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The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of an

The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard of and Fastest Possible Way to Lose Weight

By Mollie Player

Copyright © 2012 by Mollie Player

Shakespir edition

All rights reserved

To contact the author, subscribe to her blog or discover your next great read, visit mollieplayer.com.

***

Also by Mollie Player:

[+ You’re Getting Closer: One Year of Finding God and a Few Good Friends+]

[+ The Power of Acceptance: One Year of Mindfulness and Meditation+]

[+ The Naked House: Five Principles for a More Peaceful Home+]

[+ What I Learned from Jane+]

[+ Happiness is the Truth: A Spiritual Manifesto+]

[+ Alone and Together: A Very Short Primer on Happiness+]

***

For anyone who tries

***

A note to the reader

Though I am a highly experienced dieter and have found great success in weight loss and in the improvement of my health using the techniques described in this book, I am not, unfortunately, a nutritionist, a physician or a health professional of any kind. Please consult your nutritionist or physician before undertaking this or any other unfamiliar diet plan. Thank you.

~ The author

***

Prologue: Dear reader

Dear reader,

The other day, I was sitting in a coffee shop with a friend, talking about religion. When I said the word “Jesus,” a woman who was standing in line near our table turned to look at me. She was tall with long brown hair and her face looked a little angry and surprised. I pretended not to notice her stare, and eventually she turned back around, paid for her coffee and left.

But that wasn’t the last that I saw of that woman.

Two days later, I was in a coffee shop again—a different one this time, with a different friend (I live in Seattle, so this is not uncommon). Whereas my other friend was my “spirituality friend,” this one was and had always ben my “diet friend.” So, even though I rarely find myself in conversations about weight anymore, that day, that’s what we were talking about. At one point, my friend said something like, “I started a low-carb diet today,” and, lo and behold, the woman was there again, and again, she turned to look. This time, though, she wasn’t standing in line—she was sitting at the next table playing with her iPhone instead. And there were some other differences, too: she wasn’t as tall as before, and her hair was blond and short, not long and brown.

Oh: and she was a man.

It didn’t matter, though—the look on her face was exactly the same, and I would have recognized it anywhere.

In our culture that is sometimes called America and sometimes defined as The West, there are only a few subjects that will evoke enough curiosity and raw emotion to turn the head of total strangers. Jesus is one of them.

Diets are another.

Jesus is insulting. Not to me, you understand, dear reader, but to many people in the U.S., he is the line in the sand between Christians (“those know-it-all, judgmental self-proclaimed saints”) and heathens (who without him are going to hell, apparently). You wouldn’t think anything could be more controversial than this, but if you’re a woman, you know better. Tell five different people at your office what your religion is, and most won’t say anything about it or care. But tell five different people about your new diet and you’ll probably get three different passionate, opinionated responses and two hard-bitten lips.

That is my experience, anyway, and so it is with great caution that I begin this letter to you. You see: it is very likely I’ll get flamed.

Verbally flamed, of course, but still: flamed.

Not by you, though, I don’t think. I have written several letters to you already and even though you don’t always write back, when you do, you are very kind. But there are some people that are reading this letter that I didn’t intend it for—people like the woman in the coffee shop—that won’t have the same reaction. And it is for them, this time, that I write my disclaimer, while the rest of this book, my dear reader, is for you.

Why did I write this book for you? Well, if you’ve read any of the other letters I’ve written to you, by now you should know the answer to that. It’s because I love you, my friend, because God is in you, and even if you somehow don’t see that right now, please understand that there is someone who does, and that someone is me. And there are probably a lot of others who see it, too, and I bet if you asked them, they would tell you themselves.

Okay, then. For the rest of you: the disclaimer.

Disclaimer number one: This book is not for everyone. It is especially not for people who don’t like to eat large meals or who for any reason cannot or will not skip meals. It is also not for anorexics. If you have an eating disorder of any kind, you will not find what you’re looking for in these pages; please look for a real cure somewhere else.

Though in this book I try to encourage and inspire independent evaluation at every turn, reminding the reader that he or she can change any aspect of the diet that doesn’t suit their personal, unique eating or living or thinking style—even then, this diet is not for everyone.

And really, that’s okay. If this diet doesn’t work for you for whatever reason, don’t give up—just keep looking. If you do, and you really want to find what works for you somewhere else, eventually, you will.

I promise.

This leads me to disclaimer number two, which is: I am not a nutrition professional. I am a woman who struggled with her weight and dieted almost constantly for twelve solid years. I am a woman who has cried about her body even when everything else in her life was nearly perfect.

I am a lot like you.

That is not to say that this diet is not healthy. Though the exact method of this diet has as far as I know has never been written about before, I have studied the various aspects of it in great depth and I truly believe that it is the most healthy way to eat that there ever was. (More about that later.)

Still—and this should be obvious, but I’ll say it anyway—still. If after reading about this diet you don’t feel in your heart it is right for you, don’t do it. As with everything in life, let your conscience—that blessed Thing that is sometimes and I believe very preferably known as “intuition,” and less preferably known as “guilt”—be your guide.

The final thing I want to say is not a disclaimer, but a warning, and it is this: the title of this book is completely true. This diet is the fastest, most effective weight loss method you’ll ever find, but it’s not easy. This diet is for people who want to lose weight very badly, much more than they want to eat junk food every day.

Much, much more.

Is this you? Are you ready? If not, read this letter anyway. Then, when you are ready, you’ll know what you need to do. And if you are ready, decide that no matter what it takes, no matter what these pages hold, sometime in the near future, you’re going to look in the mirror and see a thin person again, like I do.

The rest will take care of itself.

***

Part One: Diet Past

***

Chapter One: Being Skinny Makes Me Happy

I admit it: Being skinny makes me happy. Really, really happy. And not just being skinny—but feeling skinny, too.

That’s the best part of all.

For a very long time, I didn’t feel this way—or rarely did I feel this way. Now, I feel it every single day. I wake up in the morning knowing that I can wash my hair and put on a nice outfit and when I look in the mirror (especially when I stand up straight), I won’t think “just ten pounds, and I’ll look good,” as I did for so long.

No. I know that when I look at myself, I’ll think: “When did I get so hot?”

It’s a very good feeling, and I recommend it.

***

Everyone wants to be hot. It is a desire that is wired into us just as securely and as irreversibly as our desire for food or sex. As with those desires, the desire to look good can be overcome. But also as with those desires: why would we want it to be?

Looking good—feeling like you look good, anyway, since there are lots of good-looking people that don’t know that’s what they are—is one of the great pleasures of life. As with the pleasures of sex, though, sometimes, we have to wait for it.

It took me twelve years to finally be happy with the way I look. During those twelve years, I read everything I could about weight loss, and tried everything I read about. In one two-year period, I spent several hours every single day reading about the subject in books and on the internet. The time I didn’t spend reading about it or fulfilling my duties as a person (which were pretty minimal at the time since I had no friends, no boyfriend, no school and only a part-time job) were spent on my treadmill or jogging in my neighborhood. During those two years and the eight years prior to that—and several afterwards as well—I counted calories, starved, counted carbs, and exercised an indecent amount. I lost a lot of weight, some of it semi-permanently, and I gained a lot, too. But it wasn’t until the year 2011 when I was thirty-three years old that I finally discovered it: the holy grail. The strategy I’d been seeking for so long.

The weight loss plan that worked for me.

I don’t regret any of the things I tried all those years, though—not for one minute.

Through them, I learned a lot.

***

Chapter Two: My First Diets

My first diet began the summer before my sixth grade year. I was eleven years old. The previous spring, my mother had taken me to the doctor because my spine was growing slightly crooked due to my terrible posture.

During that visit, three very unpleasant things occurred. First, I had to take off my clothes to be examined, something I hadn’t remembered ever doing before. Second, the doctor told me that I had to improve my posture—something I believed then and still believe is an impossible task for me. (“She has to sit up straight,” the doctor told my mom. I waited for him to add “five minutes every day,” but he never did.) And the third unpleasant thing that occurred: I had to get on a scale.

“How is it?” my mom asked the doctor as he looked at the number and wrote it on his chart.

“It’s a little above normal,” he said, gently. “But it’s nothing to be worried about.”

But I was worried. Until that moment, I had never thought about what I looked like—or even cared. I went to a Catholic school and wore a uniform every day, and every day, I wore my hair the same way. One day when I was in the second grade, one of the boys in my class said, “Don’t you think you need some new shoes?” I looked down at my feet and for the first time I noticed that there were large holes on the inner part of both of my shoes—the pair of shoes I wore every single day. Since I tend to put more pressure on the inside of my feet than the outside when I walk, the sides of my big toes were actually contacting the ground with every step.

I really loved those shoes.

I had no idea then, and in the sixth grade still had no idea, how I looked to other people. But that day at the doctor’s office, all that changed.

As my mother walked with me to the car after our appointment, she could tell that I was upset. I wouldn’t walk next to her; instead, I stayed twenty feet ahead, in a major huff, paying attention to her only when she yelled out directions to the car from behind. On the drive home, she said, “It’s okay, honey. Your back will straighten out as your posture improves.”

“It’s not that,” I said, angrily.

“What is it then, honey?” she asked.

I replied, “I am fat!”

***

The following summer, while I was babysitting for some friends of the family, I picked up a magazine that was lying on an end table in their living room. In it, there was an article that detailed, with photos, several floor exercises that were supposed to help with weight loss. I ripped the article out of the magazine and brought it home and decided that from that day on, I would do every single one of those exercises every single day.

And for the entire summer, I did.

One fall day after I’d returned to school for my sixth grade year, my mother told me that the librarian had given me a compliment.

“She said you looked thin,” my mom said. “She said you’ve lost your baby fat.”

Wow, I thought. Had I really?

That night, I looked in the mirror. I guess I have, I thought.

And it was as easy as that.

***

Of course, eventually I stopped exercising, but my youthful metabolism kept me slim for several years. Then one day I realized that I had somehow accumulated a few extra pounds and I decided to go on diet number two.

I was in high school by then, but I was the same determined person I’d always been. This time, though, my strategy was different. There was always a lot of candy at my dad’s house and I knew I’d been eating too much, so instead of exercising the weight off, this time I decided to stop eating junk food entirely.

No candy. No sugar. No chips. No cheese. I ate my toast plain, since both butter and jam were on the “no” list. Since I’ve never been very particular about what I eat, just how much I eat, I was able to stick with this restrictive plan pretty easily. The only time I cheated was when one day after church someone offered me an M&M and, forgetting I was on a diet, I put it in my mouth. Then, before I started chewing, I remembered my rule—and promptly spit it out.

A month later, I was thinner than I’d been since the seventh grade.

***

The weight stayed off, too, as soon afterwards I started riding my bicycle regularly with a neighborhood friend. It wasn’t until college that I took up dieting again.

During my college years there were quite a few diets—some successful, some the opposite of that. Since I went first to bible college and then to regular college, I was a freshman twice, and both times, I gained a lot of weight.

My first Freshman Ten came off pretty easily, though. At the time I practiced regular fasting for spiritual reasons, and I was still very young as well. The combination was very effective, and by the end of my two-year stint there, I was back into my favorite high school jeans.

The second Freshman Ten—which for me was more like the Freshman Twenty—was harder to lose. The first few diets I tried (one was called Eat Right For Your Type and the other was Protein Power) stated that weight loss could be achieved by eating as much as you wanted of the right kinds of foods. An additional twenty or so pounds later, I got on a scale for the first time in years and promptly realized it wasn’t true.

At twenty-one years old, I weighed 160 pounds.

I was shocked.

***

It took about nine months, but by the beginning of my sophomore year at my second college, the extra weight was gone. I was back to the comfortable 140 pounds my 5’6” body seemed to like. To lose the weight, I took up walking, which remained a habit until my first pregnancy over ten years later and which I still enjoy today. I was also more careful with my portions than I’d ever been before, especially with anything that was high in calories. I never bought junk food for myself (though at the time I could still get away with a weekly binge at my dad’s house). I bought bags and bags of frozen vegetables and ate them to my heart’s content, glad that even though my diet was boring, I could still eat large quantities of food without gaining weight. A little while after that, I discovered diet soda and began consuming it in binge-like portions, wondering how I could get away with such a wonderful daily treat.

After that, the real dieting began.

***

Chapter Three: Success

The problem, of course, was this: I still wasn’t happy with my weight. Though I didn’t look bad and no one would have called me fat, due to daily bloating my stomach still protruded in a basketball shape over my jeans and my face was rounder than I would’ve liked, too. During this time, I would often lie in my bed in the apartment I shared with my very skinny, very beautiful roommate and pray to God that he would help me lose weight.

“God, I want a flat stomach,” I said. “Please, God, please. Please let me know what it’s like to be skinny.”

The prayers didn’t work. I tried not eating after seven o’clock at night, but my dinner shifts at the restaurant, my late-night study habits and my decision to eat everything I could stuff in around 6:30 predictably derailed any possible success. After that, I tried a diet I made up called the Restaurant Diet, where I’d keep almost no food in my cupboards and only eat at set times away from home. That ridiculous plan lasted about three days. Then I bought some cheap diet pills which I was totally convinced would make me thin though in the process would very likely compromise my health. To my disappointment, however, they did neither.

