The Pound a Day Diet: Lose Up to 5 Pounds in 5 Days by Eating the Foods You Love

The Pound a Day Diet: Lose Up to 5 Pounds in 5 Days by Eating the Foods You Love

by Rocco DiSpirito
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The Pound a Day Diet: Lose Up to 5 Pounds in 5 Days by Eating the Foods You Love by Rocco DiSpirito

THE POUND A DAY DIET is an accelerated program designed to help dieters lose up to five pounds every five days—without frustrating plateaus—while enjoying all their favorite foods. It rewrites every carb/fat/calorie rule in the book! This delicious, easy-to-use, plan is specifically formulated as a Mediterranean-style diet that is carb and calorie corrected to turbocharge metabolism and weight loss. Complete with menus for 28 days (four five-day plans and four weekend plans), dieters first follow the five-day plan, switch over to the weekend plan, return to the five-day plan for the second week, and continue with the weekend plan-alternating like this right down to their goal weight. To help readers, Rocco has created 50 all-new lightning-quick 5 ingredient recipes, as well as ready-made suggestions for those who simply cannot find the time to cook; a primer on healthy and fast cooking techniques; calorie-calibrated menus and shopping lists; and a lifestyle plan for maintaining a lean, healthy body for life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455523672
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 01/07/2014
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 858,308
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Rocco DiSpirito entered the Culinary Institute of America at the age of sixteen, and at eighteen began working with legendary chefs worldwide. The James Beard award-winning chef opened the 3-star Union Pacific in New York City where he established his culinary credentials. He was named Food & Wine's Best New Chef and was the first chef to grace the cover of Gourmet as "America's Most Exciting Young Chef". DiSpirito stars in his own syndicated TV show, Now Eat This with Rocco DiSpirito and has a weekly Associated Press column called Now Eat This! He is the author of nine cookbooks, including the New York Times bestselling Now Eat This! Diet and Now Eat This! Italian.

Read an Excerpt

The Pound a Day Diet

By Rocco DiSpirito

Hachette Audio

Copyright © 2014 Rocco DiSpirito
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4555-2367-2


You Can Lose Weight in as Little as Five Days

YOU'RE probably wondering: What kind of diet is this, anyway?

This is a low-calorie, high-flavor diet, engineered for satisfaction, which is the crucial ingredient in any successful diet program.

How is this program different from other diets you've been on? Will you finally be able to lose weight and not gain it back?

If you've never been able to stay on a diet before, if you've never really made it to a healthy goal weight, or if you've been a chronic dieter for most of your life, this is a dramatically effective system that will change all that—and more. For one thing, you get to eat delicious food—in liberal amounts—as you drop pounds and inches.

This is a diet that keeps working for you as long as you need it—unlike most diets, which leave you wondering what to do after you've lost weight or get stalled by a frustrating plateau. As a result, you'll continue to burn fat, week after week—up to twenty pounds the very first month.

Here is why:

In Phase 1, you'll follow my specially formulated diet plan from Monday through Friday (or Sunday through Thursday, whatever best fits your lifestyle), then switch to the weekend plan, when you get to eat more food. All sorts of vegetables and fruits. Energizing carbs. A little wine on occasion, if that's what's right for you? Absolutely.

After the weekend, you simply return to the five-day weekday diet, then the weekend plan again. You keep following this sequence—five-day plan, weekend plan, five-day plan, weekend plan, and so forth, in a no-plateau beeline straight to your goal weight. In Phase 2, I'll outline a maintenance plan to help you keep the weight off and live a healthier lifestyle.


For any diet to be successful, I believe the food has to taste great, be satisfying, and be nutritious, and the diet itself has to be uncomplicated and produce rapid results. Most important, it has to be livable, meaning that it instills a pattern of healthy eating so that you keep the weight off for good. These are the ingredients I consider essential for nutritious yet quick weight loss.

