The endless quest for the ideal weight and body shape has been a goal which has been pursued universally for centuries. To aid people in that quest many different exercises and dietary plans have surfaced over the years. Some of them have garnered more success than the others. Today we are going to discuss one such successful diet plan that has been making waves all over the world due to the stunning results it has produced and more importantly because of its controversial methodology. It is famously known as the ABC diet or Ana Boot Camp diet in full.The radical diet plan is based on manipulating your metabolic system to speed itself up without adversely affecting your physical health or kicking your system into survival mode.
The main focus of the diet is on tricking the body’s metabolism into top gear without going into starvation mode. Once the metabolism rate increases, body fats (lipids) are burnt at a faster rate than normal which aids significantly in weight loss and shaping up your body towards your desired goal. The challenge however lies in the execution of the entire dietary plan which is easier said than done. A major roadblock that immediately arises upon consumption of reduced amount of food is the body automatically going into survival mode. Survival mode is simply when fat reserves inside the body are frantically built up due to the anticipation that a future shortage/crisis of food supply may arise. This reaction by the body will dramatically reduce any chances of weight loss altogether. In fact it may further aggravate the existing situation by increasing the existing body weight. That is precisely why it so often observed that overweight people gain weight despite low intake of food because they regularly skip breakfast or don’t eat breakfast properly as is recommended.
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Needless to say, ABC diet is a very rigorous and restrictive form of diet which requires regular fasting throughout its cycles. In addition to fasting, extremely low consumption of calories (50 calories per day) is also there which is quite drastic on anybody’s scale. The science behind the diet program is the constant fluctuation of food intake throughout the 50 day period which will trick the body into burning fat at a quicker pace and induce it to spiking up the metabolism which had been previously lagging due to predictable and unhealthy dietary habits. According to the logic behind the diet, different days have different nutritional requirements and this particular diet specifically caters to replenishing those nutrients accordingly.
Let us now delve in detail on how this program works effectively and explore the nuances that assist tremendously in achieving lasting success in weight reduction and body shaping. The key point is the short duration of the entire diet regimen which is 50 days in total. Results usually start pouring in after completing the timeline in the prescribed manner. It has been reported that participants have felt more energetic than ever before and lost massive amount of weight in the process. Once the program is completed experts recommended that it is advisable to return slowly and gradually to a more normal diet. Rushing back to a normal diet may cause more harm than good as body will slowly adjust back to normalcy. It is absolutely vital to understand that the diet should not be overdone as that may lead to adverse affects which we shall discuss a little later. The diet is divided into five periods altogether with different caloric amount of food being allowed to be consumed in different periods.
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CALORIE CYCLE OF THE ABC DIET
Now we shall closely examine all the different cycles that make up this intense regime. As you shall note below the emphasis is NOT on any special type of food group whatsoever. There is no compulsion to be vegan or non vegan either. There is no rule or preference on what has to be eaten and what has to be avoided. Furthermore, there is no set pattern or time on when to eat your daily meals which gives the participants freedom to choose their timings to consume according to the days requirements and their schedule. The focus of the program is purely on mathematics with strict measurement of calorie count throughout the 50 day cycle that needs to be followed to a tee. Dedication and constant monitoring are very important pillars of success in this demanding dietary regime.
- The First cycle commences from Day 1 and ends at Day 10. The first day of the diet plan allows consumption of 500 calories which shall be followed by the same number of calories on the second day as well. The first and second may have the same amount of calories. On the third you should change the calories and consume 300 for the third day. On the fourth day raise the calorie count to 400. Once the fourth day is done and dusted regulate the count by starting over the calories starting from 100 each day until the count rises to 500. Upon reaching the tenth day of the diet you must fast. On the 10th day it is imperative to remember that the calorie intake should be zero.
- The Second cycle starts at Day 11 and ends at Day 20. This stage is quite strenuous with the calorie threshold being limited from 150 calories to maximum of 400 calories at the very most.
The first day of the second cycle should begin with 150 calories only. Slightly increase by a very miniscule amount to only 200 calories on the second day of the cycle. The key is alternation of calories every single day so the body isn’t used to same amount of calories being consumed every day. On the third day elevate the calorie level to 400 calories which is the highest on the second cycle. On the fourth day reduce the count to 350 calories. Further reduction of consumption is required to 250 calories on the fifth day. On the sixth day of the cycle decrease it to 200 calories. The seventh day is unique to the cycle in the sense that you must fast on that day. The eighth day must be followed with 200 calories and the ninth day with 100 calories. The second cycle must be rounded off with a fast on the final day which is the tenth day of the cycle. Fasting on the last day of cycles is trademark of the diet program.
