We're always on the lookout for new ways to make healthy eating easier, so when we heard the Almased diet plan mentioned in conversation, we knew we had to delve deeper. Let's be honest, if we haven't tried Whole30, keto, or the 80-20 plan, we definitely all have a friend who has, and since something different works for everyone with healthy eating (including sometimes following no diet at all), we figure we always need to educate ourselves.
The Almased diet plan revolves around four key stages that train your metabolism to work with you. We'll touch more on what exactly Almased is more thoroughly below, but it's a type of protein that when incorporated into your diet, helps kick your metabolism into gear. Here's everything you need to know about the Almased diet, including pros and cons and exactly what you can (and can't ) eat when you're following it.
The Almased Diet Plan
This popular diet plan is based on a protein powder meant to replace or supplement meals for optimal digestive functioning. It all started in Germany in 1985 when scientist Herbert Trouille created the unique protein powder from a few key ingredients: natural soy, protein, skim milk yogurt powder, and honey (by the way, it's gluten-free and doesn't contain any artificial sweeteners). Trouille's belief was that you shouldn't have to go hungry to lose weight, and that by taking in this certain type of protein, you'd kick your metabolism into high gear.
Because of its special fermentation process, the powder causes bioactive peptides to be released into the body, which helps you lose weight. "This powder contains vital nutrients, such as enzymes and essential amino acids, mostly needed by your body to make digestion easy," says Charushila Biswas, a nutrition specialist.
The four-stage diet plan incorporates Almased powder into shakes as meal replacements. The stages start out super strict, and gradually become more of a lifestyle where the shakes are accompanied by clean meals. But be warned: The diet plan is not for those who cannot follow a strict regimen.
Stage 1: Starting Phase
Almased shakes per day: 3 (breakfast, lunch, and dinner: mix the protein powder into low-fat or soy milk and add flaxseed powder)
Other food/drinks: You want to start the day with a glass of warm water with lime juice (add honey and ginger if you'd like), and you should consume at least 64 ounces of H20. You can also have homemade veggie broth and 100% vegetable juice, as well as fruit like a peach or plum between shakes.
Time to stay in this stage: 3 to 14 days
Key recipe: Try a zucchini and watermelon salad with fresh grapefruit, cumin powder, mango powder, and salt as a nighttime snack before dinner.
What's going on: "This will allow the body to mobilize the stored fat and use as an energy source."
Stage 2: Reduction Phase
Almased shakes per day: 2 (breakfast and dinner)
Other food/drinks: Have one solid meal, preferably for lunch. Limit snacking and avoid having too much fruit.
Time to stay in this stage: Until you reach your "goal" weight.
Key recipe: Try a simple chicken stir-fry with vegetables for lunch.
What's going on: "Now that a good amount of stored fat has been used up as energy to drive the body functions, the low-carb lunch will not be stored as fat."
Stage 3: Stability Phase
Almased shakes per day: One
Other food/drinks: Have two solid meals a day that are low in carbs and are high in greens and protein; yogurt or fruit make a good before-dinner snack.
Time to stay in this stage: At least two weeks
Key recipe: Baked salmon with a vegetable for dinner.
What's going on: "Your body will continue burning fat by being metabolically active without losing any vital nutrient."
Stage 4: Life Phase
Almased shakes per day: One (part of breakfast or dinner)
Other food/drinks: Three solid meals a day along with your Almased shake.
Time to stay in this stage: This is your ongoing regimen.
Key recipe: Veggie-stuffed mushrooms are protein-packed and tasty.
What's going on: "You will continue to lose weight through this phase, but the results won't be as dramatic as in the reduction phase."
Almased Diet Pros
- It keeps you full.
- The protein doesn't have a harsh taste.
- Your metabolism gets a major boost.
- There's no yo-yo effect.
- You will lose weight and keep it off.
- It gives you clear and healthy skin.
Almased Diet Cons
- The diet is very limited.
- You still need to exercise regularly.
- It can lead to headaches and nausea.
- Constipation and bloating can happen.
- You may notice changes in your mood.