by Jolie Cooperman
Juice detox, intermittent fasting, carb cutting – these words can only mean one thing. Summertime is coming and USC students are prepping for the upcoming bikini season. There is an excessive amount of dieting fads that are currently popular and an even larger amount of students eager to try them all out. However, how many people go on a diet search in hopes of decreasing migraines, allergy symptoms, or lower back pain?
A new fad is sweeping the nation and it refuses to be called a diet. The Plan, created and designed by Lyn-Genet Recitas, helps clients create a 20 – 30 day program that best suits the individual’s chemistry and budget. Recitas received an undergraduate degree in holistic nutrition and currently runs a nonprofit center in New York called Neighborhood Holistic. After years of suffering from chronic migraines, she began to log her food consumption and discovered a noteworthy correlation between the foods she was eating and her migraines.
As opposed to focusing on caloric consumption, The Plan promises weight loss through preventing inflammation. The first three days of The Plan consist of eating from a menu designed to reset the body to a low inflammatory state. Then, the individual will test the effects of different foods throughout the remaining month. This method is therefore more of a personalized experiment than diet. It’s also meant to feel easy! The first foods reintroduced are cheese, chocolate, and wine. The ultimate goal is to learn which foods cause your body to chemically react so that those foods can be avoided in the future.
While several testimonies proclaim that The Plan is as an excellent way to lose weight, others applaud its other health benefits. Several accounts of clearing up acid reflux, joint pain, and constipation have been noted.
The non-diet like feel of The Plan plus all of the successful testimonies provided by happy clients has made this diet extremely popular. Recitas wrote a book, interviewed on Dr. Oz, and graced the cover of several health magazines. While her and her diet’s fame increases, others are more cautious of Recitas and her work.
USC professor and expert on fasting mimicking diets Valter Longo expressed great concern over the diet fad craze. His research has shown that his carefully designed restrictive diet promotes a low inflammatory state, weight loss, and general mood improvement.
Longo said, “Do not merely adhere to a certain diet because of testimonies. What are the creator’s credentials? Do these results hold up in research trials? Have clinical trials been conducted?” Similar to looking for a doctor, searching for the right diet requires sufficient investigation.
Longo also stresses importance of looking at long-term effects of certain diets. While desired results may be achieved, it will be difficult to discern whether these results are occurring because of the proposed mechanism unless further research is conducted.
Longo said, “Writing a book on this diet will have much higher impact – whoever authors it must be careful about what they publish.”
Further, gerontology based study of the diet will aid in ruling out potentially detrimental effects of partaking in that particular diet for an extended period of time.
“Do not believe in the misconception,” Longo said, “that these fad diets will not necessarily cause harm later in life.”
There is no one right diet. Many will swear by The Plan, while others will abide by eating raw. Hopefully, with a sufficient amount of background research and healthy habits, undergraduate students may settle on an individualized plan that provides a nourishing menu in combination with maximum benefits