Monday, April 27, 2009

The Subway Diet

The Subway Diet was invented accidentally by Jared Fogle, a student at Indiana University, who dropped from 425 pounds to 180 pounds in just one year in the 1990s. It began to be popular in 2000 after the Subway food chain discovered Jared and based an advertising campaign around his diet.

How Jared Fogle Lost 245 Pounds In One Year

Jared was in his junior year when his weight reached its all time high. Like many young men in college he ate a lot of junk food, but unlike his friends he took virtually no exercise. He was told by a doctor that he risked serious health problems if he did not lose weight. He tried various diets without much success.

Then one day he discovered a Subway restaurant near his dorm. He tried a low fat Sub and liked it, so he began eating there twice a day. He would skip breakfast, walk to Subway for lunch, eat one low fat Sub with maybe some baked potato chips and diet soda, and do the same thing in the evening for dinner.

The Subway Diet consists of doing basically what Jared did. You take 2 meals a day at Subway and eat nothing else. You can choose one Sub from the 'Eight For Six' range which contain 6 grams of fat or less, plus low fat baked potato chips or other low fat side dish. You also have to drink water and do some exercise.

Why Does It Work?

It works because it is a very low calorie diet. Jared Fogle went from eating up to an estimated 10,000 calories in a day right down to around 1000 calories a day. This is half of the amount that a normal sized person of average height needs to maintain a healthy weight, so it is a major calorie restriction.

Another reason why Jared lost his weight so fast (it works out to almost 5 pounds per week) is all the walking that he did. After he reached around 300 pounds he began walking pretty much everywhere instead of taking the bus.

Any Negatives?

Most doctors recommend losing a maximum of 2 pounds per week, so it could be argued that Jared Fogle lost weight too fast for optimum health. However he did succeed in keeping his weight down and is still at a healthy weight 10 years later. He now works for Subway promoting healthy eating.

Without going into the detailed nutritional analysis of the eight Subs that you can choose from, it is unlikely that you would get your full vitamin and mineral needs met on this diet. However, it is not as easy as people think to get the RDAs of all vitamins and minerals. Eating only 1000 calories a day it would be difficult on almost any diet. You are also likely to be very hungry between meals.

Two of the major nutritional elements lacking in the Subway diet are vitamin A and fiber. Add a large portion of orange or red vegetables such as carrots or red bell peppers to boost your intake of these elements. If you eat them raw you will benefit from their vitamin C too. Adding these as snacks may help with the hunger problem.

Of course you should consult your doctor before going on any diet, but remember that many college students, even those who are not overweight, live mainly on junk food. The Subway diet may not be the healthiest diet you could have, but it is a lot healthier than what Jared was consuming before.

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