CACA Winner - David Zinczenko and the Abs Diet

REMEMBER: The CACA is all about what I/we don’t understand. It does not suggest that the person, product or service is in any way dishonest, untruthful, scamming, etc. It simply acknowledges that we do not understand how it is scientifically correct, honest, truthful, logical or legit. By submitting someone or something for a CACA or awarding to someone or something a CACA, we are admitting our own shortcomings, not theirs.

I cannot vouch for the current existence of any quotes or images I present in a CACA plea for help in understanding. For example, websites change and people may remove things that are revealed to be wrong, mistaken, etc. However, all images and quotes did exist at one time.

Consumer Reports rated this diet about as highly as the deadly (IMHO) YOU: On A Diet, by Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen.

Until someone can help me “better” understand this book, it is my opinion that the Abs Diet is a piece of crap, the diet is a hoax, Zinczenko has a bad relationship with the truth as do those who endorsed or published the Abs Diet and that it serves as further proof of my opinions that Consumer Reports (CR) has no idea of how to rate a weight loss program and that Rodale publishes bull (including Men’s Health magazine of which Zinczenko is editor-in-chief).

There are some very clear, glaring problems in this book that shine like Klieg lights which the experts at Consumer Reports seemed to have missed.

For example, on page 32 there is the human interest story of an interesting human who allegedly lost 30 pounds in 6 weeks on the Abs Diet.

The first problem is that this rate of weight loss is unsafe according to the experts, who recommend no more than 1-2 pounds per week. This includes the expert David L. Katz, MD. He wrote an endorsement of this diet. Here it is. It appears on the back cover.

“Clear, crisp, refreshingly sensible, and as entertaining as it is enlightening, The Abs Diet will reward its reader handsomely. There are few ‘diet books’ that I am willing to endorse; I endorse this on enthusiastically. If you have an abdomen, get this book!”

David L, Katz, M.D., director of medical studies in public health at Yale University School of Medicine and director of the Yale Prevention Research Center

This expert also wrote the following for the 3-Hour Diet:

“If you want to lose a pound a day, look elsewhere. Jorge is courageous enough to say - quite correctly - that you should not be losing more than two pounds a week if you want your weight loss to be both safe and permanent.”

Well, if one “should not be losing more than two pounds a week if you want your weight loss to be both safe and permanent,” why is this guy endorsing the Abs Diet?

Let’s do some numbers.

“After following the Abs Diet for 6 weeks, Stanton lost 30 pounds – and has cut his body fat from 30 percent to 15 percent.”

Here are the numbers:

Starting Weight:    220
Six Weeks Later:   190

Starting at 220 pounds and 30% body fat, gives Bill (Stanton’s first name, though I suspect he does not exist as presented in the book), 66 pounds of fat on his body. (220 x .30 = 66)

Six weeks later, he was 190 pounds and 15% body fat. This gives him 28.5 pounds of fat on his body. (190 x .15 = 28.5)

66 pounds – 28.5 pounds = 37.5 pounds

Oops. How can that be?

Besides lying, I cannot think of a way.

Here’s another example:

On page 31, Zinczenko writes:

“In fact, this diet can help you burn up to 12 pounds of fat – from your belly first – in 2 weeks or less.”

This is very close to the dreaded “a pound a day,” Katz claims he opposes. It is 0.86 pounds per day. You might ask, “What’s the big deal? What is 0.14 pounds per day among friends?”

They are not my friends and I do not think they are yours either. They are your executioners, IMHO.

I am clear on my opinion that Katz is a whore for the money like Oprah, Cruise, Rodale, Consumer Reports and many others. But my opinion is not controlling, it is simply an opinion.

Still what does it mean to lose 12 pounds of fat in 2 weeks?

Each pound of fat contains 3,500 Calories. To lose 12 pounds of fat, you have to remove 42,000 Calories from your body. To do that in two weeks, assuming you can lose all the weight as fat, you have to be in a negative caloric balance of 3,000 Calories per day.

A daily 3,000 Calorie deficit is, except under some truly extreme circumstances of which being 220 pounds is not, simply almost impossible.

To get just how crappy this book and the job done by Consumer Reports are, here are some more examples:

From page 75 (and similarly on pp. 100-101): “Patrick Austin dropped 30 pounds, half of it in just the first 2 weeks…” This is unsafely over one pound per day (1.07 pounds/day).

From pages 160-161: [Brian Archiquette]…dropped an additional 25 pounds in 6 weeks.” This equals an unsafe 4.16 pounds per week.

Other examples of bull:

On page 87, Zinczenko slams Atkins’ by falsely claiming that one loses weight by restricting food choices. There are plenty of good reasons to slam Atkins. Zinczenko’s is disingenuous. One loses weight only by consuming fewer Calories than one burns. There is no other way. In fact, on page 89 Zinczenko acknowledges that the food industry has developed “728 new food products claiming to be low in carbs.” Hardly a “restricting” number of foods.

He repeatedly states that it is possible to gain muscle while in a negative Calorie balance. See page 165 for an example. This is impossible. Adding muscle means adding weight and you cannot add weight while you are losing weight.

Further, on page 165, this con (IMHO) offers up 6 weeks of exercise at 20 minutes per day 3 times per week for a total of 18 workouts leading to fat loss of 15 pounds (a 52,500 calorie deficit or 1250 Calories per day) and a gain of 6 pounds of muscle. Really, if trash like this worked, do you think bodybuilders and other athletes would waste their time training as much as they do?

To sweeten the pot for the imbeciles who read this crap, Zinczenko further suggests that you can achieve these types of results in only 4 weeks, since exercise is optional during the first two (p. 161).

Then there is the patently incorrect assertion, reasserted again and again, that each pound of muscle on your body burns 50 Calories per day at rest. (pp. 31, 43, 47, 162-163, 170)

There are many more things wrong with this book and diet plan that CR and others chose to ignore, were too ignorant to notice or were too corrupt to mention. But the amount of time it would take to cover it all is more than I choose to devote to this garbage. Maybe there are other reasons, including my inability to understand the wisdom, logic and science behind the Abs Diet.

Bottom line is that I simply cannot understand how this is possible.

Yet this diet was rated among the highest by CR.

If someone out there can explain all this to me, I 'd be grateful.