JJ Virgin, celebrity nutritionist and fitness expert, recently came out with a book called “The Virgin Diet” where she teaches dieters to avoid seven foods for seven days to lose seven pounds. While some of these foods make sense, like sugar and artificial sweeteners, others are more confusing, like soy and dairy. Here are the seven foods she recommends to avoid:
One of our biggest questions in response to this diet is “Can dieters really stick to these restrictions over their lifetime?” This should be the most important question you ask yourself before starting any new weight loss program. It’s been said many times, and we will say it again; sustainable weight loss and health are lifestyle changes. Sure, eating twelve grapefruits a day may help you lose weight over the course of a week, but are you prepared to eat twelve grapefruits a day for the rest of your life? Even if you are, do you understand the lack of vitamins and nutrients your body would be receiving on such a diet?
With that glaring question out of the way, we’d like to give kudos to JJ on promoting the idea of an elimination diet. While some of these foods have been wrongfully villainized in the past, we do agree that these foods can cause undiagnosed sensitivities and even allergies in some people, so testing out an elimination diet could help you unlock some secrets to how your body functions best. Lactose intolerance has existed for decades, and now that further research has been done on gluten and Celiac’s Disease, the public is much more aware of food sensitivities and how they can affect your daily life (and more importantly, your weight loss efforts).
Soy is a great protein alternative for many vegetarians, so it may be difficult to eliminate all soy products from your diet if you’ve chosen to restrict meat. Soy beans are however, one of the most genetically modified foods you can find, and are used an as additive to many processed, packaged foods, so eliminating these forms of soy is definitely in your best interest.
Corn – Our biggest problem with corn is that most people treat it like a vegetable; when their body is actually treating it like a carbohydrate (most people finally treat potatoes like the carbs that they are, but you will still find some who argue differently). It isn’t uncommon to see a Sunday dinner filled with a pot roast, mashed potatoes, corn and a dinner roll. While this was once a socially acceptable, “wholesome” meal, our more health conscious friends will point out that you’ve got a slab of high-fat red meat and three starches. Corn, when recognized as a carb, can safely be added to a low fat, calorie-restricted diet. Lightly air popped popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks for dieters, and you can even pop kernels in the microwave using a brown paper bag.
Gluten and dairy should rightfully be on this list, and we recommend testing an elimination diet with these two items.
Sugar and artificial sweeteners should always be used in extreme moderation, since they are simple carbohydrates and spike your blood sugar.
Eggs and peanuts should also be on this list, since many people can be sensitive to these two foods. While they both provide a great source of protein, both are high in fat and should be consumed in moderation to begin with. Peanut can also cause one of the most severe and deadly allergic reactions in those who are intolerant, so it makes sense that many people may be sensitive to these legumes (that’s right, they aren’t even in the nut family!) without even knowing it.