For some, healthy eating is no easy feat. The secret to being successful is to create a balanced approach that allows you to fill up your plate and indulge in delicious and satisfying foods that not only satisfy your palate but keep you energized all day long. Fad diets come and go but the F-Factor Diet is here to stay, and for good reason. Today we’re diving into what exactly the F-Factor Diet is, tips for success, and what you can eat to get you started. Let’s dig in!
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Tanya Zuckerbrot, the founder of the F-Factor Diet is the mastermind behind this healthy eating plan. Zuckerbrot has over 20 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian but it was in the earlier years of her career that she made the discovery of this amazing diet. Zuckerbrot worked with a medical team to create a special high-fiber meal plan in hopes to help people with conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Each patient was given a version of a high-fiber diet because fiber has the ability to help lower cholesterol and manage blood sugar levels.
Not only was the eating plan helping the patients, but they also reported that they felt more full, for longer, which made them consume fewer calories and in the end, also resulted in weight loss. This was a side effect Zuckerbrot didn’t anticipate and is essentially how the diet blossomed. From there on friends and colleagues began requesting the diet plan and now many people around the world are trying out this diet for themselves.
Thankfully with the F-Factor Diet, you don’t have to deprive yourself of certain foods to lose weight and this is a big reason why it’s so sustainable. This diet encourages you to indulge in high-fiber, protein-rich foods that will help you feel more full for longer. That said, you’re also still encouraged to enjoy carbs, fats, and even alcohol. So thankfully with this diet, you can still have a social life!
The F-Factor diet puts a big emphasis on a not so secret nutrient — fiber! For those that don’t know, fiber is the zero-calorie, non-digestible part of carbohydrates. A diet rich in fiber will help you feel more full after eating and will encourage you to eat less throughout the day.
Fiber has many other benefits aside from weight loss. When fiber is combined with protein, blood glucose levels will refrain from spiking and dropping drastically which will result in increased energy and may even improve your sleep. Fiber also adds bulk to your stool which will help promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation and bloating.
Further, fiber can also absorb toxins in the blood and then dispose of them through the digestive tract instead of through our pores which can result in clearer skin. Fruits and veggies also contain antioxidants which not only promote clearer skin but fight aging too.
While following this meal plan you’ll indulge in 4 meals per day; breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. It’s important to eat every 4 to 5 hours because if you deprive your body of food for too long, it will start to conserve fuel by burning fewer calories and may even slow down your metabolism. Further, if you allow your blood sugar to drop too low, you may experience intense food cravings and for some, it can trigger binge eating.
The diet works in 3 phases; step 1, step 2 and step 3. Step 1 focuses on jump-starting your weight loss whereas step 2 focuses on continued weight loss. Finally, step 3 puts a big emphasis on maintenance so that you can keep up with these healthy eating habits without falling off the wagon. Let’s dive into this more next.
Step 1 is a bit restrictive but this is only because the goal is to boost your metabolism and start weight loss immediately. It’s also worth noting that you’ll only be restricting certain foods for 2 weeks. In this phase, you must cut all carbs except for high-fiber cereals, high fiber GG Crackers (we’ll talk more about these later), F-Factor protein powder, F-Factor bars, and a serving of fruit.
It’s important to have 2 servings of carbs per day with each serving being 15 grams of carbs. Be sure to aim for 35 grams of fiber and less than 35 grams of net carbs (to calculate, subtract fiber and sugar alcohol from the total amount of carbs) per day. You’ll also want to avoid starches, starchy vegetables, more than one serving of fruit, most dairy, and medium to high-fat meats.
Step 2 is quite similar to step 1, but this time you’re able to add 3 more servings of carbs per day. This time you get to choose your carbs whether it be pasta, a bagel, more fruit, or whatever your heart desires (within reason, of course).
In this phase, you’ll still want to aim for 35 grams of fiber per day, however, since the carbs have increased, you can now consume less than 75 grams of net carbs per day. You’re also now able to start adding in starches including starchy vegetables. During this phase, you should begin to have a clear understanding of which foods are rich in fiber.
Now that you’ve fired up your metabolism it’s time to start the maintenance phase. In this phase, you can add up to an additional 3 more servings of carbs. Once again, aim for 35 grams of fiber per day but now you can consume less than 125 grams of net carbs per day.
Once you transition into the maintenance phase you should begin to feel more comfortable shopping at the grocery store, preparing your own food as well as navigating a menu at a restaurant. If you would like to lose more weight you can simply enter steps 1 or 2 again and then make your way back to the maintenance phase once you’ve reached your desired weight.
Once you embark on this healthy eating journey, there are quite a few positive side effects you can expect. For starters, those that are able to follow the plan exactly how it is — with no cheating — should be able to lose about 4 to 6 pounds in the first two weeks and up to 8 to 10 pounds in the first month.