After that, I tried eating nothing all day, drinking only coffee instead. Though I was hungry, I stuck with it, knowing that it just had to work.

How could I not lose weight? I asked myself. I’m only eating one meal a day.

I didn’t lose weight. When I got on the scale a week later, the number was the same as always: 140.

That night, as I cried and cried, I realized something very sad and very shocking: I didn’t know how to lose weight.

It was a deeply depressing thought.

***

And then, I discovered it, my next successful diet, the one that would eventually get me to my goal of 130 pounds: calorie counting.

As soon as I started it, I knew it was going to work. When I looked up the number of calories in the sugar and cream I used liberally with my coffee, I was shocked at how fast they added up. No wonder my coffee-all-day diet didn’t work, I thought.

From the start of counting calories, I liked it. I felt more in control of my weight than I ever had before. Though the loss was slow (some weeks the scale seemed not to move at all), I kept reminding myself that I was working with a simple mathematics equation and that as long as I stuck with it, I would succeed.

And the good news is: I did. After about six months of dieting, my weight dropped ten pounds and I saw 130 on the scale for the first time since high school. The problem was this: I couldn’t fully enjoy it. I could tell that I’d lost a few pounds, but when I looked in the mirror, my stomach still protruded like it always had. You see, in order to stay full, I had to stuff my stomach with plain vegetables and watered-down oatmeal with fake sugar. As a result, and for some other unknown cause that had begun long before this time, I was constantly bloated. Besides that, the slow pace of the loss frustrated me greatly. After I hit 130, I wasn’t losing at all anymore—I was staying exactly the same. Yet I was still hungry and unsatisfied a great deal of the time, and I was exercising for hours every day. This was no longer a weight loss diet—it was a weight maintenance diet, and it was hard.

Several more months passed and I decided to take a break from counting calories. Though I was still careful with my portions, I promptly gained back almost five pounds. Upon learning this, I quickly resumed the diet with renewed determination. This time, I was even stricter than before, and over the next six long months, I lost ten pounds. I was now at my lowest adult weight: 125 pounds. I was very thin—too thin, probably—but for the first time in years, I liked my body . . . most of the time.

And yet: it wasn’t enough. My goal was to weigh 118.

It was not to be, though. At the end of that period of time, two things happened that changed the way I ate. First, I broke up with my boyfriend. Second, I read Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution.

In two weeks, I was back up to 136 pounds.

Over the next several years, I experimented with low-carb diets frequently. Though during that time I didn’t lose a single pound—and even gained several more (I got as high as 146 while on Atkins), I loved the freedom from calorie counting and deprivation. The foods I ate were rich and satisfying, and my skin cleared up, too. But the best part—the thing that made me return to it again and again, the thing that actually caused me to not realize I was gaining weight in the first place while on this diet—was this: it got rid of my bloating.

Now, I don’t pretend to understand this phenomenon completely. Maybe it was because I was eating less bulky foods. Maybe it was because, as I have read, carbs cause water retention. But having a flat stomach for the first time in my life was something I just couldn’t overlook.

So, I stuck with it. Looking back, I don’t think I really wanted to lose weight during this time, or I would’ve tried what had worked in the past instead of returning to what didn’t. I think my priority was feeling satisfied and full. Then something happened to change that priority: I got back together with my ex-boyfriend and, soon afterwards, got engaged.

Of course, the change didn’t happen right away. But I started researching diet methods more and two months before my wedding, I discovered my second really successful weight loss method: fasting.

As soon as I began, I realized that this was It.

***

My first fast for weight loss took place the October before my wedding in 2007. It started on a Sunday and ended on a liqueur-drenched Friday night at a girls’ weekend at a hot springs. I started the week weighing 144 pounds, and by the weekend I was down to 140. I had lost four pounds in five days—and not just water. At the end of the fast, I returned to careful calorie counting and every pound I’d lost stayed off. Thus, my first iteration of The Emergency Diet was born. After that, I fasted regularly and incredibly, by the time my January wedding came around, I was down to 134. When I stepped on the scale and saw that number, I was amazed. I got married and the day after the wedding I binged on leftover appetizers.

For the next year after that, the fasting didn’t stop but the binging didn’t, either. Looking back, I think that keeping myself in a binge/starve cycle was a way for me to bring some kind of purpose to my long days at home without a job. In other words: it gave me something to do.In November of 2008, though, I left my husband and got divorced. Just as I had after the previous time we’d broken up, I returned to a more satisfying diet—low-carb. And also just as I had then, I promptly gained ten pounds.

I was back to 143.

It was another two years of solid dieting before I saw 134 again. And this time, I was sincerely trying.

***

The problem? My binging. By then, it had become a habit—one that I hated to give up. Fasting still worked for me as well as it always had, but the bounce back weight gain due to stomach-turning two-hour long sweets orgies undid all my efforts for the week.

The good news? By the end of that two-year period, I had discovered what I’d sought for so long: the diet that not only worked, but worked fast—astonishingly fast. Every time I got on the scale during that first month after the discovery, my eyes popped. I got off the scale, then back on again. Then I quickly did the math in my head.

“I just lost 2.2 pounds in one day,” I would think to myself. “That is two and a half times my loss when fasting alone.”

Though soon after losing this weight I got pregnant, discontinued the diet and gained thirty-five easy pounds, I didn’t care. I knew that I had the secret, now—the method I’d been seeking for so long. And I was right. After I gave birth to my first baby, I returned to my new method, and in two short months I’d lost all thirty-five of those pounds. My stomach was flat again, I didn’t have a single stretch mark, and I was back to a very comfortable 135 pounds. Best of all: I wasn’t binging anymore. When I was pregnant, there was no way to crash diet to lose the pounds I’d gain during a binge, and I was forced to break the habit.

That lesson was worth the thirty-five pounds I’d gained.

Even better than that: For the first time since high school, I truly loved my body. What’s more, I knew that I could maintain my weight fairly easily for the rest of my life. And since that time, I have. Except during pregnancy, my weight has consistently remained around 135 pounds. Best of all: I still love my body. I don’t obsess over losing more and more weight. I don’t count calories. I don’t weigh myself every day. I don’t binge.

And I don’t feel deprived.

For a long time, I wondered if I would ever be able to feel this good and this free. I would sit in my bedroom, munching on a large bowl of plain celery, trying to fill my stomach enough to fall asleep, thinking, “If I were married, what would my husband think?” Later, when I was married, I would do the same thing and think, “What will my kids think? Am I going to be a bad role model?

“When will I ever be free?”

Now, I am free.

I still can’t believe it.

It wasn’t easy to get where I am, and it isn’t always easy just to stay here right now.

But I am healthy. I am comfortable.

I am free.

And that’s good enough for me.

***

Part Two: Diet Present

***

Chapter Four: The Method

Yesterday, I ate two scrambled eggs with salt and pepper, a cup of coffee and lots of plain ice water. I went to bed hungry but I knew that when I woke up, I’d be eating until I couldn’t eat anymore—and not just anything, but my favorite food in the world.

This morning, I ate three pounds of baked hamburger, very crispy on top and drenched in a pool of butter. It was a very long breakfast, and I enjoyed it very much.

And knowing that I could do this every other day for as long as I wanted and not gain weight, and knowing that I’d never again have to exercise when I didn’t feel like it, was enough. No—it was more than enough.

It was wonderful.

I’ll explain more about why I think this diet is so wonderful later, but for now, let me just tell you what you really skipped ahead to this section of the book to find out: how I lost weight, and how I maintain it easily every day.

Here is the Emergency Diet:

The Emergency Diet

1. Every other day, eat under 400 calories and under 20 carbohydrates.

2. The other half of the days, eat unlimited (yes, unlimited) calories and under 20 carbohydrates.

And that’s it. That is the secret of my diet success.

Does this sound far too simple? Well, I wish that were the case. Though the Emergency Diet is straightforward in its essence, its practice can be a bit tricky. It’s important that you read the following chapters thoroughly to fully understand this weight loss method and how to make it work for you.

Sometimes, I call this method the Combination Method because after years of low-carb eating and fasting at different times, I finally got serious about weight loss. I decided that I would do whatever it took to get back the body I wanted—even if it meant going on two diets at once.

And I am so glad that I did.

Originally, I figured that the Emergency Diet would allow me to lose weight at about the same rate as I did when fasting normally (which for me is about .8 pounds per day) while preventing any bounce-back gain on the eating days (due to staying low-carb). About this, though, I was wrong. To my amazement, I lost over two pounds on each fasting day and, better yet, as long as I didn’t fall into any of the most common pitfalls of this diet (more about those later), I kept it off. Of course, during the pregnancy that followed this first loss, I ate more than twenty carbs per day and didn’t fast, and I regained weight quickly. But when I returned to the diet after giving birth (as I mentioned in the last chapter), all thirty-five pounds fell off once again and other than during my subsequent pregnancy, I have kept it off ever since.

What’s more: I love it.

I am full, and satisfied, and I get to do what I missed doing while following other weight loss methods: I get to overeat.

In this section of the book, I’ll explain my diet in depth. First, I’ll talk about why and how this diet works, and works so well. Next, I’ll discuss how much weight you can expect to lose and how quickly you will lose it. After that, I’ll talk about the many health benefits of the diet, including the ones I’ve experienced firsthand. Then, in the next section of the book, I’ll explain how you can become as good at this method as I am.

First, though, a quick word on terminology: Though I use the word “fasting” throughout this book to refer to my 400-calorie days, technically, what I am describing is partial fasting. I use the term “fasting” for reasons of simplicity and because while some days, I chose to eat my 400 calories as solid foods, other days I drink the calories instead. Either way is okay and will lead to weight loss, but eating even a small amount of solid food isn’t considered true fasting by some.

All right, then. With that cleared up: are you ready?

Okay, then. So am I.

Let’s get to it.

***

Chapter Five: Sample Eating Schedules

Though the Emergency Diet seems simple enough on the surface, many complications can arise. In order to help you gain a more thorough understanding of what it takes to practice this diet, I offer here several sample eating schedules. You can choose one of these schedules, or you can try all of them to find out what will work best for you. You can also modify them somewhat, as described below.

Eating Schedule Option One: The Traditional Schedule

Normally, if you were to decide to undertake a one-day fast, you would probably decide to stop eating after dinner on the night before the fast begins, fast the entire next day, then start eating again with breakfast the following morning. This fasting schedule ensures that you forego one entire day’s worth of calories, for if you fasted for only twenty-four hours—from sundown to sundown, say—the dinner that you eat on the day of the fast could, calorie-wise, make up for much of what you missed at breakfast and lunch earlier that day. By fasting the full twenty-four hours plus an additional night, then, you fast for a true full day, not eating any of the three meals you would have eaten had you not been fasting.

This is a crucial point. While it is not harmful to fast for only twenty-four hours, your body does not seem to detect an unusual lack of food and thus begin using fat stores rapidly until the last eight or so hours of your one-day fast. Though it is healthy to skip meals and give your body a break from digestion, then, it is not as effective for weight loss as fasting for the full day—thirty-two plus hours. This is why all of the schedule options in this section include a consecutive thirty-two plus fasting hours for each fasting day.

Schedule option number one, which I call the Traditional Method, is the simplest option and, for that reason, may be the easiest to follow. It allows for normal eating every other day and fasting every other day. This is the style I recommend the most highly for these reasons:

1. It’s often tempting to break your fast in the last few hours. This won’t happen as often, though, if you spend that time asleep.

2. It gives you the longest fasting times, guaranteeing weight loss that day. The fasting time is approximately forty-two hours long, as compared with thirty-two hours (minimum) for the other eating schedules.

3. It encourages the lowest calorie consumption during the eating times. Sometimes, if you break a fast at night, you will be tempted to consume more calories than you would if you had broken the fast in the morning.

The Traditional Schedule

Monday

12 a.m. to 8 a.m.: FASTING

8 a.m. to 8 p.m.: NORMAL EATING

8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday: FASTING

Tuesday

12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Wednesday: FASTING

Note: You can consume 400 or fewer calories anytime during these 24 hours. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

Wednesday

12 a.m. to 8 a.m.: FASTING

8 a.m. to 8 p.m.: NORMAL EATING

8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Thursday: FASTING

Thursday

12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday: FASTING

Note: You can consume 400 or fewer calories anytime during these 24 hours. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

Friday

12 a.m. to 8 a.m.: FASTING

8 a.m. to 8 p.m.: NORMAL EATING

8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday: FASTING

Saturday

12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday: FASTING

Note: You can consume 400 or fewer calories anytime during these 24 hours. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

Sunday

12 a.m. to 8 a.m.: FASTING

8 a.m. to 8 p.m.: NORMAL EATING

8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday: FASTING

Monday

12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday: FASTING

Note: You can consume 400 or fewer calories anytime during these 24 hours. Do not exceed 400 calories.

