The Suzanne Somers diet, or the Somersize diet, was created by an American actress and entrepreneur Suzanne Somers who is best known for her roles on Three’s Company and Step by Step. Over the past decade, however, Somers has also become a spokesperson for natural health, healthy eating, and weight loss.
She has authored a number of books, including a series that started with the book “Suzanne Somers’ Fast and Easy: Lose Weight the Somersize Way with Quick, Delicious Meals for the Entire Family.”
The Somersize diet is essentially a weight loss program that requires cutting down on carbohydrates plus combining foods in a very specific way.
However, Somers says it’s the food-combining part of the plan that leads to the major benefits.
The benefits include not only weight loss and fat burning, but also an improvement in your metabolism.
Somers also claims food combining can help balance your hormones and provide a number of additional health benefits, especially for women.
Suzanne Somers Diet Basic Diet Principles
The Somersize diet plan is based on one main idea: that certain foods should never be eaten together.
Some of the combinations and exclusions might seem strange, and you’ll have to get used to avoiding certain meals that you’re accustomed to, simply because the ingredients can’t be eaten together in this diet plan.
For example, Somersize requires you to eat proteins with vegetables but never proteins with carbohydrates. Also, while fruits are allowed in this diet plan, they must always be eaten alone.
Dos and Don’ts
The Somersize diet plan includes a list of “Funky Foods.” These are foods that must be either completely avoided or severely limited in order for weight loss to occur. Somers includes most dairy foods (including milk and yogurt) in the list, as well as starchy vegetables, simple carbohydrates such as white rice, and nuts. All forms of sugar are also banned, including honey, maple syrup, and plain white sugar.
As a general rule, you’ll get most of your carbohydrates in this plan from green veggies and some fruits. You’ll also increase your protein and fat intake. While meal plan suggestions and recipes are included in Somers’ books, they are not a required part of the plan.
In fact, Somers emphasizes that the only things you need to do in order to lose weight are to combine foods the right way, eliminate “funky foods,” and then eat until you are “comfortably full.”
There’s no calorie counting in this program, no portion control, and no measuring meals or ingredients.
Somersize Phase One
Somersize consists of two phases. Phase One is all about eliminating high glycemic foods, as these affect your blood sugar levels and cause you to store fat rather than burn it. High-glycemic foods are what Somers calls “funky foods” and include most simple carbohydrates. You must also avoid caffeine and alcohol during this phase.
During this phase, you’ll also learn food combining principles. These are important and not necessarily obvious, so you might need to spend some time making changes to your favorite meals in order to follow Somersize properly.
There are four important principles (rules) in this diet plan:
- Eat carbohydrates only with vegetables (don’t mix carbs with proteins or fats)
- Combine vegetables with either fats or proteins (or both)
- If you eat fruit (bananas are banned), they must be eaten alone. Also, fruits should only be consumed on an empty stomach, so you can’t eat them later in the day
- You can eat as frequently as you want in this diet, but if you’re eating meals of different combinations, you must wait at least three hours between meals
Somersize Phase Two
Phase Two is all about maintenance. You should only move to this phase when you’re done losing weight and are ready to start working on maintaining that weight loss.
Phase Two still requires food combining, but the rules are more relaxed and dieters are allowed some indulgences, such as having red wine and chocolate occasionally.
The Science Behind It
Food combining is controversial and there’s little scientific proof that it really works. For example, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity showed that food combining is not any more effective than a “well-balanced diet” for weight loss purposes.
During this study, 54 obese patients were either assigned to a healthy diet (consisting of 42% carbs, 25% protein, and 31% fat) or to a diet with similar percentages but that combined the food groups in specific ways throughout the day.
At the end of six weeks, both groups had lost similar amounts of weight and had similar decreases in body fat percentage and waist circumference.
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