Do you consider mushrooms one of your favourite foods? Are you trying to lose weight? If so, then the mushroom diet may be just for you. In fact, many celebrities have been using the mushroom diet to lose weight or maintain their weight.
Katy Perry and Kelly Osbourne are among those who claim to have successfully used the mushroom diet to stay in fighting shape. So if it works for them, can it work for you as well?
The Basics of the Mushroom Diet
The concept of the mushroom diet is that you replace meat for mushrooms for four meals each week for two weeks while continuing to follow a well-balanced and healthy diet. You also need to eat them before the other portions of your meal.
Why mushrooms? According to nutrition and health experts, mushrooms are a good substitute because they are a low-density food that makes you feel fuller than many other foods. And because mushrooms are low in calories, you can eat more of them and less high-calorie, high-fat foods. Mushrooms also have some meat to them which is why they are often used as a substitute for meat in recipes (think portabella mushroom burgers instead of meat burgers).
Unlike many other diet plans, following the mushroom diet is not costly, does not come with adverse side effects (unless you are allergic to mushrooms in which case this diet is not for you) and is fairly manageable for the two weeks you need to follow it. Mushrooms are easy to find at any grocery store and there are many ways you can eat them, although raw is most preferable because you will get all the nutrients this way.
Mushrooms also have a low glycemic index and are high in fibre and protein which means they take a long time to digest so you will feel fuller longer and avoid the noshing and bingeing that usually comes from eating other foods. They are also high in zinc, B vitamins and iron which will all make your nails stronger, your skin healthier and your hair shinier.
While eating mushrooms is not dangerous and will not do you any harm, you may not be getting enough protein if you are replacing lean meat with mushrooms. Three ounces of mushrooms will never pack the same protein punch as three ounces of chicken or turkey. And since you are replacing half of the two weeks’ worth of meat with mushrooms, you may not get sufficient protein unless you supplement or eat much more of it during your other meals.
The other problem that many experts have is that relying on one particular food as a means to lose weight is not much of an effective weight loss plan. Sure, you may lose weight after the two weeks, but then what? Aside from that, the diet’s proponents claim that you will lose weight from your hips and waist, but not from your bust. These claims have not been proven and are not completely reliable given that everyone loses weight in different parts of their body.
Should You Try the Mushroom Diet?
There is nothing potentially dangerous if you go on the mushroom diet. The only problem may be your boredom with eating mushrooms for that long. By no means is this a diet plan that you can maintain for a long period of time so this plan works best if you want to lose a few pounds (five or less) in two weeks.
British tabloid, the Daily mail published an article recently – click image to read the full article
Staying on it for the long-term may not result in significant weight loss. You also cannot use this plan and eat whatever you want. Part of the diet’s rules is to incorporate the mushrooms with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Some may argue that if you do that already (or begin doing that), you will lose weight without having to rely on mushrooms.
When it comes down to it, you certainly will not suffer on this diet, but you are definitely not going to lose large amounts of weight. If that is your goal, then the mushroom diet may not be right for you.