Eating Schedule Option Two: The Modified Traditional Schedule

Eating schedule option number two, which I call the Modified Traditional Schedule, is similar to option number one. Here, the only difference is that your eating window will be much longer, and your fasting window will be shorter. As stated previously, though, in my experience, one must fast at least thirty-two hours to get the full benefit of the fast (that’s twenty-four hours plus eight for digesting the last meal prior to the start of the fast). Therefore, if you choose this method, remember that you can stop eating earlier or start eating later, but make sure that your fast lasts at least thirty-two consecutive total hours.

The Modified Traditional Schedule

Monday

12 a.m. to 8 a.m.: FASTING

8 a.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday: NORMAL EATING

Tuesday

12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Wednesday: FASTING

Note: You can consume 400 or fewer calories anytime during these 24 hours. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

Wednesday

12 a.m. to 8 a.m.: FASTING

12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Thursday: NORMAL EATING

Thursday

12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday: FASTING

Note: You can consume 400 or fewer calories anytime during these 24 hours. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

Friday

12 a.m. to 8 a.m.: FASTING

8 a.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday: NORMAL EATING

Saturday

12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday: FASTING

Note: You can consume 400 or fewer calories anytime during these 24 hours. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

Sunday

12 a.m. to 8 a.m.: FASTING

8 a.m. to 12 a.m. Monday: NORMAL EATING

Monday

12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday: FASTING

Note: You can consume 400 or fewer calories anytime during these 24 hours. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

Eating Schedule Option Three: The Morning and Night Schedule

Though eating schedule option three, the Morning and Night Schedule, is very different from the Traditional Schedule, the total number of consecutive eating hours is the still thirty-two at minimum. The advantages of this schedule are:

1. Less hunger before bed (and as you may already know, hunger can disrupt sleep), and

2. The mental reassurance that you will be eating every single waking day, at least once.

The disadvantages of this schedule are:

1. More temptation to end the fast early;

2. Sometimes, a greater total calorie intake during your eating hours, as you may end up eating a larger meal while breaking a fast at night than you would while breaking it in the morning; and

3. Less ability to “accidentally” fast longer than thirty-two hours, as you may often do if using the traditional schedule due to sleeping in.

In addition, it is a little harder to plan eating events around this schedule as you may have to begin dinner later in the evening than you’re used to.

Still, if you hate going to bed hungry and you find it difficult to face the thought of an entire waking day without food, this schedule is worth a try. I often use it and even after years of experimenting with the Emergency Diet, I’m still not sure which schedule I like better. I recommend that you try versions of both and see what works best for you. You don’t even have to stay a full week on one before switching to the other, either; just break your fast with a night meal as allowed by the Morning and Night Schedule, then fast the whole next day as allowed by the Traditional Method.

Also of note: Because the Morning and Night Schedule is, timing-wise, very flexible, I provide here three possible options for you to follow. I do this to help you better understand this schedule, but remember that as long as your fasting time lasts at least thirty-two consecutive hours, you can adjust the eating and fasting times in either direction, according to what works best for you.

The Morning and Night Schedule, Option One

Monday

12 a.m. to 9 a.m.: NORMAL EATING

9 a.m. to 12 a.m.: FASTING

Tuesday

12 a.m. to 5 p.m.: FASTING

Note: Between 9 a.m. on Monday and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, you can consume a total of 400 or fewer calories. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

5 p.m. to 12 a.m.: NORMAL EATING

Wednesday

12 a.m. to 9 a.m.: NORMAL EATING

9 a.m. to 12 a.m.: FASTING

Thursday

12 a.m. to 5 p.m.: FASTING

Note: Between 9 a.m. on Wednesday and 5 p.m. on Thursday, you can consume a total of 400 or fewer calories. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

5 p.m. to 12 a.m.: NORMAL EATING

Friday

12 a.m. to 9 a.m.: NORMAL EATING

9 a.m. to 12 a.m.: FASTING

Saturday

12 a.m. to 5 p.m.: FASTING

Note: Between 9 a.m. on Friday and 5 p.m. on Saturday, you can consume a total of 400 or fewer calories. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

5 p.m. to 12 a.m.: NORMAL EATING

Sunday

12 a.m. to 9 a.m.: NORMAL EATING

9 a.m. to 12 a.m.: FASTING

Monday

12 a.m. to 5 p.m.: FASTING

Note: Between 9 a.m. on Sunday and 5 p.m. on Monday, you can consume a total of 400 or fewer calories. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

5 p.m. to 12 a.m.: NORMAL EATING

The Morning and Night Schedule, Option Two

Monday

12 a.m. to 1 p.m.: NORMAL EATING

1 p.m. to 12 a.m.: FASTING

Tuesday

12 a.m. to 9 p.m.: FASTING

Note: Between 1 p.m. on Monday and 9 p.m. on Tuesday, you can consume a total of 400 or fewer calories. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

9 p.m. to 12 a.m.: NORMAL EATING

Wednesday

12 a.m. to 1 p.m.: NORMAL EATING

1 p.m. to 12 a.m.: FASTING

Thursday

12 a.m. to 9 p.m.: FASTING

Note: Between 1 p.m. on Wednesday and 9 p.m. on Thursday, you can consume a total of 400 or fewer calories. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

9 p.m. to 12 a.m.: NORMAL EATING

Friday

12 a.m. to 1 p.m.: NORMAL EATING

1 p.m. to 12 a.m.: FASTING

Saturday

12 a.m. to 9 p.m.: FASTING

Note: Between 1 p.m. on Friday and 9 p.m. on Saturday, you can consume a total of 400 or fewer calories. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

9 p.m. to 12 a.m.: NORMAL EATING

Sunday

12 a.m. to 1 p.m.: NORMAL EATING

1 p.m. to 12 a.m.: FASTING

Monday

12 a.m. to 9 p.m.: FASTING

Note: Between 1 p.m. on Sunday and 9 p.m. on Monday, you can consume a total of 400 or fewer calories. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

9 p.m. to 12 a.m.: NORMAL EATING

The Morning and Night Schedule, Option Three

Monday

12 a.m. to 4 p.m.: NORMAL EATING

4 p.m. to 12 a.m.: FASTING

Tuesday

12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Wednesday: FASTING

Note: Between 4 p.m. on Monday and 12 a.m. on Wednesday, you can consume a total of 400 or fewer calories. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

Wednesday

12 a.m. to 4 p.m.: NORMAL EATING

4 p.m. to 12 a.m.: FASTING

Thursday

12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday: FASTING

Note: Between 4 p.m. on Wednesday and 12 a.m. on Friday, you can consume a total of 400 or fewer calories. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

Friday

12 a.m. to 4 p.m.: NORMAL EATING

4 p.m. to 12 a.m.: FASTING

Saturday

12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Monday: FASTING

Note: Between 4 p.m. on Friday and 12 a.m. on Sunday, you can consume a total of 400 or fewer calories. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

Sunday

12 a.m. to 4 p.m.: NORMAL EATING

4 p.m. to 12 a.m.: FASTING

Monday

12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday: FASTING

Note: Between 4 p.m. on Sunday and 12 a.m. on Tuesday, you can consume a total of 400 or fewer calories. Do not exceed 400 calories; count carefully.

***

Chapter Six: Sample Menus

In order to give you a better idea of what you’ll be eating on this diet, and how much you’ll be eating, I provide here several samples of typical Emergency Diet-style eating days. One warning, though: The menus provided in this chapter are not very creative, and they’re not meant to be. I find that when it comes to losing weight, the simpler the process is, the more effective it will be.

One more thing: I tend to stick to fewer foods, which makes the tedious process of tracking calorie and carb counts much easier for me; besides, I don’t need much variety for my palette (I’m decidedly not, and have never been, a “foodie”). You, of course, may be different, so please feel quite free to eat nothing or everything on this list according to your own desires and needs.

Sample Menu One: Full Eating Day

Breakfast

Ten slices bacon: 5 carbs

One cup coffee: 1 carb

Two tablespoons half ’n half: 1 carb

One packet Splenda: 1 carb

Lunch

Steak, to appetite: 0 carbs

Sliced medium tomato: 5 carbs

Large glass iced tea: 1 carb

Three packets Splenda: 3 carbs

Dinner

Fish, to appetite: 0 carbs

Juice of ½ lemon: 2 carbs

Snack

Two ounces mozzarella cheese: 1 carb

Total carbs: 20

Sample Menu Two: Full Eating Day

Breakfast

Five sausage links: 5 carbs

One cup coffee: 1 carb

Two tablespoons half ’n half: 1 carb

One packet Splenda: 1 carb

Lunch

Half package tofu, fried: 5 carbs

Two tablespoons butter or oil: 0 carbs

Pork ribs, plain, to appetite: 0 carbs

Large glass iced tea: 1 carb

Three packets Splenda: 3 carbs

Dinner

Chicken, plain, to appetite: 0 carbs

Snack

Two deviled eggs: 3 carbs

Total carbs: 20

Sample Menu Three: Full Eating Day

Breakfast

Six eggs, prepared as preferred: 6 carbs

One cup coffee: 1 carb

Two tablespoons half ’n half: 1 carb

One packet Splenda: 1 carb

Lunch

One can tuna: 0 carbs

One tablespoon mayo: ½ carb

Small salad: 4 carbs

One tablespoons ranch dressing: 1 carb

One diet soda: 1 carb

Dinner

Hamburger patties, plain, to appetite: 0 carbs

One cup green beans: 4 carbs

Snack

Two ounces mozzarella cheese: 1 carb

Total carbs: 20.5

Sample Menu One: Fasting Day

Drinks

One cup coffee: 1 carb, 0 calories

Two tablespoons half ’n half: 1 carb, 40 calories

One packet Splenda: 1 carb, 0 calories

One large glass iced tea: 1 carb, 0 calories

Three packets Splenda: 3 carbs, 0 calories

One diet soda: 1 carb, 0 calories

Snacks

Two tablespoons peanut butter: 4 carbs, 200 calories

Small salad: 4 carbs, 0 calories

One tablespoon ranch dressing: 1 carb, 50 calories

Total carbs: 17

Total calories: 290

Sample Menu Two: Fasting Day

Drinks

One cup coffee: 1 carb, 0 calories

Two tablespoons half ’n half: 1 carb, 40 calories

One packet Splenda: 1 carb, 0 calories

Two large glasses iced tea: 2 carbs, 0 calories

Six packets Splenda: 6 carbs, 0 calories

One diet soda: 1 carb, 0 calories

Snacks

One ounce mozzarella cheese: ½ carb, 100 calories

One serving sugar-free jello: 2 carbs, 10 calories

1/4th cup mixed nuts: 4 carbs, 220 calories

Total carbs: 18.5

Total calories: 370

Sample Menu Three: Fasting Day

Drinks

One cup coffee: 1 carb, 0 calories

Two tablespoons half ’n half: 1 carb, 40 calories

One packet Splenda: 1 carb, 0 calories

Two large glasses iced tea: 2 carbs, 0 calories

Six packets Splenda: 6 carbs, 0 calories

One diet soda: 1 carb, 0 calories

Snacks

One egg: 1 carb, 70 calories

One medium-sized carrot: 6 carbs, 40 calories

One tablespoon ranch dressing: 1 carb, 50 calories

Two ounces chicken or beef: 0 carbs, 100 calories

Total carbs: 20

Total calories: 300

***

Chapter Seven: Simplified Carb Counter

It’s true: the Emergency Diet is not perfect. Not only is it at times difficult to stick to for emotional or mental reasons—it can be time-consuming, too. If you’re a busy person with few chances during the day to sit down and calculate carb and calorie counts, or you just greatly dislike doing so, you have several options to simplify the process:

1. You can sign up on a calorie tracking website, preferably syncing it with your mobile device, and let the program do most of the work for you; or,

2. You can do as I do, and use a simplified carb and calorie counter that you either memorize or keep with you, then track your carbs and calories manually (sometimes I use a paper list and sometimes I use an electronic one, depending on which seems easiest at the time).

If you choose the first option, keep in mind that there is a problem with that method, namely: hidden carbs. See, many foods contain a small amount of carbohydrate that the U.S. government does not consider to be dietarily significant. These “hidden carbs,” therefore, don’t show up on most calorie counting charts or calorie tracking websites or programs. That’s why when I used Sparkpeople (www.sparkpeople.com) to track my calorie intake, I entered custom foods that took the hidden carbs into consideration. Nowadays, though, I find it easier to keep a carb and calorie chart with me that I created on my own, which includes only the foods I eat on a regular basis, then do the math myself, too.

Now, I know how all of this sounds: tedious. Boring. Difficult. Maybe even a little overwhelming. Well, I don’t want it to be—not at all. I want you, dear reader, to enjoy this process and embrace it as much as possible. That’s why I provide for you below something that you won’t find anywhere else: a simplified carb counter.

See, most charts that track hidden carbs are very specific. They track the amount of carbohydrate to the tenth of a carb, and, for a long time, so did I, inputing 1.3 carbs of broccoli into my calculations, for example. These days, I have a better system: I estimate the hidden carbs to the nearest half carb. For example, eggs contain .8 carbs. Therefore, I count each egg as one carb. You wouldn’t believe how much hassle this averts in the long run.

The following chart is highly abbreviated. It only includes foods with “hidden” carbs (carb amounts that do not show up on most labels or charts). Because most calorie charts track vegetable carbs fairly accurately, I do not include them in this list.

