Anyone who has been around the fitness industry for a while, has seen the cycle of fad diets that have come on the market. Lately, it seems that there is more of a market for long term eating plans that people can stick to and don't feel like they are on a diet...actually a pretty admirable concept.
One in particular that I wanted to talk about was the ABS Diet. It's written by the editor of Men's Health and is geared toward your general middle-aged person who's gotten out of an active lifestyle and gives a plan to help them find their groove or those in my generation who spent more time in front of the PS2 than they did being active and their spare tire has mutated into 18 inch rims with spinners. Again...quite admirable. I have this particular book (more for the recipes than for the diet) and thought I'd do a little research on people that have used it. So I took a look at the forums for people who've used this diet and found some data that frankly pisses me off. This one particular gentleman whom had lost substantial weight (something like 35lbs in 7 weeks, 265 to 230) seemed to be the forum "guru". This guy also posted his changes in bodyfat percentage over that period and it was about 1% a week, usually 1% a week drop is outstanding. Here's the catch, if you notice how much weight he lost, how fast he lost it and his drop in bodyfat percentage...you'll see that he lost 4lbs a week and a 1/1 ratio of fat to lean body mass. In 7 weeks on this diet, which not only promotes a healthier eating lifestyle but also the inclusion of weight training...the guy lost 2lbs of lbm a week! WTF is wrong with this diet? We are talking about a diet that promotes low GI carbs (except for all the damn smoothies which have some questionable ingredients, like honey), lean protein and good fats, plus sizeable amounts of fibrous veggies...and people are losing fat and muscle in equal amounts. This could certainly be an isolated incident, but i read this guy's journal and he was following the plan pretty religiously.
So here's my question/challenge to those of you who are a lot smarter than i am...how is it that a diet geared toward changing people towards a healthier lifestyle, including weight training and focusing on those with the endomorphic bodytypes (you don't get obese being an ecto or meso) is putting people at risk metabolically because of the high rate of lean tissue loss?
btw...I started this thread b/c a lot of people in my family are overweight and I would love to start them on a plan like this, but with just a small bit of anecdotal research some of the data unnerves me and I can't think of a good reason why something that seems sound could be so whack.