Failed Experiment: The Every Other Day Diet

by Charlotte on September 25, 2008 · 115 comments


Doing what I do here at The Great Fitness Experiment, one of the questions I get asked the most is “So which diet/exercise program is the best?” closely followed by the inevitable “And which one is the worst?” My answer is generally not what people are looking for: “Um, all of them.”

See, the thing is, the vast majority of diet and exercise programs work. You’ve heard of clean eating and exercise, right? But then eventually, because of the body’s amazing ability to adapt, they all stop working. Which is why change is so important.

But there are genuinely bad diets and exercise programs out there. And occasionally I do something really really stupid. I won’t say I’m not tempted to hide my mistakes from you all but what is the point of failing if others can’t learn from it? Chalk this one up under Epic Fail.

The Worst Diet I Have Ever Done
Being a serial dieter, I’ve tried pretty much all of them. I started out as a wee lass on your basic Crazy Diets like Scarsdale, Grapefruit and Cabbage Soup. As a teen I went through a rebellious phase and abandoned organized diets altogether in favor of tortuous regimines of my own design, eventually culminating in an eating disorder. As a young mother I returned to the dieting world with Atkins, BFFM, South Beach, Weight Watchers, and Veganism among others. I know. And I haven’t even gotten to the embarassing part yet.

But the worst diet I’ve ever done is called the Every Other Day Diet. The concept is simple. I found it in a magazine… which I will not name. You eat whatever you want on one day. Ice cream, cookie dough, liver and onions – whatever you want. But the next day you eat nothing. You can drink water but that’s it. Nothing with calories can pass your lips. Not even the dieter’s staple of sugar-free Jell-O. The idea is that the net calories over the two days will result in enough of a deficit to allow you to eat whatever you want and still lose weight. That’s the theory anyhow.

Here’s what it looked like in practice:
Day 1: Down entire box of Junior Mints. Euphoria! Sugar crash! Guilt! Eat a whole steak. Euphoria! Stomach ache! Double Guilt (for sacrificing an animal on the altar of my gluttony)! Lather, rinse, repeat until bedtime. Consider waking up at midnight to have a last meal because if I don’t then that means I’ll be without food for 36 hours.

Day 2: Starve. Watch the food channel obsessively at the gym. Feel lightheaded during workout. Ponder if Ghandi worked out during his hunger strikes. Feel guilt for comparing myself to Ghandi. Stare longingly at toddler licking crushed fishy crackers off the dirty floor. Drool a little. Feel like a martyr the whole time I’m making dinner so that by the time husband comes home, I’m ready to throw the food at him even though the poor man has no idea why. Run to my bedroom and cry. Realize that not eating makes me moody. By bedtime though a strange euphoria sets in. Decide I kind of like not eating. Panic.

Day 3: Eat everything in sight. Feel massively uncomfortable at the gym because I ate waaay past the point of fulness and am now sorry. Am also sorry I ate jelly beans for breakfast. Go to the grocery store and stock up on calorie-free flavored waters so that at least I’ll have some variety tomorrow. Eat a massive farewell-to-food meal. Have weird dreams about college all night.

Day 4: Have a breakdown when I discover husband and children drank all my flavored water. Don’t they know they just stole my only sustenance for the day??? Have plain water for breakfast and resent everyone and everything in sight. Realize that it does not bode well for my day that it is only 7 a.m. and I’ve already had a crying fit. Hoard the copies of Fine Cooking and Gourmet at the gym. Furtively lick the knife after making toddler’s PB&J. Feel guilty. And then do it again. The not-eating euphoria sets in early today and I sail through dinner feeling fantastic. Fuzzy, but fantastic. Until husband asks me what’s wrong with me. It takes me a full 45 seconds to comprehend the question. Ooops.

Day 5: Can’t enjoy food fest as I’m already dreading tomorrow.

Day 6: Am resigned to starving. The world feels bleak. Is this what they call learned helplessness?

Day 7: Time to weigh in. After 3 complete days of starving, I expect to see big numbers on the scale. And I do. But it’s a gain. That’s right – an entire week of thinking about nothing but food every waking second and I gained three pounds. Three pounds in one week. Cry myself to sleep.