For a much more comprehensive carb counter, I recommend the “Atkins Carb Counter and Acceptable Foods List,” which can be downloaded at www.atkins.com/Program/Carb-Counter.aspx. To create your shorter, personalized carb and calorie counter, find the foods you eat most often on that chart, then simply round the stated carb amount to the nearest whole or half carb. I also recommend that you read more about hidden carbohydrates on the internet to gain a better overall understanding of this challenge, if you have not done so already.

Here are a few additional carb counting tips for you:

1. Be careful with dairy. Some experts say that it raises insulin higher than do vegetables, even when the carb counts are the same.

2. Don’t eat yogurt. Even plain, sugar-free yogurt contains carb-filled additives that speed up the bacterial growth process. And the carbs in homemade yogurt are nearly impossible to estimate accurately. (Experienced low-carb dieters will remember something called “The Yogurt Exception.” This is the idea that some of the carbs from yogurt—found on the label—may be subtracted from your total carbs due to the way lactose is digested and processed in the body. However, there’s something these calculations don’t consider: varied manufacturing processes. Most store-bought yogurt is not pure, and it’s impossible to know how many of the carbs on the label come from lactose and how many come from these additives. Total avoidance, then, is just so much simpler.)

3. Be careful with supplements. Chromium, especially, can make you feel quite nauseous when eating a low-carb diet. If this is a problem for you, you can break your vitamins in halves or thirds and spread your intake throughout the day. I often take gummy supplements, which, though they contain carbs, are quite gentle on the stomach.

4. Remember the fiber trick. If you’ve read much about the Atkins diet, you may already know that carbs from fiber—both the soluble and non-soluble type—are not nutritive to the human body, and therefore, the carbs from those substances don’t count towards your total carb intake. This means that you can subtract those carbs, which are normally found in vegetables and fruit, from your daily count. Of course, the fiber trick doesn’t make tracking your carb amounts any easier. I recommend that you perform your final calculations for each food that you expect to eat regularly before actually buying or eating it. The “Atkins Carb Counter and Acceptable Foods List,” mentioned above, will help you figure out the correct carb amounts—they’re listed in the column titled “net carbs.”

5. Don’t eat “frankenfoods.” In low-carb circles, low-carb candy, ice cream, meal bars and other sweet treats are frowned upon. This is not just because they are made with highly processed ingredients; they also prevent you from losing weight. As a marketing gimmick, for example, some brands (including Atkins) don’t count the carbs from sugar alcohols as carbs, since it is believed by some experts that they are not metabolized fully in the body. In my experience and the experience of countless other dieters, this claim is false; they metabolize just fine, and the resulting weight gain can be significant—and highly frustrating.

Please note that there is a great deal of variance between carb counting charts and that many factors, including brand, season, preparation processes and more will affect the number specified on a given chart. For this reason, it’s best to keep it simple and just be consistent in your eating habits.

Also note that though diet soda technically has zero carbs, the sweet taste will raise your insulin levels somewhat, which is why I count each soda as having one carb.

Finally, when in doubt about carb amounts, overestimate. If you have much experience with low-carb dieting, you already know how quickly these numbers can add up.Keeping track of these numbers is inconvenient but extremely important.

Simplified Hidden Carbohydrate Counter

Drinks

One can or serving diet soda: 1 carb

One glass plain iced tea or large cup hot tea: 1 carb

One cup plain coffee: 1 carb

One ounce wine, red or white: 1 carb

Dairy

One ounce (slice) mozzarella cheese: ½ carb

One ounce (slice) cheddar cheese: 1 carb

One ounce parmesan cheese: 1 carb

One ounce cream cheese: ½ carb

One tablespoon half ’n half: ½ carb

Proteins

One ounce beef liver: 1 carb

One egg: 1 carb

One ounce shrimp: ½ carb

One ounce lunch meat: 1 carb (or more; read package)

One hot dog: 1 carb (or more; read package)

One sausage link: 1 carb (as above)

One slice bacon: ½ carb (as above)

One tablespoon peanut butter: 2 carbs

One ounce mixed nuts: 2 carbs

Extras

One packet Equal, Sweet ’n Low or Splenda: 1 carb

One tablespoon mayonnaise: ½ carb

One tablespoon mustard: 1 carb

Two tablespoons salsa: 2 carbs

One tablespoon salad dressing: 1 carb

One teaspoon herbs, no sugar added: ½ carb

***

Chapter Eight: How Does the Emergency Diet Work?

The Emergency Diet takes advantage of the two most powerful weight loss functions of the body. The first and most important one is fasting. As all anorexics know, though most of the medical profession and even most books on fasting for health denies it: the body burns more calories in a fasting or near-fasting state than in a well-fed state.

Now, this is not always true. Later, you’ll read about the pitfalls of this diet that could cause you to mess with this usually fortuitous effect. For right now, though, suffice it to say that no matter what the health professionals tell you, fasting causes you to lose weight at a rate far greater than the calorie-in, calorie-out hypothesis would have you believe. If a pound of fat is made up of 3500 calories (which it may very well be, though the practical application of this knowledge eludes me considering the fact that the body burns calories at vastly different rates depending on a large variety of factors), in order to lose one pound in a single day, I’d have to burn exactly 3500 calories. From extensive experience counting calories, I know that my body burns less than 1800 calories per day without exercise. Yet each day that I fast, or do a partial fast, even if I consume 400 calories during that day and don’t exercise at all, I lose .8 pounds reliably—and keep it off the next day. Many other people lose more than that; the majority of people, in fact, lose one pound a day.

Have you ever heard of the diet that requires frequent injections of the urine of a pregnant cow and partial fasting? Many people lost a lot of weight while doing this, but here’s what they didn’t know: the urine was useless. They could’ve saved a couple thousand dollars and done the same thing without it on their own, because for some reason as yet unknown to science, fasting accelerates weight loss at an unbelievable rate.

In 21 Pounds In 21 Days: The Martha’s Vineyard Diet, Dr. Roni DeLuz, who runs a health spa on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, reports very consistent one-day-per-pound losses among her clientele, no matter what their age, health status, gender and weight. She is convinced that their success is due to the supplements she supplies as well as the cleansing and healing that fasting and partial fasting nearly always provides. However, water fasters as well as people who use chemical-laden shakes and sports drinks while fasting lose equally well.

The problem with fasting for weight loss, of course, is that because of the feeling of deprivation that it causes in some people, most people who fast gain the weight back quickly (as I did for so long). That is where the other secret to the success of the Emergency Diet comes in.

The effectiveness of low-carb diets for weight loss is a little better understood than that of fasting. As you may have learned from the many books written about low-carb dieting, in the near absence of carbohydrates the body begins burning ketones instead. As ketones cannot be stored, those that aren’t used for energy are wasted in the urine and in your breath. (Because of this, you’ll definitely want to drink lots of fluids while on a low-carb diet—and brush your teeth a lot, too.)

At first blush, this sounds like the ideal way to lose weight: eat all you want and pee out the excess calories. As anyone who’s tried such a thing will tell you, though, it’s not as simple as that. After a short time, carbs are used more efficiently in your body and those twenty carbs recommended on Atkins induction receive preferential storage. Though twenty carbs adds up to only about 80 calories, in the presence of large amounts of fat and protein (the other two macronutrients processed in the human body), this somehow equates to much more. Some people think this is due to gluconeogenesis—a process by which the body converts protein to glycogen, a carbohydrate, but I’m not sure. I just know that even a relatively low number of carbs in the diet combined with excess calories can still result in rapid weight gain.

Low-carb isn’t a total wash, though—not by a long shot. In my experience, limiting carbs to twenty per day accounts for 300 to 400 extra wasted (“burned”) calories per day, and limiting carbs to ten per day can give me an extra 600 to play with pretty safely. For a dieter, this is a huge amount.

The real secret of the Emergency Diet, though, isn’t just the accelerated weight loss due to fasting and low-carb eating alone; the real secret is in the combination of the two.

Here’s the thing: like I said before, ketosis isn’t something that happens right away. Glucagen (glucose, or sugar) is stored in the liver for quick energy for at least twenty-four hours after your last meal. Then, sometime between twenty-four and forty-eight hours later, ketosis begins to set in, along with its fat-wasting, protein-sparing effects. (While in ketosis, even when no nutrients are taken in, your body burns body fat and other unnecessary waste tissue before burning muscle, which is made up of amino acids from protein. See the next section for more info on this.) Typically, when you begin eating again, your body immediately transitions out of ketone-burning (serious fat-burning) mode and back into glucose-burning mode. The liver builds up its glycogen stores again, and some people experience water retention and bloating at this time. However, with the Emergency Diet, because the food you eat doesn’t contain a significant number of carbohydrates, your body is not “kicked out” of ketosis; your enhanced fat-burning mode remains consistent, even through the stops and starts of your fast. (Keep in mind, though, that if you eat as much as I do it’s very unlikely you’ll lose weight on eating days. I’m sure I even gain a little back on eating days, but I don’t weigh myself; I don’t want to know.)

What does this mean for weight loss? Well, quite a lot. For most people, it means that the weight lost on fasting days exceeds that lost on normal fasting days that follow either previous fasting days or carb-eating days. Your metabolism stays high since you’re still taking in a high number of calories on average, too—something you won’t do during a traditional fast, of course. So far, the most weight I’ve lost in a single day is 2.2 pounds, but as long as my carb levels remain constant, I almost always lose over one.

A final benefit to mention: One of the commonly reported effects of both fasting and ketosis (even when not taken together) is appetite suppression. Now, for the record, I have never experienced this myself. However, it is quite possible that you will.

This, then, is my brief explanation of the way the Emergency Diet works, but don’t worry—there is much more information out there regarding both fasting and low-carb dieting, and I recommend that you take advantage of it. Check the Recommended Reading section in the back of the book to get started.

***

Chapter Nine: What Are the Health Benefits? 

Fasting has long been regarded as one of the most health promoting activities mankind can undertake. Detoxification, cleansing, purification—it’s been called many things, but the idea is always the same: periods without eating reduce physical stress, sweep away impurities in the body and even slow the process of aging. Fasting can have mental and spiritual benefits, too.

“Perfect health is the body’s natural condition, the state that it innately tries to achieve,” say Dr. Roni DeLuz and James Hester in their book, 21 Pounds In 21 Days: The Martha’s Vineyard Detox Diet, and they’re right. Our bodies are designed to cleanse and purify themselves through all of the organs and systems of elimination, including the colon, liver, gallbladder, blood, lymph, skin and lungs. Detoxification is as continuous and natural as breathing, blinking and growing; it happens whether or not you’re aware of it. When a person fasts, the burden of digestion, an activity which experts estimate accounts for approximately 80 percent of our daily energy expenditure, is reduced significantly. This allows the body to continue its work of detoxification— something it was already doing anyway—at a much greater pace. During this time, the body is free to deal with toxins accumulated in the past (sometimes the very distant past) without being burdened with additional toxins.

And that’s a pretty big deal, because toxins really are taking over. According to The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in Five Easy Steps by Brenda Watson and Leonard Smith, between 75,000 and 100,000 chemicals are currently being used in common consumer products—and an additional 1,000 are introduced onto the market each year. A tempting way to improve durability, flexibility, shelf life, taste and more, these toxins and their possible side effects are not well-studied or widely tested, and even products you don’t consume, but merely touch (like plastics) or breathe in (like paint) can hurt you—sometimes, a lot. And here’s what’s worse: even chemicals that are tested are not fully understood; each are studied only individually, so that interactions and, significantly, the cumulative effects of all toxic exposure is largely unknown.

The Detox Strategy provides a long list of the signs of toxicity. They include body odor, allergies, acne, depression, bloating, itching, anxiety, thyroid problems, weight gain and a whole lot more—pretty much any symptom ever associated with a chronic condition.

Fortunately, the ways to deal with the problem of toxicity are many. In The Purification Plan: Pure Vitality, Pure Resistance, Pure Health, author Peter Bennett offers a pretty comprehensive solution, including exercise, massage, saunas, herbs and much more. But according to most authors, for the reasons already given, the biggest gains are made through fasting.

But what type of fasting should you choose? Dr. DeLuz’s fasting program incorporates a great number of supplements. Many other fasting protocols involve highly concentrated fruit and vegetable juices as well. Other experts recommend so-called “mono dieting,” or reducing your body’s burden of digestion by eating only one type of food for a period of time (raw fruits or raw vegetables are usually preferred since they digest more easily than cooked food due to their built-in live, active digestive enzymes). This kind of fasting, also known as partial fasting, helps reduce the sometimes unpleasant side effects of cleansing by slowing down the process somewhat. It also ensures that fasters receive a great deal of nutrition during the fast and seems to be less risky overall (though it is my unprofessional opinion that water fasting, also called “total fasting” or just “fasting,” is much less risky than most people think).

