Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How I did it

 I know, I know, I know! This is a blog on street photography, but just for today it’ll become a dietary blog.

Been street photographer in Miami is not easy: the heat/humidity is unbearable, especially for the Northern creature like me – plus, I gained a lot of weight in the last few years, which doesn’t help at all. The biggest recoded number was around 235 lbs. And I’m 5’11” tall, so that’s a lot. But the solution found me and here I am, 45 pounds less, shooting in the streets with stupid smile on my face (BTW the stupid smile, also known as SSM, is a valuable asset for any photographer and a "must have" for a street photographer).

Ok, now let’s get to the point.

I have a lot of info on this diet, the recipes and advices, if anybody got interested enough to give it a try I will continue the topic here in this blog. This diet was first published in 1999 I think, in Israeli newspaper, by Kim Protasov. I do not know if the publication was in Russian or it was in Hebrew, but the version I have is in Russian. My sister has recommended it to me. This diet is very popular in Russia and it worked really well for her (she lost 50 lbs in a few months). I know that she and I were done by the Maker the same way, so I gave it a try and it worked for me really well, too. My peers here in Miami started asking questions (I went from been XXL size to L in 3 months), so I decided to translate the original document to English (sorry for typos, I’m Russian after all). I added some comments based on my experience. Ok, here is the original publication:


The length of the diet is five weeks.

FIRST WEEK DAY ONE, as well as day second, third, and so the whole week you eat ONLY: raw vegetables, cheeses and yogurts. The cheese and yogurt have to be 5% fat or less (not 5% fat of daily norm per portion as usually stated on the label but 5% of total product weight, so do the math! I recommend plain yogurt and plain kefir, see – at least that is what I used for the diet. Plain means less sugar, much healthier). You can eat all of this as much as you like! Plus, one boiled egg a day is permitted. And, you can eat any time! Again, you can eat as much vegetables and dairy products as you like as long as you stay inside the five percent of fat for dairy products. Tea and/or coffee is ok in any quantities (of course without milk and sugar, and I do not recommend any of the sugar substitutes). Water is mandatory; drink at least two quarts a day. So, feeling a little sad? Ok, have three green apples a day. (I recommend eating them with tea – they are sour and the tea is to compensate this. Besides, I like it this way. ‘Granny Smith’ is ok. – E.S.) But that’s it, for the first 2 weeks.

You are free to use the food products specified above in any combination. You can eat cucumbers with Feta Cheese (5% fat or less). Or, eat tomatoes and sweet peppers, dipping them in yogurt or kefir (5% fat or less!). Or, chop the huge portion of salad from all the vegetables you have, top it with sliced boiled egg and cheese (again, 5% fat or less).

You should not be suffering from hunger when on this diet. Eat in the morning, during the day, in the evening, at night – as many times as you like, as much as you like, all the first week. And, repeat this pattern through the second week, too. It is amazing how soon you are going to lose your appetite for anything but what’s the diet says. Many even pass on the egg. (but not me – E.S.)

At the end of the second week you’ll feel really good, both physically and mentally. With no fat, meat and sugar coming in your body you will be filled with the energy.

Starting the THIRD WEEK, add 300 grams (about 0.7 lbs) of meat, poultry or fish/lobster/shrimp etc. Now, this should be boiled, steamed, fried or anything else, but without any fat added! If you are going to fry it up, put no oil in the pan. And please, eat less cheeses and yogurts from now on.

All of this you’ll eat for THREE MORE WEEKS and you’re done!!! That is all folks, the diet is done. In 3 weeks after the beginning of the diet you’ll start losing weight, in 5 weeks it will become obvious to everyone around you.

The weight loss is most intense in the last 2 weeks of the diet (and AFTER THE DIET, if you keep your new eating habits and just carefully add some “safe” food slowly, see my graph above. More on this below – E.S.)

Actually after the diet you’ll have to work hard to force yourself to eat bread with butter, fried potatoes or dumplings. You aren’t going to need it (true in my case. While I can eat any of these, I do not miss it at all. – E.S.)

This diet is not just for weight loss. I recommend everybody going through it at least once a year, even for those of you who do not have excess weight. This diet will cleanse your body better than anything else. (Not sure about this, but I definitely feel great after the diet. My health improved dramatically, my blood pressure went down to normal, I jog and run longer distance with unbelievable ease, I do not have any heart issues and I had them before the diet, etc, etc – but I lost a lot of weight (42 pounds) and still going down – E.S.).

Ok, let’s repeat the essentials of the proposed diet:

- Raw vegetables
- All kinds of cheeses and yogurts with 5% or less fat.
- One boiled egg
- Three green apples
- Coffee, tea, water (at least 2 quarts)

Do not forget that all this in any quantity and at any time of day.


All the same, plus a piece of meat, poultry or fish.
Cut on cheese and yogurt (0.7-08 lb less).


Here are my remarks:

Full daily dose of vitamins is a must during and after the diet.

During and after the diet I actually out of all the possibilities (meat/poultry/fish etc) finally settled on shrimp. Well, I like shrimp a lot and I can buy it cooked and frozen in Costco, easy to prepare, so why not? That is just me of course. I also eat some chicken (boiled) and fish (fried), but not very often. I eat sushi/sashimi when I have a chance (not too often, like twice a week).

If anybody got interested, give me a buzz here in comments or send me e-mail, I’ll make another post on what to do after the diet, but in short – I added cooked vegetables (a lot!), little bread, little oil, some rice, fruits other than green apples, berries, fresh and dried. Some chicken, shrimp (that’s my favorite), sushi and sashimi. The yogurts, cheeses and kefirs become 0% fat to compensate for the additional fat I have now.

I think that’s it.

Also bear in mind that I’m not a Dietologist; my degree is in Physics, not in Nutrition. Talk to your doctor, tell him/her what you are going to eat and for how long, and you’ll be safe. (This is a piece of an advice I gladly give to everybody all the time while not following it myself).

The Russian sources for the diet are many. I’ll point to just one:

Now let’s go back to the subject of street photography:)


  1. BTW: I am now 77 kg AKA 172 lbs, settled on this weight and comfortable with it.

  2. emir, thank you for sharing this with us. Just wondering if you could help me understand far as the %of the dairy fat, cheese etc..i live in USA and all my friends in russia loved the results of the protasov diet. please help me figure out the the yogurt, etc..fat %...
    thank you so much

    1. Hi Marina, lets go by example. Here is the label:

      some label

      to calculate total % of fat in the product you need serving size's weight (see on top, it says 114g) and weight of the fat in this portion (it says 3g). 3g is 2.6% (3*100/114=26). So this particular product has 2.6% of fat in it.
      Please bear in mind that the yogurt should be plain. My advice is to try all the products you are going to use in your diet before you started it, just to make sure you and can if not like then at least digest them.

  3. Hello, can you tell me please a day menu (for the first week) to make myself a plan.
    Tkank you so much.

    1. Andreea, I don't have one. May be this will help:
      Just do not include any yogurts or kefirs with sugar added, eat only "plain" type. See above comment for the fat content calculations.

  4. I am 14 and am looking forward to trying this. I always have a problem with reverting back to my old ways so i hope that this is the final solution for me. It sounds very promising. Thanks!!!

    1. Good luck, this diet should work and should be easy to do, but for myself, I discovered that to get the weight down I just need to stop eating any sugars, simple carbs (rice, bread, any grains, potatoes etc) and this will do the trick. Meat/fish/eggs and vegetables are ok. Kefir and plain yogurt ok. Some fruit/berries ok.