F Factor Diet Hardcover – Jan 2 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Decrying fad diets, board-certified dietician Zuckerbrot devised a diet that emphasizes fiber consumption without worrying much about carbs, fats or calories. The key, she asserts, is combining fiber with lean protein at every meal. Besides all the health benefits fiber provides-discussed here at length-an additional benefit is that, since fibrous foods are more filling, diners feel full more quickly and are likely to eat less. Zuckerbrot lays out a step-by-step plan, complete with recipes and menu suggestions for eating at home and dining out. Yes, there's a recipe for healthful standby Cabbage Soup, but there are also recipes for Broiled Salmon with Dill, Tandoori Chicken and Breakfast Burritos. Even those who don't follow Zuckerbrot's regimen will learn much from her professional insight (she has some choice words for doctors-including bestsellers Dr. Atkins and Dr. Agatson-posing as nutritionists), as well as the fiber and carb content for a huge list of foods. Zuckerbrot's sensible, educational approach and easy-to-follow diet plan make this book worthwhile.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“I would recommend The F-Factor Diet because that is a great book and a great way of eating…It works.”
–Megyn Kelly, Fox News --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As I read this book I couldn't help thinking how similar it is to the Zone diet. Low refined carbs, high fiber, lean protein, and a small amount of healthy fats. The only thing that's different is that you are aiming for about 35 grams of fiber per day; the Zone doesn't stress fiber as much, although it does clearly say that the more fiber, the better, because it fills you up.
So...I am now on day 2 of the 2-week introduction phase of the diet, and I'm not dying...yet. I don't feel too deprived on this diet because the foods you eat really are quite filling. I also like that after the first 2 weeks, there are no forbidden foods...you just have to eat appropriate portions since what you can eat is limited to a certain # of servings.
I had to buy a case of the GG Crackers online, because I can't find any stores here that sell them (and I'm in Seattle!!!). The crackers are definitely 100% fiber, and they taste like it. I've found that as I get more creative with how I use them, it gets easier. For instance, they're great with peanut butter. I also like them with light cream cheese and lox, or light cream cheese and cucumbers w/ cracked pepper.
So, basically it's a diet. If you're an absolute foodie like myself, you will feel limited, despite the author's claims. The notion that "you don't take away foods, you just add more fiber" is a little misleading, because you have to cut way down on processed carbs. However, processed carbs aren't off limits, you just really can't enjoy that chicken pot pie like you used to.
Overall, it's a sound diet. It describes the way humans are probably meant to eat. It's healthy, there are a million benefits to eating enough fiber, and you definitely feel less weighed down on it. However...the fun factor goes right out the window. I mean, seriously...have you ever seen a Nutritionist who looks like he/she has any FUN when he/she eats?
ADDITION TO ORIGINAL REVIEW, 7 weeks later:
I don't know if it's due to the diet, or due to me finally being enlightened about my relationship with food, but I have definitely been able to integrate the concept of more fiber/less refined carbs into the way I just live. After the first two strict weeks, I have definitely relaxed some of the "rules" (I mean, sometimes you need a slice of pizza) and found that I'm successful at 1) Not feeling guilty when I do indulge, or feeling like I've "failed" and 2) Being able to continue the diet without feeling that since I've gone off course, there's no longer hope. My main mantra is that if I follow the diet (which I now consider to be a lifestyle) 90% of the time, then I will benefit from it 90% of the time (I believe Dr. Sears of the Zone had a similar philosophy). There is no danger of going "out of the Zone", or getting "out of ketosis" i.e. Atkins. There is no physical state that you "must maintain" in order for the diet to work. You just pick up where you left off.
So...some things I've experienced while on this diet, and again--I can't claim that it's 100% due to the diet, or if it's because I am now finally "ready" to accept that living a healthy lifestyle means ADOPTING healthy habits--are below. I do believe this fiber diet has been a great initiation to a better lifestyle:
1. I have lost about 10 pounds in the last 7 weeks. This doesn't seem like a lot, but it has been gradual and I've accepted this as the way I will eat for life, not a crash diet. Also, I have NOT increased my exercise during this time. I'm o.k. with slow progress if it means I'll be able to do this for a lifetime and never have to diet again. I am slowly working more physical activity into my lifestyle. I feel much better, clothes fit better, and I carry myself with the confidence I had when I was in my 20's and weighed much less.
2. I was taking a proton pump inhibitor for my chronic heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux. I was able to stop taking this medication after week one because I no longer have the above symptoms, and really believe that I won't need to take it ever again. I'm relieved for this because of recent evidence that suggests PPIs inhibit calcium absorption and therefore may lead to less bone density (particularly in the hip) and higher risk for bone breakage as I age.
