The "Just Eat Half" Diet

Losing weight is simply a matter of burning more calories than you eat, yet many diets are complicated and hard to follow. The Just Eat Half Diet is strategically positioned at the other end of the spectrum, aiming to provide an alternative weight-loss method that's as simple as the others are complex 2. The name of this diet sums it up tidily. Consult your doctor before starting this or any diet plan.

Origin of the Diet

Web developer Philip Simon created the Just Eat Half Diet when he wanted to lose weight without taking diet supplements, giving up certain foods or counting calories 2. He believed he ate a healthy diet, and attributed his weight gain to overeating. Simon claims he lost 18 lb. in two months after he simply started eating only half of whatever he was served. He also claims that he consulted a behavioral psychologist and a registered nutritionist who reviewed his diet method and found it had merit, although he does not include the names of these individuals or testimonials from them on his website.

The Premise

The Just Eat Half Diet is exactly what it sounds like -- you only eat half of any meal or item of food that you're planning to have 2. It's based on the simple, straightforward approach of cutting calories through portion control. Don't confuse portion size, or the amount of a food served in one sitting, with serving size, which is a standardized amount of a food used for dietary guidance. Evidence shows that portion control does reduce calorie intake, and that it is especially helpful with high-calorie foods, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1.

The Pros

The Just Eat Half Diet is an option for dieters who want to a simple approach to losing weight, don't want to count calories and want to continue eating their favorite foods while dropping pounds 2. Since giving up favorite foods or an entire food group can undo some dieters, this approach could work for those with enough self-control to put the fork down when half finished with a beloved desert, and not go back for second helpings during meals.

The Cons

Hunger can be problematic for some, and the diet's creator concedes that success depends on effort and discipline. Continuing to eat unhealthy foods -- even only half the usual amount -- could be bad for your health. In an excerpt from the book "Just Eat Half" on the diet's website, Simon discusses discusses the advantages of eating whole grains and calls refined grains, including white bread and white rice, less desirable, yet he endorses eating any type of food 2. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends replacing refined grains with whole grains because refined grains have little nutrition and act like sugar in the body, which increases the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.