The last thing the world needs is another dieting book. That is, unless it’s one that is LOL funny.
Eat Sh*t & Die(T) is hardly your conventional guide to losing weight. Written by Max Cunningham, a UK-based fitness instructor, the book is also not for anyone who’s the least bit offended by a foul-mouth. Rather, it’s loaded with more F-bombs and trash talk than a high-school locker room.
While the author claims his approach to permanent weight loss is scientifically proven, not all health professionals agree.
Cunningham lost 35 pounds during the first three months of the “IF” method—the acronym meaning “intermittent fasting”.
In his book, he describes a flexible approach to fasting, with three different plans:
- The F**k-Sh*t-Up Plan: Eat for eight hours, fast for 16, and repeat every day.
- The Make-Your-F**king-Mind-Up Plan: Eat “normally” for a day, eat 500 to 600 calories the next, and alternate continuously.
- The P*ssy Plan: Eat “normally” for five days, then eat 500 to 600 calories for two days; repeat.
If you use the first plan, which is the one Cunningham recommends, you get eight hours a day to eat, during which you could have two meals (say, lunch at noon and dinner at 7:30 p.m.).
What happens, Cunningham claims, is that you don’t get as hungry as you would with a “normal” diet. Here’s how he (colourfully) explains it in the book:
“You’d think that eating 2 meals instead of 3 would cause an increase in hunger, but it doesn’t,” he writes. “In fact it does the absolute f**king opposite! Once you attune to the way that your body reacts to food (by fasting), you’ll soon realize that ‘hunger’ is often not hunger at all, and just boredom! Too many people are getting fat because they’re f**king bored and just eating for the sake of boredom!”
He says that intermittent fasting is a form of calorie restriction, which, on a short-term basis, is a natural way for the body to extend its natural life span. Plus, he says that key reason people succeed at becoming leaner with this diet is because there are few behavioural changes required to stick to it.
“You don’t have to give up the sh*t that you like (tasty food),” Cunningham writes. “You don’t have to do sh*t that you don’t like (running, eating salad for every meal), and calorie-counting? Well that shit can go and F itself in the A! Nope, all you have to do is make a tiny tweak to your eating schedule and watch the fat melt away. Easy-f**king-peasy.”
Toronto registered dietitian Andrea Falcone, founder of Healthy Eating, Healthy You, describes IF diets as just another fad. Most of the scientific studies that point to health benefits from the approach have been done in animals, and the ones that have been done in humans have been small and based on short time periods.
She says that the F**k-Shit-Up Plan doesn’t account for is what individuals do during any given day and what their fuel requirements are. And while restricting calories will indeed yield quick weight loss, Falcone describes the Make-Your-F**king-Mind-Up Plan as dangerous.
“Rebound and you’ll probably end up gaining weight, just like every other yo yo diet out there,” she says. “With the P*ssy Plan…you could end up gaining weight eating this way, knowing in your mind that you can eat whatever you want for five days straight.
“In the end, you are really messing up with the normal metabolic processes of the human body. You are tricking your body into receiving certain nutrients and then starving it of these nutrients,” adds Falcone, who also questions the safety of exercising on days when calories are being severely restricted.
Falcone agrees that many people do eat too much and tend to eat poor-quality calories to boot, “to the point where we don’t even know what it feels like to consume only what our bodies truly need. However, she says that before trying another diet, people need to be honest with themselves about what their current diet and lifestyle consist of.
“Food is not the enemy here,” she says. “We need food to live. We all just need to recognize how to create a healthy positive relationship with food… and recognize what the body needs, when the body needs it, and develop healthy lifestyle habits.”
Would you try the IF diet? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting to @YahooStyleCA.