But aside from weight loss, you can also expect to feel less bloating, experience more energy and less fatigue, your sleep may improve, you may experience fewer mood swings, and you may also experience fewer cravings for carbs. Next, let’s dive into some delicious fiber-rich foods you can eat now.
There are many high fiber fruits that would make a great addition to your daily diet. Not to mention, fruits are naturally sweet making it the perfect food to quench a sweet tooth craving. On your next grocery trip be sure to pick up bananas, oranges, strawberries, and apples as these fruits contain around 3 to 4 grams of fiber per serving. When eating apples be sure to eat the peel as it contains the most amount fiber.
Other excellent options include raspberries which contain about 8 grams of fiber per cup and exotic fruits such as mangos, persimmon, and guava which contain about 5 to 9 grams of fiber per serving.
A general rule you’ll want to keep in mind when stocking up on high fiber veggies is ‘the darker the color, the higher the fiber’. Some great high-fiber vegetables are carrots, beets, collard greens, broccoli, swiss chard, spinach, artichokes, and potatoes.
It’s worth noting that artichokes are one of the most fiber-rich veggies as they contain about 10 grams of fiber in one medium-sized artichoke. Further, when purchasing potatoes, look for russet, red, or sweet potatoes and be sure to eat the skin. Just like apples, this is where you can find most of the fiber content.
Whole grains are a great addition to many meals that will keep you feeling full for longer. Some great high-fiber grains include whole-grain bread, Wheat Bran, and other high fiber cereals.
GG Crackers are also highly encouraged on this diet. They can be used as a substitute to bread, as a topping to salad, sprinkled on top of mac and cheese and more! Want to try them?
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Beans and legumes make a great addition to soups, chilis, and salads. Some great high-fiber options include navy, white, garbanzo (chickpeas), kidney beans, peas, and lentils.
Want to try a fiber-rich meal that’s full of hearty delicious beans? Try this F-Factor Homestyle Chili recipe HERE. Not only is it full of fiber but it’s overflowing in delicious flavor too.
There are several F-Factor products available to help you stay on track. To begin, F-Factor has 3 protein powders to choose from — chocolate, vanilla, and unflavored. Each protein powder provides 20 grams of protein and 20 grams of fiber per serving. The unflavored powder is a great option to add to cooked meals and baked goods to boost that fiber content effortlessly.
Further F-Factor also has a great selection of protein bars to choose from including blueberry, chocolate brownie, and peanut butter. These bars make on-the-go snacks easy and accessible.
Following a diet does require motivation and dedication but there are some other tips and tools that can help you be successful too. For starters, you may want to try journaling so you can track the foods you eat (to ensure you’re consuming enough fiber), your emotions, sleep patterns, and your weight. This way you’ll be able to easily look back and reflect on your progress and determine areas you can improve on.
You could also consider finding an accountability partner whether that be your partner, a family member, or a friend. Having a support system as you transition into this healthy lifestyle will only encourage you to keep going. Finally, you can also stay connected with the F-Factor Instagram account where they share tips and recipes every day. But most of all, make sure you have fun with it! Next, let’s look at some delicious high-fiber recipes you can start enjoying now!
Want to stay on track? Check out this meal planner journal.
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Dive into a delicious plate of fluffy pancakes with this F-Factor-approved recipe! These waffles are not only high in fiber but they’re gluten-free too.
If you don’t have a waffle maker don’t fret, the batter can be used to make delicious pancakes instead! Start your morning off right and fuel your body with the nutrients it needs. Want more breakfast ideas? Check out these F-Factor Breakfast recipes HERE.
A delicious lunch (or dinner) recipe that will be liked by all! After all, how do you say no to a cheesy comforting dish like this!
F-Factor puts a healthy spin on a traditional recipe by using ingredients like high-fiber pasta, Greek cream cheese, fat-free cheddar cheese and several other nutrient-rich and delicious ingredients. Check out more F-factor lunch recipes HERE.
We all get a sweet tooth craving from time to time but when that craving strikes be sure to give these peanut butter swirl bars a whirl!
This decadent recipe uses ingredients like chocolate protein powder, fine wheat bran, and powdered peanut butter to help keep these bars tasting delicious and full of nutrition. Don’t worry, these bars are still deliciously sweet (thanks to an F-Factor-approved sweetener) and will have you coming back for more.
Muffins make great on-the-go snacks so do yourself a favor and make a batch of these delicious chocolate F-Factor Muffins. Each serving contains 207 calories, 16 grams of fiber and 24 grams of protein.
Keep in mind this recipe yields 12 large muffins so you may want to double the recipe if you planning on sharing them with your family! They’ll surely be gobbled up quickly. Check out more F-Factor snack recipes HERE.
This creamy guilt-free meal will quench those carb cravings. This fettuccine alfredo recipe features the 20/20 F-Factor Alfredo Sauce that puts a lighter spin on a traditionally heavy sauce.