The Suzanne Somers Diet

You'll probably recognise Suzanne Somers as the Mom in the successful TV series "Step by Step". Many critics say that is primarily what this diet is about, recognising Suzanne Somers. By saying that, I don't mean that the diet is bogus and it doesn't work. However, it does appear that the diet is in no way unique other then by who is endorsing it.

There's no arguing that for her age, Suzanne has a body that most people would admire. Whether it's due to this diet that she looks the way she does and that you too can look like her is another question.

The Suzanne Somers Diet Plan
The Suzanne Somers Diet, also known as "Somersizing" consists of waves 1 and 2. The first is designed for weight loss and the other is designed to manage and maintain weight. There is no calorie counting and given the foods that the diet eventually restricts you to, there's not much need for it, but the daily intake is roughly 1200 calories. According the USDA, this is considered a starvation diet.
The diet leans more towards high protein intake and lowering carbohydrates. Suzanne says to avoid sugars, foods that breakdown into sugars and white flour. Another rule is to not skip meals, this being a fairly common suggestion these days to keep the metabolism running.

Food Combining
Wave 1 of the Suzanne Somers Diet focuses on the idea of food combining, that is not a ground breaking let alone unique approach to dieting. Food combining goes by the premise that eating foods from certain parts of the food pyramid in the right combinations results in a weight loss effect. The combinations that are apparently correct are:

  • Carbohydrates must be eaten with vegetables (and no fat).
  • Proteins must be eaten with vegetables and fats (but no carbohydrates).
  • Fruit should be eaten alone and on an empty stomach.

The Suzanne Somers Diet is produced in the form of books which critics claim are basically cookbooks with recipes that satisfy the food combining principles above. There doesn't seem to be much evidence or scientific backing to support the validity of food combining towards weight loss. Given the low calorie style of the diet, the weight loss may very well be more as a result of this rather then when you eat foods and how you eat them together.

Exercise and maintenance
Despite Somers endorsing an exercise product or two, this diet and the books surrounding it put little emphasis on physical activity and focus mainly on preparing food. Given the calorie intake of the diet and the restrictions on foods, many dieters may struggle to stick with this diet in the long term. Cravings may be very difficult to deal with, particularly given the low carbohydrate component. This presents the danger, like many FAD diets (and this diet has its fair share of critics who think it is) of causing some initial weight loss, but then some serious fat gain when the diet is given the kick.