Have we officially missed our chance to slim down before the holidays? “It’s absolutely not too late!” insist thousands of fans of a special kick-start plan from EatLikeABear.com. One Washington state great-grandmother even used it to lose 17 pounds in three days!
The gist of this buzzed-about mini diet: For 72 hours, you repeat the same pattern, feasting on natural food during a short daily window, then adding doses of apple cider vinegar to kill hunger between feasts. That’s it!
“When you go longer periods without eating, your body not only fuels itself with stored fat, it triggers amazing changes that make weight loss and everything else easier,” explains 140-pounds-leaner Amanda Rose, Ph.D., who created the approach. Rose hopes anyone who tries her three-day challenge will be hooked for good. “I’ve discovered a very practical way to get rid of unwanted pounds and achieve radiant health — and I want to share it!”
Both Rose’s three-day and long-term strategies are versions of her unique spin on time-restricted eating, a technique that reduces the hours we spend eating each day. The California mom, who has a doctorate in social sciences, came up with it based on both published research and her lifetime of dieting experiences. “I was making a last push to see if weight-loss surgery was my only option,” recalls Rose, who began stuffing herself at brunch with tons of veggies, protein, natural low-carb toppings and dressing made from apple cider vinegar; she then sipped only water, black coffee or tea until brunch the next day. “I expected intense hunger, but it didn’t happen.
Getting Lean, Bear-Style
As Rose lost 50, 75, 100 pounds, she had people suggest she was starving. “I live in bear country, and I just started explaining that I was eating like a bear. I’d periodically load up on natural foods — greens, salmon, nuts, berries — and then ‘hibernate’ between meals and let my body live off its own fat,” she shares. A Facebook post to that effect went viral; before she knew it, she was helping countless folks get results like hers. “I came up with the three-day idea for anyone who felt curious but hesitant,” she says.
“You can do anything for three days — and it’s also long enough to see if you’re one of the many people who find this way of eating suits them perfectly!” Nutrition experts aren’t surprised by all the “bear successes.” Here’s why: After 10 to 12 hours without consuming calories, we run out of blood sugar. At that point, “the body begins burning stored fat as its primary fuel,” per Johns Hopkins intermittent fasting authority Mark Mattson, Ph.D. If you don’t eat for, say, 20 hours, up to 10 of them are pure fat burn!
There’s more: Giving our bodies breaks from food allows our insides to heal — something we often really need as we get older. “It leads to better blood-sugar control, better hormone regulation, reduced inflammation and more,” notes Amy Shah, M.D., a wellness expert with training from Harvard. All are factors that can drive short-term results, longterm success and soaring health.
The Vinegar Difference
“I’ve always used apple cider vinegar in my salad dressing because I like it,” shares Rose. “Later, I read it aids in weight loss. I did a shot diluted in water and was surprised by how noticeable the reduction in appetite was.” Research shows potent acid in the vinegar ‘turns off’ hunger and blocks blood sugar spikes. Sip it before meals, and you make less insulin, a hormone that triggers cravings and slows fat burn. Rose says it’s especially helpful for those using her three-day challenge.
The 3-Day Challenge
To try this three-day challenge, decide on an eating window (one to eight hours long) during which you’ll enjoy unlimited veggies, 8 oz. of protein, and a few servings of natural low-carb extras (nuts, berries, avocado, cheese, oil). Sip apple cider vinegar in a pre-meal drink. We’re sharing sample meals; the official challenge (with shopping lists and recipes) is free at EatLikeABear.com. Always get a doctor’s okay to try any plan.
Big Baked Omelet: Cook 4–5 beaten eggs with sautéed veggies in oven-safe skillet until almost set; season and bake 6 minutes at 400ºF.
Anti-Hunger Cocktail: Mix 1–2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar (such as Braggs or any brand with “the mother”) in 4 oz. water with spices to taste.
Super Size Salad: Top unlimited non-starchy veggies with 8 oz. protein and optional cheese, avocado and no-sugar dressing.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.