and sugar she says to avoid it for the most part if you can indefinitely.
She is cool with xylitol and a little stevia as long as it’s mixed with xylitol. After after phase two, if you must have something like a cupcake, she says only have a max of three bites. She doesn’t mention chewing gum anywhere which makes me think it’s off-limits forever thanks to artificial sweetener.
She mentions alcohol is OK in the third phase, once in a celebratory moment. She also mentions not to juice carrots but never mentions any green juices or her thoughts on those. When it comes to being a vegan, she also suggests that it is not exactly the most healthy diet, but does cover how to do her diet if you are.
She recommends 3 meals a day with potentially one snack eating every 4-6 hours. I think this is a little long. She prefers no snack at all but understands if you are an early riser, it may be essential. I am a steadfast believer in the 4 pm snack.
This is a great quick read for anyone that “eats healthy,” exercises and still cannot lose weight. It’s also a great book if you are like me and enjoy learning about nutrition sciences. I do wish it wasn’t such an all or nothing entry point to try out but if you think you may have one of the food sensitivities, it’s worth a shot. I really do think people are adversely effect by high-FI foods and never realize it. Some of the symptoms she includes are acne, food cravings, asthma, arthritis, ADD, depression, constipation, psoriasis, throat cleaning, gas, bloating and chronic mucus/stuffy nose.
Final Grade: B+
Have you discovered that a food intolerance was preventing you from losing weight? Do you think you might have a food intolerance? Well lucky you, since I got a free copy of the book so does one of you! Leave a comment below to be entered to win. Winner will be chosen and notified using Random.org on Tuesday January 29th at 9 am.