As holistic nutrition and alternative medicine have become more popular, a new category has sprouted in the holistic health field: Weight loss plans that incorporate aspects of holistic nutrition research and principles. The hottest holistic diet: Mushroom weight loss plans, also known as the “M-Plan,” which claims to spot-reduce body fat wherever you want it, according to Medical Daily. Among the celebrities following it: Kelly Osbourne and Katy Perry.
How does this hip plan for reducing the hips work? Dieters eat mushroom-centric meals for lunch and dinner and supposedly lose weight in the places where they need it (e.g., the love handles that they loathe) in two weeks. As for the evidence about the fat-fighting powers of mushrooms: It's questionable.
Various studies have been conducted about the holistic benefits of reishi mushrooms for conditions ranging from high blood pressure to heart disease. Mushrooms reportedly can boost your immune system, alleviate anxiety and even serve as a diuretic, according to Natural News.
"Reishi (mushrooms) indeed sounds like a cure-all," wrote Rebecca Wood in her book "New Whole Foods Encyclopedia." She termed reishi mushrooms as "an immunostimulant...helpful for people with AIDS, leaky-gut syndrome, Epstein-Barr, chronic bronchitis and other infectious diseases. It is used as an aid to sleep, as a diuretic, as a laxative and to lower cholesterol."
However, not all experts are positive about the weight loss benefits. “The diet is simply a low-calorie diet,” Tanya Zuckerbrot, a registered dietitian, told ABC News. She said that because you swap high calorie meals (e.g. a cheeseburger) for low-calorie (e.g. a mushroom salad), you'll lose weight because of the reduction in calories. However, “fat is fat and no diet can actually help you spot reduce,"said Tanya, author of "The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear - with Fiber."
But she does applaud mushrooms as "an amazing food. One cup has only 25 calories and 2 grams of fiber. They are also a great source of potassium; 1 cup of mushrooms contains more potassium than a banana or a glass or orange juice." As for the spot-reducing claims: "The fact remains that no food in particular can create targeted weight loss.”