One of the things I choose to do here at DietHobby is give an occasional review of a diet and/or diet book which I’ve read and have found unusual or interesting enough to personally experiment with (although usually only after I make personal and individual modifications to the basic plan). This is one such review.
Snack Yourself Slim (2008) was written by Richard Warburg, a lawyer, assisted by Tessa Lorant who is a published author and knitting expert. This diet book is based on the rather unique premise of having tiny snacks every hour instead of meals.
Warburg shares a personal eating plan that he developed and used successfully. He asserts that it is a known fact that the body craves satiety through smaller, more frequent meals. His lifestyle approach is to eat a very small amount of something every hour that you are awake.
Here is his diet plan. Every hour that you are awake you eat approximately 80 to 100 calories of any food. If you arise at 7 a.m. and are awake until 10 p.m. for those 15 hours you would consume about 1200 to 1500 calories. Warburg says that such a plan is destined for success since the body’s caloric needs can be determined through scientific charts which show a person’s daily caloric needs, based upon gender, height, weight, and exertion level.
As an example, the charts say that a six-foot, 40-year-old man, weighing approximately 200 pounds with a moderate physical activity level (five exercise sessions a week), would need about 2800 calories a day to maintain his current weight. Since 3500 calories equals one pound of fat, reducing daily intake to a 2000 calories would equate to nearly a pound of fat being reduced every four days.
Snack Yourself Slim encourages such a hypothetical man to eliminate another 500 calories from that amount for even quicker weight loss.
Based on the conventional wisdom of calories-in calories-out, it would appear that this could be a successful means of weight loss. Warburg cites his own success with the plan, as well as the success of a few of his friends who have used it. The main drawback of the plan, appears to be that it would require giving up eating all normal size meals. For most occupations and lifestyles, this could be rather difficult to accomplish.
Warburg claims no medical expertise, and his knowledge about body functions appears to be based on his own armchair reading about various dieting methods. Current conventional wisdom is calories-in-calories-out, and he seems to understand that basic concept, however he makes the statement that all calories are NOT created equal because “you can have as many as you like in protein form – the body simply excretes those you don’t need”. This inaccurate statement indicates that Warburg is unfamiliar with the concept of gluconeogensis which is the process whereby the body turns extra protein into glucose, which then … if unused… gets stored as fat. Based on this rather egregious error, I would advise a reader not to heavily rely on Warburg’s sketchy interpretation of how insulin and his diet work together.
I have previously reviewed the book “The No S Diet” (2008), which is a 3 meal zero snacking plan. I am very fond of the Habit concepts of the author, Reinhard Engles, and in March 2008, I began experimenting with the No S diet. I was unsuccessful at establishing a 3 meal, 0 snacking habit, probably due to the fact that my entire 60+ year lifetime involves a strong established habit involving small meals with snacking at random throughout the day. However, I am still strongly attracted to the diet and to Reinhard’s habit concepts, and I enjoy and recommend his No S forum which frequently contains the comments of some interesting, intelligent, and courteous people.
With that personal background, I ran across “Snack Yourself Slim”, in mid-2009; I purchased and read the book, intrigued by the idea of All snacks, 0 meals which is actually a reverse pattern of The No S Diet, and a diet concept I’d never tried.
My only experimentation with this diet was for about 10 days in early May, 2009, just a few days after returning from a long vacation in Boston. During that 10 days, I ate …what for me were maintenance calories … divided into approximately 11 to13 snack eating sessions. My average weight went down approximately 1 lb during that 2 week period, but this appeared to be merely due to normal flucuation. I found that I missed meals, plus I was strongly motivated to quickly drop a few lbs of vacation weight, so I quit that all-snacking-zero-meal-plan to experiment with other diet plans.
I have no strong feelings about the personal effectiveness of the diet, either way. Recently I’ve became interested in doing a second experiment with it, and I now have a plan to do that. If I follow through with such a plan, and I have results that I find interesting, I will share those in some later article.
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