FAN MAIL FRIDAYS: Review of The Diets I've Tried

Looks someone got inspired with my #Fitspiration blog post. Thank you very much! No, I mean thank you, really, because you make me feel that I'm inspiring something good with all the fitness- related blog posts and Instagram videos that I've been posting, thus I feel good too! :D

Our question for today is from Irene.

Hi Ms. Martha! :) 
I am very fond of reading your blog. I learn so much from you. With your recent posts, I read that you've tried different diet plans and you are currently with Feast Your Fat Away. I've always been very curious with these diet plans specially the one you're currently into. I gained so much weight the past year - 40lbs to be exact :( and it saddens me so much that I find it really difficult to bring back the figure I had.   
I think you are the best person to ask a detailed review for the diet plans that you've tried and some pieces of advice to people like me who struggles in losing weight. And perhaps more tips on how to lose weight? Hehe. Thank you and God bless! More power to The Beauty Junkee :) 

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Hi Irene!

Oh! 40 lbs.--that's a lot. But don't worry, a sound diet plan and an active lifestyle will bust those excess pounds away-you just have to have the heart and sheer willingness to do it!

I've mentioned in my #Fitspiration blog post that I tried 8 diets over the course of four or five years, and here's a blog post that weighs in the pros and cons of these diets, based on experience. Just click READ MORE to know which diet plan will suit you best. :)

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In a nutshell, the Flat Belly Diet promises a total of 8- 12 in. off your belly in just 30 days. You begin with a strict four- day detox wherein you should eat a total of 400 calories per meal and a total of 4 meals per day to hit the recommended caloric intake of 1,600/day. During the first four days, you should avoid salt, processed foods, veggies that make you gassy such as broccoli and beans, and any form of carbohydrates because these foods make you bloat. After the fourth day, you should still strictly follow the 400 calories/ meal 1,600/day eating plan, you should not go hungry beyond four hours, you can introduce sodium, but use a little amount as much as possible, and eat monounsaturated fats in every meal such as olive oil and avocado. The entire diet is pretty much Mediterranean style and the "Sassy Water" will forever be a staple-it's water mixed with mint, lemon, cucumber, and basil, and I believe this concoction is meant to get rid of bloat and gas, two main reasons why your tummy is big and poofy.

This diet also comes with a complementing Flat Belly Workout. I only did this diet for a month because I really couldn't stand the taste of "Sassy Water" and counting calories became too taxing for me. I also saw an increase in my grocery bill because Mediterranean style foods and ingredients are way too costly here in the country, and I had to rack my brain every time I have to eat in a restaurant, always thinking which establishment has the right menu for me and most of the time, I end up in fine dining restaurants. I gave up on it because the inches and weight I lost weren't too dramatic and it was eating up all my savings!

BEST FOR YOU IF: You have a lot of money; you've been doing the Mediterranean diet; your body is prone to bloating

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I blindly followed this diet because I am a huge fan of Kate Middleton and this diet, apparently, was her secret to losing weight and looking great for her wedding. Dukan Diet was designed by the famous French doc, Pierre Dukan, and is meant to keep those excess pounds off for life with the four diet phases: 

Attack Phase- can last for up to 10 days wherein you'll go strictly no- carb and will eat fat and protein foods only. 

Cruise Phase- this is where the real weight loss begins. It starts a day after the attack phase ends and you slowly re-introduce non- starchy veggies into your diet while still eating a rich amount of fat and protein foods. This stage will last depending on how much weight and inches you want to lose. I did it for 2 months and I lost 15 lbs. off the scale and 7 in. off my waist. In this phase, you are not allowed to eat starchy veggies, any form of carb, and any kind of fruit. Basically, you'll alternate pure fat + protein days and protein +  low fat + vegetable days for the entire week. You also have to take 1 tablespoon of oat bran per day as your fiber source.

Consolidation Phase- This starts a day after the Cruise Phase ends and this is how it works: You should allot 5 diet days for every pound lost to determine how long this phase will last. So if I lost 15 lbs., that's 15 x 5= 75 days or 2 months and 15 days. Your daily meal plan in this phase consists of 2 slices of whole wheat bread, a serving of fruit, an ounce of cheese (certain cheeses are restricted such as Brie), and unlimited serving of non- starchy veggies and protein. But in some days, you can welcome 1-2 servings of high carb foods (but serving is limited to one meal per day only) like rice and pasta in lieu of bread, and 1-2 celebration meals (serving is limited to once per day only as well) per week or aka, cheat meals. The high carb meal and celebration meal, it's best to have them on two separate days. It's also best to follow every high carb meal or celebration meal with the original meal plan so you won't pack in so much pounds.

