Six Weeks to OMG is the brainchild of Paul Khanna a celebrity fitness trainer from London, who writes under the pen name Venice A. Fulton. His diet plan includes a number of factors that go against all sensible eating habits and into the world of body fanaticism and it is all a bit questionable. The idea of losing weight to get “skinnier than your friends” has been widely criticised and seems to be cynically appealing to a teenage audience who do not need this type of “advice” which is feared may cause eating disorders.
Despite this, the eBook has become a hit in the UK and looks set to repeat this success on the US market in the same way that 50 Shades Of Grey entered onto the scene via the e-publishing route and became a multi million selling hit.
OMG with its slangy teen girl language is unsurprisingly attracting teenage girls in high numbers. It is ringing alarm bells with nutritionists, doctors and parents alike who are worried about the underlying message and extreme eating and exercise programme, as well as the concept of weight loss as a competition.
The advertising industry has been criticised for using super thin models and their effect on eating disorders and OMG seems to be reinforcing a stereotype that is simply that you can never be too skinny! Like the book says, “Go Girlfriend. Get with the Skinny!”
What is the OMG Plan?
The OMG plan is a series of tips and strategies designed to bring about weight loss at all costs. The plan lasts for 6 weeks only and by the end of it, you are said to lose up to 20lbs if you follow it.
Essentially the major points of the plan include skipping breakfast (breakfast is for wimps) drinking lots of caffeine with two cups of black coffee in the morning plus plenty of Diet Cokes throughout the day. Fruit must be excluded from your diet and your carbohydrates are restricted to the size and volume of 4 iPhones, but you are allowed to eat plenty of protein. Somewhat bizarre and going against ALL advice is that broccoli is more fattening than Diet Coke so should be avoided.
A major part of the diet is to take cold showers or baths each morning in order to encourage the body to burn off stored fat in an effort to keep warm.
You need to increase your exercise levels and work out on waking, doing 45 minutes exercise of immediately. Blowing up balloons is part of the routine! Apparently, it eventually gives you a flat stomach if you blow up enough of them.
How Does OMG Diet Work?
Paul Khanna is not a doctor or dietician and the diet is based on his own research and experience as a personal trainer.
The essential idea of the diet is to put your body into fat burning mode for six weeks.
To do this, he says that getting up and drinking two cups of black coffee will kick start the metabolism before you take your early morning exercise and that eating breakfast first thing in the morning will prevent the fat burning effect so should be avoided.
The cold shower or bath is not going to be easy but this is a vital part of the OMG plan. According to Khanna, cold baths speed the metabolism and further generate fat burning. When you are cold, your body generates heat to keep you warm, burning off calories. According to Paul Khanna, the benefits of cold baths are well known and date back to Egyptian times.
You are encouraged to keep to three meals a day and not snack. Body fat is there to give energy when we are not eating so sticking to this rule will help you lose fat. Your increased activity levels help you burn more fat and the blowing up the balloons to strengthen abdominal muscles to create a flatter stomach. The result is that you will certainly be thinner after all this.
But is it really that healthy to be so obsessive about weight? Surely if you have the will power to stick to such a demanding regime, learning to eat sensibly and stick to a healthy long-term healthy eating plan will be easy.
Will OMG Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, you will lose weight short term. You cannot really fail to, if you stick to this diet and if it does not make you ill. All these fad diets tend to work for short periods of time. Starving yourself and frantically exercising will see the pounds drop off but is that good?
According to Deanne Jade Founder of the National Centre For Eating Disorders, speaking in a news interview, one of the major problems is that a diet like this will disrupt your metabolism and once the diet is over you will certainly put the weight back on.
Most people who have tried OMG have found it too hard for even a week. The cold bath combined with the lack of food is simply too hard and miserable to deal with. It is a fad diet and like all fad diets will work for a bit and then once over will see you piling your weight back on.
Is OMG Even “do –able”?
Although the book is extremely popular, knocking the Dukan Diet into an also ran position, it is hard to find anyone who has managed to stick to the OMG diet for the full 6 weeks. It is simply too hard for most people.
Not everyone can find the time for 45 minutes of exercise in the morning and waking up to the prospect of a cold shower or bath is a difficult prospect. One group who may have the staying power are the target audience – teenage girls because it feeds directly into their insecurities and obsessions and as every parent knows , teenage girls have plenty of these.
Six Weeks to OMG – Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends – Aimed at Teenagers?
Paul Khanna has denied he is writing for teenagers but there are several references to “not telling your parents” and the language and the style of the book is definitely aimed at this market. The clue is there in the title OMG!
Paul Khanna himself is a 39-year-old Londoner but he does not sound like it when he is writing as Venice. When asked about this point , Khanna has denied that teenagers are his target audience and when quizzed about the references to “not telling your parents” in the book, he has pointed out that many of his customers are in their 30s – most of whom have parents.
Fair enough but phrases like
Coffee. Nice? Yuk? Something that teachers drink? Why care, we just want to burn fat! And coffee can help. It’s nature’s cheap and secret potion.
is going to appeal to school kids. Who else thinks or cares about what teachers drink?
Many health experts are extremely concerned about this extreme plan leading to anorexia and other eating disorders.
So Is It All Nonsense?
No, the message eat less and move more is common sense. There is a serious obesity problem and in answer to the competitive nature of the title, Khanna has a ready answer. He says that sometimes a group of friends may derail your diet plans so getting skinnier than your friends is a valid ambition. Shallow maybe but we all have our vanities.
There has been a lot of criticism about exercising on an empty stomach but thousands of joggers and early morning runners do just that and without any ill side effects. You are advised to eat breakfast mid morning and you will probably burn off fat faster by doing it this way round.
Eating only three meals a day and avoiding snacking is good advice. Although we are encouraged to snack more or graze these days, over eating is a huge problem and only eating at meal times old fashioned yet sensible advice like your Gran would give.
Even the cold bath may help you lose weight and the blowing up balloons is probably harmless despite being weird and probably pointless.
The Downside of OMG Diet
The big problem is that this diet plan is such a gimmick. Yes, it may bring about rapid weight loss but it will certainly cause rapid weight gain once the diet is over. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to find a healthy way to live that suits your lifestyle.
You need to have a balanced diet and not miss out eating fresh fruit and veg such as broccoli in favour of Diet Coke. Everyone needs a sensible amount of carbs for health and well-being. Starvation diets that are all about self-denial and hardship may have a long-term impact on your metabolism and hormonal levels and often store up future problems.
The psychological effects of the diet are also a matter of concern. Many nutritionists believe that an extreme eating regime, which is all about getting skinny, establishes a very unhealthy relationship with food and is certainly going to lead to eating disorders in some cases.
Despite all common sense and medical opinion, Six Weeks To OMG is certainly proving popular and Paul Khanna AKA Venice A Fulton has landed a book deal in the USA worth millions.
No doubt, his fad diet will run for a while until the next best thing comes along. In the meantime the obesity problem continues to grow and will continue until we get to the root of the problem and make major lifestyle changes.
Setting off on a mad six weeks plan of cold baths and caffeine in order to emulate the TOWIE cast, who have not even endorsed or used this diet plan, is not going to help anyone look and feel good long term.