Conclusion
I’m not saying that all fasting is bad. I think the occasional intermittent fast is good for you, both mentally and physically. Many people also fast for religious reasons, me being one of them. But fasting purely as a weight loss technique? Doesn’t work. At all. Period. Epic fail.

But hey, at least I enjoyed that first box of Junior Mints.

What’s the worst diet you’ve ever done? Tell me I’m not alone in my stupidity…

PS> Don’t call or e-mail to tell me how crazy this sounds. I know it was crazy. And it’s been a while since I did this. Yeah, I waited to share this until I was safely distanced from the insanity. It was dumb. I get that. I’m not going to do it again. Thank you.

UPDATED (12/3/2009): Due to the influx of new comments regarding this diet and my stance on it, I have written a new post to clarify a few points and opened a new comment thread to address these issues. Comments are closed on this post but don’t despair you can still tell me what an idiot you think I am on the new post. Please join us there.

UPDATED AGAIN (1/6/2014): Please do not e-mail me about this post until you’ve read the update. Seriously.

{ 114 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon & Eli September 25, 2008 at 4:04 am

hey charlotte, I am your cousins wife (Eli) and I thought I’d stop by and say how great your blog is…and I LOVE the new layout!!!

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Shannon & Eli September 25, 2008 at 4:04 am

hey charlotte, I am your cousins wife (Eli) and I thought I’d stop by and say how great your blog is…and I LOVE the new layout!!!

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Shannon & Eli September 25, 2008 at 4:04 am

hey charlotte, I am your cousins wife (Eli) and I thought I’d stop by and say how great your blog is…and I LOVE the new layout!!!

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HeatherKBan September 25, 2008 at 4:13 am

I must agree- your new layout is very cute!

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Cara September 25, 2008 at 5:56 am

Ah I love paisley, so pretty.

Anyway, yes, I did this. I thought I stumbled across the PERFECT diet when I found it…I never need feel deprived when I’m starving today as the sun will come out tomorrow…of course I saw the very close resemblance it bore to an eating disorder, starving and binging…a rose by any other name will still entirely mess with your mind…but it made so much sense, right? I mean it’s all about calorie deficit…never mind eating about a week’s worth of food on eating days. Christ, “eating days”? How wrong does that look??

However when I started getting the giddy feeling at the end of one day of not eating, I’d try and stretch into the second, because hey, it’s easy…I think I lasted about a week before descending into about a month of sheer gluttony because ohmygod food, every day, novelty!!!!

Yeah, that diet was designed for camels.

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tokaiangel September 25, 2008 at 6:49 am

You guys with your purty pages! I’m in the process having a makeover too now so I can keep up with the cool kids :0) Yes yes I know COPYCAT.

I’m always one to lust after the next fad diet, but this one turned me RIGHT off, mostly because I was well aware that I could and would eat more than two days worth of food on my UP days and then (being already au fait with the effect starvation has on my brain) cry and scream all day on my DOWN day. If I ever want to get rid of my boyfriend though, I’m going on it. He’d be out of the house before the end of the week, door slammed.

As for a most ridiculous diet, can I get a Baby Food y’all? Yeah I didn’t do it religiously, but I did swap some meals for those little puke-coloured pots. It was so embarrassing to whip them out in front of my colleagues at lunchtimes to be honest, and although I loved the Cute Factor the meals were insanely unsatisfying for the calories (sheesh you’d think they were trying to give the babies ENERGY or something).

I STILL can’t believe you tried this diet! The version I read about allowed you to eat 500 calories on your down day too, so this one was just cruel.

Fasting has its place but NOT for workout bunnies like us. Or anybody with anything to do in their day other than sit and contemplate existence, to be honest.

TA x

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Anonymous September 25, 2008 at 9:52 am

i’m a cereal addict, its my favorite food. worst idea ever: one box of kashi crunch a day for about 3 days. way too much fiber, it was horrible. but im not hooked on cereal anymore.

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Gena September 25, 2008 at 10:51 am

Oh my. If I tried that, I might last a day. Then it would turn into an everyday binge for a few days, then I would wind up sick. Not awesome.

