The Gov's diet

(April 15, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Governor Huckabee attributes his loss of 100 pounds to a tried and true formula -exercise and eating healthy foods in modest amounts. The governor said he had tried various trend diets that rely on low-carb and low-fat extremes. But Huckabee said he couldn't keep the weight off until he joined a 15-week Weight Control Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences last June. Huckabee says health is the issue, not weight or looks. He was prompted by a diabetes diagnosis and the death of his friend former Governor Frank White, who had a heart attack. He won't say how much he weighed when he began dieting. The U-A-M-S program is for "chronic adult obesity" and puts patients through three stages: a liquid diet, reintroduction of food, and weight stabilization with long-term maintenance. It's no easy feat. In the first phase of the program, participants eat only small amounts of regular food, consuming between 800 and one-thousand calories per day through a powder-based, low-calorie beverage that has carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. When participants are at five percent above their goal weight they are gradually re-introduced to food and plan a diet with a doctor and a dietician. Dieters lose weight at a steady pace. They have weigh-ins, calorie-counting classes, therapy and are in close communication with their doctors. Program doctors say they want it to be a lifestyle change and the last diet participants ever use.