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2 Diet Myths Debunked


In my book "The Virgin Diet" I ask readers to eliminate seven foods from their diets for seven days. If they fully comply and eliminate these foods, they could lose up to seven pounds during the first week. "But isn't that unsafe?" readers ask, pointing out the conventional wisdom that more than two to three pounds a week can be dangerous.

The answer is no. Let me share with you the two myths that I get to debunk on a regular basis.

Myth #1: "Slow and Steady Wins The Race"

A new study in The New England Journal of Medicine shows, that contrary to what some experts claim, slow and steady fat loss is not always better and fast fat loss can actually become permanent fat loss.

If that's not enough to convince you, an 18-month study in the International Study of Behavioral Medicine concluded that the people who lost weight quickly, obtained greater weight reduction and long-term maintenance, and were not more susceptible to weight regain than the people who lost it gradually. Fast fat loss offers practical benefits that build sustained confidence to stay the course. When my clients lose those initial pounds, their jeans fit a little looser, their friends comment on how great they look, and for the first time in quite a while, they actually like what they see in the mirror. These seemingly small morale boosters provide them with the drive and determination to keep at it for the long haul.

On "The Virgin Diet," fast fat loss becomes permanent fat loss. Combine fat-burning foods with removing the seven highly reactive foods that trigger food intolerances, and you have an incredibly effective formula for fast fat loss. Don't settle for slow and steady when fast fat loss done correctly and quickly is just as safe.

Myth #2: "All Calories are Created Equal"

"Your body is not a bank account," I tell people. "It's a chemistry lab." Calories do count, but where they come from counts a lot more. Every time you eat, you signal your body to do something via hormones. For instance, while The Virgin Diet Shake might have the equivalent calories of, say, a bagel, that bagel sends an entirely different message to your body.

Let's say that two people both consume 300 calories. One person gets a 300-calorie bagel and the other person gets a 300-calorie Virgin Diet Shake. Without even considering the hormonal outcome, who do you think will burn fat faster? All bets are on the shake. That bagel will spike up your blood sugar levels, which makes your pancreas responds with a cascade of insulin to pull your blood sugar back down. Your cells can only receive a little glucose, and your liver and muscle can store a little more.

If you've got more glucose hanging out - and you probably will after eating a gargantuan bagel - that excess blood sugar becomes fat, which insulin stores really well. Insulin also overcompensates and pulls your blood sugar down, way down. That explains why several hours later you're tired, cranky, and oddly craving the bagel that created your blood sugar fiasco.

The Virgin Diet Shake, on the other hand, eliminates that blood sugar rollercoaster and subsequent cravings. The protein, good fats, and fiber create nice steady blood sugar levels that keep you satiated and focused for hours. Put another way, you don't get that late-morning crash and urge to visit the vending machine like bagel eaters do.

Until next time,


Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness expert JJ Virgin is author of NY Times bestseller The Virgin Diet and the bestselling Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy. She was also co-host of TLC's Freaky Eaters. JJ frequently blogs for The Huffington Post, LIVESTRONG.COM, and other prominent media outlets. She created the 4 x 4 Burst Training Workout and regularly appears on TV shows like Rachel Ray and The Today Show to discuss topics such as fast fat loss, weight loss, and food sensitivities.


Allison DB, et al. Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity. N Engl J Med 2013 Jan 31; 368:446-454.

Nackers LM, et al. The association between rate of initial weight loss and long-term success in obesity treatment: does slow and steady win the race? Int J Behav Med. 2010 Sep;17(3):161-7. doi: 10.1007/s12529-010-9092-y.

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