When Matt Stone set out to compile the 180 Degree Metabolism Diet he set out to fill in a piece of the puzzle that many diets are lacking in, namely common sense.  In terms of weight, health, nutrition and fitness there are many pieces to the puzzle.  Emphasizing one over the other is a rapid setup for failure.  As the name suggests, the 180 Degree Metabolism Diet is geared toward repairing a metabolism broken down by chronic or yo-yo dieting, increasing metabolism, and understanding the hormonal triggers which control metabolism and can raise or lower it.  Since this sounds like a tall order, it is broken down into three steps.  These phases look just a bit different then other 3-phase diet models.

The first phase of the plan is called priming the metabolism.  It is said that you have to break some eggs to make an omelet and this phase does precisely that.  Unlike many restrictive induction phases, this phase calls for the dieter to eat as much as they can, focusing on the healthier fare emphasized in many diets such as lean protein, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates.  Limit the intake of saturated fat and simple carbohydrates such as sugar or white bread.  And let this thought simmer in the brain and grow into a concept.  Eat less refined foods, eat more whole foods.  Eventually this concept evolves into an overall philosophy of eating.  A quick word of warning, many dieter may actually gain weight during the first phase of the 180 Degree Metabolism Diet.  This is simply priming the pump.

The second phase of Matt Stone’s 180 Degree Metabolism Diet is slightly more complicated and requires some knowledge of food composition and portion sizes.  This phase calls for three evenly spaced meals per day, snacking not recommended.  Each meal should contain 20 to 40 grams of protein per meal.  Additionally each meal should contain a starch portion equal to half or a little more than half of the protein component.  For the sake of rounding out each meal, the vegetable content should remain high.

Thus the dieter is looking at 20-40 grams of protein each meal, 10-20 grams of complex carbohydrate each meal, and insoluble fiber at every meal.  For the day that leaves the dieter with 60-120 grams of protein, 30-60 grams of carbohydrates, some healthy fats, and fruits eaten in moderation.  The calorie breakdown is as follows: up to 480 calories protein, 240 calories or more in carbohydrates.  If healthy fats composed the rest of the calorie consumption at equal the calorie ratio of protein, the dieter would be resting at about 1200 calories and the balance would be 40 percent protein, 40 percent fat, and 20 percent carbohydrate.  Of course this ratio can be adjusted to the dieters preference, but the 40 percent protein component is the cornerstone.

The second phase lasts for only one month at a time.  Matt Stone encourages dieters to take a break from dieting after a month so that the body doesn’t acclimate to dieting as the norm.  For the non-diet part of the phase, eat sensibly like on the diet, just increase portions to increase calories.  Return to phase two regularly until a healthy or ideal weight is reached.  On this diet, what the dieter eats is just as important as how much they eat and with metabolism, the furnace allegory can play through.  If the body’s metabolism can be likened to an old-fashioned wood stove, then the food can be analogous with wood.  Certain types of wood will burn hotter and breakdown more completely, generating more heat.  Thus, certain types of foods fuel the metabolism for efficiently, providing better nutrition and more “heat” for the body.  Likewise, quantity matter as well as quality.  Starving the fire will kill it or slow it.

Matt Stone’s stance on exercise is generally different than mainstream.  If people enjoy physical activity and enjoy the gym environment, then by all means they should stick with what they enjoy.  If an hour of exercise provokes the response of plopping down and remaining sedentary for the rest of the day, then less strenuous exercise and more continuous activity is recommended.  Housekeeping, gardening, cooking, and walking all count toward continuous activity and he contends that constant motion will fuel the metabolism rather than one short burst.

Beyond the stance of exercise, Matt Stone takes the stance that learning about food, nutrition and health is a continual learning curve.  No single hardcover or E-book is going to give the dieter everything they need to succeed.  To overcome these weaknesses the dieter should have the support of a community setting, which he has setup through the 180 Degree Metabolism Diet.  Though his reviews of diets may be hypercritical, his intent is not to discourage anyone from losing weight but to encourage as many people as possible to try the 180 Degree Metabolism Diet and to learn to eat better, feel better, and ultimately live better.

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