28 Day Diet - 8 Things You Need to Know
If you are feeling sluggish, unhealthy, or unhappy because you’ve gained weight, we have good news! You don’t have to accept a lower quality of life just because of decreased cardiovascular health and an unhealthy Body Mass Index (BMI).
One of the most recent diet plans to make headlines in the news is the 28 Day Diet Plan. Promoted by Doctor Oz, the 28 Day Shrink Your Stomach Challenge is designed to help people who follow the diet reduce their size in a relatively short period of time – 28 days, to be exact!
Why The 28 Day Diet Works
When evaluating diets, it is always essential that you decide what your fitness goals are first, advises WebMD. The 28 Day Diet is helpful for those wishing to lose some weight relatively quickly, for instance, if you want to look better at an upcoming event such as a wedding or a reunion (and that’s not a bad thing!). For the most part, this diet is a short-term approach to overall weight reduction.
Is the 28 Day Diet Different From Other Diets?
One of the biggest reasons that people struggle to lose weight and keep it off is because they don’t make all the needed lifestyle changes to sustain their losses. It is a never-ending battle if you don’t learn the basics to maintain a healthy weight daily. The 28 Day Diet focuses on teaching dieters of a more robust, long-term approach to losing extra weight.
The focus is making healthier food choices to your regular diet and consuming smaller portion sizes. By mixing things up and keeping your diet interesting, you’re less likely to cheat and forfeit your success. Adding regular exercise into your daily routine is also critical to success, says WebMD.
Is the 28 Day Diet Strict?
The point of the 28 Day diet is for people who are following it to get results for their efforts using both diet and exercise to achieve their fitness goals. As with any other type of diet, people using this diet approach will need to follow both the exercise and diet plan for best results.
People who choose to undergo this particular lifestyle need to commit to a 12-hour fast from 9 PM to 9 AM every day to adhere to the eating plan.
Addressing Bad Dietary Habits
If you are serious about slimming down, the chances are good that you’ll need to fix some adverse lifestyle habits, such as drinking alcohol, eating overly processed foods, and removing ’empty calories’ from your regular habits.
All you have to do is take things one day at a time. Before getting tempted to eat or drink any foods or beverages that aren’t in the diet plan, remind yourself that you’re working towards a larger goal and skip the seduction of the extra calories that you don’t need, The Mayo Clinic advises.
What Foods Can You Eat on the 28 Day Diet?
This diet follows a 28-day cycle. During this cycle, dieters will have the opportunity to eat a variety of healthy foods, allowing them to overcome boredom and monotony at mealtime.
It can be challenging to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in a day. A Green Juice or “Veggie Flush” is an ideal way to flood your body with essential nutrients without having to eat them as whole foods. Ingredients include fresh celery stalks, leaf spinach, cucumbers, lemon juice and water, Livestrong writes.
Whole Nuts or Nut Butter
Snacking is allowed on the 28 Day Diet. Dieters can either enjoy two tablespoons of nut butter or one-ounce of fresh whole nuts when following this diet approach.
Fresh avocado is a dietary staple in the 28 Day Diet. This green, tasty fruit is welcome for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Avocados contain high levels of potassium and fiber and can be beneficial in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Whole grains including quinoa, buckwheat, barley, millet, and soba noodles are all included in the 28 Day Diet. These whole grains are nutritious, helping dieters feel satiated at the end of the meal.
People who are following the 28 Day Diet can enjoy unlimited amounts of starchy vegetables including potatoes, legumes, corn, yams, pumpkin, and squash at dinner meals.
When doing a 28 Day diet, dieters have their choice of a 3-ounce serving of lean meat or 1/2 cup of beans for their daily protein. Lean meats as listed by WebMD include boneless, skinless chicken breast, Turkey breast, lean ground beef or turkey, shrimp, or lean fish.
Followers of the 28 Day Diet are encouraged to drink as much water as they want, optimally up to 64 ounces of water daily. One of the biggest misconceptions that our bodies have is mistaking thirst for hunger. Instead of drinking water to satiate the pang, people eat food, according to Livestrong. Plain water contains zero calories, which is always diet-friendly.
What Foods Are Not Allowed on the 28 Day Diet
If you are working hard to achieve a fitness or weight-loss goal, it is critical to focus on your objectives and not let anything stand in the way of your success. When following a 28 Day Diet, here is a list of foods you should limit or eliminate from your daily eating habits.
Desserts and Sugary Treats
For best results, dieters should avoid indulging in desserts and sugary treats when attempting to lose extra weight.
Highly Processed Foods
Ideally, dieters should follow a whole food-based diet as closely as possible. Highly processed foods tend to be higher in sodium, preservatives, nitrates, and other ingredients that aren’t healthy. Some examples of highly processed foods include boxed dinners, frozen meals, snack chips, crackers, and other prepared foods.
When following an effective diet plan, the consumption of fast food is nearly always problematic. Burgers, fries, pizza, wings, and other fast food favorites contain an incredible amount of fat, calories, and sodium.