In today's immediate-gratification world, we want results fast—and that includes weight loss. Used to be, rapid weight loss was a no-no, but a new theory is emerging that the faster you take off weight, the longer you keep it off. In my experience, rapid weight loss is very psychologically motivating, so you're more likely to stick with a diet that gives you quick results.

Slow, gradual weight loss may in fact be best for some dieters, and this is the advice many experts have adhered to for years. But some experts are beginning to believe that healthy, faster weight loss based on a lower-calorie diet can be motivating and inspiring. I know that's true for me personally.

A team of researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia is conducting an extraordinary ongoing pilot study with groups of dieters, using very-low- calorie liquid diet replacement meals. Their preliminary observations, reported in 2010, refuted the "slow, gradual weight loss is best" argument. "Surprisingly, and against current beliefs, this study shows rapid weight loss appears to be superior to gradual weight loss in achieving target weight," said University of Melbourne dietitian Katrina Purcell about the study, conducted on subjects weighing around 100 kilos (about 220 pounds), in a July 14, 2010, article in AFP (Agence France-Presse). Purcell, who is helping to conduct the study, told the Herald Sun (November 21, 2010): "Some 99.2% of nutritionists and dietitians say they recommend to their patients gradual weight loss over more rapid. However, there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support their claim."

Purcell speculated on the reason that fast weight loss was working: "Those people in the rapid group remained more motivated and were able to see the results coming. Those in the gradual group were more prone to becoming disenchanted." Importantly, she suggests, as I do, that weight loss be done under the supervision of a health care professional, like a dietitian.

"It is possible to lose weight, from [using] weird diets, to sensible eating, to exercise, but the most important thing is maintaining it," noted Timothy Gill, associate professor and principal research fellow at the University of Sydney's medical school's Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise, and Eating Disorders, in a November 25, 2010, article in the Australian Financial Review. "Research coming out of Austin Hospital in Melbourne suggests we need a limited time for the weight loss phase before we enter into the weight maintenance phase. This has not become the accepted dogma, but there are suggestions it might work best."

Dr. David Carey, an Australian endocrinologist and obesity expert, has argued in favor of rapid weight loss, and told one journalist that he believes many dieters have a fixed window of opportunity to achieve success: "You have about six to nine months maximum—and the more you lose in that period, the more likely you are to keep it off," he observed. "The only reason that fast weight loss has traditionally been seen as bad is because to lose weight rapidly you usually need to undergo extreme measures. Many of these diets we hear about are completely unsustainable and difficult to stay on. Once people get to the end of them, if they can get to the end of them, they can't maintain their weight loss because they have no plan, eventually returning to their old eating habits" (Sydney Telegraph, November 21, 2010).

The Pound a Day Diet, by contrast, is based on real food and frequent healthy meals and includes a maintenance plan for the rest of your life that's grounded in real science.

On this diet you can get fast results—up to five pounds in just the first five days. How?


First, this is a calorie-reduced diet, or as I prefer to call it, a calorie- corrected diet. Quite simply, to lose weight you've got to correct and properly balance your calorie intake, first to reduce excess weight, and then to stay at your healthy weight. You do this through a combination of eating well and physical activity—but there are powerful shortcuts, which I'll tell you about shortly.

Calorie correction is extremely effective for getting lean quickly because you reset the body's machinery to put it on a course for healthy, sustained weight loss.


This diet is also a carb-corrected diet, where you'll switch from bad carbs to good carbs. This doesn't mean you need to give up bread or pasta—I could never do that to you! Instead, you'll learn about slow-burning carbs and how they can help you maintain your weight loss without feeling deprived.

The diet is designed to burn off fat fast, not by depriving you of food or sentencing you to bland diet food, but by recharging your metabolism and motivation so that you drop pounds, day in and day out.


The diet you're about to start is based on brand-new research into what works best over the short and long haul for rapid, safe, and satisfying weight loss—a calorie-corrected, carb-corrected, Mediterranean diet pattern based on flavor and satisfaction. The traditional Mediterranean diet is known as one of the healthiest diets around—and it's basically what I grew up on. I love this style of eating!