3. My hunger is under control. I have learned how to be satisfied without being "stuffed" when I eat, and I am happier with smaller meals, thus fewer calories. I do not feel the low blood sugar crash when I get hungry between meals (meaning that I am not a crazed maniac if I cannot immediately eat), and I am much more aware of what I'm eating because of it. If I eat a really large lunch, I can easily eat a much smaller dinner and be perfectly satisfied. I no longer have cravings for junk, and believe me: I used to LOVE the junk.
RECIPES AND STUFF THAT'S WORKED FOR ME:
One thing that has been a great addition to this diet are Mama Lupe's low-carb tortillas (60 calories, 3 grams fat, 7 grams carb, 4 grams fiber in each 10-inch tortilla). They are the best tasting low-carb tortillas I've ever had, and I've tried many. I have not found them in stores, but order them online. I'll make quesadillas with fresh homemade salsa, use them for wraps with lunch meats, cheese and plenty of fresh veggies, or use them as I would normal tortillas when I cook Mexican food.
As for the GG crackers, some great success I've had:
1. With peanut butter and apple slices
2. With dijonaisse, lunch meat and low-fat cheese and pickles
3. As pizza crust: line them up on the bottom of a baking sheet, add your favorite tomato topping (or make your own by simmering fresh diced tomatoes, plenty of garlic, oregano and salt to taste), add the italian cheese blend you can find in the bags already shredded, and top with chicken italian sausage that you've taken out of the casings and cooked in a skillet (may need a bit of olive oil since the good chicken sausage is low-fat). Throw the whole thing in a 375-degree oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and getting to be golden. The crackers soften up a bit, but hold up to the firmness needed to hold the toppings.
4. I've been adding a tablespoon of ground Flax Meal (you can find it at health food stores, or online) to my morning yogurt for an added boost of fiber, plus the great benefits of heart-healthy omega-3's.
Flax has a wonderful, nutty taste and adds great texture.
5. I make a home-made Chinese Chicken Salad with cabbage, shredded carrots, diced chicken or turkey breast, sesame seeds and whatever sesame dressing (I like Girard's Chinese Chicken Salad dressing--it's fairly high fat but I consider it my daily indulgence--the glass triangular bottle). Then, instead of the high-fat fried chow mein noodles, I'll add 1/2 cup of Fiber One cereal for crunch. The salad still tastes great, and packs a nice fiber punch.
6. I have been very dedicated to preparing meals and setting aside "leftovers" or putting something together for lunch the next day at work. Because of this, my lunches are healthy and support my diet, and I save money because I don't eat out every day like I used to.
Best of luck--if this diet resonates with you and you can work with it as a lifestyle change, I have no doubts that you will benefit from all the great things FIBER can do for you!
Weight loss is a personal struggle. What works for someone, may not work for someone else.
My review is merely intended to share the fact that I have not "tried" this diet - I have PRACTICED it for ONE FULL MONTH and I am excited to share the results of my effort. I genuinely wish you luck in your weight loss journey!***
Day 42 of the Diet:
Total pounds EVICTED from ME: 16.5 (can we just call it 17, or do we have to be formal here?)
And, the shocker...My husband announced a 6 pound drop on the scale (and all I changed was his DINNER!) in the past month.
The biggest change I've made is NOT bringing carbs to the table at night. No starchy veggies, rice or potato side dishes since I've started. From DAY ONE, I offered to continue to make these sides for the husband, but he voluntarily passed at first because he "didn't want to tempt" me by eating something I couldn't/shouldn't.
My (oh so brilliant) mom started to portion out a package of instant mashed potatoes into single-serving size baggies/containers so that my dad gets 1 serving of potatoes or rice with his meals on occasion and I found the single serving Corn with butter sauce/Broccoli in Cheese sauce for when my husband deserves a "treat".
Anyway...now my husband walks into the kitchen as I'm putting food on the plates at dinner and says "I'll have what you're having" and I load the plate with approximately 2-3 cups of a couple of veggies (rotating and using up leftovers so we don't get stuck eating broccoli or green beans EVERY night in the week). And, a HUGE piece of meat - like 8 ounces of juicy steak, a monster chicken breast, or a massive pork chop. I simply plan my day around some FANTASTIC dinner!
If I do something "different" like marinate the chops in Soy Vay teriyaki seasoning, I get the question "and all this stuff is on your diet?" and the answer is always YES. In fact, last night I made a microwave teriyaki rice from Uncle Ben that served 2 people and had my parents over so the guys had a massive veggie stir fry piled high on their plates WITH RICE - died and gone to heaven!- and 8-10 oz of grilled terriyaki pork chops.
