The Lemme diet: what it is and how it works

Conceived by the pharmacist Alberico Lemme, the Lemme diet is a food philosophy based on the exclusive consumption of carbohydrates and proteins, banishing fruit, vegetables, sweets and salt. Divided into two phases, one for weight loss and one for maintenance, the Lemme diet involves the consumption of meals at specific times to be strictly respected.

The foods allowed by the Lemme diet

Pasta, meat, fish and more. Here are all the foods allowed by the Lemme diet.

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© iStock Lemme diet: all the foods allowed by the food philosophy of the moment!

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The phases and times of meals provided by the Lemme diet

The Lemme diet includes a first phase where you lose weight until you reach the ideal one, and a second phase with a balanced three-month diet that allows you to feed without gaining weight. During the phase 2 of the Lemme diet, the glycemic index of foods and meal times are considered, without examining the calorie count.

In the Lemme diet, meal times are in fact fundamental: breakfast must be taken by 9.30 in the morning, lunch between 12 and 14 and dinner between 19 and 21. In addition, a snack-snack, between 10 and 11 and between 16 and 17 consisting of a lemon wedges and tea.

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The Lemme diet scheme: what to eat and what to ban

But what foods does the Lemme diet include? The basic rules of this food philosophy are the elimination of sugar, sweeteners, vinegar, bread, milk and derivatives and salt - even in the pasta water - and the exclusive consumption of unlimited quantities of pasta, meat and fish. A basic corollary on which this diet is based is to avoid combining meat and pasta. The typical day of a consumer of the Lemme diet includes pasta and carbohydrates for breakfast and meat or fish - rich in proteins - for lunch and dinner. The drinks allowed are water, even sparkling water, coffee and tea without sugar. Olive oil, preferably extra virgin, chilli, pepper, parsley, garlic, lemon, sage, rosemary, basil, thyme, onion, bran for breading can be used in free quantities. All types of cooking are allowed, including frying.

The allowed foods can be consumed in unlimited quantities, also because Dr. Lemme does not consider their caloric value but the biological one. The diet proposed by Lemme by virtue of these theories is a diet that favors fats and proteins, while almost completely excludes fruit and vegetables from the menu. Carbohydrates should be taken in the form of pasta only in the morning, since in this way they are better disposed of, while meat and fish proteins must be reserved for lunch and dinner.

Since carbohydrates and proteins should not be consumed in the same meal, the Lemme method can be considered to all intents and purposes a dissociated diet.

Being forced to eat rather bland foods it is difficult to follow it for long periods because it has few classes of foods, so in the long run it can get tired. It can be difficult, especially initially, to eat certain types of food - such as pasta - in the morning.

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An example of the Lemme diet menu

Diet example

1st and 2nd day:
BREAKFAST: turkey + coffee
LUNCH: beef fillet + coffee
DINNER: swordfish + coffee

3rd and 4th day:
BREAKFAST: pasta, oil and chilli + coffee
LUNCH: chicken breast + coffee
DINNER: sole + coffee

5th and 6th day
BREAKFAST: artichokes + coffee
LUNCH: Florentine + coffee
DINNER: sea bream + coffee

7th and 8th day:
BREAKFAST: pasta, oil and chilli + coffee
LUNCH: chicken breast + coffee
DINNER: sole + coffee

9th and 10th day
BREAKFAST: strawberries + coffee
LUNCH: veal fillet + coffee
DINNER: sea bass + coffee

11th and 12th day
BREAKFAST: pasta, oil and chilli + coffee
LUNCH: chicken breast + coffee
DINNER: sole + coffee

13th and 14th day
BREAKFAST: polpelmo + coffee
LUNCH: Hamburger cockerel + coffee
DINNER: swordfish + coffee
15th and 16th day
BREAKFAST: pasta, oil and coffee pepper
LUNCH: beef fillet + coffee
DINNER: sole + coffee


17th and 18th day
BREAKFAST: omelette + coffee
LUNCH: chicken breast + coffee
DINNER: sea bream + coffee

19th and 20th day
BREAKFAST: pasta, oil and chilli + coffee
LUNCH: beef fillet + coffee
DINNER: sole + coffee

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The recipes of the Lemme diet

To follow this diet to the letter, you have to forget about sweets, fruits and vegetables and stock up on carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Therefore, you can indulge yourself with recipes that include these foods, but obviously forget about salt and seasonings. But what are the ideal recipes for the Lemme diet? For breakfast, you can opt for pasta with oil and chilli, spaghetti with tuna and lemon or penne with artichokes - three variants of pasta very suitable as they are tasty enough to make up for the total lack of salt.

Another perfect recipe for lunch or dinner, which instead prefer proteins, is the baked sea bream. Other types of fish suitable for followers of the Lemme diet are sea bass baked in foil and Catalan grouper. Perfect grilled chicken breast for meat lovers. Obviously all without salt.

Vegetarian lemme diet

There is also a vegetarian lemme diet that takes into account those who do not eat meat and fish, two basic foods for this type of diet. But then, how to replace the proteins guaranteed by these two foods? Do not worry, there are foods rich in vegetable proteins that allow to guarantee an adequate daily requirement for those who exclude meat and fish from their diet.

The vegetarian lemme diet includes a large dose of vegetables, allowing the consumption of artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms, onions and spinach, foods that the normal lemme diet allows only in the second phase, that of maintenance.

Harm and contraindications of the Lemme diet

Although praised by many, some say the Lemme diet would be bad for you. So what are the damages, contraindications and side effects of the Lemme diet? It seems that this diet could lead to kidney and liver problems, as it would excessively fatigue them due to the large amounts of protein - meat in the first place - that it provides. Drinking a lot of water, at least two liters a day, could partially avoid this risk. However, it is advisable not to choose this type of diet if you already have liver and kidney problems.

The Lemme diet would also be not recommended for those who regularly suffer from pressure drops: the absolute lack of salt and the absence of sweets and sugars could cause dizziness, fainting and the classic feeling of weakness.

In any case, before starting any type of diet, it is advisable to consult a dietician or nutritionist to obtain advice and indications based on your characteristics and problems, avoiding unnecessary damage.

Is it possible to do the Lemme diet during pregnancy?

Absolutely not! The Lemme diet is not recommended for pregnant women as due to the particular consumption of food, it could lead to significant imbalances, harmful to the growth and development of the fetus. In any case, every pregnant woman should follow the directions and advice of her gynecologist without improvising into dangerous DIY diets that could prove to be quite harmful.

And while breastfeeding? Is the Lemme diet recommended or is it better to avoid it?

Even during the breastfeeding phase it is better to avoid doing the Lemme diet, always for the same reasons listed above. The absence of sweets and salt and the important consumption of proteins, fats and carbohydrates could cause imbalances and disorders to the child who is in a fundamental phase of his development.

See also: Low glycemic index foods to lose weight without sacrifices

© iStock Low glycemic index diet: recommended foods

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