This sort of diet is based on vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, and olive oil—plus an attitude that includes enjoying and savoring the experience of food and those with whom we break bread. Whole-grain bread, that is!

Of course, nothing kills your motivation to lose weight faster than a boring diet. So if you're tired of monotonous meals, you've found the right diet. Here you'll discover recipes and meal plans that are high on flavor and low on bad carbs, bad fats, and, very significantly, total calories. Healthful doesn't mean tasteless, either. A little variety is your ticket to sticking with your diet and getting the results you want. On this diet, I'll teach you how to prepare food—including a lot of your favorites.

This is a turbocharged weight loss program, and I've made it all simple for you. In fact, the recipes in this book are some of the simplest recipes I've ever come up with. This is real food, not "diet food"!

I'll show you simple tricks so you don't need to spend hours in the kitchen. I'll teach you how to eat sinfully without the sin!

I've learned many things on my weight loss journey and in creating this program, but there are three simple things I want you to remember as you begin your journey:


Vegetables like leafy greens have a high fiber or high water content but don't carry many calories. Eating veggies has many weight control advantages: They fill you up but supply very few calories. They're naturally diuretic—meaning they increase the flow of fluid from the body. (Water retention and bloating interfere with metabolism.) Green veggies are especially good to fill up on, and they include asparagus, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce (all varieties), mustard greens, parsley, collard greens, beet greens, turnip greens, kale, green beans, broccoli, dandelion greens, arugula, and watercress. Greens, in general, also supply generous doses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber—all known to promote superb health. You can eat all the greens you want. And if you're not a veggie lover, don't worry ... I'll give you some recipes that will convert you in no time.


Proteins rev up your metabolism because the body requires more energy to process protein than carbohydrates. Protein also keeps you full and banishes food cravings. A study published in the journal Obesity in September 2011 demonstrated that protein intake promotes satiety (fullness); plus, it helps you retain lean body mass as you lose weight, which is critical for achieving the physique you want.

This diet provides enough protein to help burn belly fat, as well as visceral adipose tissue (VAT), a dangerous kind of fat that envelops organs and leads to disease and accelerated aging.

This diet also emphasizes foods that are high in protein, including eggs, chicken and turkey breast, fish, and even beef. Yes—you heard that right, beef. I love beef. I've been a sworn carnivore since birth. Taking beef away from me would make me quite depressed. Yes, I know that the antimeat police have declared that one person's steak has become every person's poison. But I believe that beef, in moderation and in the right portions, can be a great part of an overall healthy diet. Beef helps create stronger muscles, builds better bones, and boosts the growth of brain cells.

There's lots of variety when it comes to lean protein, and you can eat it in liberal quantities.


Weight loss programs frequently get slammed, usually because they aren't always nutritious. I agree; this is true of a lot of diets. But I've observed that our everyday eating habits—not the diets we follow—are making us flabby and unhealthy. Most of us simply aren't eating nutritiously enough to get in even the basic daily requirements: vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So let's not just blame diets that don't work, let's blame our bad habits.

This diet is devised to provide a healthy combination of basic nutrients, including fiber, phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

It's also based on three breakthrough diet insights from effective, scientifically based weight loss: calorie correction, carb correction, and the Mediterranean diet pattern, all of which you'll discover how to put into action.

When you put it all together, I believe this diet will change your life. Believe me, you can do this. My personal journey is proof that it works, if you stick with it.

I've spent the last several years devoted to healthy cooking that tastes amazing and helps you stay absurdly fit. As you probably know, my secret has been to rework America's favorite (and fattening) comfort foods into flavorful, low- calorie, low-fat, good-carb renditions that taste as good, if not better. That's what my Now Eat This! books are all about. Think fried chicken, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and chocolate ice cream. Yes, you can eat all that, if you prepare it using the techniques and recipes in my books.

