The natman diet is an express weight loss method that lasts only four days. During these few days, the strict dietary program only allows the consumption of lean protein, green vegetables and low sugar fruits. This diet promises a weight loss of 4 kg in 4 days. It should be followed by a week of low-calorie stabilization.
Characteristics of the natman diet:
- Also known as the flight attendant regime
- Drastic diet that promises sudden weight loss
- Based on a low-calorie and high-protein diet
- Recommended maximum duration of 4 days
The main principles of the regime
The Natman regime, also known as the “flight attendant” regime, is a very short term (4 days) regime. This very short time frame would correspond to the duration of the flight attendants’ stopovers, who took advantage of their return to the mainland to eliminate excess food during flights.
How does the natman diet work?
The Natman diet promises to lose 4 kg in 4 days. It is based on the consumption of meat and vegetables in a concept of low-calorie (reduced-calorie) and high-protein meals. The reduction of lipids (fat) and carbohydrates (sugars) are therefore the two pillars of this diet. Some so-called “all-you-can-eat” foods prevent you from feeling hungry. It is advisable to take vitamin and mineral supplements even if the risk of deficiency is almost zero due to the very short period of diet. It is very important to follow this diet to the letter to get results: no deviations are allowed. It is also necessary to respect certain rules such as avoiding snacking between meals, avoiding sweet drinks, banning alcoholic beverages or avoiding oil-based seasonings and dishes in sauce.
How does the natman diet make you lose weight?
According to the author, during a protein diet, the body will draw on the reserves of fat and sugar that the daily diet no longer provides. This is what will mainly lead to weight loss. Also, as this diet is rich in protein, it would prevent the muscles from melting. Finally, the fact of not consuming salt or little salt would make it possible to “destock” part of the water that would be in the tissues. According to the author, this diet is simple, very fast, effective, and is particularly suitable for people with a slight excess of weight. Low-calorie diets are all based on the principle of limiting daily energy intake to between 1000 and 1600 kcal per day or less.
How long does the diet last?
The natman diet lasts 4 days, it is not advisable to go further because of the very restrictive nature of this diet. Some variants exist: the 8-day natman diet, the one-week natman diet, etc. However, it is strongly discouraged to extend the scheme to these excessively long periods. After the 4 days of pure diet, it is recommended to follow the stabilization phase of the natman diet for 7-8 days.
Permitted and prohibited foods in the natman diet
|Authorized foods||Prohibited foods|
and dairy products
, pastries, pastries,
Here is a typical one-day natman diet menu:
|Morning||1 cup (250 ml) sugar-free tea
|Noon||150 g grilled steak without fat
Lettuce and tomatoes in salad with lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil
|Evening||2 hard-boiled eggs
Green beans (at will)
Stabilization phase of the natman regime
After these 4 days of diet, a 7-day low-calorie menu is recommended (stabilization phase). It is then necessary to choose between a 1200, 1500 or 1800 kcal per day diet. Women are invited to follow the 1200 kcal diet and then the 1500 kcal diet. For men, it is advisable to start with the 1500 kcal diet and if hunger is present, increase to 1800 kcal.
|1200 kcal||1500 kcal||1800 kcal|
|Breakfast||1 tea, coffee or herbal tea without sugar
1 yoghurt 0% M.F
1 slice of wholemeal bread
2 tsp (10 g) margarine
|Ditto menu of 1200 kcal||Ditto menu 1200 kcal + 1 slice of wholemeal bread|
|Snack||100 g cottage cheese
1 tea, coffee or herbal tea without sugar
|1 fruit||Ditto menu 1500 kcal|
|Lunch||150 g red cabbage with 1 tbsp. vinaigrette
150 gr of salmon in papillote
150 gr of green beans
100 gr lean cottage cheese
1 fresh organic fruit with skin
|Menu 1200 kcal + 100 gr of steamed potatoes, with 1 hazelnut of margarine (5 gr)||Ditto menu 1500 kcal|
|Snack||1 yoghurt 0% M.F
1 tea, coffee or herbal tea without sugar
|Same as above||Same as above|
|Lunch||1 bowl of homemade vegetable soup (leek, onion, carrot, potato)
150 gr steamed chicken
200 gr broccoli with 10 gr margarine
1 slice of wholemeal bread
1 organic fruit with skin
|Same as above||Ditto menu 1200 kcal +
100 g mashed potatoes
1 portion of light cheese
|Snack||1 herbal tea||Same as above||Same as above|
*It is strongly recommended to take a vitamin and mineral supplement to avoid deficiencies during the diet.
Advantages and disadvantages
The positive points of the natman regime
- Satiety provided by protein intake
- Vegetables at will to avoid frustration
- Good fibre intake
- Very short period of time
- Fast weight loss
The negative points of the natman diet
- May cause food compulsions and periods of intense hunger
- No deviation allowed
- No alternative solution in the food programme
- Many prohibited foods
- Difficult to follow and maintain
- No notion of pleasure
- Not very compatible with an active social life
Recommendations and precautions to be taken
Are there any risks?
