83ºF

The Mojito Diet: Drop pounds while enjoying mojitos

About 45 million of us go on a diet every year in the United States.

While we might be able to drop weight at first, as few as 5% manage to keep it off long-term. For a lot of us, the deprivation felt while dieting may be a key factor in that failure.
It's also why a new weight loss plan with a Miami twist is raising eyebrows and gaining followers.

Mojitos are synonymous with South Florida's Latin flavor. Now the rum-based beverage is finding its way into a doctor-designed diet plan.

Dr. Juan Rivera said the reason is simple.

"The No. 1 risk for cardiovascular events in this country is obesity so if you want to reduce cardiovascular risk, you have to help patients lose weight."

So this cardiologist created the mojito diet.

"Mojito is refreshing and a part of celebrating, and I want people to think about losing weight as a celebration of their health," Rivera said. 

Behind the catchy title is a meal plan that allows for two mojitos, or any drink of your choice, per week.

So what do you eat?

The first week is high in protein, low in carbs and allows for some healthy fats. 

"That's going to kick-start your metabolism. It's going to make you lose weight," he explained. 

The second week of the diet allows for good carbs, and here's a twist: Three out of the seven days patients on the plan need to fast for 16 hours.

Ana Gravier has been trying to lose weight for years. Her take on sticking with this plan: "You alternate week to week, and it's like almost giving your body a boost and a different reaction."

Gravier said she's had little success with diets until now.

"It's, like, life-changing because I'm able to follow and do it day to day without even thinking it's a diet and a sacrifice I'm going through."

The proof is in the pounds. She lost 25 pounds in four months and said even during the intermittent fasting sessions, she never felt deprived.  

"It's really worked."

Rivera does not consider his plan just a fix for weight loss.

He said if patients go back to their previous eating habits, they'll likely regain all the weight they lost and possibly even more.