Rice diet: how it works, examples, what to eat and CONTRAINDICATIONS

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Elia Tabuenca García
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Among the trendy diets for weight loss there is the rice diet which involves the use of this cereal, preferably in the wholemeal variant, to promote rapid weight loss. But how does it work and what else can you eat during the weeks of this low calorie diet? Are there any contraindications?

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Among the trendy diets for weight loss there is the rice diet which involves the use of this cereal, preferably in the wholemeal variant, to promote rapid weight loss. But how it works and what else can you eat during the weeks on this low calorie diet? Are there any contraindications?

Rice is a cereal traditionally used in oriental cuisines but which is also often consumed in our country as an alternative to pasta. Perfect for those on a gluten-free diet, rice, especially wholemeal rice, offers a series of advantages: it is rich in fiber, contains mineral salts and vitamins, it is not very caloric and is easily digested.


La rice diet was developed by the German doctor Walter Kempner for therapeutic purposes for the treatment of obese, hypertensive and diabetic patients. Since then, however, the rice diet has also been pioneered by people whose goal was simply to lose weight quickly enough and without being too hungry.

Let's see then how the rice diet works.



La rice diet exploits substantially 4 potential of rice which are: his satiating power, the presence of fibers, the low calorie intake and stimulation of diuresis.

Rice is more satisfying than pasta as it absorbs a lot of water during cooking but also because, because complex carbohydrate, needs a longer digestion time. All this is obviously an advantage for those on a diet and who do not want to feel hunger pangs between meals.

It is also indicated in low-calorie diets as 100 grams of rice (which are a lot) provide about 330 calories. Above all, the integral variant, then, is rich in fiber and therefore helps intestinal well-being by promoting regularity. Finally, thanks to the fact that rice is rich in potassium and low in sodium, this cereal is able to stimulate diuresis, a significant factor when you want to drop some weight.

In summary, the rice diet takes advantage of 4 properties of this food for faster weight loss:

• Satisfied
• It is rich in fiber
• Has a low calorie intake
• Stimulates diuresis

there two versions of the rice diet, the one structured in two phases, which starts from a very low caloric intake (800 calories) to reach 1200 calories per day (in the second phase); and the one that lasts 9 days plus the previous 3 of detoxification.

Two-step rice diet

La phase one of the rice diet is considered of detoxication, the caloric intake is in fact very low for the first few days and reaches only about 800 calories. Basically you eat rice (better if wholemeal) with a drizzle of oil, fruit and vegetables. This first phase, lasting a maximum of two weeks, is the one in which you lose the most and deflate a lot (especially the belly).

In second stage, which allows the intake of 1200 calories, you can also include legumes and lean animal proteins such as ricotta, some types of fish and chicken as well as raw vegetables, steamed or grilled, fresh or dried fruit and other types of cereals or pseudo cereals, preferably gluten-free. Very little salt and extra virgin olive oil are allowed for seasoning.

9 day rice diet

This variant of the rice diet consists of 2 very short phases given that overall this diet is followed for only 9 days plus the first 3 considered detoxification days. In the first phase, practically only rice is eaten and rice-based diet products (such as crackers) with a drizzle of oil and a little fruit and vegetables; in the following 9 days, lean proteins such as ricotta and chicken and larger portions of fruit and vegetables can be added.

In summary, the rice diet is:

• Low calorie

• Hypoproteica

• Rich in fiber

• It has rice as its main dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner

• Promises fast weight loss

• It is detoxifying


What is it possible to eat when following the rice diet? As the name implies, the main dish of this type of diet is rice, ubiquitous at lunch, dinner and breakfast along with a few other foods. This cereal can be consumed in one of its variants: basmati, venus, red or wild rice but always better if integral.


Other foods are also allowed: fruits and vegetables, other grains or pseudo whole grains (preferably gluten-free such as millet, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat) and dried legumes. As far as animal proteins are concerned, it is only possible to consume in moderation: low-fat cheese, low-fat fish, chicken. It is not possible to use condiments such as oils (with the exception of a little extra virgin olive oil), butter, fats, etc. Alcohol is also banned.


In summary, following the rice diet, you can eat:

• Brown rice
• Fruit
• Vegetables
• Mile
• Quinoa
• Amaranth
• Buckwheat
• Legumes
• Low-fat cheese
• Lean fish
• Chicken

Bandits instead:

Vegetable oils (if not a drizzle of olive oil)
• Butter
• Various fats
• Sugar
• Sweets

As always it is recommended to drink about 2 liters of water per day.


