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Does the Cohen Diet Work?

By William Curtis Md

The Cohen weight loss program is dieting program focusing on specific blood work results to determine the right proportions of food types (Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat) for the individual patient. Brought to life by a South African cardiologist the diet implies that everyone contains a slightly different need for food types which is why extreme diets models like Atkin's Diet (Low Carb) or DASH (Low salt/fat) don't always work for everyone.

The Cohen diet is offered through clinics throughout South Africa and now some in the US. You pay about $250 for the diet which is not going to include the special blood work and analysis. There aren't any supplments suggested or required.

Typically, I believe there's differences for every person. Some individuals get slimmer amazingly quickly on lower carb diets, others the progress is limited. I know of patients that actually slightly increased their carbohydrate portions and noticed improved energy and fat reduction.

The Cohen Diet plan certainly has some positive points, considering that it doesn't recommend stimulants and gimmicks towards weight reduction. It can also be flexibile for individual patient characteristics.

With that being said, the Cohen diet proponent site has the following statement:

Warning: Beware of imitations!

Unfortunately, like with any good thing that works, many people over the years have tried to copy Dr. Cohen's work and eating program. All of them have failed because they do not have access to his years of research results and special analysis techniques. So please be careful about claims of "ours is similar to Dr. Cohen's program". Your health is not something to take a chance on!

As a physician, I do not rely on magic formulas. The body will certainly prefer certain combinations of foods. In reality, those requirements will fluctuate based upon stressors, illness, etc. Skip the fancy tests! Focus on limiting simple sugars, especially soda, beer, breads, cereals and processed food. (I've come across patients lose 15 pounds in a month by stopping soda)

Look into regular intake of quality fats, high quality protein (Fish, Chicken, turkey, beef) as well as the many fruit and veggies you would like. This approach allows folks to discover their own personal balance as they assess their particular energy, body fat and emotional balance.

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