I enjoy every molecule of food I eat. I eat frequently. In The Pound a Day Diet you'll enjoy all your meals and won't feel like you're on a diet at all. You'll lose the weight and keep it off, by following these fat loss principles:

• Your body needs good carbs, it needs good fats, and it needs lean protein. You should enjoy them in the right forms and the right amounts.

• Skip the gimmicks. Don't focus too much on high carb vs. low carb, or eliminating one type of food or another from your diet, or you'll miss the big picture.

• The big picture is this: You'll lose weight by using healthy calorie-corrected eating and regular physical activity to create a calorie deficit—and you'll maintain your weight loss by using the same tactics to keep in calorie balance.

• Both the quantity and the quality of the calories count. To lose weight, you've got to balance and upgrade your calories.

• A diet should focus what you can eat, and what you can eat more of, including low-calorie-density Diet Booster Foods like fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

• Healthy, rapid weight loss can be motivating and inspiring—but you need a maintenance plan for the rest of your life that combines healthy eating and physical activity.

• The perfect diet for you is the healthy one you can live with and enjoy, over the long haul, and is based on a pattern like the Mediterranean diet for overall health and weight control.

• A diet means lifelong pleasure.

• Don't deny yourself—indulge!

• Be flexible, but focus on working toward your target of a healthy weight.

• Snacks and treats are an essential food group.

The Skinny on Weight Loss Success

This diet experience was revolutionary for me. I'm pretty stupefied, dumbstruck, and shocked at how good it is. The results of the diet on my body have been unbelievable, and it was easy! I was on it for sixty-five days. I started at 146 pounds. At the end of seven days I was at 140 pounds. At the end of sixty-five days I was down to 124.2. And my body-fat percentage was as low as 21.2 percent.

My mother is a jazz musician who worked nights, so dinner and meals were not set in our family at all. She's a great mother, but we were often left to get our own food as teenagers. We were never exposed to home-cooked meals. It was a pizza pie or whatever we could grab. We were all healthy kids, we were athletes, and so it never really showed on us. We were thin and petite and basically got away with it for a long time.

As an adult, the thought of being able to plan a meal or sit down for one just was never an option. I'd often grab whatever was easiest, like two major handfuls of M&M's.

As I entered my forties I realized that being thin wasn't coming naturally to me anymore. I found that my body was holding on to whatever fat it could.

When I started this program Rocco said, "I have to teach you how to eat." Because I work sometimes eighteen to twenty hours a day and I wasn't sure 850 calories a day was enough. It seemed daunting. But when saw all the food I could eat in a week, I was surprised. I thought, "Can I eat all this food?" I didn't want to have to throw it in the trash.

Rocco said, "You're going to lose a pound a day." And I did. That was the first thing that shocked me. The next thing that shocked me was that it stuck. I felt amazing the first month, and after that I felt phenomenal.


Excerpted from The Pound a Day Diet by Rocco DiSpirito. Copyright © 2014 Rocco DiSpirito. Excerpted by permission of Hachette Audio.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Recipe Index xi

Foreword Jeffrey A. Morrison, MB, CNS xv

Introduction xvii

Part 1 The Pound a Day Diet Weight Loss Principles

Chapter 1 You Can Lose Weight in as Little as Five Days 3

Chapter 2 Calorie Correction and the Secret of Diet Booster Foods 15

Chapter 3 Carb Correction and the Fat-Blasting Power of Slow Carbs 29

Chapter 4 Mediterranean Diet Rules Apply 37

Part 2 Phase 1-Rocco's Pound a Day Diet

Chapter 5 Just Days to a New You! 45

Chapter 6 Rocco's Pound a Day Diet Recipes 81

Part 3 Phase 2-Maintenance and More

Chapter 7 At Your Goal-What to Do Next 221

Chapter 8 Ten Minutes to Fitness-The Magic Pill for Fast, Healthy Weight Loss 242

