fruits for the rotation diet

The Rotation Diet

Many years ago I read a book called The Rotation Diet written by Martin Katahn.  It has stuck with me over the years (while most diet plans have faded The Rotation Diet bookaway) and I use it from time to time, usually along with another plan.

The Rotation Diet states that it is a low calorie diet that should not cause starvation mode if followed properly.  It is basically a 21 day diet and then you take a “vacation” for one to two weeks and then you can try the “rotation” again.  In fact, I’ve read where after 21 days you eat 1200 calories the first 3 days followed by 4 days of 1500 calories.  I don’t remember that from the book I read and I know there is an updated edition, which I never read.

I had two weddings to go to recently and was struggling to lose.  It was very depressing going out and trying on dresses.  I ended up borrowing a friend’s dress because it was cute and the way it draped it was the most flattering dress I could find.  My 2nd wedding is this week (the first one was about 3 weeks ago), and I’ve lost enough that the dress will look even better this time around.

Here’s the gist of the plan:

1.  The first three days you only eat 600 calories daily.

2.  The next 4 days you increase it to 900 calories.

3.  The entire next week is 1200 calories daily.

4.  If you want to do another rotation you repeat the above but after 21 days you do 3 days of 1200 calories followed by 4 days of 1500 daily calories.

5.  You choose from a list of “safe” fruits, like apples, to eat if you are still hungry & have eaten all your allotted calories for the day.  Eat the allowed fruit, even if you feel you need more than one.  This keeps you from cheating with something worse.

6.  You can continue with the diet as long as you take a one to two week break or longer after 4 weeks.  You can continue the rotation until you reach goal.

7.  The book has daily eating plans.  You don’t have to follow them exactly and can make substitutions.  Many just follow the calories and don’t use the suggested meals and are still successful.

8.  You don’t have to exercise but if you do you should lose even faster.  The book suggests exercising during the plan.

9.  There supposedly have been trials done proving that well planned low calorie diets can actually help keep the weight off down the road vs. the normal way of dieting (of taking it slow).  I’ve read other plans where calories are changed up that keep the metabolism stoked so I do believe in that.

Here’s my personal notes:

  • On the 600 days I started out with a fried egg for some protein that holds me over pretty well.
  • For lunch I would have a lower calorie soup or have salad.  I have been able to use only 1 tablespoon of salad dressing so it keeps the calories down.
  • For dinner it’s soup or salad or a plateful of different veggies (I like mine cooked).
  • Snacks are normally fruit like an apple or a 50 calorie serving of unsweetened applesauce (sweetened with Stevia and spiced up with cinnamon).  Strawberries with Stevia are even lower calorie.
  • I would also make low calorie smoothies using one or two frozen fruits with water and Stevia.
  • Sometimes the 600 days were very difficult (especially in the beginning), but at times I surprisingly was not hungry.
  • I preferred to switch the low cal days.  I would have a 600 day followed by a 900 day and would switch until I did my 3 600 days.
  • You won’t believe how much of a difference those 1200 calorie days feel.  Normally, when I diet I start at 1600 calories a day until I stop losing  and then reduce slowly, 1550, 1500, 1450, etc.  1200 days usually left me hungry, but this teaches you how to eat with quality instead of quantity.
  • I did The Rotation Diet along with my iPad Diet by using the MyFitnessPal app to track my calories, exercise and weight.
  • I did not work out on the super low calorie weeks.  If I worked out on the 1200 days I would eat my exercise calories.  You could do the same on the low calorie days if you really want to exercise.

You can still find the book at Amazon (check the edition dates, I’d like to read the updated book) and I think I first found it at a library.  If you check out Amazon you can read portions of the book, including the Diet Pocket Edition for Women and Men (men get more daily calories).  It also shows the safe fruits and vegetables (which are unlimited) and it also gives the suggested meal plans.  You can also read different reviews and most are from those who had success.  The bad reviews were from people who could not tolerate the low calorie days.  Not everyone can follow all diets.

What I found interesting were the successful people who did seem to keep the weight off for long periods of time, and only gained back when they had disruptions in their lives.  They were able to get back on the diet plan and lose again.  I was going by memory and doing a little Google searching and the Amazon page was great to help me write this post.  I probably don’t need to get the book again because it’s a pretty straightforward plan, but I might – you can find some used books for less than $5.00 online.

I was considering going back to WW Points Plus to reach goal but I’m really thinking of using The Rotation Diet to do so.  I have lost about 5 lbs. since doing this for two weeks.  I have not exercised at all and I am a petite, post menopausal woman who is finding weight loss more difficult than ever.  I will start up my exercise next week when I’m on my 1200/1500 calorie week.

10 comments on “The Rotation DietAdd yours →

  1. Your evaluation was helpful but you overlooked the 3rd week which is a repeat of the first week.

    I used the recipes which were surprisingly good and followed the plan carefully using occasional substitutions.