The husband (and my dad) continues to eat pasta in Italian restaurants, and would never dream of giving up the chips & salsa, nachos, hot dogs & beer - but, if he continues to eat healthier at home and simply indulges when he's out then I suppose there's no harm...
Side note - I'm a month away from having blood work done again, and it will be interesting to see how the cholestoral, glucose (my own personal, currently non-diabetic, horror) and blood pressure compare from last year to this year.
As always, I really hope you are able to find the food plan that becomes a life style and is easy to adapt to your family. Good luck!
Day 32 of the Diet:
ONE SIZE DOWN! Seriously, does it get any better than zipping a pair of "old" jeans? I continue to learn life lessons (like 1/2 a pizza + 3 pina coladas = 3 lb sodium/carb GAIN...EEK!) but a few days back on target brought me sailing back down on the scale from my weekend splurge and then some... So, the official number is 14 down and counting... I wish you the best of luck in your own journey - which ever path (or book) you take!
Day 22 of the Diet:
I am down 11.6 pounds and feel amazing. I even feel my will power stengthening and I have navigated stressful environments like the office lunch room (homemade fudge!) and restaurants (mmmm, Mexican!) and still witnessed success.
In 3 short weeks, this has changed from "diet" to "lifestyle" and the crackers are the key. I am so full, I am able to resist the urge for sweet or salty snacks.
I cannot tell you that this will work for you, but it has definitely worked for me.
From Original Post: Day 8 of the Diet
My mom and I are sharing a copy of this book. We have each read it twice, made notes in margins, and added our own clippings and inspirational tidbits.
We have been living this "diet" for 8 days and we cannot share our success with enough people. It is simple and basic and has rearranged how I organized Meats, Cheese and Starch in my brain. During Week 1, my mom has taken a 4 day weekend vacation and eaten in restaurants 3 meals a day during her travels and I had a lunch out with friends.
The crackers are the key (I'll agree with the reviewer who hated them with light cream cheese - but I absolutely LOVE them with peanut butter! I also love to use them as my "bun" with Laughing Cow Light Onion Cheese smeared on one of them for added "flavor" to my now, very filling, burgers!)
I cannot tell you that this plan will work for you, but I can tell you that Weight Watchers, Optifast, Jenny Craig, ChangeOne, Atkins, The Zone, SugarBusters, Southbeach and OTHERS have not been successful for my mom and I.
The F-Factor Diet is what we have labeled as "our answer to dieting". It has changed our life by simply changing what we eat and how we eat it. I have NEVER been this full on so few calories in my life.
WEEK ONE, DAY 7 RESULTS: Mom and I have lost 8 pounds (5 from me, 3 from her.)
When you find the plan that suits you, you'll know.
What this program does is teach you that lean proteins and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet, supplemented by reasonable portions of nuts, berries, fruit, high fiber whole grains, and healthy fats. Not once did I ever feel deprived. In fact, the whole of step 1 was actually a great pleasure. I really enjoyed having Fiber One cereal mixed with Dannon Crave Control yogurt to start my day each morning and it is now my standard breakfast. Lunch was often grilled chicken salad topped with salsa at a Mexican restaurant or rotisserie chicken (skin removed) with sesame green beans from the grocery store cafe. Dinner might be something like filet mignon with a side of asparagus (great to eat in the spring!) or Old Bay seasoned shrimp (steamed at the grocery store) accompanied by a vegetable salad topped with olive oil and vinegar. Daily snacks were 1-2 pieces of low fat string cheese, a cup of raspberries, and 1 - 1/2 ounces of nuts (all kinds). If I wanted something in the evening I would have either a tofutti pop or a celery heart with a wedge or two of laughing cow cheese. Since I had chosen a high fiber fruit (raspberries have 8 g per cup), and was also getting about 4 grams of fiber from the daily serving of nuts, I never even needed to eat "the cracker" to reach my fiber goal for the day. This seemed to be somewhat of a stumbling block for a few other reviewers and I'm not sure why.
In response to one reviewer's comment about there being no guidance on the monitoring of fats, I heartily disagree. The book contains a nice, very thorough listing of items that constitute a serving of fat. The author clearly says on page 44 that "since you need some fat in your diet, opt for the unsaturated fats and use them in moderation". That's exactly what I did, having 2 -3 servings daily between nuts and olive oil. If you're reasonable about it, there's simply no need to track one more thing on top of the fiber and carbs already being tracked as part of the program.
