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A US doctor, Dr Caroline Apovian has devised a new diet program, dubbed The Overnight Diet, that reportedly allows you to enjoy pasta, wine and still slim down, while you sleep.
Unlike other fad diets, the The Overnight Diet has been designed to maintain lean muscle while getting rid of fat and even allows for lean carbs.
Dr Apovian, who has helped thousands of people to reach their ideal size in her role as a director of nutrition and weight management at the Boston Medical Centre, says the key to effectively losing weight is to keep your lean muscle as the more you have, the better your body is at burning calories.
"The poor nutritional make-up of many diets can trigger the body to rob your muscles for energy," says Dr Apovian. "You lose weight, but your muscles weaken and your metabolic rate slows. This process is called 'shrinking muscle syndrome' and it’s the main reason so many diets fail."
She says her patients typically lose up to 4 kilos in the first week (and every week thereafter) on the plan without experiencing hunger or cravings — and two of those kilos are lost while you sleep on one of the plan’s fasting days.
So how does The Overnight Diet work exactly?
The plan involves making one smoothie for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for your evening meal for one day each week. But these are no ordinary shop-bought smoothies — they’re Dr Apovian’s recipes that are packed with protein to ensure you maintain lean muscle. For the other six days you follow a healthy eating plan that has enough lean protein to feed the muscles and fuel the body so your body stays in fat-burning mode. The idea is you keep returning to your non-food day once a week and repeating the plan until you reach your goal weight.
Dr Apovian’s studies show her dieters begin using fat as energy as soon as 24 hours after they started the diet. The diet also promises reduced hunger, fewer cravings, better moods, higher energy levels, more restful sleep and enhanced mental alertness.