Could the Latest Crazy-Sounding Weight-Loss Plan Actually Work?

Jorge Cruise, author of the number-one New York Times bestseller, The 100, claims that by limiting yourself to 100 sugar calories a day and eating whatever else you want - from bacon to hunks of cheese - you can shed pounds in a hurry. Skeptical, we asked the diet's mastermind for the 411.
By Ava Feuer, REDBOOK.

How does the plan work?
The old way to look at a nutrition label is to see 0 grams of sugar. The new dietary science has shown that not all calories are the same. That means nutritional labels are written in a way that doesn't really matter. It's not about grams of sugar because carbohydrates are sugar - you need to consider the total amount of carbs. If you look at the average piece of whole-wheat bread, it will have at least 20 grams of carbs. You take number and quadruple it to find out the sugar calories. One slice of bread has 80 sugar calories, putting you almost at your daily limit. If you want to lose weight, whole-wheat bread, couscous, and quinoa are evil.

Related: 25 Lazy Ways to Burn Extra Calories Just Like That

What happens to your body when you consumer sugar calories?
Eating carbohydrates - which are sugars - increases insulin. In our world, 80- to 90-percent of women's weight-gain comes from overindulging in insulin-stimulating food. And it's not hardcore, straight-up, I-can-see you-in-the-face sugar. They're eating whole-wheat bread. They're eating ancient grains. They're eating black beans. That stuff is horrible.

You claim that women can expect to drop 18 pounds in two weeks. Most nutritionists recommend on or two pounds per week. Is so much weight loss healthy or sustainable?
I think in America we've lowered our standards. If you have four pounds to lose, one or two pounds a week is great. But if you have 30 pounds to lose, and you're losing one pound a week, you're doing something wrong: you're eating carbs. You're eating whole-wheat bread and whole-wheat pasta. You're eating oatmeal with agave nectar and blueberries. It's all sugar.

When I designed this program, the average woman lost 15-to-20 pounds in two weeks. Is it healthy to lose that weight? The more important question is, is it healthy to keep that weight? No!

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Since so much of the diet is about cutting carbs, it sounds a lot like Atkins. How is it different?
Dr. Atkins was brilliant, and he had a lot of good ideas. But, there was too much protein and not enough vegetables. You couldn't cook or bake with coconut or almond flour, which are vital parts of my plan. He recommended artificial sweeteners that we now know are dangerous. His plan was the iPhone 1. This is the iPhone 5.

What about Paleo?
You're supposed to be a caveman - it's disgusting! You're allowed to eat as much fruit as you want, and fruit is full of sugar. You eat one apple and get 99 sugar calories, which is enough for an entire day. That's fine if you're going to spend hours at the gym burning off those calories, but who has time for that?

Speaking of which, exercise is notoriously absent from The 100. Are you against it?
I'm not against working out. It's just not effective for weight loss. I like strength training to tone and firm the body so you look tight. But working out just makes you hungrier.

Related: 21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster

You present a list of "freebie" foods, which includes most meat, eggs, some vegetables, oils, cheese, and nuts. Can you really eat as much as you want of these things?
You have to be a mindful eater. There has to be intention in what you do in your life if you're going to be happy and authentic. Food isn't supposed to be entertainment in the way that your kids, your work, and your relationship are. Things that are fatty - like half-and-half or cheese - satiate hunger. A slice or two should make you full. If you're eating beyond that, it's probably more about reacting to boredom or stress.

Okay, we're not sure we can get behind never eating comfort food again, but we think we get it. This plan isn't about getting to indulge in all your cravings and still lose weight, but it will get you fast results and offers KISS methodology that most anyone could follow.
Yes, people have it totally wrong about what's making you fat - that every single calorie has to be counted - but we now know that science has proven that wrong. All that matters is the sugar.

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