Stabilization Phase- This starts a day after the Consolidation Phase ends-it's basically maintenance. This phase suggests that you follow the meal plan of the Consolidation phase to be safe and to insert one pure Protein Day (that means zero carbs) in each week, the day wherein you let your body burn all its excess fat reserves-it's like you're burning fat effortlessly like how butter melts when you run a hot knife through it. The 1 tbsp. serving of Oat Bran per day is a retainer in this phase also. You're also required to walk for at least 20 minutes after every meal because Dr. Dukan said that walking speeds up the metabolism.

I was so thankful that I encountered this diet because it made me lose so much weight without exercise-well, hardcore training is not really recommended with this diet because you'll be going on an extreme carbohydrate deficit. This diet is a journey meaning it will take you a while to see results. I gave up on it because it recommends a lot of food that are pretty exotic such as Rabbit Meat (rabbits are pets! not food!) and it forbids a lot of cheese variants such as Brie, which was the deal breaker for me-I love Brie and I can't live without it! The Consolidation Phase is too structured for me and I can't imagine eating the same goddamn foods every single day of my life so I bid the diet goodbye. Also, I wasn't a huge fan of Oat Bran.

BEST FOR YOU IF: You are reluctant to exercise; You barely have time to exercise; You enjoy going through "journeys."

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This is the first diet I've ever tried! ABS DIET POWER is an acronym for the foods that this diet only allows:

A- lmonds and nuts (but go easy on peanuts 'cuz they're greasy and high in sodium!)
B- eans and Legumes
S- pinach and Veggies

D- airy
I- nstant Oatmeal
E- ggs
T- urkey and Lean Meat

P- eanut Butter
O- live Oil
W- hole Grains
E- xtra Protein
R- aspberries and Berries

It's plain and simple- whatever food that is not part of the acronym, you shouldn't eat, but you're allowed to have one cheat meal every week. It's basically a sound and healthy eating plan, and even a fun way to reintroduce the food pyramid. Weight loss with this diet depends on your body's reaction and on your physical activities-I lost a total of 20 lbs. in one year with this diet. My problem with it was, I had to adjust my life to it so that meant I had to say no to some birthdays, get- togethers, and events especially when I've finally used up my cheat meal and since this diet required me to eat 6 small meals per day, I was always stressing myself out whenever I forget to eat. I was always at the risk of bingeing on my cheat meals too and there was one cheat meal at Som's that I couldn't forget: I ate so much that I ended up sick three days after. Besides, there are some foods excluded from the list that are equally healthy as well!

BEST FOR YOU IF: You just want to eat healthier; you exercise at least 3- 4 times a week.

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Skinny Bitch is a vegetarian manifesto. It's a diet that's based on pure veganism. I tried it because skinny was the trend in 2006, but I love meat so much that I decided to drop this diet a few weeks after trying it! I lost around 5 lbs. with this diet, maybe. The nice thing about this diet though is it allows you to eat dessert, but then again, we all know that dessert is very high in calories and since it is considered a reward in this diet, there's the possibility of overeating.

BEST FOR YOU IF: You've been meaning to try veganism; you are currently a vegan; you love dessert.

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The diet that plays with your Leptin, a body chemical that helps you burn fat fast. This diet, just like the Dukan Diet, has phases, but are shorter as they only last for one week, respectively:

But before diving into the phases, you start with a Cheat Day.

Low Carb Week- Definitely zero carbs. You're only allowed to fat, eat green, leafy vegetables, protein, certain types of dairy, skim milk (to be taken in moderation), and all- natural yogurt. Trace carbs from these foods are okay, but avoid carb- rich foods during this phase at all costs.

Low G.I. Week- G.I. stands for Glycemic Index, the sugar content that you get from carb- rich foods. In this week, you're allowed to eat low g.i. foods such as beans and legumes, but not carrots, potatoes and bananas as they're considered High G.I. You can also add citrusy fruits in this phase, but don't eat so much. By this time, you should minimize your fat intake.

High G.I. Week- this week is where you're allowed to eat rice, bread, pasta, carrots, potatoes, and bananas. By this time, your fat intake should be very, very minimal already.