Today I begin Step 2 of the program. This is when you get to add 3 servings of carbohydrate to your daily diet until you reach your target weight. It's exciting because you really can have any food you want, as long as you stay within the 45 g limit. I've already got my cupboard and freezer stocked with mini-bags of microwave popcorn, whole grain pretzels, portion controlled mini-cupcakes and frozen treats, etc.
I really just can't say enough good things about this program. It works! If you're really ready to lose weight while learning how to eat for life, then I encourage you to get this book and give it a try. Great value for the money!
What makes this diet (and any other) hard is you feel deprived of the foods you are used to eating, but it also shows you exactly WHY you are overweight to begin with. In week 3, I get to add 3 servings of carbs to my diet. So if I eat one cup of rice, that will do it for my 3 additional servings. The key here is PORTION CONTROL, and the proper proportions of carbs, proteins, fiber, fats, etc.
The Fiber One cereal is a little tough to get down without milk, but I'm able to eat it with a big glass of water to wash it down (it's very, very dry). I have not yet received the GG Crispbread, as it is not retailed in my area.
I don't feel like I'm starving all the time and all in all I think this is a good, healthy plan. If someone is looking for a "magic" diet, this is not it. There is no such thing. To be healthy and lose weight you must control what you eat, and how much you eat, and a little excercise thrown in is an extremely good idea. I like the fact that nothing specific is excluded...it's a nice well rounded diet and that makes it easier to stick to long term. I would find it impossible to practice a no-carb diet, as the thought of never eating a potato again makes me want to jump off the nearest bridge (lol). I can have a potato or some french fries. But I can't have a potato that weights one pound or the supersize fries from McDonalds (portion, portion, portion).
I'll post further updates on my progess in the coming days/weeks.
I started this diet before I ordered my particle-board crackers (haha snicker snicker!) and they just arrived yesterday. I doubled up on Fiber One (I call it dried worms...another snicker) to reach my daily fiber intake goal. I've lost 6 pounds and have one day to go before my two-week phase one is over.
Fiber One is not the best thing, but it's definitely gotten easier to eat. The crackers are the same...I've eaten several since yesterday and it's getting a little easier to eat them. I find that peanut butter goes well on them...it's the nutty taste. Zuckerbrot says that she and her staff are thin "because we eat those crackers" and I believe them. They say on the front of the package "appetite control" and that is 100% true where I am concerned. My appetite in general has totally decreased. In the past I've been a night-time binger. I LOVE to eat, eat, eat while I stay up late, late, late. But not anymore. I was up quite late last night and didn't have the slightest desire to eat anything.
This whole diet has truly made me change my entire outlook on food. Now I eat because I know I need to eat. I don't eat because it looks good or tastes good. I don't crave a cheeseburger because I saw that tv commercial. I don't run to McDonalds and get french fries during my lunch because the McDonald's bag my co-worker walked right past me smelled sooooooooo good. I don't know if this is temporary or if I'm getting over a food addiction. I know that addictions feed themselves...the more french fries you eat the more you want. You'll continue to crave, I guess, until you get your system all cleaned out.
The F-Factor is about compromise and sacrifice. You eat those blasted crackers (and you like them, darn it! You MUST LIKE THEM!) and the Fiber One instead of chips or a cheeseburger. Really want a cheeseburger? Order a mini cheeseburger (called a slider?) and call it a meal. The quarter pounder is forbidden! Portion control, portion control, portion control.
I've read other reviews about how horrible this diet is. Well, show me ANY diet that IS fun. Show me ANY diet where you don't have to sacrifice something. Want to lose weight? Then sacrifice. Darn, I sure wish there were a magic pill and if there ever is I'll be the first one in line. But until then, I realize I just can't eat a plate of cheese fries or a 16oz ribeye and be thin. It's simple mathematics. Eat too many calories and you won't lose weight. Eat less calories and you WILL lose weight. It's a mathematical certainty.
Tonight I'll eat a petite filet minon for dinner (230 calories) and maybe a side of greenbeans. Maybe a Fiber One yogurt and a lowfat string cheese. And I'll be satisfied and full. Give this diet a chance! By Monday morning I'll likely have lost 7-8 pounds....not bad for 2 weeks!
MISS BREAD? Carb Krunchers bread and bagels! My order came in today. The bagels have 130 calories and 5g net carbs. They are big, fluffy, and they taste amazing! I ate half a bagel and couldn't eat anymore. I'm telling you...make yourself get a few of those crackers down each day and just see how well they control your appetite!