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The Ultimate New York Diet - Busted or Must-Read?

Updated on July 5, 2011

Big Claims

According to author David Hirsch, buying his book, "The Ultimate New York Diet" has quick payoff: 5 inches off the waist and a 14-lb weight loss in only two weeks.

According to materials from Better Life Media, the producers of the clip below:

A staunch advocate of mind over matter, David can help you start reaching your health and wellness goals in just two weeks. David Kirsch, trainer to the stars, helps you: Achieve results without equipment or surgery; Set realistic goals and organize to accomplish them; Choose a workout to match your body type; Eliminate the "energy drainers" that hold you back.

Sounds good, but doesn't most diet propaganda? The questions to ask when considering any weight loss plan are these:

  • Does it work? - Where is the evidence that these actions will lead to weight loss?
  • At what cost? - What does it cost me in time, money, effort, and anguish (mental, physical, and emotional)?
  • For how long? - How long does it take, and how long do the results last?
  • Why does it work? - Is following this plan going to deprive my body of the nutrition it needs? (In other words, is this a starvation diet?)

Big Names

Supermodel Heidi Klum, also known as "The Body," claims Hirsch's expertise is what got her runway-ready only two months after giving birth to her second daughter.

Heidi Klum attributes her famous figure to David Kirsch's "Body Plan."
Heidi Klum attributes her famous figure to David Kirsch's "Body Plan."

Big Fame

Kirsch's plan is, at heart, just another low-carb, high-protein diet. If this is so, why all the hype about this particular book? It has only one claim to fame: the time frame. We've all heard the expression "New York minute," and the Ultimate Diet's name seems to be derived from the same idea - instituting major life change in a short span of time and getting major results, Kirsch tells us, is characteristic of New Yorkers.

In this vein, Kirsch includes 10-minute workouts for the dieter who's pressed for time (which, let's face it, most of us are). A fitness trainer and the owner of Madison Square Club, he certainly has the expertise to get you worked into a sweat in a short amount of time.

Big Game

In the end, the "Ultimate New York Diet" falls flat. Billed as highly accessible and easy to follow, the book lays out three highly restrictive phases for weight loss:

  1. No starchy carbohydrates, bread, sweets, fruits, fatty food, dairy, alcohol or coffee
  2. One serving of carbohydrates per meal (Think: one slice of bread or half a cup of pasta)
  3. Reintroduction of "bad" foods, "within reason"

For anyone with even a small knowledge of nutrition, this plan sets off a series of red flags. Firstly, separately foods into "good" and "bad" categories encourages eating-disordered thinking, and sets up unhealthy binges when deprivation becomes too much to bear (which, inevitably, it always does.) Secondly, the low-carb diet craze has been steadily losing steam, the wind taken out of its sails by links to heart disease, among other negative side effects.

Besides these already convincing arguments against it, the Ultimate Diet has to contend with the fact that rapid weight loss on a crash diet such as this is rarely sustainable, and serves to slow down, rather than speed up, one's metabolism. Add to this the knowledge that most of the weight loss sustained on a low-carb diet is water and muscle, as your body goes into ketosis and begins digesting itself, and Kirsch's face is looking less friendly by the minute.

Big Shame

...on David Hirsch for encouraging unhealthy habits with such alluring promises. And shame on you, if you engage in them!


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    • profile image

      Anna 6 years ago

      What a pompous and opinionated article. I'm on day 4 of the diet and so far so good. There are many great reviews on Amazon from real people who have done it - it's really not for the faint of heart. It doesn't even sound like you've tried it for yourself.

      This is totally different from the Atkins. You focus on lean meat and vegetables for the first two weeks and introduce fruits the next two. I tried the Atkins thinking I could gobble up a fatty sausage and hamburger - ruined my gallbladder and had to get it removed.

      Next time, try leaving an unbiased review.

    • Interbiz profile image

      Interbiz 8 years ago

      A good hub easy to understand info.

    • profile image

      Goals 8 years ago

      Nice hub. There are just so many diet plans out nowadays. I think the real problem with this is that people are not taught how to properly evaluate diet plans. With no effective criteria, good evaluation is almost non-existent.

    • topstuff profile image

      topstuff 9 years ago


    • LMA Freelance profile image

      LMA Freelance 9 years ago

      Thanks for the truth. The trouble starts when we see unusual people like Heidi Klum, and we aspire to look that good. Our sense of reality gets a little warped sometimes, and it's easy to feel the pressure to put our bodies through the wringer in order to achieve the impossible. You article is a great reminder that our health should be our number one focus.

    • Veronica Karr profile image

      Veronica Karr 10 years ago

      You are a phenominal writer and more importantly, you cut to the chase. I agree with you that a speedy weight loss is un-maintainable and for those individuals that do lose the weight only to put it back on several months later will only end up discouraged and will continually obsess about their weight.

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 10 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      how is this really different from atkins?

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 10 years ago from San Francisco

      It's all about cashing in on a book deal, isn't it? Isn't that what got Dr. Phil in hot water?