The F-Factor Diet is not just a diet, it’s a complete lifestyle about eating healthy for a longer, happier, and healthier life. I was intrigued by Tanya Zuckerbrot and the idea that she could transform my whole attitude toward food. During our brief consultation, I got a wake-up call about my body and what I was—and shouldn’t have been—putting into it.
Tanya informed me that my total body fat was 24%, which is very high, and surprising, as I’m naturally slim. I had never thought about my percentage of body fat. Since I always try to lead a healthy lifestyle to promote longevity, I decided to try the diet. Although it was tough the first few days, I adjusted easily. Whatever Tanya tells you to cut out of your diet, she’ll provide a healthier alternative. For example, to curb that sweet tooth after dinner, I now turn to Curb Bites Chocolate Covered Caramels. They’re actually delicious—they taste like other chocolate but they’re high in fiber and calcium. I like one after lunch and one after dinner so it feels like a treat.
Tanya suggests eating eight GG Bran Crispbread crackers to maintain your daily fiber intake. I would be lying if I said they were delicious, but when you eat one it’s like your stomach blows up! It’s a cracker, but they’re so filling it feels like a three-course meal. A little tip to make them more appealing: spread them with Better’n Peanut Butter or Laughing Cow Light cheese, and they taste a lot better.
What you eat affects not only the size of your jeans, but it can affect your heart, cholesterol levels, and risk of illnesses like cancer and diabetes. I didn’t think my diet was the model of perfection, but I didn’t realize quite how bad it was. I was eating a lot of cheese, olive oil, and carbohydrates—I have such a weakness for pasta and bagels! I was really lacking fiber, the key to Tanya’s whole philosophy. In Tanya’s book, The F-Factor Diet, she explains: “Fiber fills you up without filling you out. . . . Fiber may not be the sexy answer you were hoping for, but nothing works better.” I’ve come to appreciate the importance of fiber, and I’m an advocate of her mantra: “Fiber and protein at every meal makes losing weight no big deal!”
Since the F-Factor Diet, I have made changes that I feel are going to keep me healthier for life. I was amazed when I lost 6 pounds in the first 2 weeks and decreased my body fat percentage to 22%. It wasn’t the weight loss that appealed to me, however. It was her promise that my energy levels would rocket, my metabolism would speed up, and I’d feel full and satisfied throughout the day without sacrificing the things I love to eat.
Her healthy eating guidelines have 3 basic tenets:
- Step 1 is the strictest: proteins, good fats, and high-fiber carbs, which curb cravings for all things bad (translation—sweets, starches, and anything from a bakery!).
- Step 2: adding more carbs, while keeping weight off!
- Three daily musts: drink 3 litres of water; take a multivitamin; and keep a food journal.
Here are my top healthy eating tips I learned from the F-Factor Diet:
- Eat GG Bran Crackers for breakfast, as well as throughout the day. To eat your eight a day, it really helps having two in the morning!
- Spread Laughing Cow Low-Fat Cheese or Better’n Peanut Butter over the crackers to improve the taste!
- Eat Curb Bites Chocolate Covered Caramels (sugar-free) after lunch and dinner to curb your sweet tooth and increase your calcium intake.
- Replace all cheeses, milks, and oils with low-fat, healthier alternatives.
- Remember the three-bite rule when ordering dessert.
- Live by these words: Meat and protein at every meal make losing weight no big deal!
Tanya's clients include Hollywood meets the Hamptons crowd. You can schedule an appointment to see Tanya by emailing email@example.com. Or, you can buy her book,The F-Factor Diet, for $12, at amazon.com.
For healthy eating tips and more information on the F-factor diet, check out my interview with Tanya!