With Eclipse, Twilight's third film installment just around the corner, you may be tempted to sink your teeth into Hollywood's newest weight loss sensation: The Vampire Diet.
Though celebs, would-be stars and other "one-natured" folks know that reducing caloric intake while increasing energy expenditure is the only way to lose weight, we all still hold out hope that some magic formula will deliver a dream body overnight. So what's this craze that comes on the heels of the start of the new season of HBO's hit series True Blood all about? Well, thankfully, it is NOT about downing pints of blood -- real or synthetic. Instead, it is an offshoot of the well-known Color Diet, which mandates that only one color food be eaten -- in this case, red!
The Vampire Diet calls for its followers to eat only red foods at each meal. Fruits are easy to come by with almost all berries making the cut, as well as watermelon and cherries. Vegetables are harder to find in the red hues, as the majority of veggies are green. The only ones that are truly vamp-acceptable are red peppers and tomatoes (though they actually belong to the fruit family, of course!).
When it comes to snacks, however, it gets a little more difficult. There is virtually nothing nutritious to munch on outside of fruit -- what many of us would call a blessing and a curse -- have you ever seen a red cookie that's not loaded with dyes and other chemicals? Cherry sorbet may make the cut, but keep an eye out for the sugar, as many sorbets are loaded with it!
Sadly, fish, eggs, nuts, legumes and other fiber-loaded foods are generally out of reach.
Red meat, preferably uncooked (to supposedly preserve the nutrients) is a big component of this diet. And, you guessed it, blood sausages are more than acceptable!
My take on the Vampire Diet? It won't live eternally, which is a good thing since it is a highly unbalanced approach.
If you were to follow this dietary direction for more than a few days, it could lead straight into vitamin deficiency (E, D, C, B, among others), a loss of key nutrients (zinc, potassium, etc.) and a dangerously low level of fiber intake -- not enough veggies on your plate will also keep the body from flushing out the byproducts of digestion, as well as the toxins produced by such an unbalanced diet. Constipation that results in bloating is almost sure to become a problem. too, which is another negative to this approach -- especially now that we're in bathing suit season and a flat tummy is in order.
But, if you are truly obsessed with all things Vampire, you're in luck. It is possible to go on a balanced version of the Vampire Diet. Here's how:
- Add berries at each meal and allow yourself a piece of red meat twice a week -- but no more. A blood sausage per week is a great source of iron, so go for it if you dare. A tomato salad every night or a nice serving of gazpacho will fit the bill. You will need to add fiber -- loaded foods like legumes, quinoa (you can find a red variety of quinoa to stick to your red themed diet), or cucumber and parsley salads to balance out your nutrient intake.
- To start your day, how about a bloody boost of a different type? Juice one blood orange plus six strawberries and a handful of blueberries and add with coconut water for the electrolyte effect.
A final note: The vampires are following one important rule no matter what their weight-loss or maintenance strategy: They stay pale! Follow suit and avoid sun damage and skin cancer by staying away from the sun's harmful rays.
Have a bloody good summer!