Recently, I picked up again “The F-Factor Diet” by Tanya Zuckerbrot, about her diet that is fiber-filled (that’s the F in the name.) I have been following that diet for the past 7 years. It has been relatively easy because it has long turned into a lifestyle; I am conditioned to thinking in terms of the F-Factor in every food choice I make. Living on a diet rather than being on a diet signifies that watching what and how I consume is a long-term way of life rather than a transient fad I will soon abandon.
So what is the F-Factor Diet? Here is an Amazon review I posted on Amazon in 2007. (I had started the diet with the author-dietitian, Tanya Zuckerbrot privately before her book had been written.)
“I never thought that I’d read, let alone review, a diet book. To call the 5 lbs. I’ve been trying to keep off “a struggle” would minimize the real weight issues of people who must deal with either body image or health problems.
Yet, these last 5 lbs. misplaced on a size 6 frame are the ones extremely resistant to diet and exercise–or to the temptation of an occasional dessert…. And when I had managed to get rid of them, they wouldn’t stay off. Until I met Tanya 3 years ago, and learned to eat right!
Under her F-Factor diet, I’ve been eating more than ever before. Focusing on fiber in my daily intake, discovering where are the hidden carbs are lurking to be substituted with fiber, and discovering easy ways to introduce new foods into my life has been a change in lifestyle.
The F-Factor diet is for people who don’t wish to engage in daily cooking and food preparation. The right foods are all around us; we just need to learn how to read labels and how to access what is truly good for us. (For example: Did you know that your low-fat or sugar-free yogurt fills you with as many carbs as 3 slices of bread? But then there is O% Total yogurt which doesn’t?)
There is a lot more, but for that you need to read the book.” End of my Amazon review.
Living on the F-Factor diet has long ceased to be a sacrifice, because I eat mostly what I enjoy. Except for chocolate, my addiction, which on occasion rears it audacious head. That’s what happened a year ago, on a month-long trip, where my husband was a VIP guest at a couple of hotels. Every day, little elves replenished TRAYS filled with dainty chocolate delicacies, each one different on the outside, tempting me to explore the surprise flavor inside. On a weekend trip from our main hotel to another city, the chef must have forwarded instructions, for I returned to our suite at midnight to find a BUFFET of desserts awaiting me. Since my husband doesn’t have a sweet tooth, there was no one to share this off-hours treasure. Nor could I crawl into bed knowing that all this chocolate thrill was crying for me….
Well, a month-long of chocolatic orgy does something to the metabolism as well as to the psychic that suddenly accepts powerlessness. And the chocolate swelled those non-muscle tissues between the skin and the bones, the ones called “fat.”
A year later, while having weaned myself from chocolate, I had failed to fully engaged in my previous healthful weight-loss diet. I continued to follow some basic stuff—after all, it’s a lifestyle with some established habits that helped me avoid gaining more pounds—but I didn’t watch close enough to shed off the new weight.
So I did two things: One, I bought a fresh copy of “The F-Factor Diet” and started reading it again. It’s amazing how the mind plays tricks. Some items I had long ago learned to eat in moderation had, in my mind only, entered the “free food” category which is reserved to non-starchy legumes. Re-reading the book also refreshed my understanding of the strong scientific principles behind the diet.
The second thing I did was analyze my head. Somewhere along the haze of chocolate-induced days I had let myself get off the faith-train. I no longer believed that given my long hours at the computer, my fast-growing family needing attention (and taking away from exercise,) and the advancing age component, I should aspire for the low figure goal-weight I had once obtained on the F-Factor diet. At 5’6”, my weight that dances inside clothes size 6 is 132 lbs. (Since my bones are heavy and my muscles dense, the scale had always tipped higher than I looked. The world sees my 132 lbs. as merely 125.) I had to believe again in 132.
So I changed my screen-saver on the computer to read, Believe in 132!!!!. That slow banner sways across my screen. There is no escape. Now, having lost 4 lbs., I can convince myself not to stop, but to push further along the road. I am only 4 lbs away. Believe in 132!!!!
I do not suffer from blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or other ailments, which, for patients with these conditions have been proven to drastically improve —and even disappear.
So run to the store and get yourself The F-Factor book. And while you’re at it, stop at the health food store and buy a large supply of GG Scandinavian Brancrsip Bran Crackers. You’ll never leave home without them.
P.S. This blog reads like a commercial, but I promise you that I have no personal stake in the diet, program, book, or any associated products.