    I have been amazed at the result of ONE interrupted cycle. I lost 7 pounds without finishing and several months later it is still off

    1. Hi Linda, I mentioned in Step 4 that if you want to do another rotation you repeat everything mentioned above, which I meant starting from 1-3 again but adding the 1200/1500 days – maybe I need to be more explicit.

      Or did I miss something – is it the 600/900 week followed by the 1200/1500 week when you go a 2nd time around? I’ll have to read through the book again.

      I’m back on The Rotation Diet and I’ve failed on some days but I just jump back on. It’s a flexible plan that if you have more good days than bad you should still lose weight. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Doris, I don’t remember having an actual menu other than what is suggested in the book. I never really went with a menu anyway. I learned to keep it very low carb which helped with handling the low calories & keep cravings away. I also used an apple or orange as my safe fruit as I’m not in love with either so would only have extra if I was really hungry on those 600-900 calorie days.

  3. Help! I have the book on Rotation Diet but was looking for the 8 weeks of menus which I had a long time ago, but let someone takethem. I think the menu was put out by Fred Meyer Store a long time ago. Would love to have the 8 week plan once again.

  4. So today is Day 5 of the Rotation Diet. I have ordered the revised version of the book and the recipe book companion.

    I’m still excited about doing this because it seems to be working:

    1) I am able to stick to the daily calories because I have something to look forward to. It’s only three days of 600, and next 4 days of 900, then a whole week of 1200, then just one more tough week of 600/900 then…. I’m done…. until I choose to do it all again.

    2) The results/rewards are almost instant gratification. I weigh myself everyday and see the number go down; not up! I can step on that scale with confidence and see my hard work pay off. Even on a day like today where it stayed the same, I am grateful it’s not showing the same weight as last week.

    3) The meals are healthy and physically satisfying. I can’t remember the last time I had that much salad, vegetables and fruits! I actually feel proud of myself after I put the fork down – not ashamed, embarrased, guilty or angry. I enjoy most of the meals as I adjust my expectations of what delicious really does taste like. After reading Katahn’s logical explanation of “superfoods”, I can appreciate that most of my previous food choices were truly indulgences for my taste buds and the sugar and fat were highs, not natural flavors.

    4) Not having to stress over what meals I have to make or eat is a relief. The daily menus are laid out in a clear and simple way. The ingredients and recipes are obtainable and the allowable substitutions are helpful.

    5) I don’t have to feel very hungry if I choose to eat my “safe fruit” or free vegetables. It’s a little calming to know that I am depriving my body of calories, not food.

    6) Last, but certainly important for me, is the support I receive from the book. Katahn explains this concept well, and let’s his audience in on his well rounded approach to healthy weight loss. The book covers eating, excercising, maintaining the weight loss and discusses behaviorial modifications. I’m re-reading the last few chapters so I can prepare myself mentally for not being on the rotation diet in a couple of weeks.

    Anyway, I list these benefits to reaffirm my decision to do this and stick to it, even though change is difficult for me. On a day where I got on the scaled and didn’t see another dramatic weight loss of 2 lbs. since the day before, I have to remind myself that this decision to follow the plan is still very well worth it and I’m not going to let my impatience deter me from celebrating the 6 lbs. I’ve lost so far. I’m not going to downplay all the other benefits I’ve gained from eating healthier. By all accounts, this is nowhere near a typically “bad” day.

  5. I used this diet several years ago and dropped 20 lbs relatively quick. I was able to keep the weight off for a good while. Every so often I would pull the book out and just adjust my eating habits to drop a few lbs. I recently have had some health issues and the medication have helped me gain about 25 lbs. I am also in the process of moving so my book (a new version ) is packed so I’m looking for some sample menus.

  6. Hello,

    I started this diet today. What wheat crackers did you eat? I purchased Carr’s whole wheat crackers and geez, for 2 it’s 80 calories. You have to eat 5, that’s 200 and I’m on the 600 calories a day! LOL!

    1. I ate Publix wheatsnacks low fat crackers. The salon was fresh from the seafood department and steamed at the store. It was wonderful.

  7. Sharon, I think after doing it for too long you could definitely start feeling hungry all the time. The calories are just too low for long-term eating. My best success was having an egg for breakfast because of the protein. I didn’t exercise on it much because calories are just too low, so if I did exercise I’d throw in those extra calories to keep my stamina up.

  8. I used the Rotation Diet and lost 80lbs in 5 months. It works really good but toward the end of the 5 months I was starting to feel hungry even on the 1200 cal days. I think if I were to do it again I would make sure to increase the protein to see if that would help me stay with it longer – and also cut back on the exercise on the low cal days. I gained it all back within 7 months unfortunately. But I think it is worth trying again.

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