When you hear the name, you might think that the Rice Diet is just another wacky diet fad. The assumption couldn't be further from the truth.
What Is The Rice Diet?
The Rice Diet is a three-phase, low-fat, out-patient program for people who want to achieve total wellness. The clinic has been operating in Durham, North Carolina, since 1939, and has helped many people overcome health-related problems such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and heart disease. The average time most people spend at the facility is four to eight weeks; some people come for as little as two weeks, and others stay until they have achieved all of their weight and health goals. The staff at the Rice Diet Center understand that diet is only one part of a total wellness program, and they explore the psychology of behaviours that lead to poor health habits in order to help people conquer those poor habits.
How Much Does It Cost?
Treatment and supervision at the Rice Diet Center costs $2300 for the first week, $1000 for the second week, $800 for the third week, and $700 for the fourth week. Weeks five through twelve are $539 each, and each week after twelve is $490. Those rates include a physical examination, routine lab work, daily classes and activities, 21 meals each week, and daily medical care. Lodging is not included in the price. Also not covered are elective individual therapy and special workshops. The costs for the program are not covered by Medicare or third-party insurers, but some of those costs may be tax-deductible.
What Kind Of Diet Is It?
The Rice Diet program is a very low-fat vegetarian plan -- at least for the first two phases. Phase one, which should be followed only under close medical supervision, permits only grains and fruits. Phase two allows vegetables, beans, and a weekly serving of fish. You stay on this vegetarian regimen until your goal is reached, when you may proceed to phase three. Phase three adds non-fat dairy products and additional fish. At no time is caffeine allowed, and salt is highly restricted.
What Classes Are Offered?
Classes are taught by a diverse staff of very highly-educated and respected personnel, including Dr. Robert Rosati, Kitty Rosati RN, and Dr. Francis Neelon. Other staff include fitness and yoga instructors, clinical psychologists, and religious leaders. The diverse staff is well-equipped to handle the needs of the whole person as total wellness is pursued.
Among the various classes offered at the clinic as part of the program are sessions like these:
- The Biology of Disregulated Eating
- Conflict Resolution
- Cooking Classes
- Craving Management
- Emotional Eating
- Meal Planning
- Mindfulness Meditation for Binge Eating
- Recovering From Relapse
- Staying Motivated: Exercise Tips to Last a Lifetime
- Tips for Eating Out
- Understanding and Interpreting Food Labels
What Will The Day Be Like?
A sample schedule for a typical weekday at the Rice Center might look something like this:
- 7:30 a.m., medical check-in
- 8:00 a.m., breakfast
- 9:45 a.m., yoga and stretching
- 11:15 a.m., support groups
- 12:00 p.m., lunch
- 1:30 p.m., lectures and classes
- 5:00 p.m., dinner
Individual exercise, individual therapy, socializing, and other wellness-centered activities are encouraged throughout the day, and on certain days special programming is provided -- like the weekly Fireside Chat, a question and answer session with Dr. Rosati and Dr. Neelon.
Does It Work?
The staff at the Rice Diet Center have compiled amazing statistics on the numbers of people who have been helped by the program.
- Diabetes: a vast majority of diabetic patients who followed the program were able to discontinue or decrease their need for injected insulin, or to stop taking or take less oral medication. Fasting blood sugars decreased dramatically, and blood pressure and lipid profiles improved.
- Heart Disease: 86 percent of patients showed lowered cholesterol levels.
- Hypertension: 68 percent of patients were able to completely discontinue all blood pressure medications, and 24 percent were able to decrease their dosages. In addition, blood pressures were significantly reduced in a majority of patients.
- Obesity: Most patients lost an average of one-half to one pound daily while at the center, and many reported continued weight loss after returning home. Sixty-three percent of patients contacted after one year reported that they had maintained their weight loss or had continued to lose after leaving the treatment facility.