This is a post I've been meaning to write for a long time, as it comes up periodically on a lot of online forums for this diet and that dead horse gets beat to death yet once again. I figured it was time to weigh in on zucchini and why we can't have it (the quick answer is: Because Dr. Mike said so.....but there is more to the answer than just that).
Per Dr. Mike on 1/16/2013: The foods listed in your book under the Cultural Exceptions chapter are substitutions which can slow your weight loss down. Unless you will walk away and not try this diet without them, they should not be used. Use only the foods listed in the chapters for Cycles 1, 2, and 3.
The Great Zucchini Debate!
We all know we need to become familiar with the foods listed in the book for C1, as well as the additions to the C1 food list for the alternating days of C2.
We also know that C3 is the most liberal of the cycles, with the most amount of foods allowed before considering going on the Maintenance.
But there is always that question of "WHY oh WHY can't I have zucchini on C1? It's listed in the Cultural Exceptions chapter for Persian, so tell me why I can't eat it too."
It depends on whether you want to maximize your weight loss or not and whether you want to second-guess the author of this diet. He has told us a few of the reasons he chose the foods he chose (low carb, low on the glycemic index, etc.), but he hasn't told us all of them. Nor is he likely to, in my opinion.
Some people don't care if their loss is slow. It's your choice, after all. And everyone's bodies respond to food differently.
It's my feeling that if he wanted us to eat these foods in C1, they would have been included in the food list for C1 and not on an "exception" list. The Cultural Exceptions chapter is (in my opinion and impression) for those who, if they could not have some of the foods listed, would not continue on this diet. Dr. Mike agrees with this.
In C1, don't look at the foods you cannot have instead of all the food you can have and justify eating some of those non-allowed foods.
I know it doesn't seem like that to you or like you're trying to second-guess Dr. Mike, but sit back and really think about it. Why not just follow the diet as written and wait for the cycle where those foods are introduced?
"Oh sure, Simmie," you say. Such a strong position to take. Hard-a** even.
Yes it is -- and it's because I've found the closer I stick to the foods listed for each cycle, the better I was at losing weight. Zucchini in particular, hindered my losses in C1 (this was before I realized it's not allowed until C3).