More than 50 million people in the U.S. go on a diet each year, according to the University of Colorado Extension. These dieters choose from countless diets plans, including low-fat, low-carb and extreme weight loss programs. Those looking for a clean eating approach that emphasizes unprocessed, whole foods may consider the Michi's Ladder diet, which was created by a fitness company called Team Beach Body. Under this plan, followers must swap fatty foods with nutrient-dense alternatives as they climb Michi's ladder.
Michi's Ladder consists of five tiers of food, with tier 1 considered the highest tier and tier 5 considered the lowest. The foods in tier 5 include items high in calories and fat, or low in nutrients. As you climb towards tier 1, you'll find low-calorie, low-fat foods that contain high amounts of vital nutrients. Michi's diet followers should focus on foods from tiers 1 and 2, and avoid foods from the other tiers as much as possible.
The Michi's Ladder diet is based on the Japanese term "michi," which represents "the way." According to the Team Beach Body website, those who follow Michi's Ladder seek the way towards better health and fitness. The plan emphasizes a clean eating style similar to that followed by fitness enthusiasts and body builders. The plan is designed to guide followers towards foods that provide the most “bang for your buck” in terms of nutrients per calorie or gram of fat. All foods consumed under this plan must be eaten raw, steamed, baked or broiled -- fried foods are not part of the plan.
Team Beach Body developed the Michi's Ladder diet, and provides access to the plan to its members at the company website. While anyone can access the food lists and tiers for free, only members get personalized nutritional advice for recommended calories, coaching and fitness plans.
Some reviewers at the Better Business Bureau's TrustLink website have criticized Team Beach Body, as well as its parent company Product Placement LLC. These reviewers argue that the site is a type of multilevel marketing scam that promises to pay members for soliciting new members.
While the company displays the American Diabetes Association logo and name on its website and indicates a partnership with the ADA, no such partnership exists. According to the ADA website, Product Placement LLC provided sponsorship for some ADA initiatives, but there is no evidence that the ADA endorses the Michi's Ladder diet or any other plans by this company
In terms of nutrition and food, the Michi's Ladder diet closely follows the food pyramid guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For example, the USDA recommends consuming one or two servings of whole grains each day, including things like whole wheat, whole-grain cereal or oatmeal. All of these foods are found in the top 2 tiers of the Michi's Ladder. The same is true for fruits and vegetables, which make up many of the items in the top 2 tiers. The USDA food pyramid also includes foods like low-fat milk, low-fat cheeses, yogurt, eggs, beans, chicken and fish, all of which are found in the top 2 tiers of Michi's Ladder.