Just when you thought you’ve heard it all, another weight-loss craze sneaks up and steals the spotlight. This one is imported from across the pond.
OMG is a controversial diet from the U.K. that can help you lose up to 20 pounds in six weeks. A mishmash of tips and tricks based on self-published author Venice Fulton’s seven months of research pertaining to metabolism and body function, “Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends” is written in cheeky mean-girl speak that pushes the age-old eating disorder tricks of competitive dieting. It’s also full of ridiculous tips to burn every single calorie possible.
It is essentially a low-carb diet mired in catty, competitive nonsense and sensationalist ideas — blowing up balloons to firm abs, for example. While the book does talk about movement, Fulton — his real name is Paul Khanna — will not call it exercise because “exercise is a scary concept for some people.”
Fulton presents his get-out-of jail-free card for some of the more controversial ideas by saying the reader can cherry-pick advice and take a break. “There are no ‘haves’ in this book,” Fulton recently stated in a “Today Show” interview. On a blog post titled “Diet Like DaVinci,” Fulton said, “Be like Picasso, Da Vinci and Rembrandt. Be an artist. And whether it’s missing a few days at the easel, or a few days using a cool bath, you’ll get back to it when the time is right.”
Cold bath = hot bod?
Fulton, an actor and personal trainer with a degree in sports science, said on his blog about OMG reviewers who scoff at cold baths for weight loss, “If they’d Googled around, or found someone who understood physics and biochemistry, they would at least have the beginnings of a belief that perhaps the skinny-dipping idea was onto something.”
Fulton’s not the first diet-hawker to claim this. In 2010, Timothy Ferriss, an author and blogger, created the “4-Hour Body,” which encourages ice baths and walks in cold weather to rid the body of brown adipose tissue, also known as “brown fat” or BAT.
BAT is responsible for helping newborns regulate their body temperature, a process known as thermogenesis. As adults, we experience thermogenesis as well, through both our diet and exposure to the cold. So yes, being exposed to cold does help to burn excess BAT. So does lean protein. But hey, what does anyone at Harvard know? Livestrong reported that some carbs also can help increase thermogenesis.
Coffee and body fat: A balanced breakfast!
Fulton noted on a recent visit to “The Today Show” that body fat is “the ultimate breakfast cereal.” You can also have black coffee, since it burns fat. Let’s hope you don’t have an ulcer.
Don’t even think about having more than one piece of fruit a day while you’re on your six-week journey to being the envy of everyone. All of that fructose stops leptin from telling your body to stop eating, according to Fulton. What about the carb-loaded sweet potato? What about the powerhouse combo of a banana and peanut butter for an energy boosting midday snack? Oh, that’s right, Fulton doesn’t allow snacking either.
In Fulton’s world, a carb is a carb, even if it comes from an incredibly nutritious food like broccoli, which may help to prevent colon cancer and contains an abundance of nutrients, including folic acid and fiber. In fact, Fulton said that a “lucky few can get skinny on the lowest-quality carbs, such as soft drinks, as long as they don’t have too many.” Pay no mind to the high amount of added sugar and chemicals in that soda.
Despite the clearly mean-spirited title of his book, Fulton told the Huffington Post that turning women against each other was “literally not even on my radar.” Fulton also denies on his blog that he was inspired to write the book by the hit British show “The Only Way is Essex” — think “Jersey Shore” for Brits — that highlights competitive dieting. That doesn’t mean he has a problem exploiting the show. A blog post titled “The Only Way is Envy” praises the cast’s beauty and labels his skeptics as jealous. He also exploits the already exploitative mommy porn novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” with his blog tagline: “The other naughty book everyone’s talking about.” As if all of this wasn’t telling enough about Fulton’s quest for pop-culture infamy, he admitted to writing the book after witnessing the popularity of the Dukan diet, a diet we just this month condemned for a variety of reason you can read about here.
Hmmm. … Frigid, miserable bath or a healthy diet? Tough choice. Stick to food journalist Michael Pollan’s advice: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”