Curves: Permanent Results Without Permanent Dieting is written by Gary Heavin, who is also the creator of the Curves franchise of women’s fitness centers.
Curves is one of the most recognized weight loss centers for women and there are over 9000 Curves gyms worldwide. Their book outlines the diet and fitness program that women are introduced to in the gym setting.
Curves Complete is especially helpful to women who may be intimidated by the traditional gym setting.
Curves Diet Basics
Curves has recently revamped their program to encompass all areas shown to be effective for weight loss.
- Meal Plans
At the start of the program you take a self-assessment test in order to determine whether you are calorie or carbohydrate sensitive. Depending on your results you will be instructed to follow either the high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet or the low-calorie diet.
The low carbohydrate plan limits carbohydrates to 20 grams a day for the first two weeks and then 60 grams a day thereafter. The low calorie plan limits carbohydrates to 60 grams a day, calories to 1200 a day for the first two weeks, and then 1600 calories a day thereafter.
The diet plan cycles though several phases until dieters reach their weight loss goal.
For all phases dieters will consume 3 meals a day and two snacks that are high in protein. Meal plans are customizable and dieters can still enjoy many of their favorite foods. Certain foods are designated as “free foods” that you can eat in unlimited quantities and include spinach, mushrooms, onions, lettuce, celery and cucumbers.
The Curves diet plan will adjust your set point so that you lose weight more easily. He says that when you achieve your goal weight and start eating a normal healthy diet this will actually boost your metabolism so that it is easy to maintain your weight loss, even with up to 3000 calories daily.
Dieters meet with their certified coaches weekly to review meal plans and to receive one-on-one support as well as track progress.
Eggs, chicken breast, turkey, lean beef, lean ham, bacon, tuna, salmon, cottage cheese, spinach, lettuce, onion, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, strawberries, cantaloupe, protein shakes.
Sample One Day Meal Plan
½ cup strawberries
Curves shake or similar protein shake
2 stalks celery
6 oz broiled chicken breast
Curves Complete Circuit Training
The foundation of the Curves program is a fitness plan that involves 30 minutes of circuit training three times a week.
These resistance exercises will help to increase your lean muscle mass to boost your metabolism and burn calories. You will need a set of resistance bands and a stop watch.
Costs and Expenses
Curves Complete, which is available at Curves Centers, retails for 12.95 per week not including food.
The book alone: Curves: Permanent Results Without Permanent Dieting retails at $13.95.
This book is also given to members free when they sign up for membership at any of the Curves Centers.
- Specifically designed for women and addresses pregnancy and menopause.
- Curves has proven results with weight loss.
- Less expensive than becoming a member of a Curves gym.
- Exercises can be performed at home.
- Does not require a large time investment.
- High protein diets can reduce appetite.
- Educates dieters about portion control.
- Provides specific suggestions for diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and osteoporosis.
- Includes a meal plan and recipes.
- Many dieters do not do well on low carbohydrate diets.
- Requires elimination or restriction of many nutritious foods such as fruit, whole grains, legumes and sweet potatoes.
- Meal plans appear to be lacking in essential fats.
- Does not include suggestions for vegetarians and vegans.
- Repeatedly mentions Curves gyms and Curves products, which are included in menu plans, even though they are not essential.
- Does not provide a meal plan for weight loss maintenance.
- Claims that women can maintain weight loss on 3000 calories a day are unrealistic.
- Will not appeal to male readers.
Support is Helpful
Curves has a good reputation with many women reporting successful results on their program. This book allows dieters to learn about the Curve philosophy and weight loss guidelines without the need to visit a Curves gym.
Many women will appreciate the fitness aspect of the program for its time efficiency. On the other hand the diet plan is quite stringent and involves restriction of carbohydrates, which may be challenging for some dieters.
The Curves Diet plan is very likely to produce weight loss success for most women, however this will be largely related to calorie restriction and increased physical activity rather than adjusting the metabolic rate or altering the set-point of the body.
- Garg, A., Grundy, S. M., & Unger, R. H. (1992). Comparison of effects of high and low carbohydrate diets on plasma lipoproteins and insulin sensitivity in patients with mild NIDDM. Diabetes, 41(10), 1278-1285. link
- Chtara, M., Chaouachi, A., Levin, G. T., Chaouachi, M., Chamari, K., Amri, M., & Laursen, P. B. (2008). Effect of concurrent endurance and circuit resistance training sequence on muscular strength and power development. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 22(4), 1037-1045. link