The F-Factor Diet is the final diet! Hot Conversation

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.

Posted in health & fitness.

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21 Responses

  1. Lynnette Lynnette says

    sounds interesting… i am going to read about it.  My coworkers have been doing weight watchers and it seems very easy.  My friend that follows it to a T lost 20 lbs. in 2 months.  She only eats 22 points and feels satisfied.  She of course is a fanatic.  I have noticed that the more fiber an item has the less points it has, so that’s a good thing.

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  2. Gramma Gramma says

    Is it all about eating those bran crackers?  Well, I don’t mean all… Can you get them at any health food store?

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    • AuthorTalia AuthorTalia says

      The crackers are an important source of fiber and also give you a sense of fullness. They taste like cardboard without something on or with them….

      You can get them in many health food stores. You can also order them online. Google the name.

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      • Gramma Gramma says

        Thank you! ;)  I will look for them..

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      • Generic Image Anne Case says

        another great source of fiber is Oroweat, Douple Fiber English Muffins, 1 point if you’re following the Weight Waters program.  8 grams fiber in l muffin.  Simply fruit on it, it’s great!!!

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      • AuthorTalia AuthorTalia says

        Fiber in products such as an English muffin might be great–if you are willing to ignore the bomb of carbs that accompanies it…. That’s the problem with picking different items from different diets; one must follow a regime that makes an overall scientific sense, not just item by item that are “good for you.”

        Recently, I watched a TV program where they compared energy bars. The “expert” extolled their value for exercise. What he failed to take into account was WHAT KIND of exercise. Training for cycling marathon, perhaps. But since most of us burn a maximum of 400 calories per hour of exercise, eating an energy bar of 600 calories or more doesn’t make any sense. Might as well have stayed on the couch and snored to avoid the excuse of consuming an energy bar….


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  3. Generic Image moongoddess says

    Thank you, I’m going to try that.  That is one of the problems I have.  I need something that will give me a filling of being full.  This is something I would like to share in the weight challenge.  I’m going to put up a link. 


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  4. lovemylife lovemylife says

    Back when I kept a food diary I also kept track of fiber.  I don’t do the food diary anymore but watch what I eat.  This post got me motivated again to be conscious of and increase my fiber.  Thanks!

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  5. 482gr8 482gr8 says

    While I’m currently happy with my food plan, I want to read the F-Factor book. I load all of my food choices into’s Daily Plate so that I can be sure I am getting enough fiber (and not too much fat). Thanks for this info.

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  6. vblair vblair says

    I don’t want to sound negative since more fiber in the diet does help you loose weight. Let me start there. But as a woman who needs to lose more than 5lbs, more than 10, even more than 40, I find it irritating when someone says, “oh it is just so hard to get rid of this pesky 5lbs on my small frame or size 6.” It is almost insulting. I could only wish that over all these years, when I used to be 105 and 5’6″, that I could complain about 5 lbs.

    However, I will take your advice about the screen saver. It will say: Believe in yourself and love who you are, not who you are not. Watch out world, here I come.”

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    • AuthorTalia AuthorTalia says

      Dear Blair,

      Your response is the first thing I worried about when posting the diet blog. I know that I do not have a weight issue, and I sympathize with those who do. My best childhood friend has been obese since we were little, and I’ve lived with the many aspects of the problem through her, including hearing insults from complete strangers…. So I know that it is really annoying to read about a woman griping about moving from size 8 to size 6. But had I not watched myself for years, I could have easily reached size 12 or 14 by now. I consider maintaining my low weight—and therefore agility and better health—an achievement.

      Most importantly, while I can only write about my own diet experience, I believe that introducing the F-Factor diet on this board is important because it can serve many people with real weight issues like you. A male friend of mine who has been on the diet now for several months has lost 40 lbs. and is now optimistic, for the first time in years, about losing 40 more…. You must agree that this optimism, the belief in being able to reach a desired weight goal, is just as an important as the health benefits that are associated with lower weight.

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      • vblair vblair says

        Thanks for your response back. I would like to hear from others with at least 40 lbs to lose that have tried this diet and how they did with it. If you hear of anyone or if anyone reading this post can relate, I would certainly like to hear from them.

        I try so many diets and they work for awhile. But if I could lose enough to change my “set point” that would help and be encouraging. I have only lost 20 out of the 50-60 I need to lose on Jenny and hoped for more. The WW’s diet that omits carbs is high in fiber of course and sounds similar but I will check out the link to the sample daily recipes you offered.

        My daughter sent me this quote: “Don’t be so preoccupied with who you aren’t, for you may forget who you are.” The first thing is respect yourself no matter what size you are and to respect others as well. As the pounds drop off because you know it is the right thing to do, as you said, for the health benefits, the more you will enjoy being you.

        So, I will certainly look into this diet plan. Why not? Hopefully, I can get back on here and give everyone a positive update.

        Challenge to others and myself: I am all done with the Jenny plan July 27. If anyone would like to team up and try this plan out starting Aug 1st, let me know. And then let AuthorTalia know how we are doing. Any takers?

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      • Generic Image artistretired says

        I take you up on the offer. I have about 100 to lose. I had more as a care giver for my mother who lived with me several years. After she was placed is a good home I starting to lose weight. I mean with out doing anything not even giving up my addiction of chocolate. I was eating it and still the weight came off. This upset my doctors and I had to go threw a dozens test. I was scoped from the throat down and from the butt up. What they found and nothing to do with the weight loss. I think it was because I was finally happy as I had found my niche in life. I am now foster mother to dogs. Lots of dogs who just love me and I try and help them with there behavior so they can get forever homes.

