Lemme diet

Lemme diet: what it is, how it works, and contraindications

It is a rather controversial diet, conceived by a pharmacist who has become a public figure for his appearances on TV and is based on the abandonment of the concept of calorie and on the reasoned combination of specific foods that are able to burn fat by virtue of the contrast between acid and alkaline. So here is what the Lemme diet is, how it works, what it provides, and what are the possible contraindications.

What is the Lemme diet?

The father of this diet is called Alberico Lemme, originally from Chieti but active for years in Brianza and specifically in Desio; after working in a pharmacy, he began to devote himself to nutrition and came to found an Academy of Food Philosophy, accompanied by a school to teach how to “cook simple foods in a healthy and tasty way”, the Ristolemme restaurant where “you lose weight by eating “Available to patients and finally a monthly subscription app that delivers” personalized menus “.

Lemme defines his food philosophy – which he never calls diet, in order not to incur sanctions – as a “counter-current and avant-garde thinking” based on a slimming mechanism and on the effectiveness of eating to lose weight, where food is used as a drug, in “Biochemical-hormonal key”.

How the Lemme diet works

This regimen promises to enable major weight loss in no time. Its proposal is surprising because it is rich in carbohydrates and proteins but, contrary to the dictates of the classic Mediterranean Diet, it strictly prohibits the intake of fruit and vegetables, as well as sugar and salt, because they make you fat – in particular, sugar, fruit, and vegetables stimulate insulin

Furthermore, the timing of food intake and the glycemic index of foods play a central role: if it is high, glucose is formed in the blood, while if it is low it is not formed and it is possible to regulate the sense of satiety and weight. In the so-called Lemme diet, in fact, calories do not count, but food combinations, and therefore it is possible to eat pasta and fried foods for breakfast or rabbit meat, even whole, for dinner. One of the names with which it has become famous is the “ spaghetti diet for breakfast ” because carbohydrates are allowed (even in large quantities) but only in the very first part of the day; the traditional scheme provides:

  • Breakfast before 9.30 in the morning.
  • Snack between 10 and 11.
  • Lunch between 12 pm and 2 pm.
  • Snack between 4 and 5 pm.
  • Dinner between 7 pm and 9 pm.

As mentioned, another peculiarity lies in the absolute absence of calculating the calories of food. And the elimination of limitations in quantities.

This method has also become fashionable because there have been various famous Italian people who have followed it, such as Iva Zanicchi, Flavio Briatore, Simona Tagli, or recently Al Bano and Serena Grandi.

The two phases of the Lemme diet

The typical path of Lemme’s food philosophy is divided into two phases: In the first, the patient (defined as a “pupil” or “cadet”, although there is no lack of experience of those who have been called “fat” – just one of the reasons why many dispute with the self-styled doctor ) must remain in constant contact with Lim and receive over the phone his tips on foods to eat; this “slimming” lasts a month and some rules must be respected.

For example, it is forbidden to use salt (even in pasta water) as well as sugar, sweeteners, vinegar, milk, and derivatives; no even to the consumption of bread, and the only carbohydrates allowed are those of pasta (always to be cooked without salt); instead, it is possible to use olive oil as a condiment (and in quantities to taste), preferably an extra virgin, chili, pepper, parsley, garlic, lemon, sage, rosemary, basil, thyme, onion and bran for breading; it is possible to cook the dishes in the preferred way (including frying), but you can only drink water (even sparkling water), tea and coffee, always without sugar.

Respect for timetables is fundamental and there is also great attention to combinations between foods, and for example, meat and pasta should never be consumed together and, more generally, carbohydrates and proteins must not be combined (as in other dissociated diets ).

The typical menu of the weight loss phase, spread over three days. Includes breakfast with artichokes/pasta, oil, and chili/strawberries plus coffee; for lunch, Florentine/chicken breast/veal fillet always with coffee; for dinner, sea bream/sole/sea bass drinking coffee.

After reaching the desired quota with weight loss, the ” maintenance ” phase begins, which lasts three months and “is based on personal taste, with the possibility of nourishing oneself by eating everything without ever gaining weight”. In this period, some previously prohibited foods can be reintroduced, to gradually accustom the body to the reintegration of all nutrients, but there are restrictions on salt, sugar, and sweeteners, cow’s milk, and vinegar.

Criticism of the Lemme diet

Underlying this dissociated diet are some shareable ideas – for example, regulating meal times, which can actually affect how the body absorbs nutrients, as confirmed by studies of the human circadian cycle.

But the complex of the “Lemme diet” is based on not scientifically proven and even risky concepts: for example, there is no scientific basis in suggesting that one can eat even a kilo of pasta in the morning if the person feels like it, or that you can eat at will in the first part of the day.

Even worse is the ban on the consumption of fruit and vegetables, which can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies: these foods, moreover, are also positive for the microbiota, the set of bacteria present in the intestine and which contribute to maintaining health.

Finally, the total exclusion of salt is controversial: nutritionists agree in advising to limit its intake. But excluding it suddenly can lead to dizziness, weakness, and sudden drops in blood pressure.


There is another critical element in this food philosophy, namely the significant weight loss that “guarantees” immediately: every diet must in fact provide for a gradual weight reduction, which results in the elimination of fat and not (also) of muscle mass and noble tissues, which is irreparable damage.

The Lemme diet is also absolutely high-protein and is based on a  strong imbalance between foods, which can lead to overloading the work for the liver and kidneys.

Finally, due to its characteristics, it cannot be followed by those suffering from low blood pressure or by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Ultimately, this diet seems to be anything but a good way to reduce weight and get back in shape – by the way, there is no mention of physical activity, which is actually considered “deleterious”: the better. look for other models to follow, based on a dietary education more oriented to the health and psychophysical well-being of the person and focused on complete, regular, healthy, and balanced meals, in the right quantities and proportions, as advised by real experts and the world scientific.

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