How does the metabolic diet plan 13 days eating plan measure up as a weight loss plan? Can it help you lose weight as advertised, or is it just another popular fad diet that causes more harm than good?
When it comes to finding the best diets for weight loss, it is always easier said than done. With dozens of eating plans all claiming to be the best fat loss diet available, determining what will work for you can be a headache, especially since most of us do not have the time or resources to try every diet out there just to find the perfect one.
In order to help you narrow down the list of potential weight loss diet plans, we are going to be breaking down the 13-day metabolic diet plan and telling you if it is worth your time or not.
What Is The Metabolic Diet Plan 13 Days Weight Loss Diet?
Also known as the 13-day diet, 13-day metabolism diet, Copenhagen diet, or the Royal Danish Hospital Diet, this is a 13-day eating plan that promises to help its adherents to lose up to 22lbs (about 10 kg) in just under two weeks.
- It is very low in calories. All the food eaten in a day comes to about 600 calories.
- On the drinking plan, you are required to consume at least two liters of water per day.
- There are little to no carbohydrates in the diet. The so-called metabolic meals on this eating plan are high in protein and low in fats. The metabolic diet plan 13 days sample meal below will show you that the weight loss diet will make you eat animal-based protein, lots of vegetables, some fats, and the occasional carbohydrate.
- Some variations of the diet call for no salt but allow for the use of other spices like garlic and pepper.
- Some other restrictions found on this diet include no chewing gum, no alcohol, no cooking oil, no salad dressing, no sweeteners like sugar and honey, and no foods not listed on the metabolism diet plan.
- The creators of this diet also state that anyone who can successfully complete all 13 days of the diet shouldn’t try it again for another two years. Those who fail to strictly follow the diet and cheat or fall off the wagon can try again but only after six months.
What Do Metabolic Meals On The Copenhagen Diet Plan Look Like?
As previously stated, this metabolic weight loss diet plan goes on for 13 days total. We, however, shall not be listing all the meals for the 13 days. Instead, we shall give you a two-day sample of the most popular metabolic diet plan 13 days variation. It will help you paint a picture of what your daily meals would look like:
- Breakfast – 1 cup of coffee sweetened with 1 sugar cube
- Lunch – 400g cooked spinach, 2 hard-boiled eggs, and 1 tomato
- Dinner – 200g grilled steak with a side of green salad. Dress said salad with some lime; remember no oil is allowed
- Breakfast – 1 cup of coffee sweetened with 1 sugar cube
- Lunch – 200 to 250g of ham with 1 cup of low-fat yogurt
- Dinner – 200g of roast beef with a side of green salad dressed with just some lime or lemon juice
Please note that while some sources call for no oil, others say that you can use oil as part of the dressing for your salads (2).
How To Lose Fat Fast: Is The Metabolic Diet Plan 13 Days Eating Program The Answer?
No, it is not. Despite what this eating plan claims, it will in no way help you lose almost 22 pounds in 13 days. This is basically a starvation diet that, if anything, will only lead to the loss of water weight and not actual fat. The hard truth is that sustainable 2-week weight loss is somewhere between 2 to 4 pounds. Any diet that promises anything more is a fad diet that should be ignored and never attempted.
Remember that there is no trick or shortcut to weight loss. For you to achieve great results, you need to be patient and also make changes to your diet, and workout more. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity (or a combination of both), preferably spread throughout the week (10, 7).
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What Is A Metabolic Confusion Meal Plan?
Like the 13-day metabolic diet plan, the metabolic confusion meal plan is another fad diet that promises to help its adherents lose weight and increase their metabolism. However, unlike the Copenhagen diet, this eating plan does not work through starvation or very-low-calorie restriction.
According to online sources, this eating plan is similar to intermittent fasting but without the extremes of energy (calorie) restriction. The metabolic confusion meal plan is often compared to the 5:2 intermittent fasting method as one alternates between high-calorie and low-calorie days.
However, unlike the 5:2 diet that restricts calories to about 600 cals on the two fasting days, this confusion meal plan only calls for an intake of no more than 1200 calories on low intake days. It is further stated that on high intake days, one can consume as much as 2000 calories or even more.