Here are some examples of a weekly menu if you choose to follow the rice diet. Naturally as always, we do not recommend doing it yourself and we suggest that you agree with a nutritionist a food plan designed specifically for your specific situation that concerns not only the goal of losing weight but also the presence of any ongoing pathologies to be taken into consideration.


Breakfast: 1 cup of brown rice, freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee or tea
Lunch: 1 cup of brown rice accompanied by vegetables and lean ricotta
Price: Mushroom risotto with vegetables


Breakfast: 1 cup of brown rice, fresh fruit, coffee or tea
Lunch: 1 cup of tomato brown rice with raw vegetables
Price: Fish risotto with raw vegetables


Breakfast: sweet rice cream, with red fruits and half a teaspoon of honey
Lunch: 1 cup brown rice with boiled cabbage and a glass of skim milk
Price: 1 cup brown rice with chicken breast and vegetables


Breakfast: 1 cup of brown rice, seasonal fruit, coffee or tea
Lunch: 1 cup brown rice with mixed salad
Price: Rice soup with vegetables, half a cup of beans


Breakfast: a glass of rice milk with 3 rice cakes, a thin layer of jam with a high fruit content.
Lunch: 1 cup brown rice with lean ricotta and tomatoes
Price: Rice with chicken broth and tomatoes


Breakfast: 1 cup of brown rice, freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee or tea
Lunch: 1 cup of brown rice with vegetables and a glass of skim milk
Price: 1 cup brown rice and steamed cod or sole with grilled vegetables


Breakfast: 1 cup of brown rice, dried figs, coffee or tea
Lunch: rice pasta topped with lean ricotta and vegetables
Price: 1 cup of brown rice with steamed shrimp and vegetables


The rice diet is a low-protein and low-calorie diet. The disadvantage of this, as of other trendy diets, is that it does not instill a correct dietary education by proposing instead a low-calorie diet to be kept sporadically and in which the breakdown of nutrients is not always balanced.

Among the contraindications there is certainly the large fluid loss which involves the first detoxifying phase and which can also lead to health consequences. We therefore always recommend that you seek the advice of your doctor before embarking on do-it-yourself diets (including rice diet).

It is also about a fairly monotonous diet in which rice is omnipresent and other foods can only be consumed sporadically. In the long run, therefore, one could even abandon the good purpose of losing weight. The minestrone diet (which we have already talked about) is very reminiscent both for the monotony in meals and for the low-calorie intake.



We asked Dr. Luca Giombini, nutritionist biologist, what he thinks of the rice diet. Here's what he told us:

“One of the main problems with this diet is the loss of a 'food consciousness'. This is one of the most important things, in my opinion: internalizing what it is right to consume and what it would be better to avoid, or at least limit, is the right way to have the correct choices at the table, which will lead to an improvement in our health and our physical form. Healthy weight loss is the result of a certain balance in the lifestyle that includes both nutrition and physical activity. Today's conception of 'I have to be thin' means that what is sought is not health, but the one and only weight loss. Attention! I have deliberately used the expression 'weight loss' and not 'slimming' because the two things do not coincide: the first is the simple reduction of the weight marked by the scales, while the second is the actual loss of adiposity. Having a lower weight does not necessarily mean that you are slimmer. Unbalanced diets give us, Furthermore, even false results. It is not possible to lose 3 or 4 kg of pure adiposity in 9/10 days, most of this share is represented almost entirely by water which was trapped in our tissues (the famous 'water retention') ".

La rice diet is therefore always not recommended?

“Certainly a quick way to lose weight is a low calorie diet but we cannot rely only on the amount of calories ingested. Definitely an aspect to consider is also the quality of how these calories are divided between the three macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and lipids), therefore except for patients with kidney problems. I would not recommend a low-protein diet, personally, to anyone. This diet, in the event that the 'deadline' is respected, there it can be useful for certain situations such as, for example, if you have an important event and you want to look in better shape (a wedding, a degree, a communion, etc.) or if you participate in a competition (I'm talking about sportsmen who compete in aesthetic competitions) and want to look leaner and more defined. In case you decide to follow this diet we try to do it in the best way using brown rice, that gives us increased satiety and better blood sugar control, drinking at least 2 liters of water per day. If there are pathologies, I recommend that you be followed by a specialist who will certainly be able to direct you in the right food direction to follow. Unfortunately we will also encounter a certain monotony of this protocol since all meals are based on rice, which, from my point of view, is a further negative point since it is also psychologically demoralizing. With regard to 'banned' foods are certainly in line with the classic guidelines that by now we all know and we should, regardless of whether or not we follow this diet, certainly limit their use in our daily diet ".

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