In college, my freshman roommate and I ate so fantastic, you’ll be amazed. For breakfast, we’d have homemade pound cake her grandma sent us. For all our snacks, we’d have giant oatmeal cream pies (they make them giant sized!). We ate our meals in the Caf. Then, we’d eat chips all night long while we IM’d with people (and each other, across the room) until 4 am. Strangely, we were surprised to find we gained the freshman 20! Now how did that happen?

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Shellie September 25, 2008 at 11:06 am

I really like the new layout – very fun. Anyway, I have to agree that the “all or nothing” technique doesn’t work at all. I have had friends who have tried the “one day a week off” method and undo all their hard work in a matter of hours. I also had a friend (no, this isn’t a “friend,” she actually exists,) who decided to create a “free food” meaning she allowed herself to eat as much of it as she wanted. She picked whole wheat bread products. It was a healthy “free food” which is good, but she felt no concern for eating a package of bagels or a loaf of bread in a day. It wasn’t effective.

I have also fallen for the “eat all you want” mentality. For a while, I told myself I could eat all I wanted, as long as it was healthy food. When I look back on it, my body burned an amazing amount of calories, but I was still overweight. I would eat 4-6 pieces of fruit and 6-9 servings of whole wheat products a day in addition to protein and dairy. (I didn’t eat vegetables because this was before I made them a part of my diet.)

I finally learned that the only way to be successful was to stop using food as my drug of choice. It was meant to fuel my body, not help me deal with my emotions. I still have weak moments, but they happen once in a couple of months, not once in a couple of hours. And I enjoy desserts on special occasions. But I am learning to enjoy them just for the taste and the fun of it and not look at them as the forbidden fruit that I have to secretly devour or hoard.

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Jenn September 25, 2008 at 11:36 am

Oh Charlotte, Thats a bad one. I once went on a diet where I ate half an apple for breakfast, Half an apple for lunch, and a dry salad for dinner! At first I lost tones of weight! Then everyone found out about it. I really messed up my metabolism doing that.

Jenn

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Dr. J September 25, 2008 at 1:02 pm

The worst “diet” I ever did was the Chicago style hot dog diet!

http://calorielab.com/news/2008/07/04/i-was-once-fat-shocking-exclusive-confession-from-dr-j-and-his-no-hot-dogs-karate-diet/#more-2206

It did, however, lead to my finding a better path when my karate instructor educated me :-)

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butterfly September 25, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Done that, not good. Cabbage Soup Diet, 3 Day Diet that is "recommended by hospitals", Slim Fast, Nutrisystem, Atkins etc etc etc. What has worked for me now? Weight Watchers, because it has taught me portion control.

The worst diet ever was invented by yours truly. I did not eat for a week. I drank plenty of water, took multivitamins, and get this: a table spoon of olive oil. I figured that as long as I was getting some fat & nutrients that I'd be fine. Who knew that you could end up in the hospital for deyhdration? I mean, I was drinking tons of water. Moron was I. Glad I steered away from the fads and am on to better.

Your blog rocks.

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Lissy September 25, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Well, the idea of keeping your body on its toes isn’t a bad one. I think a better idea would be to alternate eating a normal amount of calories one day and 500 less the next.

I’ve never really been on a diet. I lost 48 pounds my freshman year of college without even trying. I think the shock of the lifestyle and food change really confused my body.

When I was in HS I’d eat no breakfast, oreos for lunch and then like 5 bowls of pasta with fat free tomato sauce and cheese for dinner. And I didn’t exercise at all.

Then I got to college. I had slimfast for breakfast and then a teeny lunch and dinner at the dining hall. Teeny because the food was so heavy, it made me sick. Plus I was walking everywhere.

I didn’t even realize I was losing weight until my pants started falling down.

I think I had a point to this story, but I can’t remember what it was now… maybe I just wanted to brag :P

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Estellia September 25, 2008 at 1:35 pm

I saw you on 20/20 and you look so great. I would never of thought you have struggled so much with dieting. Whatever you do, it works!

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Sagan September 25, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Charlotte you are awesome.

For experimenting and reporting back to us and learning from your mistakes and sharing so that we can learn too.