So can this diet improve your metabolic rate and boost weight loss? It depends on who you ask since research on the notion of calorie cycling varies.
For example, in 2014, a study by the International Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that calorie cycling, like the one followed by the metabolic confusion meal plan, could have positive results. Researchers in the study took 74 subjects and divided them into two groups: one group only consumed 1200 calories per day, while the other had their calories restricted for 11 days and then had three days of unrestricted food energy intake.
After four weeks, researchers found that the calorie cycling group lost more weight, experienced less hunger and increased satisfaction from food, and had a significant decrease in blood sugar, total cholesterol, and triacylglycerol, compared to the calorie restriction group. It is important to note, however, that despite all these positive changes, their metabolic rate remained the same (1).
Despite these promising results in the 2014 study, a 2018 study had very different results. Researches in this 4-year long study followed 100 participants who were divided into three groups:
- Calorie restriction – 75% of energy needs every day
- Alternate-day fasting – 25% of energy needs on fast days; 125% of energy needs on alternating “feast days”
- No-intervention control
At the end of the study, researchers found no significant differences in weight loss between people who followed a calorie-shifting diet and those who did traditional calorie restriction (3).
What Is The Fast Metabolism Diet?
This meal plan gained popularity in 2018 after a celebrity credited her fit figure to the diet. The fast metabolism diet was developed by celebrity nutritionist and wellness consultant, Haylie Pomroy. According to Haylie, this is a 3-phase-28-day eating plan that can help you lose up to 20 pounds.
According to Women’s Health, the eating plan is said to boost your metabolism by cycling through phases of high-protein, high-carb, and high-fat meals throughout the week. The other rules of this meal plan include:
- Cutting out corn, dairy, soy, refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dried fruit, fruit juice, wheat (except sprouted or natural yeast wheat), and nitrates (found in processed meats) from your diet for the 28 days.
- Eating every 3 to 4 hours, which means having about five meals a day.
- Drinking half your bodyweight in water.
- Concentrating on eating healthy and nutritious foods, including healthy fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.
- Incorporate different forms of exercise such as aerobic, strength training, and yoga into your day-to-day activities.
While this diet seems pretty legitimate and calls for clean eating and exercise, sources such as Very Well Fit and Healthline agree that it can be quite unsustainable; not to mention that it is based on pseudoscience and that there aren’t evidence-based proofs to support these recommendations. The phases also encourage the elimination of certain food groups, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies among other problems (5).
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How To Get A Fast Metabolism?
As we have seen above, this diet is not the answer to how to get a fast metabolism. However, not all hope is lost. Because metabolism plays a large enough role in weight gain and loss, learning how to increase it can help you burn calories faster (4, 8). Some natural ways to boost your metabolism include drinking more water, working out more, not skipping meals, not severely restricting your diet, and eating foods that will boost your metabolism.
The Bottom Line: Should You Try The Metabolic Diet Plan 13 Days Program?
No, you should not; while we agree that weight loss is hard and we understand the desire to see fast results, we cannot in good faith recommend this eating plan to you. Not only is this a fad diet that promises unachievable results, but it is extremely low in calories and lacking in nutrients that could land you in hospital. If you are looking to change your diet to lose weight, please consult your doctor or dietitian to help you narrow down the best diets for weight loss for you – diets that will not put your health in jeopardy.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Calorie Shifting Diet Versus Calorie Restriction Diet: A Comparative Clinical Trial Study (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Copenhagen diet plan. Is it safe? (2018, medium.com)
- Effect of Alternate-Day Fasting onWeight Loss, Weight Maintenance, and Cardioprotection Among Metabolically Healthy Obese Adults (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Energy metabolism, fuel selection and body weight regulation (2010, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Food Elimination Diet and Nutritional Deficiency in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (2018, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- food for thought What is the Copenhagen diet plan, is it low sugar and is it is safe? All you need to know (2018, thesun.co.uk)
- How much physical activity do you need? (n.d., heart.org)
- Metabolic Determinants of Weight Gain in Humans (2020, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Copenhagen Diet: Everything you need to know about the 13-day weight loss plan (2020, goodto.com)
- Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies (n.d., ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)