After going through the three phases, you should follow the alternating low carb, low g.i., and high g.i. days, and cap off your week with a cheat day as maintenance. It goes like this:

Day 1- Low Carb
Day 2- Low Carb
Day 3- Low G.I.
Day 4- Low G.I.
Day 5- High G.I.
Day 6- High G.I.
Day 7- Cheat Day

By the way, this diet tells you to take 5 small meals each and every single day. After doing the diet, I lost 10 lbs. off the scale and 4 in. off my waist. It's a diet that's pretty easy to follow and it doesn't last long too, but I noticed that when I regained some weight and started doing the diet again, the results weren't that astounding as the first time I tried it. If you've noticed, the maintenance part is too structured, thus the body can get used to it eventually-this probably explains why it wasn't as effective as before on me!

BEST FOR YOU IF: You want a quick but safe weight loss solution

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The 4- Hour Body is by Tim Ferriss, the same creator of The 4- Hour Work Week. Inspired by the latter, this diet aims to simplify weight loss through a slow carb (aka low carb) diet with one cheat day per week. This diet is so simple that it doesn't recommend you to exercise or read up on fat burning techniques either.

This diet lasts for a month and on your slow carb days, you're only allowed to eat protein, cottage cheese (no other types of cheeses and dairy allowed), non-starchy veggies, and a serving or two of Red Wine. On the last day of the week, go all out on your cheat day.

One important thing to mention is Tim Ferriss is a guy who loves experimenting on himself and sharing his mind-blowing findings to his audience-he is not a doctor or a nutritionist. What does this tell you? To each is own-not everyone can do slow carb for one whole month and most importantly, Tim's body is different than you and I. I did this diet to make it for a photo shoot and it was effective as I lost 10 lbs. quickly-I was almost skinny then. But I only did it for a month because I was always hungry, irritable, and stressing myself out on what and what not to eat. I believe that this diet is a super quick weight loss solution, but I wouldn't recommend it as a life-long eating plan!

BEST FOR YOU IF: You only have a month to prepare for something that requires you to look a little slim and lean.

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I don't really know where this diet has originated, but I did it anyway. I did it for three months and lost a total of 10 lbs. But I'm a Filipino and I thrive on Rice so I ditched the diet! LOL!

BEST FOR YOU IF: You are pre- disposed to Diabetes because rice is high in sugar, but go easy on the starchy fruits, breads, and pasta too!

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This diet was one of the first and most popular diets in the early 2000 (or even earlier). It simply suggests that you eat before 6 pm because the body won't burn calories anymore after this time. I forgot how much pounds I lost with it, but I do remember that it wasn't a lot. I also cheated on the diet almost always because I'm a nocturnal person and I feel like eating at night!

BEST FOR YOU IF: You're an early sleeper.

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Now we've come to the final diet, the one that I'm currently doing and I believe I can stick with for life. Visit my #Fitspiration post to know all about it.

Irene, all diets work-that's one thing that I've proven in all these years as long as you stick to it and you don't compromise. A piece of chocolate is a piece of chocolate and you can't afford cheating on your diet with such tiny detours if you want it to work! At the end of the diet, your results will be based on how you have followed it so if you want amazing results, be religious with your diet. And be sure to exercise too!

P.S. If you wish to follow any of these diets, please buy their respective books. What I have provided here are only summaries. The book will tell you how to follow your chosen diet strictly!

Hope you've learned something useful again today! :)

**Got a burning question about makeups, skin care products, beauty, dieting, and health tips, relationships, and whatever? Just send them to or shoot 'em up at The Beauty Junkee's FB Fan Page via the MESSAGE button and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. (Please, do not send me Math- related queries. :D)

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12 Lovely Thoughts

  1. you've went through a lot of diets pala noh... diets really work if you have the discipline to follow all the rules... but one taste of bawal and it all goes poof! i've tried atkins and of course no rice diet (i think every dieter has tried "no rice" once in their lives)... it does work, my belly got flatter... but then just that one spoon of rice, and i can't seem to stop... Filipinos and rice... :D anyway, what I do now is portion control... i indulge often... because i love food... but i just make sure i exercise... i'm doing Focus T25 now, and my body seems to react greatly to it...