The only “diet” I’ve ever really done- apart from trying to eliminate processed foods- was when I did the Special K thing of having cereal for two meals and all. At the time it worked great, actually. And I happen to enjoy cereal so it wasn’t painful at all or anything.

Just did it for the suggested 2 weeks or whatever- and I wasn’t overly stringent; if I forgot one day then I didn’t care all that much. It was a sort of half-hearted experiment on my part.

And NO I would never do it again because that stuff is so not good for your body. But at the time I wasn’t aware of that, so that was the situation.

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Tricia September 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm

I haven’t done anything stupid besides anorexia. And that giddy feeling lasted for MONTHS. Right up until I broke my foot in two places because my body was leeching the nutrients out of my bones.

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Lethological Gourmet September 25, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Cara, that was hilarious! “diet was designed for camels” I’m still giggling about that one.

I haven’t tried any crazy diets. I kind of did Atkins and South Beach, but was really loose about it. Since I exercise so much, I have a lot of leeway. I considered fasting briefly, then realized I’d probably faint in class, so I didn’t. And the thought of going more than 4 or 5 hours without food? Ack!!!!!

In college I didn’t know how to cook, so I’d eat rice pilaf for dinner and then be confused when I’d crash out in the morning after rowing.

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deprogram September 25, 2008 at 4:31 pm

When you fast, your metabolism slows to a crawl. So, those days you didn’t eat, you weren’t exactly losing weight. Your body was shut down waiting for the next time of feasting.

I completely expected a net weight gain.

Something was sorely lacking from the equation when they came up with that diet!

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azusmom September 25, 2008 at 4:59 pm

In grad school I unwittingly went on what I call the Anxiety Diet. I was having several panic attacks a day, not sleeping, working out like a maniac (hey, all that energy had to go somewhere, right?), and unable to eat.
Yes, I got thin. And no, I don’t recommend it!

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Judy September 25, 2008 at 5:01 pm

I can’t say I”ve ever really done any crazy diet. I really can’t say I’ve ever tried a diet, honestly. The only time I’ve ever struggled with my weight was when I turned 21, working in a bar, and drank way too much alcohol. I briefly – for like 2 weeks – tried Metabolife and eating better, but it wasn’t the food causing the weight gain, it was the ridiculous amounts of booze. As soon as I quit drinking like that, the weight fell off without me changing anything else.

Even if I don’t exercise or watch what I eat too carefully, I’ve never been over 130 except during that brief period and pregnancy, so I just don’t stress too much about it.

I did consider going vegan after my 2nd son was born to lose the weight, but I like cheese way too much. And my husband makes the world’s best oatmeal cookies!

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GroundedFitness September 25, 2008 at 5:26 pm

I could never fast. Im too much of a rationalizer (i think i made that up.) Im one of those people that goes “I didnt eat today, which means I can eat twice as much today, then I went to the gym, so I can afford to eat this now.”

doesnt work. I have to make syself froget about my workouts cause Ill use them as an excuse to eat more.

and i heart food too much.

Kelly Turner
http://www.groundedfitness.com

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T September 25, 2008 at 8:43 pm

all you crazy people and your blog redesigns … even though i changed blogger formats myself a few weeks back (i’m not cool like you guys).

and yes, that sounds crazy. i’ve never tried any fad diets (well, except for ridiculous calorie counting and segmenting where those calories come from). i’m also like kelly in that i like food too much to fast. food anxiety makes that a love/hate relationship, though. *sigh*

i guess the weirdest i am is that my body almost naturally goes through cycles where it wants to eat everything in sight and then nothing at all is appetizing. yeah, i’m bizarre.

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Anonymous September 26, 2008 at 1:02 am

Mmmm…hey, maybe a vegan diet didn’t work for you, but that doesn’t make it a crazy deprivation diet!

Haven’t you seen http://veganmenu.blogspot.com/

http://urbanvegan.blogspot.com/ or the book Veganomicon or Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World?

Theres lots of yummy stuff. Most vegans I know are not body-loathing adolescent females. They are actually very logical, utilitarian thinking males who may or may not care about their health, but care about suffering. You can eat healthy or decadently or lose weight on a vegan diet. But it doesn’t need to be put in a box with other dysfunctional behaviors!

