What trendy weight loss plan works best? We tested a few to find out

Most weight loss plans start in January as part of a resolution, but we started ours at the end of summer hoping it would help us get a jump start on keeping off those holiday pounds.

The “rules” were simple. Pick a plan and do your best to stick with it and keep a food log. Some of us chose an app, My Fitness Pal or Carb Manager, and some just did it the old fashioned way with a notebook.

There was no pressure, no before and after pictures required, no competition it was just a combined community effort with people who see each other every day and needed a little help staying on track.

About 25 employees signed up to take part.

Ages ranged from early 20s to early 60s, and everyone had a different reason for eating better. Some wanted to get control over sugar, emotional eating and late-night snacking. Others wanted to take off that last five pounds or just get started on a healthier lifestyle.

Initially, everyone decided to pick their own “diet.” Some chose Ketogenic, which is extremely popular right now. Others stayed on Weight Watchers, Paleo, calorie counting, low carb, etc.

I enlisted the help of Cleveland Clinic dietician Ryanne Lachman to guide us. She works in the Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine under Dr. Mark Hyman.

Ryanne’s first visit came at the end of August. She decided to really focus on two diets that have success for patients. The Ketogenic diet and Renew.

The Cleveland Clinic’s version of Keto is much more strict than what you’ve probably read about online. It cuts out dairy

Most of us thought we knew how to lose weight, just eat less and exercise more right? That might work for some, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Ryanne taught us that a good diet that leads to good health has more to do with quality than quantity. That meant that we didn’t have to count calories, which was mind blowing for some of us.

What it did mean is we had to really pay attention to our food sources. Organic, free range antibiotic free meats and organic low glycemic fruits and lots of veggies. So we had to skip out on that Ohio Sweet corn that comes out at the end of summer and opt for berries, pumpkin seeds and almond butter. But everything in moderation too.

We also learned that eating right can be expensive. Many of us found ourselves shopping at several different stores, finding deals at Aldi and Walmart, but also picking up the pricier and harder to find items at Whole Foods.

Dr. Mark Hyman came to visit us in early October. You can see his lecture here:

So how did we do over two and a half months? Clark Quick and Danielle Wiggins both did the Renew diet and lost the most. Clark dropped 32 pounds (he was working out too) and Danielle dropped 13. Janet Forrai did Keto and lost 9 pounds.

But even those who didn’t lose as much as they wanted still learned something.

Monique Zappa said: “My experience with the See The Change was very positive. While I switched from the ReNew back to Paleo half way through, I feel good! I feel more confident in my body than I have in a long time. I’ve held myself accountable, not just with eating, but with my workouts too! Fingers crossed to keeping it going through the new year!”

Diana Pollock said: “I really appreciated learning about a fresh approach to eating and making meals. Ryanne taught us about how to buy and use healthier products that used to intimidate me. I worked in different oils into our diet (avocado, sesame) and stopped using as much butter. We worked in new foods to replace starch like squash & cauliflower. We reduced dairy and moved to almond coconut milk. I don’t buy anything without looking at the carbs and fiber now and have learned to stay away from as many processed foods. After a few days I really didn’t miss sugar and chocolate. I definitely fell off the wagon a couple times but so far down 10 pounds and I feel better. This is a lifestyle change and will continue for sure! I’m grateful for all the help!”

Janet Forrai said: “What meant a lot to me in this “See The Change” experience is getting to know my fellow co-workers. It truly is a community here and the ability to talk with your co-workers about your victories…and your struggles helped me to stay the course…or forgive myself when I did not.

The information and guidance we received from the Center for Functional Medicine was the key ingredient to this successful program. Thank you so very much for the opportunity.”

Stephanie Metzger said: “I learned that the Keto diet is actually harder the second time around, because my familiarity with it made it easier for me to cheat. (Whoops.) I also learned there are many variations of the Keto diet, some stricter than others, and that different diets work for different bodies.

I won’t continue this diet to finish out the year due to the holidays and an upcoming vacation, but I’ll try it again to start the new year to get ready for summer.”


