The Doctor Phil Diet was created by none other than Phil McGraw. He proposes a seven-step program, each step to be followed for a long time. This is an approach based on cognition and behavior. He recommends taking food supplements, in particular calcium, and vitamins C and E. Here are some of the principles.
Be positive. A positive attitude and self-mastery are important for weight control. Believe in yourself. Control your stress and you will control your weight. Place yourself in a good environment. Stay away from fast foods. Clean your cupboards and throw out dangerous food. Make a list and use it when you shop. Replace your bad habits by activities such as reading or sports. Eat slowly without looking at the TV and take small mouthfuls. Eat only foods with high energy content; these are generally natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, eggs, fish, lean meat, brown rice, and light dairy products. The diet clearly defines the number of daily portions of foods and food categories. For example, eat three portions of protein foods and four portions of vegetables. Tell people close to you that you are dieting and enlist their support. Dr. Phil suggests that you distance yourself from those people who won’t support you.
An advantage of this diet is its high level of detail; you may get the feeling that you have a personal coach. Its menus are balanced and the forbidden foods aren’t good for you. Dr. Phil insists on the importance of listening to your hunger signals. A major disadvantage can be its psychological aspects because the Doctor Phil Diet demands major behavioral changes.
Here are two sample menus: Menu 1 Breakfast: A bran muffin. A plain yogurt. A glass of orange juice. Tea or coffee. Lunch: Endive salad. Chile con carne. Mid-afternoon snack: An apple. A plain yogurt. Supper: Turkey schnitzel. Tomatoes provencales. Brown rice.
Menu 2 Breakfast: A bowl of cooked bran flakes. Skim milk. Raspberries. Tea or coffee. Lunch: Tomato, lettuce, cucumber, and onion salad. A slice of multigrain bread. Mid-afternoon snack: A plain yogurt. Supper: Sirloin steak. Zucchini. Baked potatoes with their skin on.
Some information in this article comes from a fascinating new book, La Bible des Regimes, written by Jenny de Jonquieres and published by Amerik Media. Her book describes more than 80 diets and weight reduction programs. Each diet is presented with 5 menu plans, a detailed discussion of its advantages and disadvantages, and lots more. La Bible des Regimes is presently available only in French.