Health & Fitness Column

‘Overnight Diet’ isn’t a realistic option

By John Taylor | Apr 09, 2013
Photo by: File Health & Fitness Columnist John Taylor

Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine have developed a new weight loss regimen known as the Overnight Diet, which has led to tremendous reductions in body weight and BMI scores throughout clinical trials.
The Overweight Diet requires participants to eat six days of a high protein diet and one day of a liquid diet. That, combined with sufficient sleep, led to significant weight loss outcomes.
“You can lose up to two pounds overnight. And then for the six days, you can lose up to nine pounds in one week after the first week,” said Dr. Caroline Apovian in an ABC News interview. Apovian, an associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine, is the director of nutrition and weight management at Boston Medical Center. “That first night, you go to sleep, you sleep your eight hours, you are down two pounds,” she said. “If you continue to get enough sleep every night, you won’t get those hunger pangs. The hunger pangs come from lack of sleep, which induces the hunger hormone to get secreted from your gut.”
Apovian also stated that there wasn’t a significant difference in weight loss between participants who exercised and those who didn’t during the clinical trials.
She also reported that 50 percent of the participants were able to maintain their weight loss a year after the trials ended, which is about double the national average when compared to other weight loss programs.
Though the Overnight Diet has received some concerns from medical professionals due to the rapid nature in which participants lost weight, I’m concerned that most people won’t follow this type of diet regimen throughout their life.
“Any lifestyle change expert will tell you that the Overnight Diet isn’t a great option for people who are looking to maintain a healthy weight well into their elderly years,” said Diana Kurell, a registered dietician and owner of Journeys Nutrition Services in Columbia, South Carolina. “The most effective long-term weight loss programs are those that incorporate meal plans that meet the individual’s preferences, and an active lifestyle. If any diet states that long-term weight loss can be accomplished without regular physical activity, those claims should really be questioned.”
But seriously, who wants to only eat tuna and chicken six days per week, and the drink only water one day a week for the next 30 years?
Any diet plan should incorporate realistic, lifelong eating habits that individuals can implement throughout the course of their lives.
However, I also recognize that there are some people who would benefit from this type of rapid weight loss. If a 400 pound adult is looking to implement a healthier lifestyle, I think getting rid of the unhealthy weight should be the first concern, and attempting to develop more effective lifelong eating habits can be worked on.
Overnight Diet? Really? Does that even sound like a good idea?