Instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t eat, the F-factor diet talks about all the things you should – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Finding that perfect diet that helps you healthily lose weight isn’t easy. You might choose one that comes highly recommended, start following it with all the determination and resolution in the world, and then discover halfway through that you just cannot sustain it for long enough to lose all the weight you had set out to. Maybe your cravings were the culprit, or maybe the diet just wasn’t suited to your lifestyle – whatever the reason might be, you give up and start looking for the next big thing.
But what if there was a diet that could help you lose weight as well as lead a healthy life, without forcing you to change your lifestyle?
That’s just what the F-factor diet claims to do – revolutionise your health without spelling catastrophe for your indulgent lifestyle.
So what’s the F-factor then?
Before you let your mind run amok guessing what the F in F-factor diet refers to, allow us to explain – it stands for fibre, as in dietary fibre. This diet plan — created by Tanya Zuckerbrot, a registered dietician, in 2006 — doesn’t require you to cut off food groups like carbs or fat, and allows you a lot more freedom of choice where food is concerned.
According to Zuckerbrot’s book, The F-Factor Diet, you can eat out at your favourite restaurant, drink alcohol in moderation and pretty much indulge in any food as long as you increase your dietary fibre and lean meat intake. What’s more, this diet doesn’t even ask you to exercise! No deprivation, no increased physical activity, and yet weight loss? You might be asking if this is even possible.
What’s the big deal about dietary fibre?
Zuckerbrot and her followers believe that healthy weight loss through the F-factor diet is indeed possible because it’s based on the science of anatomy and physiology and promotes the consumption of dietary fibre. Most people don’t consume enough fibre, even though it adds bulk or roughage to food and can make you feel fuller for a longer time.
For those who don’t know, dietary fibre is a type of carbohydrate that is not broken down by the body’s enzymes as it passes through the system. It’s present in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes and can work wonders on the digestive system. Since it’s not digestible it can relieve the symptoms of both diarrhoea and constipation.
A high-fibre diet is usually recommended by doctors and nutritionists because apart from aiding the digestive system, it can also keep your low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) levels in check and reduce the risk of diabetes. Because fibre-rich foods are more filling, a high-fibre diet will allow you to eat less, satiate your cravings and still provide you with enough energy to not feel burned out. What’s more, these foods are also low on calories. Add proteins and the flexibility of rules to this mix, and the F-factor diet does sound effective and easy to sustain for the rest of your lives.
How to follow the F-factor diet
Instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t eat, the F-factor diet talks about all the things you should – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Instead of limiting the number of meals, it stipulates that you should have three meals and a snack every day and that these meals should have fibre and protein. It’s a low-carb diet, but it won’t make you feel deprived like other low-carb diets might.
The following stages of the F-factor diet need to be followed properly if you want to effectively lose weight.
Phase 1: To jumpstart your weight loss in this phase, you are supposed to have 35 grams of carbs in a day spread over approximately three servings.
Phase 2: You should increase the net carb intake to 75 grams per day and spread it over approximately six servings.
Phase 3: You should increase the net carb intake to 125 grams per day spread over approximately nine servings. This is the last phase, and you are supposed to maintain this intake indefinitely.
Who shouldn’t try this diet?
Despite being a sure-shot way of losing weight the healthy way in the long term, not everyone can or should try the F-factor diet. This is particularly important for those who have gastrointestinal issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s disease. Maintaining a low-fibre diet is important if you have any of these conditions because indigestible dietary fibre can inflame the bowels and worsen the situation for you.
For others, however, the F-factor diet provides a way to increase the fibre intake and lose weight, sustainably and for the rest of your life. So, are you going to give this diet a try?
For more on this topic, please read our article on Dietary Fiber.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.