Dieting can be difficult, especially if you've decided to do it all on your own. But a little helpful advice, a few recipes, and a couple of success stories can go a long way. That's why we decided to speak with F-Factor founder Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, about how to make dieting doable. Unlike other weight-loss programs, the F-Factor diet gives you a chance to dine out, drink your favorite adult beverages, and work out less while still losing weight.
What does the F-Factor diet plan include?
While other diets force dieters to take out fats and carbs, the F-Factor diet is all about adding fiber.
"Most diets are based on omission — to attain weight loss, certain foods like carbohydrates or fats, or ways of life, like dining out or drinking, are omitted," Zuckerbrot said. "The problem with this is that it leaves dieters feeling hungry, deprived, and dissatisfied. The F-Factor Program, on the other hand, is based on addition — you add fiber into your diet to lose weight, so there are no feelings of deprivation and denial, which often holds dieters back, ultimately causing them to fail."
In other words, instead of starving, dieters will finally have the chance to feel full — but the weight will still come off. This, Zuckerbrot believes, is the key to staying motivated. So how does the F-Factor diet work on a regular basis?
"F-Factor is designed to fit seamlessly into peoples’ lives so that they can stick to the plan. From day one on F-Factor, you can dine out and drink alcohol, spend less time at the gym, eat carbohydrates and regular meals (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert), and still lose weight. These principles are counterintuitive to what we believe about weight loss, truly making it a liberating plan," Zuckerbrot continued. "Lastly, F-Factor is about education. It teaches people how to eat for life, and how to maintain their weight loss (which corrects the fundamental issue of fad diets). This last factor only adds to what makes F-Factor such a sustainable plan."
What to Eat on F-Factor Diet
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Participants on the F-Factor diet should eat four meals each day: breakfast, lunch, a snack, and dinner.
"The combination of fiber and protein keeps you feeling full for the longest period of time on the fewest calories," Zuckerbrot said. "The more full you feel after a meal, the less likely you’ll be to overeat at the next meal and therefore, the more likely you’ll be to lose weight."
F-Factor Diet Sample Menu
What would a sample day of eating F-Factor diet foods entail? Surprisingly, it's not too different from what you're already eating. Here's what a typical day on an F-Factor meal plan would look like, according to Zuckerbrot:
Breakfast: Nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup of high-fiber cereal and 1 cup of berries
Lunch: Miso soup, naruto roll, 2 hand rolls (no rice), and salad with ginger dressing
Snack: F-Factor Pizzas (4 high-fiber crackers topped with low-fat cottage cheese or mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, microwaved until melted.) Tip — By eating a snack two hours before dinner, you won’t go into dinner ravenous and are able to make healthier decisions.
Dinner: Steamed whole artichoke, filet mignon (3 oz. for women, 6 oz. for men), steamed asparagus and a well-deserved glass (or two) of wine or spirits on the rocks
Wine and pizza? The F-Factor diet foods are ones we could get behind! But wait, it gets better: There are also pancakes and waffles involved.
How to Eat More F-Factor Diet Foods
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If you're unsure of how to incorporate fiber into your diet, the F-Factor website has a variety of recipes to inspire you, from Creamy Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip to Baked Spaghetti Pie. Yum! Tired of being online? Check out the book The F-Factor Diet ($11, Amazon), which you can carry with you wherever you go.
"I love our high-fiber pancake and Step 1 Waffle recipes — made with just a few simple ingredients, this pancake packs in 19 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber for less than 225 calories, and it can be made into something savory or sweet," Zuckerbrot said. "It’s quickly become a staple recipe for my clients."
F-Factor Diet Results
What can dieters expect to gain from following the F-Factor diet rules? More than just weight loss, that's for sure. Increased energy, a flatter stomach, clearer skin, improved sleep, improved cholesterol levels, and better-managed blood sugar levels are just a few of the benefits of the F-Factor diet, according to Zuckerbrot.
"Ultimately, diet trumps exercise when it comes to weight loss," Zuckerbrot said. "I tell clients, let F-Factor be your cardio. People do cardio to create a caloric deficit, but cardio can stimulate appetite and impede weight loss efforts. Instead, create a caloric deficit by eating a diet high in fiber, like F-Factor. The reason this works is because eating fiber burns calories — fiber can’t be digested, so it revs metabolism. The more fiber you’re eating, the more calories your body burns at rest. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather eat fiber than spend more time on the treadmill."
Sounds like Zuckerbrot gets us completely! No wonder celebs praise the F-Factor diet — and why so many people are able to stick with it long-term. What do you think, is it worth a shot?
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