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Pros and Cons of a New Diet Plan - The Digest Diet Can Work for You!

Updated on February 8, 2018

What is The Digest Diet?

The Digest Diet, by Readers Digest Editor-in-Chief Liz Vaccariello, is a 21-day (or longer if you need it to be) diet that encourages eating healthy foods in unique combinations, with emphasis on foods that have proven to be "fat-burners."

The Digest Diet is a 21-day plan divided into three phases, with each optimally designed to lose the most weight.

Walking and a 12-minute workout are the recommended exercises. The workout was too strenuous for me at first, being quite out of shape, but got easier as the plan progressed.

Success stories from Reader's Digest employees give encouragement to The Digest Diet plan followers.

The Digest Diet
The Digest Diet
Buying The Digest Diet at Amazon is less expensive than purchasing from Reader's Digest.

How It Works - Phase 1

Phase 1 is the "Fast Release" phase. Breakfast and lunch consist of your choice of specially developed shakes or smoothies. A basic shake recipe is provided with several variations. The evening meal is soup, with several recipes from which to choose.

Pros and Cons of Phase 1

Pros - The shakes are very filling and tasted great the first day, good the second day, ok the third day and by the fourth day I couldn't stand another one and haven't had one since. My husband liked them better than I do. The peanut butter banana shake was our "favorite."

The soups we tried were delicious. A serving is two cups, which is very satisfying.

Cons - The initial cost of the ingredients in the shakes and in the soups was rather expensive. I really had to spend a lot of time in the grocery store looking for ingredients and then find the best price. After stocking the pantry and refrigerator the first couple of times, it was less expensive. Be prepared to purchase things like coconut milk, flax seed meal, honey and smoked paprika.

Overall evaluation - We really did lose weight in phase 1 - about 3 pounds for me and about 5 for my husband. I confess to being glad it was over. I was ready for more variety and some SNACKS!

How It Works - Phase 2

Phase 2 is the "Fade Away" phase. A shake for breakfast or lunch, a breakfast or lunch meal, one snack and evening meal make up this 10 day phase. Main dish recipes allow for healthy choices.

Pros and Cons of Phase 2

Pros - More food choices and a snack add variety to this phase. Healthy fats, a wide selection of veggies and lean meats make up meals and snack. This part of the diet is similar to a mediterranean diet. The recipes provided in The Digest Diet are delicious.

Cons - Again, the number of ingredients in the recipes can be daunting and expensive. While easy to prepare, most recipes are quite time-consuming and not really suitable for a quick after-work meal for the family. It was difficult to get used to using no salt. We cheated and added a little more sea salt than called for in the recipes to make them more palatable.

Overall evaluation - This phase was easier than the first four-day period. More variety eased "food boredom." My husband and I both lost between 3-5 pounds on this phase.

How It Works - Phase 3

Phase 3 is the "Finish Strong" phase that covers days 15-21. Emphasis is on balancing proteins, fats and carbohydrates for maximum fat-burning. Three meals plus two snacks round out each day.

Pros and Cons of Phase 3

Pros - I love having two snacks. There are enough breakfast, lunch and main meal recipes for variety and it is easy to make substitutions.

Cons - I really couldn't think of any cons for this phase. I liked it all.

Overall evaluation - I could be on this phase forever and actually plan to be!

Final Thoughts

Other than Weight Watchers, this is the best diet program I have ever been on. Meals are healthy and well-balanced and I never felt deprived. I have not had cravings (other than for a salad - really!) for candy and sweets and the food is filling. It was a little difficult to incorporate dairy into my life as I have never been a milk drinker, but I have found that it really makes a difference. Portion control has also not been hard and this was always a problem for me.

When researching the diet, I was put off by the cost of the book but found it to be less expensive at Amazon than at Reader's Digest. It turns out that it was well worth the investment.

During the 21-day plan, I lost 12 pounds. My husband lost about 15.


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