  2. Super handy tips and suggestions to losing weight! thanks for sharing what you know, Ms. Martha! I just followed you on Instagram (I've decided to finally make an account 3 days ago haha) and I admire you for your discipline and impressive self-control when it comes to fitness. :)

  3. I was jumping in joy when I saw this post! And I kinda cried after reading it, not because these diet plans were too difficult to follow nor that I felt more hopeless about my case but because it gave me that extra push and a great motivation to change my lifestyle particularly with my eating habits. This is also so far the best and most realistic diet review I have ever read. Thank you very much, Ms. Martha for sharing your experiences. It's like a collection of diet plans! Hehe very informative. I would probably be reading this post every day. I don't know how to express my deepest gratitude that you answered my query and wrote this post. It is exactly what I needed. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you very much, Ms. Martha :) God bless and more more more power to The Beauty Junkee! <3

  4. I've been seeing you videos at Instagram and I thought you were doing Circuit training as well? It's really so intense that i don't know if I could do it myself. I hope you could also post some tips on toning down, that's what I've been trying to do lately.
    Anyway, Good luck with your diet and exercises! Hope to see more of you #Fitspirations!
    Thanks for the good read! :)

  5. Oh I am aiming to gain weight this summer vacation since I hardly gain a pound </3 Have any tips, sis for thos who have megafast metabolism? The Skinny Bitch book reminds me the book Why Men Love Bitches. Haha!

  6. Hi Irene! If you are on a diet plan, make sure to partner it with exercise. This combo should go along for you not to just lose weight but to also tone your muscles para hindi mukhang saggy yung katawan mo. I'm also on a diet right now. More on high-fiber, fruits and veggies and it works on me! I also do crossfit training. I suggest you try this workout and it burns a lot of calories in just 20 mins. Just like Martha, you can be as strong as most masculine men out there.
    I'm a newbie in crossfit but I'm enjoying it so much that I'm so motivated to try the more intense workout.
    One more thing, post a picture of a sexy body you want to achieve on your bedroom wall or make it as your phone cover photo/screensaver. It can also motivate you to be seroius in losing weight and be inspired. I did it and it's freakin' working on me hihi.

    Good luck and be healthy.

  7. Well this is an interesting post. Let's face it, everyone is so body conscious, when in fact we should all be HEALTH CONSCIOUS. I appreciate the options you gave us and I truly love all those ideas. Your reviews are really top of the line. However, perhaps we need to start consulting a dietician first before we indulge ourselves on any of those diet regiments. Knowing our body as the first step would result to a better outcome. Also, together with eating right, doing exercise or getting fit will truly help. From your posts doing the cross-fit then seeing the changes in you, well, you're a good ambassador of fitness. Kudos!

  8. Cat: Remember, you cannot out train a bad diet. :) Been hearing that T25 thing lately-might go and check it out on Youtube. :)

    Jawsmayobanico: Thank you and I appreciate your insight. :) Dieticians, I believe, are best to consult if you have health conditions or you don't seem to lose weight with any diet. But there's no harm consulting one even if you're perfectly normal! :)

    Marielle: Thanks for the additional tip, Marielle! :) What I do i I buy clothes that are one to two times smaller than my size so I'll be motivated to lose even more weight! :)

    Trish: pack on more calories than your recommended intake and engage in strength training to build more muscle so you'll look thicker and leaner. :)

    Irene: Glad this post has motivated you. If I did it, so can you! :)

    Dearkaaat: Thank you. Glad to know my posts have been inspiring to my followers. :)

  9. Cat: Remember, you cannot out train a bad diet. :) Been hearing that T25 thing lately-might go and check it out on Youtube. :)

    Jawsmayobanico: Thank you and I appreciate your insight. :) Dieticians, I believe, are best to consult if you have health conditions or you don't seem to lose weight with any diet. But there's no harm consulting one even if you're perfectly normal! :)

    Marielle: Thanks for the additional tip, Marielle! :) What I do i I buy clothes that are one to two times smaller than my size so I'll be motivated to lose even more weight! :)

    Trish: pack on more calories than your recommended intake and engage in strength training to build more muscle so you'll look thicker and leaner. :)

    Irene: Glad this post has motivated you. If I did it, so can you! :)

    Dearkaaat: Thank you. Glad to know my posts have been inspiring to my followers. :)

  10. Wow! I super love fanmails!As usual Miss Martha, you've made a very generous write-up that really reaches out and satisfies your fan/s. Very informative! Good luck Irene!

  11. Very informative and would love to try the tips you have given. Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. Concept-wise, I like the idea of French Women Don't Get Fat. There's room to eat all the sinful stuff, but in tiny portions, quality over quantity, etc. And the author has a way of romanticizing the whole thing through her writing (because I guess it's sexier in French).

    Yun lang nga, it seems as though you have to make everything look fancy just so you can say that it has quality. Just so you can inject that French romance into it. Especially for busy people, it's not easy to adapt that kind of approach to food. Wonderful as it sounds, a leisurely lunch is a luxury some of us cannot afford. But at least it is more about portion control than going cold turkey, which I find uber depressing.



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