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Charlotte September 26, 2008 at 1:09 am

Anonymous – Great point! You are correct in that I erred by lumping Veganism in with the cabbage soup diet et. al. I did actually enjoy my time as a vegan. You are right in that it didn’t work for me but it isn’t crazy. I do apologize.

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Merry September 26, 2008 at 2:20 am

I can’t remember the craziest diet I’ve tried… I suppose some people would say the one I’m on now is nuts. (85% vegetables, very little meat, oil, butter, refined grains)

I like the new look! Tres chick

(That sound you just heard was my French teacher rolling over in her grave.)

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luccy December 12, 2008 at 6:13 am

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Anonymous March 25, 2009 at 10:01 pm

are you referring to Jon Benson’s every other day diet? PLEASE ANSWER ASAP, THANK YOU

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Charlotte March 26, 2009 at 3:54 am

Anon – not specifically, no. I believe he recommends eating a token amount of calories (like 500?) rather than fasting on your “other” days.

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ccrocket April 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Well, I’ve been doing the every other day diet for one week today. I don’t weigh my self. I alway’s go with how my clothes fit. Sorry to say my clothes fit tighter. The thing is is that I have gone to the “bathroom” in five day’s and am all bloated. The one thing different from me compared to the other posts is I promised my self when I started that on my eating days I would eat like a normally do which is pretty minimal. So I know I’m cutting my consumtion in half. I don’t know if I should stay on it and just give it more time or through in the towel. I’ve done the master cleanse and the weight loss is rapid. I didn’t have the same expectations on this diet. I knew it would be slower. I’m thinking I will give it another week. I’m just wondering if it’s worth it. I would like to lose 10 or 15 pounds. That could take forever on this diet!

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brillie April 20, 2009 at 2:22 am

I’m one of person who doing fasting with religion reason. But, I want health too and lose weight! Ogh.. I don’t know how to make my belly flat. I do sit up, eating low meal, but.. why my belly still fat. I hate that.

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Jason Alan Griffin August 8, 2009 at 10:29 pm

am I the first male to post a comment?

I've tried many of the diets, too. I was a high school wrestler, so I've tried dehydration, laxatives and starvation during heavy training. Dumb.
And, then later in life I was a dancer and i tried Bolemia. I tried the low fat thing, tried fasting, tried the high protein thing, but I have finally come to the conclusion that I have to eat mostly vegetables, nuts and fruits and occasionally eat lean meat, dairy and wheat products. And I have found it easiest to control portions when I force myself to have small meals every three or four hours. I never get that 'hungry' feeling and I find I can easily make smart choices when my next meal comes. Eating that often, I"m never hungry, and by focusing on vegetables mostly, I get all my nutrients and fiber.
I love your blog, Charlotte. Keep up the good work.
Yours
Jason Alan Griffin
JAG Fitness
http://www.jasonalangriffin.com

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Anonymous September 12, 2009 at 2:18 am

Well, in theory it sounds like a good idea: eat what you want on Monday and starve on Tuesday. I never thought about the concept of dreading Tuesday on a day when I could eat all the chocolate cake I could force down but……

Keep up the great posts and I wish you great success in your search for the "perfect diet"

http://www.mydietingresouece.com/realsiticweightlossgoals.html

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Anonymous November 3, 2009 at 7:27 pm

From what I have read, you did the EODD 'wrong'. You are supposed to limit you calories every other day, not starve! But maybe you were just joking, right? right?

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Anonymous November 7, 2009 at 5:02 am

Someone asks if you are referring to the The Every Other Day Diet by Jon Benson, and you say:

"March 25, 2009 5:01 PM
Blogger Charlotte said…

Anon – not specifically, no. I believe he recommends eating a token amount of calories (like 500?) rather than fasting on your "other" days."

Yet THAT was the title of your blog! That seems a little unfair!!

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Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Hi
Just wanted to say thank you sooo much for posting this. I was almost considering the EODD… *hanging head in shame here right now* ;)
Thanks again!!!
Heike

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Anonymous November 11, 2009 at 7:26 am

kindly notify in your post that you are NOT talking about Jon Benson's Every Other Day Diet because there is no fasting mentioned in his book whatsoever.. people reading reviews might decide to avoid Jon Benson's program because of your post on another stupid diet..

as a loyal customer of Jon Benson, I suggest you edit your post and put a note stating that you are NOT talking about the Every Other Day Diet written by Jon Benson.

