The Skinny Bitch Diet
We can sum up this diet plan in seven words. Scare people into becoming vegetarian or vegan. In many ways the Skinny Bitch Diet reminds us of the extremely low fat vegetarian diet plan promoted by Dr. Dean Ornish, but without the rigorous documentation or medical studies. Oh, and with plenty of swear words liberally sprinkled throughout.
The first chapter of the book is titled "Give It Up." In rapid order you're told you must stop smoking, quit drinking alcohol (except perhaps organic red wine with no sulfites added), soda of any type, artificial sweeteners, coffee, refined sugar and over the counter medications. Then for good measure, at the end of the chapter it's suggested that you start exercising.
The chapters that follow talk about good carbs, the evils of sugar, the horrors of meat and how dairy is a "disaster."
In an effort to encourage people that organic fruits and vegetables are the only option, a full third of the book is dedicated to describing some of the horrors of meat processing plants. No graphic detail is omitted.
The remaining chapters give vegan/vegetarian organic menu suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
A typical day looks a little like this. Start with a glass of fresh squeezed juice, some oatmeal or a whole grain bagel with peanut butter and organic sugar-free jelly. For lunch you can have a salad, a vegetable wrap or some kind of vegetable soup. Dinner options include baked tofu or veggie options of traditional meat dinners. Veggie burger, veggie dog with veggie chili, veggie burrito or a veggie lasagna are all on the approved list.
Anything that's not organic, vegan or vegetarian is suspect and probably not allowed.
How it Works
The basic premise is simple. You are what you eat so you should eat only natural unprocessed foods. The authors use fear of chemicals and disgust to help change deeply entrenched behaviors.
Pros and Cons
Vegetarian or vegan diet plans can be a very healthy option. But don't think it's the switch from meat to vegetables that would cause you to lose weight on the Skinny Bitch Diet. At it's core, the Skinny Bitch Diet is a low calorie diet plan. As with any diet plan, cut the calories and you'll lose the weight.
We entered the nutritional information for a typical day of acceptable foods and it came out to 1,459 calories. The average American eats more than 2,500 calories a day. Reducing your caloric consumption from 2,500 to 1,459 can easily help you drop 2 pounds a week.
The simple reduction in calories isn't so bad, but the nutritional deficiencies are. Our biggest concern is the lack of protein in this diet. In the profile we entered a person would only take in 44 grams of protein daily. That's less than half the suggested amount required for a 130 pound woman and less than a third needed for a 160 pound man. If you're trying to build muscle or tone up, the Skinny Bitch will work against you.
The lack of snacks in-between meals is also a problem. When you're trying to lose weight, it's better to eat small meals or snacks several times a day to alleviate hunger pains, prevent muscle wasting and stop binges when it's time to eat. Snacks are not included in any of the Skinny Bitch suggested meal plans.
Then there's the problem of becoming a vegan or vegetarian. The Skinny Bitch Diet requires learning completely new eating habits for the majority of Americans. Now learning new habits isn't bad, but the changes are so drastic that many dieters will have a difficult time staying on it long enough to see results.
Over time, if you stick to the eating habits suggested in this diet you will lose weight, but because of the low protein levels, a significant amount of that weight could be muscle.
The Bottom Line
If you're already considering a vegetarian or vegan diet, the horrors of the meat processing plant in the Skinny Bitch may be enough to push you over.
However, if you're looking for a well balanced diet plan that includes information on exercise programs, meal plans with serving sizes, healthy recipes or tips on how to make lifestyle changes...then this book isn't for you. You won't find any of that information in it.
A word of caution. Make sure to talk to your doctor or nutritionist BEFORE you start on this diet so you have a medical professional monitoring any potentially harmful side effects of the initial weight loss.
General Reference Links
American Heart Association
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institutes of Health
United States Department of Agriculture