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 away) 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.