Marilu Henner Diet: Total Health Makeover

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

Background

Television celebrity Marilu Henner experienced many years of being overweight and feeling stifled by poor health. In Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover, she takes readers through her own personal journey of discovery to achieve good health through trial and error, observation, knowledge and understanding.

Henner encourages us to develop a ‘sense’ of our body’s needs and to avoid the quick-fix approach to dieting. She places a great deal of emphasis on the importance of detoxification and has created a ten-step program that will help dieters to achieve this goal.

She claims that by following her Total Health Makeover program, not only will you lose weight, but you will also live longer, feel more alive and have clearer skin without the need for rigorous exercise.

Marilu Henner Diet Basics

Marilu-Henner-Diet-Total-Health-MakeoverHenner has named her plan B.E.S.T, which is an acronym for Balance, Energy, Stamina and only using Toxin-free foods and products.

The Total Health Makeover program is based on ten principles:

  1. Eliminate chemicals in the foods you eat.
  2. Eliminate caffeine and nicotine from your system.
  3. Replace processed sugar with natural alternatives.
  4. Limit or eliminate red meat.
  5. Avoid dairy products.
  6. Practice food combining for efficient digestion.
  7. Reduce your intake of fat.
  8. Exercise every day and practice stress reduction.
  9. Get enough sleep.
  10. Do everything with Gusto!

Although Henner’s dietary recommendations are fairly strict she says that adjusting your food intake will help to recondition your palate as well as to help you to learn to look at your life from a different perspective. Her wish is that you will not only lose weight but also change your relationship with food.

The Total Health Makeover is an advocate of food combining and recommends eating fruit alone and avoiding the combination of protein and starches in the same meal. The general structure of the diet is similar to that advocated in the Fit for Life program.

Recommended Foods

Fresh fruit and vegetables, salmon, tuna, chicken breast, egg whites, nuts, pumpkin seeds, oatmeal, whole grain pasta, tofu, nondairy cream cheese, maple syrup, raw honey, blackstrap molasses, brown rice syrup.

Sample Diet Plan

On arising

6 oz fruit juice or 1 piece seasonal fruit

Breakfast

Oatmeal

Lunch

Blackened ahi tuna salad

Afternoon Snack

2 handfuls raw veggies

Dinner

Low fat Caesar salad
Tomato mint pasta

Exercise Recommendations

Exercise is recommended primarily as a beneficial way to reduce stress.  The Marilu Henner Diet says that vigorous exercise is not necessary in order to lose weight and stay healthy.

Costs and Expenses

Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover retails at $15.

Also available is The 30 Day Total Health Makeover, which includes recipes and a meal plan.

Pros

  • Encourages dieters to eliminate unhealthy habits such as caffeine and nicotine.
  • Holistic approach that emphasizes creating balance in many aspects of lifestyle.
  • Includes unique information about the dangerous effects of chemicals, additives and preservatives.
  • Addresses the importance of sleep for good health.
  • Some dieters experience relief from digestive problems when practicing food combining.

Cons

  • Restrictive and eliminates many foods.
  • Recommends a lot of soy products, which many health experts do not recommend to be consumed in large quantities.
  • Dieters may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headache and fatigue when eliminating caffeine.
  • Advocates food combining which is unsupported by scientific research.
  • Does not include a meal plan or recipes.

Conclusions

The Total Health Makeover offers readers a balanced dietary and lifestyle approach to weight loss that acknowledges the importance of developing a healthy relationship with food and learning to listen to the needs of your body.

What is most lacking in Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover is a structured meal plan to assist dieters to incorporate her dietary suggestions into practice. This has been addressed with Marilu’s release of the book The 30 Day Total Health Makeover.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: December 30, 2009. Disclaimer
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