Since May 2000, U.S. television audiences have been captivated by the physical challenges and social maneuvering of the reality series “Survivor.” One of the most brutal aspects of the game is the lack of food. The “Survivor” diet typically consists of whatever the contestants can find, pick or catch, which often isn’t much. Like most extreme fad diets, a long-term low-calorie diet can be dangerous to your health. With a little ingenuity, you can create your own, healthier version of the “Survivor” diet.
Make sure you consume between 1,200 and 1,500 calories every day. The contestants on “Survivor” usually don’t eat nearly that many, but no one is potentially paying you a million dollars to starve yourself. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, very-low-calorie diets are meant to be done under a doctor’s supervision for short periods in order to lower the health problems of the morbidly obese.
Base your diet on tropical fruits. Coconuts, bananas and pineapples have all appeared on “Survivor,” and they are all good for you. According to the University of Florida Extension, tropical fruits typically contain high levels of vitamin C, potassium and even some calcium.
Fill up on rice. “Survivor” contestants usually win rice at some point in the game. Cook it by boiling 2 cups of water and adding 1 cup of rice. Cover the pot, turn the heat as low as it will go and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed. Add shredded coconut and chopped pineapple for extra flavor.
Grill, broil or steam fish and shellfish. According to pediatrician Dr. William Sears, fish is “a good source of protein--most varieties contain around 20 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving, the same as meat.” Cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna are higher in omega-3 fatty acids, but all fish contains vitamin B-12 and iron. Mix flaked, cooked fish in with your coconut and pineapple flavored rice for a quick and hearty “Survivor” casserole.
Cheat a little with greens. “Survivor” contestants have to make do with what they can find, but you need to eat a balanced diet if you want to lose weight and stay healthy. Many kinds of greens grow wild, so pick something exotic that you’ve never tried before, such as kale. Wash it well, and add it to your fruit, rice and seafood casserole, or use it as a wrap for grilled or steamed fish.
Stay hydrated. Water on “Survivor” typically has to be boiled, but you don’t have to go that far. Drink at least 32 to 64 ounces every day.