- The Third Cycle is the lengthy part of the cycle. The cycle starts at Day 21 and end at Day 32.The difference between the lowest and highest threshold is the starkest amongst all the cycles with this particular cycle ranging from a measly 50 calories to a high of 800 calories. Having said that one should be mindful of the fact that the recommended range is still 1200 calories per day.
Commence this part of the ABC diet cycle with 300 calories on the first day followed by gradual reduction of 50 calories every day until you reach the lowest threshold of 50 calories. Increase your calorie intake to 100 calories after that and keep the calorie value constant for the next consecutive days to 200. Keep the upward momentum and raise the level to 300 calories on the eighth day. The ninth day is the highest when the calorie count rises to 800 in total for the day. Round off the third cycle with the mandatory fast at the last day.
- The Fourth cycle is a very short cycle of 4 days in total. It is the shortest among all the cycles. It starts at Day 33 and ends at Day 36. Like the rest of the cycles that precedes it, the calorie consumption is different in it as well ranging from lows of 250 to highs of 450 calories. Kick off this cycle with 250 calories on Day 1. Follow up with increase of 100 per day for Day 2 and Day 3. On the final day finish off this cycle with a mandatory fast.
- The Fifth Cycle is another long cycle which starts from Day 37 and end at Day 50. Please note that this is the final cycle and after the diet regimen is complete. The cycle is characterized with highs of 300 calories and lows of 150 calories.
The first day of the cycle must start with 500 calories. Gradually reduce 50 calories each day until the calorie count drops to 200. Once you reach that mark keep at it for the next two days without fluctuation. Increase your count to 250 after that. The next day it should be reduced to 200 calories once more. After that increase calorie count to 300 followed by another reduction to 200 thereafter. The second last day of the cycle should only allow maximum of 150 calories. The last day of the cycle and the last day of the ABC diet must be ended with a fasting day for good measure.
ADVANTAGES OF THE ABC DIET
One thing about this particular diet is for sure. Once the diet regimen is successfully completed you are sure to witness dramatic results, provided that the instructions were followed properly and small tweaks or innovations to the program were not added. If small mistakes were made on your dietary journey, don’t worry too much about it or spend time beating yourself up over those mistakes. Take a short break and resume the regimen after a short while with renewed vigor and purpose. The rewards for following the strict guidelines are guaranteed to be tremendous. Keep in mind that transition to a more normal must be done gradually letting your body adjust to the changes without putting undue stress and strain.
The diet plan is especially beneficial to people that are chronically overweight and maybe even obese. With such slow metabolism, long term diets may not suffice although they do sound better on paper. Such folks need immediate action. To execute that their metabolism needs a sort of shock therapy to kick start it back to action and on to the right track. Undoubtedly, the diet is tailor made for rapid weight loss within a span of less than two months. How it does that is really quite simple. Our body reserves of fat stored under our skin are unused for long periods of time because carbohydrates reserves in the liver which is known as glycogen are used first before breaking down fat reserves. That is why it is often recommended to exercise first thing in the morning so that the carbohydrate and fat reserves are used before ingestion of food in the morning. Once food is ingested the fat reserves get the bottom last priority always since there are others sources of energy that are readily available at the time.
This revolutionary diet does come with a tall disclaimer that it may not be as equally effective for each and every individual. In contrast, the efficacy of the diet plan is undeniable. Why it is super effective for obese people is because it prevents compounding of the illnesses that are already plaguing them. Illnesses caused due to poor dietary habits and lack of physical exercise or perhaps due to excessive smoking or drinking. Obese people are often suffering from gastric and cardiac issues and often times are required to lose weight urgently to prevent severe health complications such a heart attack or a stroke. In such situations a diet such as ABC diet is nothing short of a literal lifesaver.
However, it is crucial to point out that the diet has faced stinging criticism from medical circles including doctors that are not fully convinced of its advertised benefits. It has been singled out for criticism for leading people towards dangerous eating disorders such as anorexia. Then again proponents of the diet argue vociferously that the diet plan is meant be followed in moderation and that is precisely the reason it has been restricted to 50 days and not more.
