The Birmingham Hospital Diet, simply known as the Hospital Diet, is a 3-day diet program designed for patients who need to go through surgery. The exact origin of the Hospital Diet remains unknown. However, some health experts believe the program was developed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital.
The program promises quick – though not painless – weight loss. The Hospital Diet is on the extreme side of crash diets. And even health experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital warn against this diet program.
How the Birmingham Hospital Diet Works?
Birmingham Hospital Diet is a rigid dietary plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It demands total adherence to the menu and instructions. Essentially, you will only consume an average of 800 to 1,000 calories per day. The program does not allow substitutions or alterations in any way. The portions are strictly controlled.
You may prepare the meat and vegetables however you want but sans spices, condiments, oils, seasonings, citrus juices and other flavorings. Only salt and pepper is allowed as food seasonings. Hydration is encouraged to cleanse the colon. If you adhered to the program to a T, you will lose 10 pounds within 3 days.
Here’s a sample of the three-day menu: For breakfast, take coffee or tea, a toast or biscuit, and an orange or grapefruit. For lunch, you can eat a grapefruit, an egg, plain yogurt and lean meat. For dinner, you can also eat 3 ounces of lean meat, yogurt, and grapefruit.
Advantages of the Birmingham Hospital Diet
Fast Way to Lose Weight
Although the Birmingham Hospital Diet is extremely restrictive, it only lasts for three days. You are likely to lose weight faster without suffering long-term nutritional deficiencies.
Because the program does not demand special foods, it’s easier to adhere to the Birmingham Hospital Diet. The menu is very basic and the food can be prepared by anyone – even those with limited experience in cooking. This program also works for people who are always on the go.
Disadvantages of the Birmingham Hospital Diet
This is a rapid weight loss program, which is the unhealthiest of all diet programs. Because this program does not encourage exercising, you will gain the weight you lost once you go back to your normal eating habits.
No Fat Loss
You only lose fat by working out. And since this program does not include exercising, you are only losing water weight.
Could Lead to Yo-Yo Dieting
Although the diet program is too brief to cause nutritional deficiencies, it could lead to yo-yo dieting. This can cause a strain on the heart and immune system.
But is it effective?
To a certain extent, yes this diet may help you lose weight. However, adopting any restrictive diet program can lead to significant – albeit temporary – weight loss. Any weight loss program that promises to lose two pounds per week is not healthy.
The Birmingham Hospital Diet is not recommended for long-term use. It does not promote fat burning or a healthy lifestyle. This diet is reserved for individuals who need to lose weight for surgery. It’s not meant to be a fad diet at all.