I was reading the papers yesterday and in Style mag I came across a tiny mention of something called The Mug Diet. Their synopsis; ‘if it doesn’t fit in a mug, don’t eat it.’ Sorry, is this actually a thing? Is anyone really doing this? A quick google determined that yes, yes it is – and yes they are.
Depending in where you look it’s called things like The Coffee Cup Diet, The One-Cup Diet or The Styrofoam Cup Diet and the basic premise is that your meals should include only as much food that fits in a mug/cup. There is also a Korean version which is being recommended by a K-Pop girlband called The Paper Cup diet; this sees you eating a small cup of rice, one of fruit and one of ‘side dishes’ for each meal. My first thought was ‘this is insane’ (cue a bad ‘you’d have to be a mug to try it’ joke) but analysing it a bit more closely it has a few merits…
1) On the Styrofoam Cup Diet, you actually only diet every other day – which is shaping up to be THE newest way to slim. It’s easy to stick to, confuses your metabolism and may be healthier than dieting every day.
2) It resets your idea of how much food you need to feel full. I was once told by a trainer that you should only eat as much food at a meal that can fit in two cupped hands. That’s a bit more than fits in a coffee mug – although I personally think the Styrofoam cup is a little too small (although admittedly I’m not a dietitian).
3) You would have to eat mostly fresh foods. Trying to cram a Whopper into a coffee mug is not going to work, so you’ll be restricted to liquids, foods you can chop, or that come in small sizes like cereal, rice, oats and pasta.
4) It’s a good way to trick your brain. I already serve my evening snack in a teacup as it looks like loads when in fact it’s just 3tbsp of yogurt and some berries. I’d serve far more if I put it in bowl.
There’s also some pretty big negatives though…
1) I can see fruit and vegetables being squeezed out of a lot of people’s diets as they focus on cramming carbs or protein into their cup. Also, even if you do fill say, half the mug with fruit or vegetables at each meal or snack, you’re still probably not going to meet your five portions of fruit/veg a day – and you definitely won’t exceed them.
2) To feel anywhere near satisfied, or get anywhere near enough nutrients, you’ll have to eat 5-6 times a day with this approach (this is explained in the Styrofoam plan) which can be tricky to do in a balanced way if you’re not super-organised or at home all day. Eat less than that and you’re not dieting you’re starving yourself.
3) You can still cram a lot of calories of bad food into a mug if you try – I cite ice cream, sugary cereals, anything with whipped cream and liquidised Mars Bars as exhibits A, B, C and D.
4) People aren’t going to read the rules. In the same way that Atkins got massively misinterpreted with this people will just see ‘eat what fits in a mug’. Ergo, they’ll diet every day, they’ll only eat three times a day and they’ll just cram any old rubbish into a cup rather than focusing on fresh food and nutrients. Oh and whoever manages the Korean pop band needs a slapping for letting them publicise their plan – it looks seriously dodgy, especially as most of the people following that one are likely to be teenage girls.
So, would I do a Cup Diet – erm, no. As I said, I like using a cup to serve desserts as I serve smaller portions, but for meals? No – I like vegetables too much and currently the DNA Diet sees me eat at least a mugful of those alone per meal (with carbs and protein on the side). In fact, check back tomorrow and I’ll show you what my normal lunch looks like – it’s definitely not paper cup friendly!
Fruit image: freedigitalphotos.net
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Just in case you landed on this post lured in by the image of the mug above, here’s a few more slimming inspired mugs you might want to check out. Simply click the pics to go to where you can buy them
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