Can an Ice Cream Diet Be Good for You?

According to the newest diet featured in Prevention magazine, you can lose weight and eat ice cream once a day, too.

The trick is moderation, and eating healthy meals the rest of the day. While on the diet, women may have 1 cup of ice cream, and men may have 1½ cups per day. (You should use low-fat ice cream that contains 125 calories or fewer calories per half-cup serving, for a total of 250 calories for women, and 375 calories for men.)

The secret to the diet is the calcium. A recent study found that overweight people who took a calcium supplement lost 26 percent more body weight, and 38 percent more fat than those who ate the same reduced-calorie diet, minus the supplement. Another group in the study received calcium by eating three or four servings of dairy products totaling 1,200 or 1,300 milligrams of calcium a day, and lost 70 percent more weight, and 64 percent more fat on a high-dairy diet.

Experts say calcium helps people lose weight because when your body doesn't get enough calcium, it triggers fat cells to store fat and get bigger. In addition, ice cream helps satisfy dieters' cravings, so they do not feel as stong an urge to binge.

The complete plan appears in The Ice Cream Diet, a new book due out in August from St. Martin's Press. Meanwhile, here is a sample of the Ice Cream Diet Meal plan from Prevention. Select any combination of breakfast lunch, snack or dinner, and you can still afford the calories contained in the ice cream. The diet contains a total of 1,500 calories for women, and 2,000 for men.

Breakfast

Women, 330 calories; Men, 430 calories.

1. Bagel: Spread half of a 2.5- to 3-ounce bagel with 2 Tablespoons of reduced-fat cream cheese. Serve with 1 cup of fruit salad and 1 cup of fat-free milk. (Men can have a whole bagel.)

2. Bran Flakes with Blueberries: Top 1 cup of bran flakes with 1 teaspoon of sugar, if desired, 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, and 1 cup of fat-free milk. (Men: Add a slice of whole wheat toast spread with 2 teaspoons of diet margarine.)

3. Strawberry Slush: In a blender, combine 8 ounces of fat-free strawberry flavored yogurt (no more than 120 calories per cup), ½ cup of fresh or frozen strawberries, 1 teaspoon of sugar, a small ripe banana and several ice cubes. (Add the ice cubes one at a time.)

4. Frozen Waffles: Top 2 toaster waffles (check label and make sure they are no more than 170 calories for 2 waffles, e.g. Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Multi-Bran), with two teaspoons of maple syrup and 1 cup of fresh or frozen thawed strawberries, smashed. Serve with ½ cup of fat-free milk. (Men: Have 2 extra teaspoons of maple syrup, 2 teaspoons of light margarine and an extra ½ cup of fat-free milk.)

5. At Your Desk: Have breakfast bar (should contain no more than 150 calories, e.g. Kellogg's Nutri-Grain), an 8-ounce carton of fat-free milk, and a large apple. (Men: Take along a plastic snack bag with 6 apricot halves and 8 almonds.)

Lunch

Average for women: 365 calories. Average for men: 430 calories.

1. Roast Beef Sandwich. Spread two slices of whole wheat bread with 1 teaspoon each of reduced-fat mayo and mustard. Add 2 thin slices of roast beef, 4 slices of tomato and romaine lettuce. Serve with a 6-ounce can of V-8. (Men using an extra teaspoon of reduced-fat mayo and an extra slice of roast beef.)

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