        Anyway I get the book and see if it help me finish lousing this weight as it does effert ones health.

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      • Generic Image cmill says

        I too need to loose a lot of weight.  I’m carrying around another person and it’s making me very tired to say the lest!  I’ve tried WW and keeping up the daily food journal is not my thing!  I’ve lost about 12 pounds on it over 3 months.  But I am looking for a way to Live…not a way to Diet…that I can maintain for the long haul!!! I’m 61 and have been heavy all my life.  From Plump child to obese adult!  I’ve only been thin a few years of my life.  When I got married I weighed 135…after 3 kids…well over 200.  Then after struggling with Diet center for over a year, I lost nearly 100 pounds and put everyone back on over the next 10 years!    I’m sick of being FAT!  But I need a lifestyle diet…not a fad!

        I’m really interested in this F-Factor…so I’ll read up and maybe we can support each other!


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      • Robin Goodfellow Robin Goodfellow says

        I know just what you mean about needing a lifestyle, not a fad!  May I suggest a wonderful website  Click on the Gypsy Journal and read today’s blog entry.  I just did, and I’m going to follow her advice.  Best of luck to you and all of us.  It ain’t easy, but nothing’s more important than attaining a fit, normal body for the last third of our lives.  We don’t have to rot! 

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      • Robin Goodfellow Robin Goodfellow says

        I admire your project – and you’re right to make your weight an important project since it affects every aspect of your life.  I agree that the first thing to do is to respect yourself and others as well.  HOPE YOU HAVE TAKERS…for myself, I’m losing weight (need to lose 15 more pounds) by following the 4 simple rules of Paul McKenna’s “I Can Make You Thin.”  Whatever works.  One woman said she places a napkin over half her food and only eats what she can see.  She’s lost over fifty pounds doing that.

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    • Generic Image FiftyPlusTwo says

      Ms. Blair, I too have an excessive weight problem. I weigh around 200 lbs, 20 of which I have gained in the past year after having lost my job. I suppose I have used food to comfort me, and it shows. Now I have to find a diet that will allow me to lose around 50 lbs, which is a lot but at least then perhaps my blood pressure problems would go away. I’m a size 18 and would be elated to get into a size 12 again. I haven’t seen that # in quite a few years. I seem to be lacking determination and enthusiasm about starting the diet, but I know I must do it. I look awful and feel sluggish all the time. I need to do it, for my own good.

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      • vblair vblair says

        Hello FiftyPlusTwo: Don’t despair. I lost 20 on Jenny but I cheated so I know I could have done better. And it is expensive. You just have to know that you are not going to look or feel the same way you did when you were 20 or 30 years old.

        The first thing I did was tell myself that I am still a good person and not beat myself up every time I hit a roadblock. And boy did you hit one! I am very sorry to hear you lost your job. I worry about mine as well. I am sure the stress is a contributor to my weight gain. You can be your own worst enemy. Find the positive in it. You now have more time to work on eating right and exercising around the house — scrub the floor, wash the walls, take a long walk. You have the time (for now).

        I also have fibromyalgia and the Lyrica I take put another 5 lbs back on me and my ankles swell. I guess I have to weight the benefits on this.

        Maybe this diet would be for you. And it may be for me as well. I am just tired of “dieting” and listening to all the hype about diets. Ooh, I lost 10 pounds and met my goal weight! UGH.

        But I think we all know how to eat right. If you are questionning whether you should eat it or you say this really isn’t good for me then don’t eat it! You already know that. Set small goals. Put a picture of yourself up nearby when you felt good about yourself as a motivator. Don’t expect others to urge you on or congratulate you. They won’t. You must do it for yourself.

        Honestly, when I was on Jenny I also teamed it up with the Alli pill that claims if you can take off 10 pounds it will give you an additional 5. It does work. It has side effects if you eat too much fat, which you won’t do again. Trust me. But I do like it.

        Since I lost the 20 my blood pressure went way down and dropped a dress size. So even that much is a positive. But, like you, I want to lose a total of 50. But only a little at a time.

        You know I joined a gym to go into the pool. It was the hardest thing I have done in years. To find a swimsuit that fit, put it on and walk around others. I found the right gym (Healthtrax). The people are all ages, all sizes. A woman said to me: look we are all in the same boat. Put that suit on and get in. Get over it all ready.” She was right and now I enjoy it so much. I have a bad back and hips and the water makes me feel so good.

        Good luck and if you go on this plan start it on a day that you can succeed.

        Keep in touch. I would like to share successes with you and how you might have ovecome some roadblocks. I am always looking for help from others that way.

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  7. Robin Goodfellow Robin Goodfellow says

    This sounds awesome…and may I also suggest Younger Next Year for Women by Chris Crowley & Henry Lodge, MD.  I’m following the most wonderful, honest blog on (click on the Gypsy Journal) about weight issues and an interesting way to use this book for motivation.  She said it’s so hard to type the word “obese”.  Sounds like this time next year she won’t have to, ever again.  Three cheers for health and adventure throughout the rest of our days!!!

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    • Generic Image serendipity says

      I have tried to check out this blog but keep longer exists.
      is there something wrong with the link or has the author simply quit blogging?

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  8. AuthorTalia AuthorTalia says

    I should add the website link to this diet. There are recipes and sample menues for a few weeks!!!

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