While I believe that fruit and vegetable fasting is an excellent way to rid the body of toxins, for the Emergency Diet I don’t recommend it. This is because the intake of glucose (carbohydrates) slows weight loss. See the previous section (“How Does the Emergency Diet Work?”) for more information.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, one of my favorite authors who writes on the subject of fasting, also prefers water fasts to juice fasts. In his book Fasting and Eating for Health, he points out that during water fasting the body enters ketosis, just as it does during a low-carb diet. Due to the unique fat-burning effect of this state, the body breaks down a greater number of fat molecules than it does during a juice fast. Because fat harbors toxins, getting rid of it accelerates the cleansing process. Also, because no calories are taken in, the body is able to break down more of the waste materials that are stored in the colon, lymph and other areas of the body as well—all while holding onto muscle and other needed tissues. And the results of this accelerated cleansing process are not insignificant. Quite the opposite, in fact: they are dramatic.

During his naturopathic practice, Fuhrman, for instance, has witnessed people completely recover from conditions that traditional medicine believes to be largely incurable, including eczema, lupus, arthritis and ulcerative colitis. He’s also seen people reverse high blood pressure, diabetes and more—in an incredibly short period of time. His own life was changed when he fasted for 46 days, healing a badly injured leg that had kept him in pain for a year. Restoring his ability to walk without assistance, the experience inspired him to become a physician.

Because of the amazing effectiveness of this healing modality, I recommend that people who use the Emergency Diet to lose weight consider taking in only fluids on their fasting days, especially if it is a goal of yours to overcome a bothersome physical condition of some kind. However, if you choose to eat a small meal or several small snacks on your 400-calorie days, as I usually do, know that even this greatly reduced caloric intake will make a huge impact on your health overall. If you would like more information on how partial fasting or regular, short fasts can help you heal, an internet search of the term “intermittent fasting” might help.

Several years ago, when I first started fasting on a regular basis, I read many great books on the subject, and these days I still enjoy refreshing my knowledge in this area. At first, doing so helped me get through the adjustment period when I still found hunger exceedingly difficult to manage; these days, I just like the positive, empowering message these books provide. For these reasons, I recommend that you do the same. Check out the Recommended Reading section of this book for titles I’ve found helpful or search out your own. You’ll probably find these books both informative and inspiring; some of them could change your life forever.

Fasting isn’t the only way the Emergency Diet improves your health, though; low-carb eating also plays a part. While the health benefits of this diet choice are less well understood than are the health benefits of fasting and the medical community is divided on the subject, anecdotal evidence supports the idea that low-carb diets can help you thrive. For me, low-carb dieting reduces stomach bloating, does away with gas almost entirely, increases my energy, keeps me free from colds and other minor illness and clears up my skin.

“Keep in mind that humans were free of degenerative diseases until the twentieth century. And almost no peoples were vegetarian,” writes Julia Ross in her book, The Diet Cure. Though other sources say this isn’t strictly true, most experts agree that the so-called “diseases of civilization” (diabetes, heart disease and cancer, to name a few) were at least much more rare before the Agricultural Revolution.

Ross also believes that excessive carbohydrate consumption causes chronic overeating. This is because eating carbs in place of protein can cause blood sugar swings, fatty acid deficiency, cravings and even hormonal imbalances. In her book she cites a Harvard School of Public Health study confirming that there is “. . . no association between low-carb diets and increased cardiovascular risk, even when these diets were high in saturated animal fats.” Ross’ views are due partly to her great success in helping people overcome binging and compulsive eating using a diet that emphasizes whole foods and animal protein and fat.

Other diet experts take this advice further, advocating the consumption of meat products in place of all grains. This way of eating is often called “Paleo-style eating.” The basic argument for this way of eating is that because farming is a relatively modern practice, humans have not yet adapted to grains as a primary nutrition source. Some even argue that fruits and vegetables were only eaten seasonally, and their contribution was not as calorically significant as that of meat and other animal products.

From the shape of our hands to our upright walk and near lack of fur, humans evolved to hunt and eat meat, says Ray Audette in my favorite book on Paleo-style eating, Neanderthin. Other authors point out that many nutrients are fat soluble, meaning they require fat for delivery, and that saturated animal fats are more natural and of higher quality than unsaturated plant fats, which are usually processed at high heats using modern technology.

Other low-carb eaters have reported other benefits. A high-fat diet may prevent stretch marks and wrinkles by adding moisture and suppleness to the skin. And when my friend who suffers from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS, a condition which affects fertility) tried a low-carb diet, she got pregnant.

As with fasting, the books on this subject of low-carb dieting are many and inspiring. I particularly recommend Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes and Eat Fat, Get Thin by Barry Groves. Taubes’ book cites a good number of studies showing that the commonly presumed risks of high-meat diets are based on false evidence. “Hunter-gatherers consumed high amounts of animal fats whenever possible,” he concludes in a more recent book of his entitled Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It. He continues: “It’s possible to survive, if not thrive, on diets completely lacking fruits, vegetables and grains.” Of course, some of these books recommend eating more than twenty carbs per day. In the next section, I’ll talk about how to make the most of the twenty carbs you will eat, but there is another option, too: eat more. Not everyone will choose to limit their carbohydrate intake as much as I do, and that’s just fine. As you’ll soon find out, this diet will still work remarkably well.

***

Chapter Ten: Is This an Eating Disorder?

In our society, eating disorders are common. It’s difficult to say how accurate the statistics are, though, because everybody defines eating disorders in a different way. For example, is chronic dieting an eating disorder? Is occasional binging due to stress an eating disorder? To these questions there are no clear answers. Everyone must decide for themselves what constitutes healthy living and eating behavior for them.

For a long time, I had an eating disorder. I was a chronic binge eater and I had an unhealthy obsession with the imperfections of my body and with dieting as a way to get rid of them. Yet I still diet today—I even binge occasionally, though much less frequently than I used to. And so do a lot of other people—even diet experts. In her recent book When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair, emotional eating expert Geneen Roth admits (very admirably, I think) that she doesn’t think it is possible for her to ever entirely overcome her need to use food to alter or deal with her emotions.

So what’s the difference? What constitutes an eating disorder? On this matter I can only offer my personal opinion.

For me, the difference between having an eating disorder and not having one is in the way I feel, both about eating and about my body. For a long time, I thought about food day and night, wondering what I could get away with having without ruining my diet for the day (or for the week), wondering if my current diet was going to work or if I should try something else. During those twelve years of solid dieting there were only a few days that I really liked and accepted how I looked. That’s right: days. I rarely went more than a month on one eating plan before trying another. Sometimes I would switch my diet plan after only a week—sometimes even sooner. I never knew what restaurant to plan to go to on a special occasion because I didn’t know what I would be able to eat.

During this time, I heard about a study that asked people to write down all of the thoughts they had during their morning showers. For men, a huge percentage of the thoughts they had had to do with sex. For women, they thought most about their bodies.

When I heard this, I thought, That’s me. Only it’s not just in the shower.

I think about my body all the time.

And I did. I was obsessed with dieting and with improving my body. Even when I was thin (which I have been most of my life through hard work), I didn’t like the way I looked. Because of this, one of the things I hated the most was going out with friends, especially on short notice. Whenever my husband would say, “Do you want to run to the store?” or “Do you want to go out to eat tonight?” my first thought was always, Ugh, I feel so fat today. My poor body image ruined many trips and other special occasions as I spent the whole time we were there worrying about how bloated I felt and looked.

It was a terrible way to live.

Today, all that has changed. I always know what I plan to eat from day to day. Sure, sometimes I’ll say, I just really want some fruit today, and I’ll take a day or two off of my low-carb plan. Or I’ll attend a party and indulge in a more varied selection of foods. But for the most part, I know what I love to eat. I know what makes me feel good and keeps me looking good, too. There’s no running argument going on in my head anymore (Should I be counting calories instead? Should I be eating bread?). Even when I’m unhappy with my diet, I know I’m happier than I would be after a blood sugar spike (and if I forget, my occasional carb-laden treats remind me). When you know that you just wouldn’t quit something that you do, even if you wanted to, even if you knew it wasn’t helping you keep your weight down, just because you like it so much—that’s when you know you’ve found the right diet for you. And that’s what I’ve found with the Emergency Diet.

And then there’s the issue of body image.

I am not model thin. I have never been model thin. I weigh about 135 pounds on a good day. When I’m pregnant, my body stores extra fat like crazy and I am much heavier than that, but the rest of the time, my body seems to like this weight a lot. Observing this as I have for so many years now, I conclude that 135 is the right weight for me. Besides, my body really is pretty beautiful. I have a flat stomach and curves everywhere else and in high heels, I turn some heads. If I never lost another pound in my life, I would be happy with the way that I look. If I didn’t feel this way, I would not be writing this book.

Personally, I don’t think this is the way an anorexic thinks.

Do you?

***

I could leave the matter there, but since I’m on the subject I’d really like to address one more thing, and that is the definition of the word “diet.”

Lately, in our culture, the word “diet” has gone out of favor. People like to call their eating choices “a way of eating” or “a lifestyle.” Personally, though, I’m not offended by the word “diet,” and I don’t think you should be, either.

Ask yourself this, if you would: Is it more healthy to be on a diet that includes healthy, whole foods, or is it better to eat “everything in moderation,” as they say? Really: which is better?

In my experience, people who eat everything in moderation are often less physically healthy than those who are a bit—or a lot—more strict with themselves.

Chose for yourself whether you want to eat junk food in moderation or stay away from it almost entirely, as I do. But if you want to be more strict with yourself, don’t let anyone tell you it’s unhealthy. Personally, I think that knowing what we know about how processed “foods” are made, eating them regularly is an eating disorder of its own variety.

But maybe that’s just me.

***

Part Three: Diet Future

***

Chapter Eleven: It’s Your Turn

During the twelve years that I spent trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to lose weight, I often wondered if I’d ever succeed.

Will I someday like my body? I asked myself. Will I have to starve forever?

I also wondered about the mental and emotional effects that constant dieting had on me. I wanted to stop the diet cycle, but I didn’t know if I could.

Is overeating wrong? I wondered. Could I really give up overeating? And even if I did, would it actually work?

I remembered the weeks that I spent eating only to hunger and not a whit beyond, testing out the theory that weight gain is caused only by overeating. Though many people have found great success with this approach—and I’m happy for them—it never worked for me. After going to bed hungry every night, the scale would not budge, and I’d return to counting calories and obsessive exercise, my mainstay weight loss method.

You see: I am not naturally thin. My appetite has always been too large for my 5’6” frame—and I’m not the only one. There are many more people like me out there, and by writing this book, I want to help at least some of them know that there is someone out there who understands.

And maybe one of them is you.

I want to tell those people that it’s okay to want to be thin, and it’s okay to diet—especially if you can do so with a minimum amount of obsessing.

And I want to tell you how.

In the first part of this book, Diet Past, I wrote about me—though maybe you could relate to some of what I said. The second part of this book, Diet Present, was also about me—about the weight loss method I’ve discovered that works for me.

This is the third part of the book, though: Diet Future.

And this part is about you.

It’s about how you can do what I did. It’s about all the things I would say to you if you were here with me, right now, in my living room, asking me for advice.

It’s about hope.

Which is why the first thing I wanted to tell you is: I understand.

You, right now, are asking yourself: Could this really work? Could I actually like my body for the first time in I don’t know how long? Could I learn how to diet without feeling like I’m dieting, and to diet without feeling guilty for dieting?

Well, maybe. If you follow the steps in this section, there is, I think, a pretty good chance that what happened for me could happen for you, too.

Anyway. It’s worth a try.

As they say: The future, for you, is now.

***

Chapter Twelve: How Should I Begin?

The first question I’m going to answer in this section has to do with starting the Emergency Diet. I am starting with it not because it’s the most important question in this chapter (it’s probably the least important one, actually), but because I suspect that you are eager to get going.

There is no one right way to start the Emergency Diet. Some people will want to weigh themselves tomorrow morning (after a chocolate binge tonight) and start fasting every other day and eating under twenty carbs per day right away (this I will call the “diving in” start). Others will choose to get used to one of the two methods—fasting or low-carb eating—before trying to do both at the same time (this I will call the “wading in” start). While either way is fine, for most people, the wading in start is much better.

There are two major drawbacks to the diving in start. The first is that it will be very difficult for most people, especially people with little prior experience (or little prior successful experience) with either fasting or very low-carb eating. You will lose weight quickly, but this could actually be a problem, especially if you are prone to binging. Your new-found success combined with the difficulty of the diet may encourage even more frequent binging and, in the end, result in no weight loss—or (as we bingers and former bingers know) weight gain.

Another problem with this approach is this: adding carbs—especially a great number of carbs, as you may eat during a binge—causes more weight gain after low-carb, ketosis-style eating than it does if you’d kept your carb amounts high to begin with. The science of this is a mystery to me, but it is a reliable effect, and I don’t recommend testing this theory on yourself. (More about this in the Pitfalls chapter later on.)

But that isn’t all. If you are not used to fasting, your body is likely to be full of stored toxins. As books on fasting explain in detail, some people will become very ill when first attempting a fast as those toxins are re-released into the system before exiting the body. The consequences of this can sometimes be dangerous—you could get very, very sick. Other times, the consequences are just rather uncomfortable and strange.

