This Is the New Diet Everyone’s Been Searching for
There will always be celebrity-favorite diets, top-pinned recipes + food myths trying to get us to cut this grain or amp up that protein. At the start of the year (post-resolutions, natch ;) we highlighted some of the best and worst diets in 2015, but there’s a brand-new one making waves across the web — the Dukan Diet, which is currently the most searched for diet according to Yahoo!. Our curiosity got the best of us, so we had to see for ourselves what this new craze was all about.
The Dukan Diet — named after Pierre Dukan, the Frenchman who created it — is a four-phase weight loss system broken down by some pretty strict rules. With two phases focused on losing the weight and two on keeping it off all while eating as much as you like, it’s no wonder it’s got a fair share of fans. Discover each part of the diet plan below.
1. The Attack Phase
This first phase is where you kick-start the diet. For up to 10 days — ideally you should only do this for 2 to 5 — you are supposed to eat meals that are solely made up of proteins. By combining a variety of 68 high-protein foods, from oat bran to meats + tofu in unlimited quantities with 6 to 8 cups of water per day, you’ll be flushing your body, which according to the diet’s website results in immediate and noticeable weight loss.
2. The Cruise Phase
After “attacking” all the proteins your heart + stomach desire for an appropriate number of days, the transition to round two can begin. In this phase you’re able to alternate between strictly protein days and protein + starch-free vegetable days (think carrots, kale, squash, etc) for a total of 100 “natural foods” to choose from. In order to get to what the diet plan calls your True Weight, this phase will last 3 days for every pound you want to lose.
3. The Consolidation Phase
The third stage of the Dukan Diet is designed to prevent your body from quickly regaining all the weight it just lost. By gradually adding in previously forbidden foods — aka starch — in limited quantities to your other high protein + vegetable meals twice a week, your body will get used to these carbs without you carb-loading. While this segment of the plan doesn’t deal with losing more weight, it is still strict. This one lasts for 5 days for every pound lost in the Cruise Phase (where Thursday is a purely protein day).
4. The Stabilization Phase
The final round of the diet lasts for the rest of your life ;) While you’re technically allowed to eat whatever you want, there are three rules that are non-negotiable: You must eat 3 tablespoons of oat bran a day, walk at least 20 minutes every day and have a pure protein Thursday every week. So never say goodbye to that Attack Phase menu.
If this diet plan sounds far too strict for you (*raises hand*), there’s always this cheat sheet that we’re gonna stick with instead. Budget-friendly, non-strict healthy eating for the win!
Have you or will you try the Dukan Diet? Let us know in the comments.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com