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RISKS AND WARNINGS ASSOCIATED WITH ABC DIET
Before starting any diet it is imperative to have a detailed consultation with your doctor first since he/she can best advise you keeping your current health status in mind. Even the biggest proponents of the diet concede the fact that the calorie count recommendations of the diet are much lower than the recommended daily average diet of at least 1200 calories. To give a more comprehensive context to the example note that even a humble egg has 150 calories to it. This leaves us with minimum room to consume other food items Keeping this fact in mind you can imagine how restrictive the diet can actually get for an average person of they have not done their homework properly. There are constant pangs of hunger throughout your adventurous journey of 50 days which is really understandable considering how little you would be eating than normal. Therefore it is strongly advised by the professionals to give the diet a trial run of ten days before going in full throttle. If you note any adverse reactions during this time it is best to discontinue it since it’s a clear cut sign that the diet is not tailored to your body type and may not benefit you in the long term.
As mentioned earlier the diet is not 100% risk free and may lead to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. There are chances that during the regime you may face episodes of dizziness and headaches as well. In addition, low blood pressure and fatigue may also be experienced. Lastly malnutrition may also be an unfortunate side effect of following the diet plan since nutrients are not being replenished. It is strongly advised to seek medical assistance as well if you face any of the symptoms and side effects mentioned above before continuing with the diet. After all, health is more important than any prescribed diet and you should constantly monitor your progress for your own safety.
Perhaps the biggest negative that detractors point towards ABC diet is that it is too simplistic and does not focus on the important nutrients which are vital for body’s survival. Nutrients which include carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins are ignored and looked upon as singular class of calories. The diet myopically focuses solely on calorie count and its mathematics. Nutrients are vital for body to function normally and their deficiency can create devastating health complications for people ardently following it without having full information at hand. Conditions such as anemia, Vitamin deficiency, liver and kidney problems may have permanent and irreversible damage on health. It is why it cannot be stressed enough that proper awareness is necessary.
As a side note it is important to highlight how crucial water is to our health. Staying hydrated is a must throughout the 5 stages for the diet to be effectively executed. Dehydration can be fatal to your health so please do NOT get calories mixed up with consumption of water.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What is the ABC diet?
ABC diet or Ana Boot Camp diet is a renowned diet plan which is based on manipulating your metabolic system in order to speed it up without adversely affecting your physical health or kicking your system into starvation mode. This is achieved by intake of small amount of calories throughout a diet program spanning 50 days. The diet plan is broken down to 5 cycles in total that are divided based on the calorie value that they hold. Each cycle includes fasting as well and cycles are typically ended with a day of fast as well.
2. How much weight do you lose on an ABC diet?
It is pertinent to note that the diet program is extremely effective at helping people lose weight quite rapidly. If the instructions are followed properly and with a good diet plan it is normal for a person to lose approx 20 lbs to 30 lbs within a matter of few weeks. For that to happen effectively one must ensure that they are properly hydrated at all times as well otherwise you are signing up for failure.
3. What should you eat during an ABC diet?
The diet does not dictate on what you may or may not consume during the duration of the diet plan. It is entirely your judgment on how to utilize the calorie chart. If you want to exhaust the calorie amount entirely on junk food such as soft drinks and sweets you will be robbing your body of natural nutrients. Conversely, it is much better to plan properly and add foods like beans, low fat yoghurt, egg whites and salads to the mix. What is important is that you stick to the recommended daily calorie chart.
4. How to stick to ABC diet?
Determination and perseverance are keys for sticking to the diet. It is advised to give the diet plan a trial run first. Try for the first 10 days (first cycle). If you see positive changes, your motivation levels will automatically surge and spur you on to stay the course and finish the diet regimen. Constantly monitoring yourself is essential with the help of fitness apps or maintaining a log book of your dietary habits.
5. How to survive ABC diet?
The key components to surviving the ABC diet are proper awareness and planning. Lack of understanding about important nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins will invariably lead to glaring mistakes when it comes to meal selection. Unfortunately, such mistakes may cause great physical harm. Be sure to consult your doctor first before joining the diet plan since it is not risk free. Take it easy and gradually make it harder as you progress so as to give your body the space and capacity to adjust. Once the diet phase is over, slowly transition to a more normal diet.