Some risks of the natman diet are mentioned by the author: digestive and intestinal transit disorders, fatigue, etc.
This diet is a risk and is not recommended, especially for the following people:
- Elderly people
- Pregnant women
- People with gastrointestinal disorders
In addition, this type of low-calorie diet (especially the 4 very drastic days) does not contain enough calories to reach the recommended intakes of vitamins and minerals. The American College of Sports Medicine states that women should consume at least 1200 calories per day, and men should consume at least 1800 calories per day to cover the body’s vital needs. In addition, a diet containing less than 1600 kcal per day does not seem to achieve the recommended nutrient intakes, mainly vitamin C, E, calcium and magnesium. Also, this type of diet restricts the consumption of many healthy foods that provide many nutrients. People on a high protein diet are at higher risk of vitamin B deficiency, which is mainly found in cereal products that are not very present in this diet.
Finally, in the short term (4 days) this diet cannot lead to any significant nutritional disorders. However, if you follow it for more than 4 days, it could lead to dietary deficiencies. It is therefore necessary to follow it very punctually and over the suggested period. This method is also not recommended for people suffering from obesity because it is ineffective in the long term. After these 4 days of drastic feeding, weight gain can be rapid. Beware of the yo-yo effect that it is better to avoid at all costs after a diet.
Is this a diet for you?
In general, this type of diet is not recommended for health. Indeed, protein diets (as proposed by the Natman diet) have been the subject of numerous scientific studies in the past. It is known that a high protein intake (1.1g/kg weight) would promote weight and fat loss… On the other hand, this weight change would be due to a loss of body water (diuretic effect) rather than a loss of fat mass. Indeed, when protein intake is very high, carbohydrate intake is rather low. The body therefore uses its low sugar reserves (glycogen) to keep its blood sugar levels stable. However, glycogen stores 3 g of water for every gram of glucose, so weight can decrease rapidly. Proteins are also used as an energy source when glycogen reserves are depleted, but they are also bound to water in the body (3g of water to 1g of protein). As a result, the weight indicated on the scale will be lower, but you will also be dehydrated and have lost little or no fat. Also, the fact that protein and high-protein diets occur over a very short period of time does not encourage long-term changes in habits to make this weight loss truly effective.
Is it a diet compatible with sport?
It is preferable to limit or even stop all physical activity during the 4 days of diet. On the other hand, the activity may be resumed normally as soon as the natman regime is terminated.
How can I not gain weight?
The Natman Diet would be too short to generate risks of weight gain (yo-yo effect) but only if it does not fall back into bad habits later.
To avoid weight gain, the natman method provides its own practical advice:
|Tips for losing weight||Tips for not gaining weight||Tips for not snacking|
|Set a reasonable goalDon’
t say you’re on a dietEatmore fibre and carbohydrates, less
fatChew and eat slowlyEat slowly
mealsWeigh once a weekCook andeat
|Drink 1.5 litres of water per day Take
3 complete mealsDo
not skip mealsConsuming
50 to 60% carbohydrates, 25 to 30% fat and 12 to 25% protein each dayConsuming
dietary fibreDo not
consume more calories than the body needsParticipating in
regular physical activityWalk Doinggaps from time to time
|Eat a good breakfastEliminate
all the fun foods from thecupboardsEat gumEat tea
slowly and chew wellEat
an apple if you are hungryAvoid
balanced snacks Prepare
vegetables (sticks) in advance if you want to snack
A few figures to go further
Scientific studies are clear on this subject, a calorie deficit is the reference for weight loss. In other words, it is therefore normal to lose weight when you consume fewer calories than you spend in a day. However, as with all low-calorie diets, this type of low-calorie diet reduces the basic metabolism (energy expended by the body at rest). As a result, weight gain is almost inevitable at the end of the diet. Very low-calorie diets have not been shown to be any better than conventional diets for long-term weight loss. Six studies comparing high-calorie diets with conventional low-calorie diets concluded that short-term weight loss was greater with high-calorie diets (16.1% versus 9.7% of initial weight), but there was no difference in long-term weight loss (6.3 versus 5.0%).
Our opinion on the natman diet
The Natman diet is, in my opinion, too drastic and does not encourage a change in eating habits and behaviour in the long term. These 4 days of diets seem ineffective, because the recovery of lost weight (mainly water) is inevitable. In addition, a diet that aims to eliminate certain critical food groups (fruits, fats, grains) is not a good option when it comes to healthy and sustainable weight loss.
A clinical engineer by training, I have always been interested in well-being and nutrition since an early age. On Gurze.com, I give my knowledge and tips on diets and nutrition in general. While I enjoy sharing my opinions on these subjects, you should always consult a health professional for more personalized answers on your case.