Bottled Fruit Juices
While you might think that drinking bottled fruit juices is an ideal way to get more nutrients, the truth is that many favorite bottled fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar and calories, making them not very diet-friendly.
How many times have you found yourself with an empty bag of chips after eating them mindlessly? The chances are good that you’ve had that happen at least once in your lifetime. Snack foods like potato chips, chips and salsa, candy bars, foods served at gas stations, and other highly calorically dense snacks should get cut from your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions About Following the 28 Day Diet
Do I have to fast? Yes. Intermittent fasting (from 9 PM – 9 AM) is part of this diet plan. Intermittent fasting may reduce insulin resistance, as well as help you lose belly fat and body weight. When you don’t eat after 9 PM, your body doesn’t have to work to digest these calories, nor does it have to store them as unwanted fat for use at a later time, which is half the battle of losing weight.
Should I Talk To My Doctor Before Starting a 28 Day Diet?
Before starting a weight loss or diet plan, it is in your best interest to consult with your physician for clearance. By doing so, you’re taking steps to assure that you maintain optimal health throughout the weight loss process.
Further, your doctor can supervise your efforts to make sure that you aren’t losing weight too quickly. In some cases, your physician may prescribe a weight loss medication to help boost your energy and reduce your appetite to help kickstart your weight loss program, All Women’s Talk advises.
Do I Have To Exercise On the 28 Day Diet?
People following a 28 Day Diet will need to do some amount of exercise to optimize their diet and fitness efforts, says Healthfully.com. As part of the 28-Day Shrink Your Stomach Challenge, participants are urged to complete a daily Plank challenge to help strengthen their core muscles.
Are you worried you can’t do a plank? Rest easy! There are variations of plank exercises so regardless of whether you’re a beginner or you’re advanced at doing this bodyweight exercise, you’ll find a variation that you can do. When done properly, planks are helpful for reducing the appearance of belly fat, improving posture, reducing back pain, as well as improving coordination and balance.
Why do I feel fatigued?
When transitioning to a new, optimized diet plan, your body needs to adjust to the changes you’ve made. If you’re feeling weak, excessively tired or fatigued after following the diet, consult with your doctor to report these symptoms. Your medical professional will be able to assess the situation and offer advice and guidance to help you get on track without putting yourself at risk.
Is a Multivitamin or Supplements Necessary?
Regardless of whether you are dieting or not, it is always a sound idea to take a daily Multivitamin to assure that you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function at it best. Additionally, you may opt to take vitamin supplements to ensure that you’re taking in the recommended amounts of essential nutrients, Healthfully.com advises.
When will I start losing weight?
The primary selling point of the 28 Day Diet is that you can shred belly fat and lose enough weight to get noticeable results in 28 Days or less. As with many other diet plans, if you are strict and disciplined (no for those few ‘cheat’ days) you should start looking and feeling differently within the first two weeks.
Do I have to count calories when I’m on the 28 Day Diet?
While counting calories is not a requirement to adhere to the 28 Day Diet, keeping tabs on the total amount of calories you consume can’t hurt. If nothing else, getting into this habit is one that keeps you mindful of how much and what you’re eating, so you don’t gain weight back after losing it.
Is alcohol allowed on the 28 Day Diet?
As a general rule when following any diet or calorie-restriction weight loss approach, you’ll want to avoid consuming alcohol. While some alcoholic beverages do not contain as many calories as others, the truth is all alcohol calories you consume are empty ones.
The empty calories contained in alcohol get processed by the body as sugar, so if they don’t get burned off immediately, they get stored as fat.
Is daily exercise required on the 28 Day Diet?
As part of the 28 Day Shrink your Stomach Challenge, participants are required to complete plank exercises for varying lengths of time throughout the month. Some days you may only need to do 20 seconds of a plank, other days you may get a ‘day off,’ and other days may require you to plank for up to three minutes.
This essential (and equipment free) exercise helps reinforce your core stomach muscles, so you flatten your belly faster, says Livestrong. Participants are free to add other cardiovascular and strength building activities, as they see fit to get improved results.
What Users Are Saying
“My bp is down from 174/102 to 130/83 after following (most) of this plan for 4 weeks. Amazing! I have to admit the recipes are delicious and pretty simple to do. My husband has loved every dinner (and lunch, since you eat leftovers from night b4). I love this book/plan! I read alot of other DASH plans prior to choosing this one…meals just didnt have the appeal and were way too complicated in the others. I will be sticking to this book and continue to rotate these meals…so good…yum!”
“Variety and quantity! and ordinary food! nothing that you generally wouldn’t have in your grocery cupboard.”
“Works very well and does not make you feel weak.”
Summary of the 28 Day Diet
If you are searching for a diet that is helpful for reducing your weight relatively quickly, the 28 Day Diet is a straightforward, no-nonsense approach to dieting. If nothing else, participants can trim down just following this diet and exercise program for one month. Good luck!
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Summer Banks has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.