Review: The Thrive Diet

This nutrient-rich, whole foods diet is designed to deliver maximum energy and limit bodily stress, because according to Brazier, stress-free people are fat-burning machines.


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This nutrient-rich, whole foods diet is designed to deliver maximum energy and limit bodily stress, because according to Brazier, stress-free people are fat-burning machines.

Basic principles:
Limit stress so you burn more fat. The diet is based on nutrient-dense "one-step energy" foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, and beans, which are broken down easily, limiting stress on the body so you store less fat. You'll also eliminate other stressors like inadequate sleep, food allergies, pH imbalance, and overstimulation.

How it works:
Dont eliminate specific foods at first, just add fruits, vegetables, legumes, and other nutrient-dense choices. You'll eventually enter a recalibration period where you eliminate caffeine, sugar, processed foods, meat, and grains, and limit starchy veggies. There's no need to calorie count, but follow the 12-week meal plan and time meals and snacks so you never get too full or hungry.

What you eat:
Each day you'll eat a big green salad, whole-food smoothie, and a raw energy bar, which you'll need to make in advance, as all processed foods are off-limits. Your other meals and snacks should contain ample protein, high quality fats, and fiber. Brazier includes lists of staple foods to help you stock your pantry, which include common foods like chickpeas and green beans and more obscure choices like hemp and seaweed. Another catch: Food should be raw or cooked at low temperatures.

How much can you lose?
This diet is less about losing weight than it is about improving energy and health, but it does promise to help you lose fat and maintain lean muscle mass.

Is it healthy?
Questionable. This diet may not be balanced enough to foster long-term health. You might fall short of key nutrients, especially during the “recalibration period” when you eliminate entire food groups.

Expert opinion:
"The best part of this diet is the push to eat more nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, and legumes," says Janet Brill, PhD, RD, the author of Cholesterol Down. "But the secret to good health and longevity lies not in a detox raw-food fad diet but in learning how to practice daily stress management techniques, eating a nutritious, calorie-controlled diet, and coupling those lifestyle additions with daily exercise."

Try this diet if you:
• Are an athlete
• Are vegan or vegetarian
• Enjoy cooking

1-day sample menus:
Breakfast: Wild Rice Yam Pancakes with agave nectar and fruit

Morning snack: energy bar

Lunch: Cucumber Pesto Salad With Tomato Basil Dressing

Afternoon snack: Smoothie

Dinner: Almond Flaxseed Burger With Mixed Greens and Sweet Pepper Hemp Pesto

After-dinner snack: Zucchini Chips
Last Updated: October 15, 2009

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