I remember one of the first fasts I went on. It was day three, and all day I was feeling extremely irritable for no clear reason. By that evening I was screaming at the top of my lungs to my husband about a somewhat unpleasant incident that had happened earlier in the day. Since screaming is rare for me, I attributed this outburst to either hunger or toxins—or both.

These days, of course, my body and mind are both highly adapted to fasting and a day without eating doesn’t even make me light-headed. Depending on your level of health, though, this process of adjustment could take years. Fortunately, the Emergency Diet doesn’t require long fasts, so much of the adjustment is built in to the process.

Ketosis, though, holds its own drawbacks. Many people experience a lack of energy and even flu-like symptoms for several weeks after starting a very low-carb diet. On its own, this should be bearable, but combining it with fasting could actually be dangerous as the body is cleansing itself much too rapidly. For these reasons, I do not recommend the diving in method for anyone who doesn’t already either fast or eat low-carb regularly.

One caution with the wading in start, though: start with either fasting or low-carb, then add the other. Don’t switch between the two. This is because, as stated earlier, you will undoubtedly experience a bounce-back gain every time you transition from low-carb to high-carb (or even moderate-carb) eating. Again, you can read more on this subject in the Pitfalls chapter of this book.

***

Chapter Thirteen: How Much Weight Will I Lose?

As with any diet, the Emergency Diet cannot guarantee results similar to those obtained by others. And the funny thing is, my own results vary greatly as well. When I became pregnant with my first child, before I knew I was pregnant, the diet didn’t work at all. I didn’t gain weight that week, but I didn’t lose, either—not a single ounce. Later, when I returned to the diet after giving birth, I lost at a slower rate than I had when I first tried it—about .8 pounds per day, the same I used to lose when I fasted normally. This was partly because I wasn’t as strict with the number of carbs or calories I was eating. However, I was full, I enjoyed my food, and I enjoyed my routine.

I was satisfied.

I had no desire to return to long workouts, acne, bloating, and strict calorie counting. I lost several pounds a week and kept it off easily and that was enough for me.

In the next section, I’ll discuss strategies to increase or slow down your weight loss, but for now, know that no diet is faster or more effective than this one, and if you can get through the “breaking in” phase, your hard work will be rewarded.

***

Chapter Fourteen: How Can I Speed Up My Weight Loss?

As previously explained, my version of the Emergency Diet is to eat under twenty carbs every day, while alternating my calorie intake between 400-calorie days and “unlimited” calorie days. For some people, the “unlimited” part of the equation will prove problematic. If for any reason after fully adjusting to the diet you aren’t losing weight as quickly as you like, you may limit your calorie intake on full eating days somewhat. Don’t take this too far, though. If the Emergency Diet is to become a consistent habit, it should be enjoyable. Also, your body will need the nutrients in-between fasts to stay healthy.

Another way to speed your loss is to reduce your carbohydrates to ten per day. I have done this several times in the past with great success.

You can also fast for more days in a row, of course, but before you do that, I recommend you educate yourself about fasting and work up to long fasts slowly. (Read the previous section for more information on the dangers of fasting.)

Exercise can greatly speed up your loss or can make up for days that your carbs go over your goal a bit, though its benefits are limited. It will not make up for a huge calorie excess, but you will notice a difference. In addition, it won’t make up for going over your calories on a fast day at all. This means that if you exceed your calorie limit on your fasting day for any reason, you will not lose any weight that day at all. Read the Pitfalls chapter for a more detailed explanation of this phenomenon.

A final word about speeding up your loss: before doing so, ask yourself why you need to. The Emergency Diet is the fastest weight loss method there is short of long-term fasting (starvation). Seeing a smaller number on the scale several times a week should be enough motivation to continue the diet until every last unwanted pound is gone.

***

Chapter Fifteen: Why Quick Weight Loss?

This is a good question, and it’s one that has been addressed often. In my opinion, though, it is rarely addressed fairly.

Diet and nutrition experts often say that slow weight loss is healthy, and I agree with this. However, is quick weight loss unhealthy? According to many, it is—and this is where I have to disagree. Though it may be true for some people, in some circumstances, that slow weight loss is preferable to fast, in my experience, it is not. I have never experienced any physical drawbacks to quick weight loss (defined as losing over three to five pounds per week). In fact, for me, it’s just the opposite. Whereas slow weight loss would often discourage me to the point of abandoning my efforts or binging, the quick and reliable weight loss I experience when using the Emergency Diet is greatly encouraging and gets me through many tough moments.

And herein lies one of the great secrets of the Emergency Diet: even though it is difficult at times, motivation to continue is built in to the process.

Imagine that you are sitting at home reading a book at 9:00 p.m. when suddenly you get a craving for a chocolate chip cookie. If you are on a normal diet, you might think, “One cookie won’t hurt—I’ll get up early tomorrow and go for a run.” Your long-awaited treat, though, tastes better than you remembered, and one cookie soon becomes six. You’ve blown your diet for a week; after seven solid days of dieting, you’re back to where you started.

Now imagine the same scenario another way: You’re sitting on your couch, and suddenly you want to go to the cupboard and grab a cookie. So, you try to come up with a reasonable way to justify the indulgence. First, you think, I’ll go for a jog in the morning and burn it off, but then you realize that because weight is gained rapidly even after only a few carbs are added into your low-carb diet, that jog will not come close to making up for the fat you’ll gain by eating the cookie. Then, you remember something else: the scale. Yesterday morning, after your last fast, you weighed 165 pounds. That means that if you can just get through the next few hours without eating, then go to bed, when you wake up in the morning, the scale will read 164. You know it will, because you’ve fasted many times before, and it has worked every time—you always lose one pound per fast day.

You start to get excited: you haven’t seen a 164 on the scale in a year or more. Your excitement triggers your built-in mental defense mechanisms, and you choose to forget about the cookie and focus on your book instead. The craving passes, and the next morning you congratulate yourself for staying strong. As you take your first bite of deviled eggs with extra mayonnaise, you tell yourself to remember this feeling the next time you’re tempted to change the plan.

Of course, I don’t pretend it’s always easy. People have different levels of self-discipline (clearly, mine is a bit higher than most). Still, if seeing the scale climb steadily downward doesn’t sound worth it to you, this diet is probably not right for you.

***

Chapter Sixteen: How Can I Make This Diet Easier?

If you’re reading about this diet or you’ve already started it and you’re thinking, I could never do this permanently, I have two very good news items for you. The first is that over time, your taste buds and your cravings will adapt to low-carb eating and your mind will adapt to frequent fasting.

The second is: you don’t have to.

Let’s take the first item first. There are two reasons that the adaptation to low-carb eating takes place. One is that during your fasting days, any food will sound delicious to you—and meat, as satisfying and fat-filled as it is, will sound even better than that. If you’re like me, you’ll probably find that your food cravings are actually much worse on eating days than on fasting days (especially when first starting the diet) as you are still accustomed to indulging in something sweet after a large savory meal. The very next day, though, your stomach will be empty again, and nothing will sound tastier than protein and fat in the form of steak with butter, salad with creamy dressing, or hamburger patties with extra cheese.

There is another very different answer to the question about sticking with the diet, though, and it is this: you don’t have to.

This diet is, unapologetically, a weight loss diet. It can also be a weight maintenance diet, as it is for me, but only if you want it to be. You may find as I did that the physical and mental health benefits it offers outweigh the enjoyment of sugar (something that has in some ways become repulsive to me at this point), but maybe not.

Take it one week at a time, and see how it ends up for you.

With these points in mind, if after having practiced this diet for a while you still want a way to make it easier to stick with, there are several ways to do so while still losing weight. The first is that you fast less frequently (though note that if you do this, you’ll probably need to reduce your calorie intake on your eating days significantly). The second is that you raise your carb levels. If you use the second way, though, understand that switching back and forth between higher and lower carb days will not work, and you’ll need to count your carbs carefully to prevent that from happening. (For me, this is enough of a bother to discourage me from using that method consistently.) Also, you will probably need to exercise greater portion control with each five or ten carbs you add in.

That’s not all I want to say about making the diet easier, though. Read closely, because this is important: The best way to make this or any diet easier is to deal with your mental and emotional obstacles to weight loss. If you are a binger, for example, read self-help books on overcoming this compulsion and follow the advice until it works. (For this purpose I recommend anything by Geneen Roth, especially When Food Is Love and Overcoming Emotional Eating.) Or, if you dislike yourself because of your body or sabotage your diet efforts for any reason, talk to a therapist. Finally, if you are like I was and dieting gives you a kind of purpose in life and you can’t imagine living without it, do what I did: get other hobbies. And not just any hobbies: good ones. Great ones. Engaging ones. Ones that you love. Focus on other things and sugar and bread just won’t seem that important to you anymore.

For more information on getting rid of addiction, read my book Sometimes Very: How I Overcame Depression Without Experts or Medicine. Here is an excerpt:

“But here’s the thing: Even if you aren’t a naturally compulsive person like I am, you are probably addicted to something. Everybody, I think, is addicted to something. Even a total ascetic is addicted to something—God, maybe, or prayer. A sense of meaning. Being good. Feeling enlightened.

“Love.

“I don’t know. But we all have things we would hate to be without, and wouldn’t be very happy to let go of—and, for most of us, more than one.

“Most of us, indeed, have quite a few.

“The problem is, we never talk about the things we like to do that way. Not seriously, anyway. We act as if no one should ever be addicted to anything—as if staying away from addiction should be our only goal. And that’s why I’m going to tell you a secret about overcoming addiction, and it’s one that hasn’t let me down so far:

“The best way to get rid of a bad addiction is to replace it with a good one.”

***

Chapter Seventeen: What Are the Potential Pitfalls of this Diet?

And now we come to the crux of the matter, so to speak. In my experience, diets usually work as written. Somehow, though, we always seem to find a new, ingenious way to make sure they don’t (I know I have!). Please pay attention to this chapter, because it is the most important one of this section—maybe of the entire book.

The number one pitfall of this diet is this: eating over your fasting calorie limit on fasting days. In order to explain why this is such a problem, I’ll first discuss what the fasting calorie limit is and how it works.

The fasting calorie limit is something very few people know about or understand. If you have ever gone on a so-called “starvation diet,” eating at least 600 calories under the amount needed to maintain your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), hoping to speed up your weight loss, then to your surprise found that your weight loss actually stalled completely (you may have even gained weight—this happened to me), then you understand the concept known as “starvation mode.” At a certain calorie level, the body conserves all of the incoming energy, resulting in zero loss despite increased effort. However, what you might not realize is that there is a lower limit to this number, after which the “starvation mode” effect is actually dramatically reversed.

Early on in my fasting days, I discovered through reading and through trial and error that if I ate even a few calories over 500 during a fasting day, I would not lose weight that day. If the next time I fasted I ate even just 50 fewer calories, I’d lose my expected .8 pounds as usual. (These days, I eat under 400, just to be on the safe side.)

Don’t worry—I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about how this works, or why. As I told you before, I don’t understand the intricacies of the human body (and I doubt most doctors do, either). But I will tell you that it is crucial that through trial and error you discover your fasting calorie threshold. (As I am of average body size and metabolism for women, I think 450 is a good level to start with.) That way, even if you choose not to eat any solid food on fast days, you’ll at least know how much half and half you can put in your coffee. Count every calorie you ingest on these days, or your hard work will not pay off.

The second major potential pitfall of this diet is this: not keeping your carb levels constant. As discussed in a previous section of this book, for some reason also unknown to scientists, a sudden increase in carbs will result in a disproportionate amount of weight gain. (For me, just a four- or five-carb bounce can be more than enough to put two pounds on me on an eating day or at least negate my fasting day loss entirely, depending on the number of calories I eat along with those extra carbs.) If you accidentally go over your carb limit for the day, which I caution you is very easy to do, vigorous exercise may undo the damage (exercise burns the readily-available glucose molecules first). Just don’t make a habit of it. You will also want to reduce the number of calories you eat if possible.

Anyone who’s ever tried a low-carb diet will also know that it is vitally important to know exactly how many carbs are in the foods you eat. There are carbs, for example, in shrimp, Splenda and Equal packets, organ meats like liver, bacon, sausage, eggs, cheese, mayonnaise and many other high-protein foods. There are also carbs in vegetables. And even though diet soda doesn’t usually have carbs, sweet tastes will spike your blood sugar levels. When I indulge in a diet soda, I count it as one carb. For much more information on this subject, search the internet for “hidden carbs” or “carb count list.”

Here is another pitfall, and it’s a good one: fasting for 24 hours only. A fast that does not last a full 24 hours plus an extra eight to make up for the first hours of the fast when the body was still digesting is not a full-day fast. Think about it: if you eat 2,000 calories on Monday, with dinner ending at 7 p.m., then eat again 24 hours later at 7 p.m., you could eat enough calories in that one meal (especially since you’ll be so hungry by then) to make up for the rest of the day—or a good part of it, anyway. The first part of your fast—the night after your last meal—is not really a fast. It is the time you normally take off from eating anyway. It is the time your body needs to digest the food eaten the previous day. Your body burns very little fat during this time. Therefore, your fast needs to be at least 32 hours long (24 plus 8) or, even better, 36 hours long (24 plus 12) for the accelerated weight loss you expect on a fast to kick in.