Thanks!

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Anonymous November 18, 2009 at 8:27 pm

i believe that you did this completely wrong…you aren't supposed to completely gourge yourself one day and only drink water the next. youeat more calories than normal for two days (but not too much) and then eat about 300 calories the next2 and then more than usual one day and less than usual the next. it keeps your body guessing about how many calories your body will consume so your motabolizm never slows down.

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Anonymous November 18, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Did you follow a planned diet or read a tag line and go gonzo?
I've only read about one every other day diet.
That revolves around eating 300 – 400 calories on the down days while eating whatever you like within reason on your eating days. In short eat whatever you want but be smart about it.
It's also about learning to have a healthy attitude toward food.
As with any diet it's that last bit that's going to result in long term results.

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Greg November 22, 2009 at 4:44 am

I'd like to thank you for your experiment. Just watched the Every other day diet video and wanted to find an independent review. Well, not only did you enlighten me on the reality of fasting you make me laugh out loud for a full 2 minutes. Thanks again,
Greg

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Anonymous November 23, 2009 at 6:38 am

Hi all:

I have been battleing weight issues all my life. I have tried them all, believe me when I say they are (in my opinion) all gimmics.

I came across the EODD diet on the internet this evening and listened to everything that they had to say and then when they were done, I googled EODD. That is how I came across this blog.

I would like to thank everyone who posted and shared their opinions and experiences because you all just saved me more money, more time and more heartache.

Kelly in Canada

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Mike July 21, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Kelly, he’s talking about the wrong diet plan…

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Anonymous November 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm

First of all, I love the picture at the top of your page.

Second of all, I have to say that your interpretation of The Every-Other-Day Diet, and my own, differ greatly. I have not yet found anything that indicates that one should go a day without eating anything. Perhaps I am researching the wrong diet? Also, it never fails to amaze me when dieters believe that the diet they are following is some kind of magic potion. Those individuals who come up with these diets… or solutions… seem to fail to take into account that many dieters are not able to employ common sense when it comes to their eating habits. If they could, afterall, they would not find themsleves in the predicament of being overweight. When I hear the words "eat what you want", I think of incorporating things into my diet that I might otherwise avoid… chocolate, pasta, cheese, etc. The concept of GORGING myself until I am physically uncomfortable one day and starving myself the next, is ludicrous, and I find it difficult to believe that Dr. Daugirdas meant for anyone to do that. I could go on and on about how lazy Americans seem to want someone to provide them with a quick solution to all of their problems… including weight loss… because they refuse to do things for themselves, including monitor their own eating habits. I have news for you… there is NO magical combination of Twinkies and cucumbers that is going to help you burn calories. If you want to read more about this diet, you can do so here…
http://www.everydiet.org/diet/every-other-day-diet

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liberty November 28, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Wow, the EODD nazis sure showed up in force to defend their miracle plan, huh?

There is nothing new under the sun, people. It does sound like Jon Benson has a "new" diet, which is similar but less extreme than the diet she was on. And come on, if you eat every other day, that is an every other day diet, no matter what some voice over video advertised like gangbusters all over the internet says.

300 calories is also not healthy, btw.

Oh, and cavemen weren't fat because they had to CATCH their food.

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Anonymous November 29, 2009 at 5:41 am

You did this diet completely wrong lady. The Every Other Day diet does NOT say to eat nothing on the low-cal days, but rather a bunch of small meals with little calories. Of course it didn't work for you. YOU DID IT WRONG. Maybe you should have read the book first before you went on your website and gave your readers terrible information.

