The subtitle on the cover of “The New Me Diet” may be technically correct but could also be a little misleading. If you read it to mean “Order up a large pizza, grab the TV remote and lose weight while you channel surf” -- well, no.
What it really means is this: Eat a diet composed of an unlimited quantity of most vegetables, certain fruits and lean proteins; some fat; and a small amount of whole grains, legumes and beans. Do a 30-minute interval and weight training workout that incorporates periods of rest three times a week, and walk every day for 30 to 60 minutes. And you will lose weight.
Now that sounds doable.
"Me Diet" authors Jade Teta and Keoni Teta are brothers who each have a couple of decades of experience as personal trainers and degrees in biochemistry and naturopathic medicine, among other health and fitness credentials. But though their backgrounds are similar, their body types and metabolisms are different, they say.
Their curiosity about why food and exercise affect people differently led them to develop what they dub their Metabolic Effect, or ME, program, which they say is based on the new science of hormonal fat burning. Translated, that means that certain hormones control how fat is stored and burned in the body. The Tetas say you can manipulate those hormones by what you eat and how you exercise.
Their book spends a few pages discussing the science behind their program but quickly launches into the practical matter of how to make it work for you. They divide people into three different types -- sugar burners, muscle burners and mixed burners -- and offer a quiz for readers to determine which type they are.
Sugar burners, they say, crave sweets, coffee and chocolate, store fat all over their bodies and are at risk for diabetes and heart disease. Muscle burners also crave sweets, are high-strung and tend to be thin but flabby. Mixed burners, which are most people, fall somewhere in the middle, with their metabolisms being influenced by their lifestyle choices.
Basically, the Tetas' diet is a high-protein, high-fiber plan that prescribes varying levels of sugar, starches and fat for each of these different types. The Tetas recommend eating multiple small meals each day and indulging in a weekly “reward” meal that they say will satisfy cravings and help keep the body from reducing its metabolic rate, as it sometimes does when people lower their caloric intake. Their diet plan is outlined in fairly brief fashion and includes several dozen simple recipes.
The Tetas spell out the details of their exercise program quite specifically and show pictures of the weight-lifting exercises they suggest. With their interval training program, you rev up your metabolism by alternating hard workouts with rest periods so you continue burning fat calories after the workout is over -- thus you "lose weight while you rest." The daily walks, they say, act as a calming effect on the hormones, the yin to the yang of the vigorous workouts.
Like many such "revolutionary" diet and exercise programs, their "New Me" regimen may be as much marketing conceit as nutrition and fitness plan. It may not be for everyone, but it could work for some. And in the world of weight-loss programs, that's what it's all about.
-- Anne Colby
Photo: The New Me Diet: Eat More, Work Out Less, and Actually Lose Weight While You Rest,” Jade Teta and Keoni Teta, William Morrow, $25.99