While we’re on this subject, a related piece of advice: consider trying the Traditional Schedule before trying the other schedule options described in this book, breaking your fast in the morning rather than at night. In my experience, breaking a fast at night is more difficult because when you break a fast in the morning, the last eight hours are spent asleep. Also, it’s easy to start blurring the line and breaking the fast earlier and earlier each time, which will not lead to success. (Besides, don’t you want to weigh yourself in the morning after a fast and see the scale down another pound?)

As with the other pitfalls in this list, I discovered this one the hard way. I had just lost five pounds by fasting every other day (or every two or three days) when I decided to make things a little easier for myself. Instead of fasting from morning to morning, I decided, I’d eat one large meal (usually with more than enough calories for an entire day), then start my next 36-hour fast right afterwards. I thought this was a great idea until I realized (over five pounds later) that I was actually still eating an average of 2,500 calories per 24-hour day. (Remember what I said before about my ability to find a way to screw up any diet I’m on?)

A final pitfall to briefly mention: binging. Already a regular binger, when I first discovered this diet I used the fast weight loss as an excuse for even more regular binging. This, you may well imagine, did not bring success—and it didn’t bring happiness, either. The desire to binge started making me very miserable—as did the binges themselves!

Are you a chronic binge eater like I was? If so, some of your need to eat a lot of food in one sitting and feel very full will be satisfied on this diet. However, I know from experience that for most chronic bingers, this will not be enough to cure the problem. I recommend that you read any books that you can about binging, and get any other help that you can as well. As long as you continue in the binge cycle, your weight will never stay lost for long. Besides, take it from me: food addicts are not happy people.

***

Chapter Eighteen: How Long Can I Be On This Diet?

Though the Inuits (see the Recommended Reading section under “Stefanson” for more information) are well-known for eating under ten carbs per day for nearly their entire life spans, to our best historical knowledge this has not been a common practice. And for most of us living in modern times, it’s not very practical, either. These Eskimos were exceedingly healthy while on their traditional diet—much more so than after introducing European foods—but there were some key differences between what they ate and what we might eat on the Emergency Diet.

The first difference is in the types of meat that they ate. While most modern cultures are accustomed only to the muscle meat of fish, chickens, pork and cattle, the Inuit relied primarily on whale meat instead, which is higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and certain other nutritive elements. Also, critically, this people routinely enjoyed organ meats as well as bones (they sucked on them until they were soft, then extracted the rich marrow).

And there is another difference as well: modern meat-raising standards. Due to hazardous practices common in the chicken, fish and livestock industries, like overuse of antibiotics and growth-promoting hormones; unsanitary and inhumane living conditions; use of pesticide-laden corn feed; and environmental abuse, our meat supply is just not what it used to be. For these reasons, I cannot recommend buying or consuming non-organic meat on a regular basis, no matter what else your diet may or may not consist of. I encourage you to use the money that you will save while eating less food overall to buy responsibly-grown, non-factory farm-produced meat. Organic meat is a good source of healthy, natural fats—and it tastes better, too.

But back to the original question. It is my belief that very low-carb diets are highly sustainable in the short-term. Many people have found their health greatly improve while on Atkins, even those who don’t transition to a higher level of carbohydrates but stay in the so-called “induction phase” of twenty carbs per day. I am not a great believer in moderation; I prefer results. That said, I don’t recommend that Emergency Dieters continue with this eating plan forever. It is my recommendation that you carefully monitor your blood pressure, energy level, cholesterol and other health indicators to determine the right amount of time for you. As I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, I cannot predict how your body will respond to this diet with any certainty (and let’s face it, even if I were a doctor, I still wouldn’t be able to). I can say, though, that I’ve never read about anyone who became ill due to eating a very low-carb diet, even among those who have sustained this way of eating for years; in fact, for many, just the opposite occurs.

If you are like me, though, you like your vegetables, and your fruit, too, and you’re convinced that overall it’s best to up your intake of these foods for your long-term maintenance plan. Or, you may even want to add in healthy grains, beans and nuts. With all of the conflicting information out there in the world of nutrition, all I can recommend to you with conviction is this: experiment. Experiment.

Try everything.

After all, that’s what I do. As I mentioned before, I have tried more diets than I care to count, and I am still trying to determine which is the best for me. For instance, recently I eliminated all processed foods from my diet and switched to almost all organic produce in an effort to reduce the toxic load on my body. At other times, taste and variety has taken precedence and I’ve allowed myself the full range of food choices available in order to address my issues with overeating—to eat more intuitively, without rules.

In my humble opinion, no one way of eating is right for everyone, and probably, no one eating plan is even right for you—not for a lifetime, that is. So keep experimenting. Become a raw foods vegan for a while, and see if that helps you thrive. Give voice to your spiritual and environmental concerns by refusing to buy factory-farm animal meat. Dieting is not a religion. It is a relationship—a relationship with your body. As your health goals become more clear, you will discover what foods help you achieve those current goals, and which do not. When people ask you what diet you’re on this month, giggle at their good-natured barb.

You are a work in progress, and the fact that you are reading this book shows that you are actively involved in this work. Never apologize for being a seeker of improvement and of truth.

***

Chapter Nineteen: Any Food Prep Tips or Tricks?

I’m not much of a cook, but having had a great deal of experience with this diet, I’ve come up with a few tricks to make finding and preparing food a bit easier. Here are some of these ideas:

1. Stock up. Buy more meat than you think you’ll need, because when your anti-carb willpower is low, another juicy steak may do the trick.

2. When you don’t want to cook or aren’t able to, the easiest meal to buy pre-prepared is a whole rotisserie chicken from a supermarket deli. They’re moist and tasty, but even better, they’re large and filling—and nearly carb-free. Hamburgers without the buns can taste great, too, though personally I don’t find them to be as filling as the chicken.

3. When planning for events with friends, save most of your carbs for the party. That way you can sample a few bites of high-carb food out of politeness (and celebration!).

4. Restaurant eating can be difficult. In general, though, if you avoid Mexican and Asian eateries, you should be fine. If you do find yourself at a Chinese restaurant, you can always order plain stir-fry with no sauce (most of the sauces will probably contain sugar), and at Mexican restaurants, a large salad is usually a good option.

5. My favorite restaurant meals to treat myself to while following this diet are: Pho soup with extra meat and no noodles, Chinese hot pot (all you can eat!), Brazilian steak and, yes, the occasional plain fast food hamburger.

6. Learn how to make a great steak. There is a world of difference between preparation methods, and finding the one you like will help you remain delighted with your somewhat monotonous diet. Really good steak rubs can be found at any supermarket, and I recommend that if you aren’t an experienced cook—or even if you are and you just want to save time—you use them.

7. Don’t worry about eating too much fat. Enjoy real butter on your food and full-fat dressing on your salad; the fat is what makes this diet so completely satisfying. (And it’s good for your skin, too—you’ll probably notice that any acne you have will entirely disappear in your first week on this diet.)

8. Don’t buy chicken breast; get thighs, whole legs or drumsticks instead. The crispy skin is super delicious and satisfying and the fat helps the meat stay moist during the cooking process. I cook my chicken at 400 degrees to further prevent it from drying out, and my favorite herb to sprinkle on top is rosemary.

9. Don’t overestimate your own need for variety. When I first started this diet, I fell repeatedly into the trap of believing that I needed to eat a different food at each meal. Later I realized that when I’m truly hungry, my body doesn’t mind that I just ate the same meal yesterday—or even a few hours ago. And I can definitely promise you this: no matter how sick of meat you believe that you are after a full eating day with little else, after a thirty-two hour fast, nothing will taste better than some juicy chicken with crispy skin or a rare steak with butter and herbs. Try it for yourself and you’ll see.

If you’d like more food prep advice, I’d search out recipes on low-carb dieting forums like www.lowcarbfriends.com. There you’ll get only tried, tested and practical ideas—nothing too fancy, expensive or preparation-intensive, as many cookbook recipes tend to be. You can also ask forum members any questions that may come up while learning a new skill.

***

Chapter Twenty: Other Questions

Is this diet for me?

This diet is for people who truly want, for whatever reason, to lose weight—and who are absolutely determined to do so. It is for people who have already tried everything else, and tried it honestly and well, and still have not succeeded in their goal. It is not for anorexics or anyone with an eating disorder.

If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, I want to say that I respect and admire your choice, and I understand the many social, spiritual and physical benefits such a diet can provide. For you, I don’t recommend attempting the Emergency Diet as written, but I still highly recommend fasting or partial fasting every other day as well as taking in whole, satisfying, nutrient-rich foods on your eating days.

How can I slow down my weight loss?

For some people, the Emergency Diet will work too well. I have known several people who lost a great deal of weight by cutting their carb intake down to twenty or fewer, without fasting or even keeping track of their calories. This, then, is one option for slowing your weight loss. Fasting every other day without lowering your carb intake will work very well, too, as long as you don’t overeat during the days in between fasts. I use this strategy on a regular basis when I need a break from very low-carb eating for whatever reason, but I still want to lose a few pounds. As with anything else, adjust your Emergency Diet style to your own needs and goals.

Can I gain weight on this diet?

Probably not, though due to the high protein and calorie intake you won’t lose muscle, either, as you do on most eating plans that include frequent fasting. If you would like to gain weight, though, read the Pitfalls chapter found in this section and do the opposite of what I advise there.

What do you eat exactly?

I am a beef lover. Hamburger, strangely, is my favorite to make at home, while steak and salads are my favorite restaurant food. I also eat chicken, pork (I love sausage!), seafood, organ meats, tofu, homemade soups without sugar or thickener, green non-starchy vegetables, carrots, coffee, half ’n half, heavy whipping cream, full-fat salad dressing, eggs, mayonnaise, nuts of all kinds and cheese. Occasionally I sample carb-heavy foods, but only a bite or so at a time, and while I’m on this diet I almost never eat sugar in any quantity. I believe that the optimal diet for me is a mix of the above foods with a focus on muscle and organ meat, green vegetables and eggs. I also take a liquid iron supplement, liquid vitamin D, a multivitamin and a folic acid supplement. As it may be unsafe to overconsume some supplements, choose yours carefully after consulting a nutrition professional.

Of course, if these foods don’t appeal to you, or if you’re a vegetarian, your menu will be different and your carb levels may be higher. (More about this later in this chapter.)

How much do you eat on eating days?

I eat a lot. Most eating days, I finish off at least three pounds of beef, several tablespoons of butter, and something else—a whole small chicken or a pound of sausage, plus sides. My calories easily average over 3,000 per eating day. And that is what I get to look forward to on my fasting days. If you love to eat as much as I do, you’re probably beginning to see why I love this diet so much. Of course, I am now in the maintenance phase of this diet, so I get to eat more, and your eating level will vary.

A note on this subject: if you do not enjoy overeating—if you generally prefer small meals to large ones and can’t manage to eat 1,000 calories over your daily weight maintenance level—I suggest that instead of fasting every other day, you eat the calorie (and carb) level that you’re most comfortable with and that brings you optimal health and fast less frequently. This is a much easier way to lose weight overall and nearly as fast, too.

Should I eat exactly the way you eat?

One of the things I want everyone who is reading this to know is that, unlike with many other diets, you don’t have to follow my version of the Emergency Diet exactly. Certain changes will set you back very reliably (see the Pitfalls section before you start!), but other changes are just fine. For most people, the idea of eating only twenty carbs per day is the least appealing part. If you don’t particularly enjoy large quantities of meat, or you believe that you need to eat more vegetables, that’s fine. Keep your carb levels relatively low and very consistent, and keep your calories somewhat under control, and you’ll be fine. Also, remember that no matter how many carbs you eat, choose whole, natural, organic foods—nothing processed or refined. This style of eating is sometimes called “Paleo” eating based on our human evolutionary style of eating. Read more about it at the websites listed in the Recommended Reading section at the end of this book.

Again, I am not a doctor or nutritionist. My knowledge is limited and my preferences are my own and may change over time. My diet is not my religion, and even if it were, I’d be happy to change it if it no longer served my needs. As in all areas of your life, it’s wise to exercise your own judgment and consult your own conscience.

Is eating only twenty carbs a day healthy?

I very strongly believe that it is. However, as stated previously, I am not a doctor. Therefore, I give you fair warning: some risks may be associated with very low-carb diets. Please do your own research on the subject and adjust your carb intake as you see fit. That said, my personal research and experience shows that when eating only twenty carbs per day, each one must come from nutrient-packed vegetables (like carrots and spinach) or animal products other than muscle meat. Eggs are an excellent source of choline. Liver has folic acid. Cheese and other dairy products are also healthy (I use half ’n half in my coffee). You can also get additional nutrients by varying the types of meat you eat (fish is especially important) and by eating chicken or turkey skin and bone broths (for calcium).

An excellent source of information on quality carbohydrates is www.dirtycarnivore.com. My favorite book on the subject is Neanderthin by Ray Audette. You may also enjoy an entertaining documentary about low-carb eating called Fathead.

How can I get used to fasting?

I recommend that if you’re not yet used to fasting, you fast for one or two meals at a time before trying to go an entire day without food or with very limited calories. The health benefits of even partial fasting are significant, too.

