Donut Diet Challenge: Can You Snack Your Way to a Leaner You?

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Eat donuts and lose weight? Does this sound too good to be true? The answer is no, it’s not.

There are a few rules, though. You may only eat one donut per day and it cannot exceed more than 400 calories. You also would need to drink eight 12-ounce glasses of water per day, and you may not eat or drink anything else for the day.

Feel free to get creative. Cut the donut into eight pieces and eat one every two hours. Eat them warm, toasted, or cold. Try to drink ice-cold water instead of room-temperature water. The options are limitless.

Does this sound like a scam for weight loss sponsored by the Donut Council of North America? It’s not. I’m simply trying to illuminate the principle of caloric deficit and its relationship to weight loss.

Without a continuous caloric deficit from either food consumed or physical activity (or a combination of both) that is below an individual’s total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), one will not lose weight.

The weight loss may vary from half a pound to two-plus pounds per week depending on the caloric deficit from the individual’s current weight and average daily caloric of food consumed prior to initiating a weight-loss program.

The daily donut challenge is an extreme example of caloric deficit that only allows 400 calories per day. The FDA recommends 2,000 calories per day. Using the FDA guidelines and following the Donut Diet Challenge guidelines, you’ll have a caloric deficit of 1,600 calories (2,000 – 400 = 1,600).

The principle of caloric deficit is the foundation for all weight-loss programs, no matter whether it’s a shake a day, gluten-free food, meatless entrees, organic superfoods, or programs that count points. The weight-loss results arise from your consistency and adhering to the guidelines of the particular diet that’s designed for a caloric deficit.

Let’s eliminate the obvious. Despite it being very tasty, the donut diet is NOT a healthy method to lose weight. Actually, it is a very unhealthy way to lose weight.

Secondly, after the diet,  most individuals experience the roller coaster of weight loss and gain. However, there is a way to eat donuts and lose weight, especially long-term weight loss.

The first step is to eliminate the donut for now. Calorie reduction is important for weight loss, but it doesn’t guarantee improved health. Thus, losing weight and being healthy is not the same thing.

Julio Salado trainingIn my new book, “BREAK OUT of Breaking Even: 3-Step Method for Proven Long-Term Results,” I explain how to overcome the phenomenon of “breaking even,” which is when you invest time in exercising and eating healthy but do not see results, especially long-term results.

A prime example of “breaking even” would be exercising five days a week and overindulging on the weekend. The caloric expenditure from your weekly exercise was offset by all the extra calories you consumed, perhaps without even noticing. Another example is eating healthfully, complying with a diet, and exercising as often as possible, but having rollercoaster weight loss and gains.

I allow people to choose their level of weight loss based on their life schedule and goals: either 0.5, 1 lb or 2 lbs a week. I don’t recommend losing more than 2 lbs per week. The program is designed to be sustainable, flexible, and customizable.

No matter what diet program you choose, when you reach a weight loss plateau, you need to either increase your physical activity or decrease your calories intake. Remember, being healthy is not something you should sacrifice to lose weight.



Julio Salado

Julio Salado, a native of Boston, is the founder of fitnessfoundry.net, a leading online resource for health and fitness. For more than a decade he has been helping individuals achieve their body sculpting and personal training goals. He was recently voted Boston's #2 best personal trainer by Boston A-List. He is the author of "Break Out of Breaking Even."

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