Suzanne Somers Diet
The Suzanne Somers Diet or Somersizing is the creation of television celebrity Suzanne Somers who has outlined her approach to dieting in a series of books.
The Somersizing plan is basically a reduced carbohydrate diet with an additional emphasis on food combining.
At 66 years old and counting Suzanne still looks amazing, which she atributes to her way of eating and lifestyle.
Suzanne Somers Diet Basics
There are two phases to the diet.
In phase one, which is focused on weight loss, dieters are advised to eliminate what Somers refers to as “funky foods”.
“Funky foods” include sugar, white flour, honey, maple syrup, carrot, avocado, banana, sweet potatoes and more which are outlined in her books. Nuts, whole milk and whole yogurt are also to be avoided.
Many of the foods to be eliminated are high glycemic index and the idea is that by avoiding these foods the blood glucose levels will remain more stable which allows the body to burn fat more easily.
In addition food combining principles are incorporated into the diet plan. Foods are divided into four food groups which are proteins/fats, carbohydrates, vegetables and fruit. The rules for combining these foods are as follows:
- Always eat fruit alone and on an empty stomach.
- Combine vegetables with fats and proteins (no carbohydrates).
- Combine carbohydrates with vegetables (no fats).
- Wait 3 hours between meals of different combinations.
Dieters are also advised to consume frequent small meals and to eat at least three meals per day with no precise guidelines provided for serving sizes. Caffeine and alcohol are to be avoided in phase one.
Phase two of the diet is aimed at maintaining weight loss. Dieters are allowed to include red wine and chocolate in the diet in moderation and more leniency is allowed regarding food combining. Dieters are allowed to deviate from perfect food combining occasionally such as by adding some olive oil or cheese to a pasta dish.
Sample Diet Plan
Large green salad
Piece of string cheese
Steak with mushroom cream sauce
Herb fried eggs
Spinach and mushrooms
1 cup coffee
Caesar salad with grilled chicken
Strawberries with nonfat yogurt
Whole-wheat pasta with pesto primavera
Somers downplays the importance of exercise for weight loss stating the she personally never goes to the gym. However she does advocate aerobic exercises three times a week and is known for her home fitness equipment such as the thigh master.
Costs and Expenses
Suzanne Somers has written four books related to her Somersizing Diet Plan. The fourth and most updated book is called Fast and Easy and retails at $24.95.
- No calorie counting or portion control.
- Good variety of foods will reduce risk of dietary boredom.
- Emphasizes fruit and vegetables.
- Includes high quality protein for muscle maintenance and metabolism.
- Many dieters report improvement of gastrointestinal problems and better digestion.
- Online community with free access.
- Highly restrictive in terms of food selection and meal timing.
- Lack of guidance regarding meal planning.
- Lack of scientific evidence to support the idea of food combining for weight loss.
- Eliminates many highly nutritious foods such as nuts, yogurt, banana, carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato and avocado.
- Calcium intake may possibly become inadequate.
- Does not adequately address the importance of exercise as well as psychosocial factors involved in weight management.
- Dieters may experience rebound weight gain when they go back to eating higher carbohydrate foods.
A Low GI Diet
Somers’ philosophy in regard to eliminating foods with a high glycemic index does have some foundation however her approach is overly simplistic, and in failing to consider the effect of the entire meal on glycemic load, many potentially nutritious foods are eliminated from the diet.
It is highly possible that dieters will have success with weight loss on the Suzanne Somers diet because limiting the amounts of different foods in a meal can reduce the tendency to overeat. Although there is no scientific research to support the role of food combining for weight loss, many dieters have reported success with this method and in particular there is often an additional benefit with improvement of digestive function.