The Diet for Chocoholics?

The Daily Express is not a newspaper I usually read but when I saw a front page headline that said: ‘The New diet that can end your sugar cravings’ I just had to buy an issue.

Well it’s all about yet another new diet book. This one is called ‘Why do you overeat?’ by Zoe Harcombe who has apparently spent 20 years researching nutrition after suffering from various eating disorders herself. The story is about one woman who wanted to lose her cravings for chocolate, sugar, tea, coffee and alcohol.

The diet is a three phase plan:

  1. Phase I: 5 days of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, rice and salad, yogurt, decaf tea and coffee, water.
  2. Phase II: you keep this up for as long as you want to keep losing weight. Add to Phase I, tofu, dairy, baked potatoes and beans, pulses and wholemeal bread.
  3. Phase III: you remain on this ‘for the rest of your life’ Now you can eat anything you like. At this point you should have lost all your cravings and can enjoy sweet things occasionally.

My verdict on this diet (as expressed by the Express): Yes, I agree that if you cut out something you are addicted to, the craving for this substance gets less with time. This applies not only to sugar and chocolate, but also to alcohol, caffeine, recreational drugs and nicotine. So what’s new pussycat? Another diet book hits the shelves. Well Atkins hasn’t been in the news for a while so luckily for Zoe Harcombe there was some column space for her book. We wish her well. Nothing dangerous or radical about her sensible suggestions but is this as the Express asks the ‘Ultimate Diet’ I doubt it. There is a new ‘Ultimate Diet’ every few months these days.

So may I remind you of my own ‘Ultimate Diet’…

Dr. Kaplan’s Ultimate Diet:

Follow these rules to achieve you ‘ultimate’ weight.

  1. Only ever eat when you feel hungry.
  2. Ideally stop eating when still a little hungry. This feeling will pass soon as you digest and absorb what you have already eaten.
  3. Eat a combination of healthy foods and foods you really enjoy.
  4. Avoid foods to which you are definitely allergic.

That’s it. The ‘Ultimate Diet’ of all time and it’s only 53 words long. Feel free to send it to your friends and print it out. It’s free and it really works. Trust me; I’m a doctor.

To Stretch or not to Stretch:
To my surprise, the rest of the health section in the Express was pretty decent. There was a good article on why stretching before exercising can actually make you more prone to injuries. There are exceptions made for rugby and football players because there is a great deal of stretching in these games. But for the rest of us, stretching before exercise is not recommended. However it’s a good idea to warm up for approximately 10 minutes before doing the full exercise regimen.

For Gym trainers: the rowing machine and cross-trainer are recommended.
For runners: a brisk walk, then a jog, then run is the way to do it.

So remember: No need to stretch before exercise unless you do a sport in which this is specifically recommended. However stretching after exercising is an excellent idea and a good stretching session should take you about 10 minutes.

Homeopathic Tip of the Week: Overdoing exercise

Everyone overdoes their exercising every now and then (except for my wife). When you feel a bit bruised after a particularly hard session or a long run, take a single dose of the homeopathic remedy, Arnica 30c. It’s the most famous remedy for injuries but is also great for when you feel you have overdone things.