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Amberb December 1, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Hi Charlotte,

Even though others who are defending the EODD about you doing it wrong, I found your diary was a good wake-up call.
It is insane to think this would actually work – and after consideration, (the EODD suggests this is a way of life forever – really???, gorge one day then eat only 500 calories the next???? seriously!!!
I have bought the exercise dvds, followed weight watchers, and have tried other diets.
The best diet – burn off what you consume to keep a stable weight and burn off a bit more if trying to lose weight and do it over a long period of time. That is a lifestyle change.
I lost over 60 pounds over 4 mths (a safe amount over time).
Some of my personal theory was:

-to eat vegetables/salad and protein (fish, chicken, tofu, steak) in the evening with no carbs.
In the morning eat cereal with fruit.
-Cut down on sugar overall (drinks included), less oils and butter in food.
Snack on nuts, fruit or low fat crackers with salsa.
- Don't rely on coffee or smoking – just makes you feel crap and gives you a false energy.
-Drink lots of water but slowly over the day so you're hydrating not flushing all the nutrients out of your body.
- Eat your carbs in the middle of the day, rice, bread, pasta, potatoes. You still need carbs to run your engine on. soup with wholegrain bread is fantastic for lunch.
- be sensible – don't gorge on bad food. Say no to treats offered – people who peer pressure you into eating don't respect your commitment to yourself.
- finally – exercise for at least 1/2 -1 hr a day – even if it's walking – anything is better than nothing. A tip – find something you enjoy – mine was body combat classes or body dance workouts 3 -4 times a week.
-Try swimming/walking if you want something low impact to start with.
-Try and do stomach crunches, squats, press ups and dips to help create lean muscle.
-And make sure you give yourself a time-out day and a treat meal every week (within reason)for all your hard work.
- Gravitate towards people who support you or find a buddy.

At the end of the day – its common sense and listening to your own body. No-one else can do it for you, you have to be ready to love and respect yourself enough to commit to do it for you and no-one else.

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jacats December 3, 2009 at 2:46 am

The best diet is to make slow changes you can do for the rest of your life (such as adding/subtracting/replacing something one day a week).
Just like with quitting smoking, you wouldn't say "I'm going to quit smoking until my cough goes away, and then gonna start up again."

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Monica Visini December 3, 2009 at 10:25 pm

This is nuts! Why hasn't the person who went through the trouble of writing such a passionate blog that so resoundingly crucifies this diet plan simply ignoring the folks who have posted comments to defend it?? And what ABOUT their claims that she misinterpreted the proper way to do the diet? I think we all know, whether or not you are a fan of this woman – that's just asking for a diet plan to be a failure.

For ANY diet plan to have even a remote chance, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT. Did this person even realize the goal of this EODD diet plan, which is to CHANGE YOUR METABOLISM? Does this person even have the ability to admit she's wrong?

Aaaapparently not. For shame – it is my opinion that someone like this Charlotte shouldn't be handing out Death Sentences on diet plans that she didn't even research enough about to do it properly; I don't care what TV program she's been on, doesn't make her any less fallible than the next guy. Everyone makes mistakes – truly great people know how to stand up & say, "Geez, my bad, I really should've done a little more homework before starting this diet, I guess," – & then we can all reply, "That's ok, Charlotte, we all forgive you – so what do you think? are you gonna give it another go?" And so on.

I myself am neither a proponent nor an opponent of the EODD diet plan – what I am is someone who is researching it looking for honest accounts of people who have tried the plan as laid out by its author, because the theory itself is sound – and I have been looking for a diet plan that uses changing your eating habits to adjust your metabolism back to way it is when you are a kid. I knew it was possible, but I just don't have the technical knowledge to create a diet plan like this for myself. Lo & behold, I've come across, finally, someone who HAS figured it out.

It's funny – I kinda thought there would be accounts of bad experiences like this one, but to see it from someone with so high a public profile is a little, well…I'll just leave it at that. Re-read the specifics of the diet, sempai (this is a Japanese honorific term of respect used by someone speaking to their senior in a field, usu. in school, but in also used any time one wants to denote that they acknowledge the other person's seniority); we won't think any less of you if you add an addendum to this blog & answer some of these arguments, only more.

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Charlotte December 4, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Monica et. al – I do thank you all for your comments (although I'm a bit baffled as to why this post is getting so much attention now… it's a year and a half old!). I realize that diets and dieting are a very sensitive topic for most people and I apologize if I offended. I am not ignoring all of your comments – I have read each one. I have written a new post to address some of your concerns and encourage you to post your thoughts (civilly would be preferable) on the new post (link above). If you have a post you've written yourself about it, please feel free to link it in your comment. Thanks for stopping by the GFE!