Chapter 9 Cooking for Weight Loss 262

Chapter 10 On Your Way 276

Afterword 278

Resources 282

Index 290

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The Pound a Day Diet: Lose Up to 5 Pounds in 5 Days by Eating the Foods You Love 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have always hated diets, well, at least, I did. I tried them, but only to gain all of the weight that I lost right back. But, after two recent health crises involving my sister and me, she has developed diabetes and sleep apnea and I have developed high blood pressure, I have started to rethink that idea. Then, on Tuesday, I found Rocco’s book at Barnes and Nobles and I decided to start reading it right there in the store. It is just what we needed. Best of all, we love the meal plans. Don’t be alarmed by how low the calories are. Rocco uses fact based research to show how this will allow you to really drop those pounds. This book, like all of Rocco's books, is a must have for anyone who is serious about losing weight and making life changing choices. Buy it! I also want to send a huge thank you to whoever posted the link to The Hungry Chick Dieting Solution. Several months ago, I saw a woman on the train deeply engrossed in the book, so I asked her about it. She told me that The Hungry Chick Dieting Solution helped her lose ten real pounds and helped her stop a bunch of bad eating habits. I planned to order it months ago, but I honestly forgot the name. I didn’t make the same mistake twice when I saw it tonight. I read the sample chapter and like that it focuses on long term results. I have already ordered copies for both my sister and I. Between that book and Rocco’s, I am going to get our lives back on track. Hope this helps other people. 
BornToRead75 More than 1 year ago
What an awesome book. He gives a detailed guide to sensible weight loss and has such an engaging writing style. He's really thought about his system and it shows. A quick weight loss to begin with in an encouragement that will hopefully inspire you to continue on with the Meditteranian portion of the diet filled with great good and healthy fats. I won't lie, I also look at the cover and hope that I find a man that look like him when I drop these extra pounds. 
gmastro More than 1 year ago
This book is about 1/2 as helpful as I expected. It seems to be very much the type of eating plan that would discourage you. I found the cost of many of the suggested foods to purchase if unable to make recommended recipe were quite expensive. It also seemed there was no room to switch around the suggested mails. It is not explained very well. My husband was the person who wanted the book to follow because he thought Rocco would have some great tasting "Italian" foods. He was also disappointed. Also 800 calories a day is rather low plus most of the suggested meals to buy have sodium amounts due to being preserved. Maybe not important if you do not have health issues.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All of the diet trendy items aside the recipes themselves are very realistic ways for you to change the way you cook the foods you love. I have the now eat this diet book and I think that in this new one he tries to discuss in more detail some quicker result ideas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have made a few of these recipes already and they are super fast and easy. I've made the egg rolls and the thai noodles a few times already. They are delicious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Very personable. Love you, Rocco!
helenstam More than 1 year ago
I was excited to receive this book, but some of the ingredients in the meal plan are not for me. It's very few calories which made me feel very hungry. I wasn't thrilled...another diet book on the shelf!
wackeymackey More than 1 year ago
I don't have access to many of the ingrediants needed for most of the dishes. Not going to work for me....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is a good idea but there is noooo way i could afford to buy all those groceries...if he had a budget grocery list and recipes added too..that would be dissapointed because i really wanted to try thid diet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I have a hard time buying into the entire claim, there are lots of smart and useful and tasty ideas in this book. Worth having as a reference, even if not committed to the whole program
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WJean More than 1 year ago
Many good recipes in this book.
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I am very sorry I bought this book, especially because I bought it for my NOOK and now it is nonreturnable. UGH. Totally NOT what I had hoped, especially after seeing Rocco on The View to '"showcase" some of the recipes. Disappointed in the Per Serving part of the recipes, sugar amount per serving is not listed with the calorie, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, fiber and protein... THAT would have been nice to have! Just totally bummed that I am stuck with this book....SIGH.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago