1. Low-fat fuel for your metabolism -- The amount of fat in your diet is very much related to weight gain. It's not just how many calories you eat but how fatty those calories are. Your body turns fatty foods into body fat much faster than do other types of foods. The best foods to boost your metabolism are: very low in fat, very high in complex carbs, moderate in protein. A diet high in complex carbs and low in fat also helps guard against drastic declines in metabolism that occur with traditional diet. When you lower your caloric intake on any diet, your metabolism temporarily declines. High-carbohydrate diets help to keep your metabolism strong. The HHMD is very low in fat (15-20%), very high in complex carbs (60%) and moderate in protein (20%). This combination of nutrients that rebuilds your metabolism and makes it stronger.
2. Dietary Stairstepping -- The whole idea of dietary stairstepping is kind of opposite from traditional dieting. Normally you set a goal weight and stay on a diet until you get there...but not with the HHMD. Taking into account how hard it is to be on a calorie restrictive diet for months at a time, which often results in quitting a diet or overeating (which is discouraging), Dr. Miller came up with stairstepping. He believes that people often gain weight after being on a diet because they aren't taught how to maintain it after they get off the diet. It also takes into account that staying on a low-cal diet for a long time is not good for your metabolism. The longer you diet, the more your metabolism is suppressed. Stairstepping combined with the booster weekends are the answer.
You divide your weight loss goal into steps (or stages). You lose some of your weight, maintain that weight loss for a short period of time, lose more weight, maintain again, and so on. So if you start out weighing 170 pounds, you may decide you want to lose 10% of your body weight to start off with. So you lose 17 pounds (taking you down to 153). Once you reach this weight (or 4-6 weeks passes), you maintain your weight for two weeks by eating the required amount to maintain your weight (can be found on SP). After that you may decide to lose 10 pounds on each step until you are at your goal. So step 1 is 170 to 153, then 153 to 143, then 143 to 133, then 133 to 123. In between the steps you maintain for at least 2 weeks.
You can also make your steps in weeks (4 or 6) before you leave and not set a certain amount to lose before you go in. During this time, you also learn how to maintain your weight AFTER you get off the diet.
3. The three-stage appraoch -- You will be eating normal, everyday foods that everyone else in the family can eat. The diet also has three stages (weekday low-cal, weekend booster, and maintenance). During the weekday, you eat a low calorie diet Monday-Friday. The weekend booster stage you eat 200-250 more calories a day than the other days. Lastly, during the maintenance stage you eat what you want (staying low-fat).
4. Metabolism Minimeals -- Two meals that are very small--usually just a fruit or vegetable. This works because after a meal, your metabolism increases 10-30%. It remains stimulated for the next 1-3 hours. This would mean that eating five meals a day would cause you to burn more calories.
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