The average American eats the fat equivalent of a cup of butter each day, and it's easy to convert this dietary fat to body fat (the saying "A moment on the lips, forever on the hips" isn't so farfetched after all). This is probably why one in three adults in this country is obese. But authors Gabe Mirkin, M.D., and Barry Fox, Ph.D. (coauthor of the bestselling Arthritis Cure) say that focusing on cutting the fat out of your diet is not
the right way to lose weight, as a drastically low-fat diet almost always leads to late-day bingeing.
By increasing dietary fiber to 30 grams a day (with beans, whole grains, and vegetables), and by moderately cutting fat intake to 20 grams, they say that permanent weight loss can be achieved-- without painful hunger pangs, headaches, or petulant fits of rage that threaten your long-term relationships. This is the very diet that TV talk-show host Larry King credits with saving his life.
Of course, this is the diet that everyone knows they should be following. Eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet including vegetables has been shown to help prevent colon, breast, lung, and other kinds of cancers; helps keep the heart healthy; may prevent adult-onset diabetes; and lowers blood pressure. But having a life often gets in the way of eating right. That's where the hundred easy-to-prepare recipes in The 20/30 Fat and Fiber Plan come in, including Southwestern Bean Dip, Extra Quick Chili, and Sicilian Minestrone. Few recipes require more than 10 ingredients, and most can be made in less than half an hour. More than 100 pages of fat and fiber counts for thousands of foods, including take-out and brand-name items, make it easy to follow the plan while eating on the run.
The 20/30 Fat and Fiber Plan recognizes that humans are, after all, fallible, so you're allowed to "cheat" on the diet. "The 19 Meals Rule" says that each week, if you follow the plan for 19 meals, you can eat whatever you want for 2 meals. While the authors say not to stuff yourself, this does make the 20/30 plan one you can follow even while eating out. They also avoid the a word (aerobics) and give guidelines for playing away excess weight.
Hallelujah, a sensible weight-loss plan that improves your health, rather than endangering it like so many diet fads of late! --Erica Jorgensen
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