The Anti-Oestrogenic Diet is a weight-loss program designed to control levels of the hormone oestrogen by decreasing the amounts of oestrogenic foods in the diet and increasing consumption of anti-oestrogenic foods. According to the diet's founder, Ori Hofmekler, oestrogen imbalances are responsible for a wide variety of health problems, including obesity, and the diet centres around encouraging dieters to eliminate foods thought to enhance this imbalance. While the program offers dieters many advantages, critics point to a number of disadvantages.
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In Ori Hofmekler's book, "The Anti-Oestrogenic Diet: How Oestrogenic Foods and Chemicals Are Making You Fat and Sick," Hofmekler contends that the increase of oestrogenic chemicals contained in soy products, artificial sweeteners, the pesticides used to treat fruits and vegetables and beer cause hormonal imbalances that result in fat retention, weight gain, fatigue, a reduced sex drive and an increase in pre-menstrual and menopausal symptoms in women. Hofmekler designed the Anti-Oestrogenic Diet based on decreasing our intake of these oestrogenic foods and on two other concepts: He contends that maximum weight loss can only occur if we consume the majority of our calories in the evening and focus on eating primarily raw fruits and vegetables during the day.
The Anti-Oestrogenic Diet consists of three phases. During the first, two-week long phase, dieters eat specific foods thought to help detoxify the liver, including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat yogurt, aged cheese and fish that has been caught in the wild. Anti-oestrogenic foods--foods that Hofmekler claims help balance oestrogen levels--like raw nuts, seeds and olives are added into the diet in the second phase, which lasts one week. Small amounts of bread, pasta and meat are added back into the diet in the third phase, also a week-long phase, but these items should only be eaten in the evening. After dieters have progressed through all three initial phases of the diet, Hofmekler advises a long-term strategy that involves following either the first or second phase of the diet, but including third phase foods every other day.
Recommended foods and meal plans
All citrus fruits, organic dairy products, nuts, avocados, caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea, eggs and cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are considered to be anti-oestrogenic foods. Turmeric, onions, garlic and rosemary are recommended as seasonings, as well as extra virgin olive oil and organic butter. During the third phase of the program, the meat and poultry consumed should be from wild or grass-fed animals and the bread and pastas chosen should be made from whole grains. Dieters should strive to use as many organic items as possible. Followers of the program should take oestrogen-inhibiting supplements as well as supplements designed to detoxify the liver.
The Anti-Oestrogenic Diet emphasizes high quality, unprocessed organic foods, strongly encourages decreasing consumption of nutritionally-lacking processed foods and can decrease a follower's intake of potentially harmful pesticides and chemicals. In addition, the diet focuses on low-fat foods that are thought to help decrease the risk of developing certain medical conditions including heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.
The diet does not encourage exercise, and the number of supplements that Hofmekler recommends could make following the plan prohibitively expensive for some dieters. Many people attempting the diet may find it hard to adjust to the diet's emphasis on eating the bulk of their daily calories in the evening. In addition, the diet review website Diet Spotlight points out that Hofmekler does not present scientific evidence to support his claims about oestrogenic and anti-oestrogenic foods.
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