The very title of the US astronauts’ diet breathes with scientific mysteries and intrigues of Star Wars! But, alas, this diet does not open any weight loss secrets of civilizations from distant galaxies. Its action is based on the well-known mechanism “little carbohydrate – lots of protein”. However, it is possible that this law is valid throughout the entire universe…
ABCs Of The American Astronauts’ Diet.
Minus 5 kilo in the very first days are almost guaranteed to all “dietary astronauts”. Yet, the individual body characteristics influence further weight loss progress. Judging by the reviews, diet that involves counting carbohydrate points, can let you lose weight by 15-20 kg over the entire period (8-10 weeks).
Reduced carbohydrates consumption amid high “doses” of slowly digestible protein make your body burn stored fat reserves. The process goes especially vigorously, if it is supported by regular exercise.
However, the US astronauts diet doesn’t suit every single person. It is not recommended in:
- all chronic diseases,
- diseases of the cardiovascular system,
- kidneys disorders,
- liver conditions,
- stomach problems.
“Space diet” will be troublesome for people with persistent cravings for sweets, since sweets are strictly prohibited. However, meat lovers will feel very nice, since animal protein can be consumed with virtually no restrictions. Yet, you should not forget that extremely high-protein nutrition with a lack of fiber can cause disorders not only in the digestive system, but also in the metabolic processes in general.
American astronauts’ diet: main steps
Describing the general principle of the US astronauts diet, we would like to recall the statement of Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian who has committed a spacewalk. Former member of the ISS said the following about nutrition in orbit:
“If, when on Earth, you take a look in the fridge, and nothing you have there satisfies your cravings, you simply walk away. But in space, you can not go out to get an ice cream or order a pizza”
Probably, “getting” on the US astronauts diet, it will be a real salvation to believe that all the sweets and carbohydrates are left on a blue ball behind the illuminator. The diet is divided into three stages:
Stages differ through the number of points allowed, which equal grams of carbohydrates in 100 grams of a product.
Calculating points (conventional units) during the American astronauts diet?
You can use:
- the information on the product packaging,
- ready detailed tables on the Internet,
- special applications for smartphones.
The easiest part of the daily diet arithmetic is the calculation of animal proteins. Any meat and fish products, as well as poultry products (including meat products and sausages) have a zero index and in fact are not calculated in the daily sum.
- Vegetables are assigned 2 to 16 CU per 100 grams
- Fruit – 3 to 68 CU per 100 grams
- Dairy products can be counted as 0.5 points or 28 units – depending on the fat content and method of preparation.
How to start losing weight on the US astronauts diet
- At the initial stage you should plan your daily menu based on 20 carbohydrate points (period duration – 1-2 weeks)
- At the main – to consume no more than 40 CU per day (up to 6 weeks)
- At the maintenance phase, which coms after you reach your desired weight and start aiming weight maintenance, – you should consume no more than 60 points per day (1 week +).
The final, maintenance period can be either the withdrawal when returning to a normal diet without weighing and counting, or continue as long as you want, if the attending physician of the dieter and he himself do not see this as a problem for a normal life.
American astronauts’ diet: limitations
American astronauts’ diet suggests that you will reject without any regret foods rich in carbohydrates, especially fast ones. A small piece of sugar actually covers the daily norm of points, so the attempts to keep the sweets and pastries in the diet are simply meaningless.
For the entire period of the diet, you must exclude:
- sugar and confectionery sweets
- pastries and bread
- soda, soft drinks, juices, fruit drinks
- sweet fruit
- sweet alcohol and beer
- cereals high in carbohydrates (wheat, oats, corn)
- beans and peanuts
- starchy vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beets)
- sweet dairy products.
The US astronauts’ diet doesn’t prohibit spirits. However, you shouldn’t abuse them while dieting. The same principle works for meat products and sausages. This food can hardly be considered healthy because of the abundance of food supplements.
Heart surgeon’s opinion about the diet
The main promoter of the mysterious US astronauts’ diet is the legendary Russian surgeon-cardiologist, Leo Bokeria. The fact that he keeps to this eating system was told to mass media by his patients, and Leo did not make a secret of his menu.
In an interview, he said that the paper with the diet, which is now widely known to the public Astronauts’ diet, got in his hands from the United States in the eighties of the last century. The principles of the diet were in tune with the doctor’s ideas about proper nutrition.
In practice, it turned out that the diet of the American astronauts completely covers the energy needs of Leo Bokeria, an active and hard-working human being, for whom the clarity of mind is no less important than a good physical form.
In his interpretation of the US astronauts diet, Leo Bokeria adheres to about the next menu and regime:
- Breakfast (6:30) – cottage cheese with yogurt (with no additives, sugar and so on.)
- Second breakfast, lunch (12:00 – 15:00) – a light dairy meal, sometimes – non-fat boiled sausage.
- Dinner (late evening) – main meal, large in volume. Boiled meat, fish, chicken, fresh vegetables (mandatory, a tomato), potatoes (not every day).
Leo Bokeria, commenting on his individual “US astronauts’ diet”, notes that the small serving size is important for a good metabolism and keeping a stable weight, and warns against the easily acquired “enlarged stomach”.
The heart surgeon believes bread to be a cheap substitute for the normal food and doesn’t recommend eating it more than once a week. The main food that your body needs is, according to Leo Bokeria, lean protein foods, especially fish. And he strongly urges people to refuse condiments, sauces, and ketchup. The only healthy addition to food, in his opinion, is high-quality olive oil.
Leo Bokeria, whom the diet and self-discipline allow maintaining his weight of 80 kg with a height of 175 cm, doesn’t consume any excess water. He is guided by his own daily rate of 40 ml per 1 kg of body weight. He also drinks black tea without sugar and additives and loves high-quality milk.
Describing his version of the US astronauts diet, the famous surgeon-cardiologist says that he doesn’t have any absolute prohibitions. He allows himself having cake, champagne, and coffee, but only if it is really appropriate and the “body wants”.
Fast diet of US astronauts: if the spacesuit is a little too tight
Express-diet that allows getting rid of three kilos in just two days, is, according to some information, used in flight schools. If a pilot gained extra weight during the holidays or weeks of downtime, he can use the secret weapon.
This diet is also known as the US astronauts’ diet, though it is unlikely that it is used by them in reality. Extremely low inflow of calories into the body of the interstellar traveler could jeopardize the entire long and costly space-training program.
However, the name is the name, and the effect is the effect. Such nutrition plan can actually come in useful at a critical moment, regardless of whether Neil Armstrong tested it or not in fear of pushing the Moon.
However, you should never abuse diets to achieve the goal through a sharp limitation of the energy component of food and be sure to discuss it with your doctor before you decide on sticking to a meager diet.
Fast diet of US astronauts is designed for two full days with an identical three-meal menu.
Morning should begin with a half tablespoon of skimmed milk powder, dissolved in a glass of warm water (you can substitute milk with protein powder) and tea or coffee without sugar.
For lunch, you can eat one egg (boiled or baked without oil) and cabbage salad with green bell pepper, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice (no salt!).
Dinner – lean grilled steak with a serving of lettuce.
Every day, you should drink at least two liters of pure non-carbonated water. The quick diet of US astronauts requires a very careful exiting, without dramatically increasing the amount of food. All express diets have one unpleasant consequence:
Weight, which you manage to lose during such significant, albeit short-lived, limitations, gets back fairly quickly.