PS> "high profile"! That makes me smile… truly I am nobody. Just a girl talking about her own experiences.

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The Every Other Day Diet is one of the best diets currently on the market,learn how to get back into shape!

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Since 2004 the Every Other Day Diet has been creating success stories with it’s non fixed diet and exercise curriculum!

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Susan December 31, 2011 at 9:00 am

I found this quite a successful diet until I forgot to eat for 4 days in a row! I made up for it the next day, but the main point is to keep meals on “eat anything you want day” fairly moderate and NOT stuff yourself with everything you can lay hands on. Failing all else, try Jon Benson’s “Every Other Day Diet” which is easier and just as good for fat loss.

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Brady February 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm

The every other day diet didn’t work for you because you didn’t do it correctly. Where does it say binge like a glutton every other day or that you can’t eat on the low calorie days? You need to go back, do your research and try the diet again….CORRECTLY! He’s an idea of how the diet is suppose to work and why it works… http://www.everydiet.org/diet/every-other-day-diet

In my opinion diets are lame. Eat all REAL foods in moderation, nothing processed and exercise…it’s that easy unless you have ‘a health issue’ that doesn’t allow you to eat like a non gluttoness human being.

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Aaron March 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Wow, what a bunch of nasty trolls you’ve got here. I think some people are confused by your article because John Benson created an “every other day diet” that doesn’t involve fasting.

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yeah, layout great, u r crazy loco with a capital CRAZY. this has nothing to do with ur diet preferences

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holly April 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I love the every other day diet! I’ve been doing it for 3 and a half months now and have lost 23 pounds! It’s easy too. I don’t binge on the days I can eat. That would be a waste of the effort I put in the day before and the day to come. I eat like I normally would on a regular day. No need to freak out on a bunch of food. That’s just silly. I have cheated a couple of times.Especially when I went to Florida but I have consistently lost 2 pounds a week.I went from 153 to 130 and plan on keeping it up until I reach 120, which is the healthy for my height. I figure 5 weeks and I’ll be there. Then I’ll adjust my eat on days calorie intake to sustain the weight for good. I am so excited about this diet. Love it!

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holly April 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm

5 POUNDS TO GO!!!!!!

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FIFi May 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Is there specific foods u have to eat on the low cal days? Or do u just remain under 300 cal?

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holly May 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Actually I never read the book. I just stay under 300 calories every other day. So basically apples and salad. Bur so worth it. If I see something I REALLY want I just tell myself “tomorrow” and it gets me through.

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ironmanron January 8, 2013 at 7:44 pm

U have missed the point of this diet plan.

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MDJ February 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm

The EODD (Every Other Day Diet) is not meant for you to ape and gorge yourself on trash and then nothing…. You eat regular amount of food that is adequate for your body and then the following day is low calorie intake along with exercise.

http://www.everydiet.org/diet/every-other-day-diet

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Don March 4, 2013 at 3:07 am

The diet I heard of as “the every other day diet” differs from what u describe. U are not supposed to pig out on day 1 and have zero calories on day two. Rather have a healthy moderate day of eating on day 1 followed by 500 calories of mostly protein and liquid with small fruit/vegg on day 2.

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burt March 31, 2013 at 3:03 pm

the concept of the diet is not eating everything you can every second day… you should keep the amount youre eating now every day, but just every second day… no reduction of calories, no weight loss… iron rule…

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Jonathan April 23, 2013 at 7:14 am

It’s funny how you have completely misunderstood the whole concept of this diet. It does not say you’re supposed to starve yourself one day and eat yourself to death the other. It’s all about variation in a balanced way. One day eat less then usually, high protein lo carbon food, the other day eat as normal, however, this does not mean to eat all the cookies in the world or in similar ways sabotage for yourself. Come on, be smart. I can furthermore tell from your writing that you seem to have a preeeetty unhealthy relationship with food, try get control of that and try again :)

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Basically, what Im trying to say is… this diet works if not abused by people looking for an excuse. No shit you can’t eat a box of doughnuts, scarf down a slurpee, and shove a pie of pizza up ur butt.

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