There are many excellent resources on the internet for information about this. Search for the phrase “intermittent fasting,” and be sure to read the Wikipedia article about it. I also love the book The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle by Bert Herring.

Why do you love this diet so much?

The reasons I love the Emergency Diet so much are, briefly, these:

1. I am not usually tempted to overeat low-carb foods.

2. I feel very full and satisfied most of the time and the rest of the time, I look forward to feeling that way soon.

3. Fat is good.

4. The foods I eat are pure, whole and healthy.

5. I don’t have to wait long for results, and I don’t have to believe anyone that tells me I should.

What if I don’t love this diet?

Try something else. And tell me about it, too. I’m always curious about such things.

How will this diet affect me mentally?

This diet will affect you mentally, emotionally or spiritually only and exactly in the way that you choose it to. For much more on this topic, read another book of mine called Happiness is the Truth: A Spiritual Manifesto. Here is a relevant excerpt from the chapter in that book titled “People are Holy:”

“In his book Bluebeard, Kurt Vonnegut says something very profound. He says that he doesn’t think that people become enlightened when God speaks to us, but that it is when we finally let go of the idea that we need God or anything else, and when we let ourselves be most human, that our greatest epiphanies occur.

“Until very recently, I didn’t understand what he meant. Being more human makes us more spiritual? I thought. How does that make sense?

“After a while, though, I understood. I knew that that it was true, and the reason was very simple: it’s because people are holy.

“That’s right: People are holy . . . Even the worst person alive is holy.

“Every action a person ever takes is holy, because it is the choice they are making about the kind of experience they want to have on this earth.

“And when we finally realize this, and when we finally learn that we can make our own decisions without anyone’s help, even God’s, is when our greatest epiphanies and our highest enlightenment occurs.”

Any other advice?

Yes. I love giving advice, so let me sneak in one more thing: if you happen to be a spiritual person, whatever that may mean to you, I highly recommend saying positive affirmations about your body and your weight loss results on at least a semi-regular basis. You never know what might happen as a result; at www.storiesandtruth.com, people report amazing transformations using this technique alone.

Will I get skinny?

Again, that is up to you. However, my recommendation is that you don’t force yourself to change too quickly. Instead, read the information in this book and let it soak in for a while. Give yourself time to adjust to the ideas I present here. Read other books about low-carb eating, fasting and compulsive eating. After you’ve prepared yourself mentally to take the plunge, the right time to begin will present itself, and suddenly, losing weight will come easy—easier than before, anyway. (When it comes to losing weight, there will always be a lot of work to do.) Give yourself the time you need to change.

For more on this subject, read another book of mine called Sometimes Very: How I Got Rid of Most of My Depression in Just Twenty Short Years, particularly the chapters about overcoming addiction and the need to be perfect.

***

Chapter Twenty-One: I Would Have Cried

If you would have told me five years ago that I would be fasting every other day and at the same time would have given up carbs almost completely, I probably would have cried.

“That’s it?” I would have said. “That’s all I can do? There’s no other way?”

“No,” you would have told me. “There is no other way. By then you will have tried all the others and failed.”

“Are you sure?” I would have asked.

“I am sure,” you would have said.

And then I would have dried my tears and said, “Okay.”

In the following months, after trying yet another promise-the-world diet—maybe the all-raw diet, which I could only stay on for two days in a row on any given attempt—I would finally get used to the idea of doing whatever it took to be free from food and dieting obsession. I would look for you and I would find you sitting next to your crystal ball again and I would ask, “Will I be happy?”

And your reply would have been this: “Yes. Yes, you will be happy, dear Mollie. Yes, you will, after some time has passed, find it easy. Yes, you will enjoy your food more than ever before. Yes, you will have other interests in life besides losing weight. Yes, you will finally love the way you look. Yes, you will be able to lose and keep off all the extra weight you put on during your pregnancies. Yes, you will be healthier than you’ve ever been before.

“Yes, you will finally be free.”

And after hearing that, I would have cried again.

This time, though, they would have been tears of relief.

As I sit here today, I am happier than I have ever been before, and I’m only a little embarrassed to admit that it’s not only because I have a wonderful husband, a perfect job and an otherwise beautiful life.

It is because I am thin, and I know it.

I hope that even if my weight loss method isn’t quite right for you, this book will help you realize that if you want it badly enough, and you keep searching, someday, you will find what works for you.

***

So, what did you think?

Mollie Player gratefully welcomes all reader reviews on [+ Amazon.com+].

Also, if you have any questions about this book, please contact the author personally at [email protected]. She looks forward to hearing how she can help you succeed.

Finally, if you are not fully satisfied with this book, she would like to know about it and, if possible, offer further assistance.

***

Also by Mollie Player

[+ You’re Getting Closer: One Year of Finding God and a Few Good Friends+]

[+ The Power of Acceptance: One Year of Mindfulness and Meditation+]

[+ The Naked House: Five Principles for a More Peaceful Home+]

[+ What I Learned from Jane+]

[+ Happiness is the Truth: A Spiritual Manifesto+]

[+ Alone and Together: A Very Short Primer on Happiness+]

***

About the Author

Mollie Player is just a regular person. But that doesn’t mean she can’t at least attempt feats of great strength. Like overcoming depression. Getting skinny. Never arguing again. And, of course, finding inner peace.

Her spiritual memoirs include You’re Getting Closer: One Year of Finding God and a Few Good Friends, The Power of Acceptance: One Year of Mindfulness and Meditation, and What I Learned From Jane.

Her self-help books include The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard of and Fastest Possible Way to Lose Weight and The Naked House: Five Principles for a More Peaceful Home.

Player also writes about money, marriage, motherhood and more. Subscribe to her blog, Suddenly Awesome, and discover your next great read at mollieplayer.com.

***

Recommended Reading

Books on Low-Carb Dieting:

Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs and the Controversial Science of Dieting and Health by Gary Taubes. A controversial work that outlines the basic arguments in favor of natural animal fats over processed vegetable fats, the ability of the body to distinguish between calorie sources and use them accordingly, and the superiority of low-carb diets.

Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes. The author’s enhanced treatment of the aforementioned subject and more.

Eat Fat, Get Thin! by Barry Groves. A short, easy-to-read explanation of the benefits of low-carb diets.

Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution by Dr. Robert C. Atkins. A good introduction to low-carb diets and what makes them so darn popular—and effective.

The Fat of the Land by Vilhjalmur Stefanson. Amazon.com promises this book describes “an experiment in extreme nutrition” and “extols the virtues of meat in the human diet.”

Neanderthin: Eat Like a Caveman to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body by Ray Audette. My favorite book on low-carb and Paleo-style eating, Audette takes a comprehensive but concise look at all of the ways the human body has evolved for meat eating.

Books on Fasting:

The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle by Bert Herring. A quick, kinda fun explanation of intermittent fasting and it’s effect on the body.

The Essential Herbert M. Shelton by Herbert M. Shelton. A compilation of the classic works of the prolific author and recognized founder of an area of study called Natural Hygiene, which emphasizes fasting and proper food combining.

Fasting and Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor’s Program for Conquering Disease by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. One of my favorite books on fasting. The author advocates pure water fasting due partly to the accelerating effect of ketosis on the cleansing process. He also recommends a vegan diet.

The Purification Plan: Pure Vitality, Pure Resilience, Pure Health by Peter Bennett. A holistic, comprehensive guide to body detoxification. Includes information on rebounding, saunas, herbal medicine and much more.

The Fasting Path: The Way to Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Enlightenment by Stephen Harrod Buhner. A great treatment of this subject from a whole-self perspective. I especially like his take on the importance of internal body cleansing.

The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps by Brenda Watson and Leonard Smith. One of many equally good works advocating natural healing modalities. Discusses the problem of body toxicity in depth.

21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha Vineyard’s Diet by Roni DeLuz and James Hester. In spite of its gimmicky title, a surprisingly thorough, enjoyable read. The author stresses the importance of taking supplements while cleansing.

Juicing, Fasting and Detoxing for Life: Unleash the Healing Power of Fresh Juices and Cleansing Diets by Cherie Calborn. One of the many books on the subject of juicing. In my opinion, Calborn’s belief that water fasting is overrated is inaccurate; however, people who prefer a gentler way of detoxing will appreciate her ideas and recipes.

The Miracle of Fasting by Paul Bragg. Paul Bragg is a well-known and controversial nutrition writer. His whole foods vegan products are excellent, his writing less so. Though his books come across as a little amateurish, his enthusiastic style is fun and easy to read, and he makes many noteworthy points.

The Detox Mono Diet: The Miracle Grape Cure and Other Cleansing Diets by Christopher Vasey. Presents a unique detoxification method: consuming only a single food for an extended period of time. The author of the original text on which this book was based claimed that an all-grape diet cured her very persistent cancer.

Other Recommended Books:

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser. A seminal work. Presents the well-researched, in-depth arguments against the use of processed foods while exposing the food industry’s dirtiest secrets.

Purge: Rehab Diaries by Nicole Johns. A well-written personal account of the author’s experience at a rehab center for anorexics and bulimics.

The Hundred Year Diet: America’s Voracious Appetite for Losing Weight by Susan Yager. A balanced and historical account of the past 100 years of dieting in America.

Locked Up for Eating Too Much: The Diary of a Food Addict in Rehab by Debbie Danowski. A short account of one overeater’s experience at an addiction recovery center.

Holy Hunger: A Memoir of Desire by Margaret Bullitt-Jonas. A full-length memoir depicting the author’s battle with food addiction, with an emphasis on her spiritual journey.

The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life by Wendy Shanker. A truly funny pro-fat acceptance memoir.

The Good Eater: The True Story of One Man’s Struggle with Binge Eating Disorder by Ron Saxen. A “me-too” memoir; readers of this book are pleasantly reminded that they’re not the only one.

Hungry: Lessons Learned on the Journey from Fat to Thin by Allen Zadoff. A nice account of the author’s out-of-control eating and how he found his way back to life.

It Was Food v. Me—And I Won by Nancy Goodman. With lots of well-meaning advice, this story’s real strength is the author’s admission that she’s still dieting even after conquering her demons.

How to Make Almost Any Diet Work: Repair Your Disordered Appetite and Finally Lose Weight by Anne Katherine. A detailed, scientifically based explanation of the chemical and hormonal imbalances related to the problem of overeating and food addiction. Her medical advice is practical and well worth reviewing.

Angry Fat Girls: 5 Women, 500 Pounds and a Year of Losing It . . . Again by Frances Kuffel. A no-holds-barred, nothing-to-hide memoir of one year of the author’s dieting life—and that of four of her friends.

Breaking Free from Emotional Eating by Geneen Roth. A lovely treatment of the intuitive eating approach to dieting. In later works, the author emphasizes healthy food choice much more than in her early works due to deficiencies she experienced personally. Her writing is compassionate and highly insightful.

When Food Is Love: Exploring the Relationship Between Eating and Intimacy by Geneen Roth. Another beloved Geneen Roth contribution.


The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of an

My name is Mollie, and for twelve years, I was obsessed with losing weight. That’s right: obsessed. I woke up with it, I went to bed with it, I lived with it. I read, and read, and read—and I tried every method I could find to lose weight. Then, one day, I finally figured it out: a very, very fast weight loss method that kept my motivation high and my feelings of deprivation low. My weight loss and weight maintenance method is a combination of several methods, and therein lies its power. I have never read a book or heard a testimonial from anyone who has lost weight as fast as I did while using this method, which I call the Emergency Diet. The results are much faster than the kind of loss promised by diet pills, workouts and calorie counting combined, and this weight loss method is one-of-a-kind; you will not find this information anywhere else . I truly don’t think the human body can lose weight faster than this. I regularly, consistently lost over half a pound a day in my losing phase, and I was not very heavy to begin with. And this was not water weight, either. This was fat, and it stayed off permanently every time—including after having my first baby, when I lost 35 pounds in 60 days without breastfeeding. The best part, though: I don’t obsess about food anymore. I like my body. I don’t feel embarrassed to go out after a long day of eating and drinking because I feel bloated. I don’t have to wait for a “flat stomach day” or “good body week” to let myself leave the house. I make last-minute plans with my friends and wear fitted tops. And I truly feel great about how I look. I am grateful every day for this feeling of freedom that I once feared I would never have again. If so, here’s just some of what you’ll find in this book: Part One: Diet Past: My experiences with dieting and how I discovered the Emergency Diet Part Two: Diet Present: What the Emergency Diet is and why it works, including: "What Are the Health Benefits of This Method?", "How Does It Work?", "Sample Menus," "Sample Eating Schedules" and "How Much Weight Will I Lose?" Part Three: Diet Future: How the Emergency Diet will work for you, including: "Why Quick Weight Loss?", "How Can I Speed Up My Loss Even Further?", "What Are the Potential Pitfalls I Should Watch Out For?", "How Can I Make This Diet Easier?" and "How Should I Begin?" For more information, visit www.mollieplayer.com.

  • Author: Mollie Player
  • Published: 2017-09-10 02:20:27
  • Words: 22360
The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of an The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of an