7 simple swaps can transform your diet by WKYC.com on Scribd

Functional Ketogenics by WKYC.com on Scribd

Cooking Keto by WKYC.com on Scribd


Colorful Detox Salad

Serves 6 (1 ½ cups = 10gm net carbs)

Ingredients: Salad

• 2 cups kale

• 2 cups broccoli florets

• 2 cups Brussels sprouts, roughly chopped

• 2 cups red cabbage, roughly chopped

• 1 cup carrots, roughly chopped

• ½ cup fresh parsley

• ½ cup almonds

• 1 to 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds

• 2 cups cooked shredded chicken (from rotisserie or homemade)

Ingredients: Dressing

• 3 Tbsp olive oil

• ½ cup lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)

• 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated

• 3 tsp. Dijon mustard

• 2 tsp. honey, maple syrup or liquid stevia

• ¼ tsp. sea salt


1. Using a food processor, process all the veggies up to the parsley until finely chopped and mix together in a large bowl. This may take a few batches.

2. Add almonds to the food processor and pulse, until roughly chopped, and mix in with the salad along with the sunflower seeds.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and drizzle over top of the salad OR place in a jar and use as needed. Enjoy!

Recipe From: http://www.eatyourselfskinny.com/my-favorite-detox-salad/

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Serves 6


• 1 pound ground meet (grassfed beef, pastured-raised pork, organic chicken or turkey)

• 1 head cabbage thinly sliced

• 1 Tablespoon sesame oil

• ¼ cup soy sauce or liquid aminos

• 1 clove garlic minced

• 1 teaspoon ground ginger

• 2 Tablespoons chicken broth

• Salt and pepper to tasted

• 2 stalks green onion


1. Brown ground met in a large pan or wok over medium heat.

2. Ensure cabbage and onion is thinly slice into long strands.

3. Add sesame oil and onion to pan with browned ground meat. Mix together and continue cooking over medium heat.

4. Mix soy sauce, garlic, and ground ginger together in a small bowl. Once onions have browned, add the sauce mixture to pan.

5. Immediately add the cabbage mixture to the pan and toss to coat the vegetable and evenly distribute ingredients. Add chicken broth to the pan and mix. Continue cooking over medium heat for three minutes, stirring frequently.

6. Garnish with salt, pepper, and green onion.

Recipe Adapted From: https://ketogasm.com/keto-egg-roll-bowl-recipe/

Caveman Keto Turkey Chili

Serves 6, 11gm net carbohydrates per serving


• 1 Tablespoon Coconut oil

• 2 Pounds ground turkey

• 2 Red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

• 2 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced

• 6 Cloves garlic minced

• 28oz Tomato puree (no sugar added)

• 16oz Diced tomatoes, canned (no sugar added)

• 1 Cup chopped celery

• 1 Avocado

• 1 Cup chicken stock or bone broth or water

• 3 Tablespoons chili powder

• 1 ½ Tablespoons garlic powder

• 1 ½ Tablespoons onion powder

• 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

• 1 scallion, slice for garnish


1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the turkey and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 5-7 minutes.

2. Stir in the onion, bell peppers, jalapenos, garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt, and a pinch of black pepper.

3. Add the tomato puree and the diced tomatoes with their juices; reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes.

4. Serve, topped with avocado, cilantro and scallions

Recipe Adapted From: Celebrate Sisterhood

Keto Chia Seed Pudding Breakfast

Serves 4


– 1.5 cans (or 1.5 cup coconut cream) full fat canned coconut milk (refrigerate can and use the cream, discard liquid)

– 1.5 cups unsweetened nut milk (almond, coconut, flaxseed milk,e tc)

– ¼ cup chia seeds

– ½ teaspoon liquid stevia (optional)

– ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)

– ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

– Pinch of sea salt

– Cinnamon to taste


1. In a blender combine all of the ingredients except for the chia seeds. Pour into a mixing bowl and add chia seeds, mixing well. Pour into 4 even bowls or mason jars.

2. Set in the fridge and chill for 1-2 hours or overnight while the chia seeds soak and the pudding sets. When ready, remove from refrigerator and top with cinnamon

3. Keep refrigerated and enjoy for up to 1 week

Adapted from: https://www.ketogenicgirl.com/blogs/ketogenic-recipes/ketogenic-diet-instant-bulletproof-chia-pudding

Tahini Dipping Sauce

Makes 1 ½ cups, 2 Tablespoons proved 1 gm net carbohydrates


• ½ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)

• 1 clove garlic

• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

• ½ cup water

• Juice of 1 lemon

• Salt, to taste

• Optional:2 Tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped


1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender about 2 minutes, until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe Adapted From: Mark Hyman’s 10-Day Detox Diet

© 2018 WKYC

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