Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito has become famed for his skill in whipping up tasty, tempting meals. But now he's turned his attention to the opposite of feasting: Extreme weight loss. He talked with ABC News on Jan. 10 about his plan for helping you lose five pounds in just five days.
"It’s a chef’s point of view that’s been missing in the world of health," said Rocco about his "The Pound a Day Diet: Lose Up to 5 Pounds in 5 Days by Eating the Foods You Love."
Why focus on such rapid weight loss? Rocco feels that it motivates dieters to continue their momentum. And he's convinced that the combination of fast weight loss and delicious diet recipes will provide them with a plan that they can turn into a lifestyle.
"These recipes are easy to make and they taste great," declared Rocco.
His low carb diet emphasizes protein in order to boost your metabolism while keeping you satisfied despite the low calorie count. Phase one involves drinking half your weight in ounces every day while consuming six small protein-packed meals, totaling 850 calories a day.
You do get to eat more calories on weekends for one month, and then transition to phase two of the high protein diet, which involves more food and a path to maintenance.
Since the title says that you'll be losing weight by eating the foods that you love, how does Rocco achieve that diet dream on 850 calories a day? Chocolate, which is featured in his morning chocolate shake (see recipe below).
"It’s got 30 grams of protein. The reason I put so much protein in this chocolate smoothie is because it is breakfast and protein is sustainable fuel. It’ll last throughout the whole day," Rocco explained.
But how safe is that rapid weight loss? ABC News talked with Dr. Jennifer Ashton. She expressed concerns that for some people, medical issues such as electrolyte abnormalities can result.
In addition, some experts are concerned that such a low calorie count can result in malnutrition and harm the metabolism, reported Medical Daily on Jan. 9. Consulted about the "Pound a Day" diet, Dr. Brian Quebbemann, a surgeon and founder of the N.E.W. (Nutrition, Exercise, and Wellness) Program in Newport Beach, Calif. expressed his concerns.
After following an 850-calorie-a-day diet and then shifting to more calories, the "body will change from an active calorie-burning mode to a calorie-storing mode, which will in turn, decrease the metabolism,” warned Dr. Quebbemann.
However, Rocco says that he created his diet with input from a doctor, who helped him create it with the right balance of protein and nutrition to prevent such problems. You can try a meal from his new book with the recipe below.
High-Protein Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie from "The Pound a Day Diet: Lose Up to 5 Pounds in 5 Days by Eating the Foods You Love"
Yield: Four 16-ounce servings
- 6 cups cold water
- 2 tablespoons psyllium husk powder
- 2 scoops fiber powder (such as ReNew Life Triple Fiber)
- 2 scoops protein powder (such as Daily Benefit)
- 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s
- Special Dark)
- 24 packets monk fruit extract (such as Monk Fruit In the Raw; optional)
- 4 scoops unflavored egg-white powder (such as Jay Robb)
- 2 cups crushed ice or small ice cubes
1. Put the water, psyllium husk powder, and fiber powder in a blender and blend on high until smooth and slightly thickened, about 1 1⁄2 minutes.
2. Turn the blender off and add the protein powder, cocoa, and monk fruit powder, if using; blend until smooth, about 30 seconds, and turn off the blender.
3. Add the egg-white powder and blend until smooth, about 10 seconds, then add the ice and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
4. Pour the smoothie into 4 pint-sized glasses.
Tip: Add a pinch of salt if your diet can afford the sodium—it will really draw out the full flavor of the cocoa.
Per serving: 198 calories, 2g fat (.25g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 488mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 30.75g protein