The Chocolate Diet
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Low fat, low carb, liquid diets, HCG and weight-loss pills... just a few of the fad diets out there.
But have you heard of the chocolate diet?
Sixty three year-old-year old teacher Millie Lugo takes care of herself.
"I have tried diets and exercise, and I maintain pretty well, but I still have about 10 pounds that need to go off," she says.
She's been on the chocolate diet for about a month.
"I've already lost 3 pounds, about 2 inches off my waist. I've been able to wear things I wasn't able to wear before," she adds.
OK, maybe not earth-shattering weight loss, but already a third of the way to Millie's goal.
"I get up in the morning looking forward to my healthy chocolate shake. And it's very satisfying. And you know, you're having chocolate," she explains.
But it's not just any chocloate...
"It is nature's highest antioxidant," says Deb Martin with the Lotus Blossom Clinic in Fort Myers, which rolled out the diet in Southwest Florida this year.
The chocolate diet products she offers are made from minimally processed, cold-processed cocoa, infused with açai and blueberries. They contain very high antioxidant levels.
"The big, important things is the antioxidants because they have a role in weight loss. It turns off the fat storage gene and it turns on the fat metabolizing gene," explains Deb.
Four in Your Corner took the chocolate diet to bariatric surgeon Dr. Thomas Bass.
"It's not necessarily that the antioxidants are going to turn on some weight loss switch, but they certainly may play a role in facilitating your body's ability to burn fat as energy," Dr. Bass tells us.
This diet is also pretty strict -- it calls for replacing 2 meals a day with the Xocai shake, which can be taken with some healthy snacks, then a sensible dinner and 2 or 3 Xocai chocolate squares. In all abour 1200 calories a day for women and 1500 for men. A lot of water and a little exercise too.
Liza: "I think a lot of people would lose weight that way."
Deb: "You would think so."
Liza: "But you're saying the more remarkable thing about this diet is that..."
Deb: "That it was easy for them to do."
"I think it's a great example of how getting someone to comply with a high protein, reduced calorie diet for a prolongued period of time results in weight loss, that is absolutely true," adds Dr. Bass.
Millie Lugo says it's not only making it easier, but it's delicious too.
In one study about 50 people lost between 15 and 35 pounds between 3 to 5 months, but Dr. Bass is worried about the message some might take way.
"...that you can somehow eat as much chocolate as you want and somehow become more healthy and lose weight... I assure you that that's not the case," warns Bass.
Millie is committed to good health, healthy eating and light exercise. And now she says she's committed to the chocolate diet too.
"I lose the weight, and I'll still sty on the chocolate. It's amazing that I can be healthy eating such a delicious thing. Who doesn't like chocoalte," laughs Millie.
Doctors say the only way to lose weight for good is to commit to eat less and exercise more for the rest of your life.