The Life Strategy

Even those who are successful in losing weight, generally have a very big problem. How to keep it off! With a typical calorie counting diet for example, some weight may very well have been lost by eating smaller portions (less calories) but eventually the portion sizes will gradually increase and all the gains will be lost as the person returns to his/her old ways. So how can we be different? Once the Six Week Strategy is over, instead of just returning to our old eating habits we then commence “The Life Strategy” which is still totally healthy but offers more choices. Most weight loss experts will agree that “dieting” as such is at best short term. We need to the think in terms of “Lifestyle Change” … a permanent continuous behaviour transformation … not just a short term fix. And that is exactly what The Life Strategy is all about. The key numeric you need to keep in mind is 90%. For sustained weight loss and longevity, the Life Strategy diet should aim to be made up of at least 90% unrefined plant foods. Processed foods and animal foods should be regarded as condiments, making up no more than 10% of your total caloric intake. If you want the Food & Dietz .com plan for health and wellness to achieve dramatic health and longevity benefits, for you,  you  must not have significant amounts of animal foods, dairy or processed foods in your diet. If you must have these foods from time to time, use them occasionally or in very small amounts to flavour a vegetable dish. After the 6 Week Strategy is over and you want to add animal products back into your diet, then add a little white meat (eg chicken or turkey) once a week. In this manner you can alternate: one night with a small serving of animal product and the next a vegetarian dinner. Use animal products primarily as condiments eg to add flavour to soups, vegetables, beans or tofu … not as the main dish.

Dairy Products

If after the first 6 weeks you to wish to reintroduce dairy products back into your diet, use fat free dairy only (eg skimmed milk, none fat yogurt). You can add an unsweetened fat free yogurt or soy milk yoghurt to your fruit breakfast … but do not eat fruit favoured yogurt as it contains sugar. Your total animal product consumption (beef, poultry, fish, dairy products etc) should be limited to twelve ounces or less per week.


Does Calorie Counting have Any Place in the Life Strategy?

For those of you who are used to the calorie counting style of weight management (eg Weight Watchers) then maybe (by way of a concession) I am prepared to indulge in a few thoughts regarding the Life Strategy which may be in keeping with your previous approach. The accepted wisdom is that the average woman should consume fewer than 1600 calories per day and a man fewer than 2300 calories. To keep to the “90% rule”, women shouldn’t consume any more than 150 calories per day of low nutrient food or about 1000 calories weekly. Men should not consume more than 200 calories of low nutrient food daily, or about 1400 calories weekly. So for example, if you choose to have a bagel for lunch, you use up your 150 calorie allotment of low nutrient food for the day. If you put one tablespoon of olive oil or a few ounces of animal food on your salad for lunch, then you should have only plant foods for dinner, with no added oils, pasta or bread. Using the “90% rule”, you are allowed to eat almost any kind of food, even a small cookie or candy bar as long as all your other calories that day are from nutrient dense vegetation.

Example of 100 calories of Low Nutrient Food:

– 2 teaspoons of olive oil

– 1 bagel

– half cup of pasta

– 1 small cookie

– 2 ounces of grilled chicken or turkey

– 3 ounces of fish

– 1 thin slice of cheese

Lets face it, most people are addicted to the foods they grew up with. They feel deprived if their diet denies them the foods they love. With the “Life Strategy” these food loves will become condiments … rewards for special occasions. Once you become familiar with the many and varied ways of preparing high nutrition food, you will start to “love the good and hate the bad”! Avoid a grain based diet. Potatoes, rice and whole grains do not contain the phytochemical power of fruits and vegetables. It has been proven time and again that a high intake of refined grains is linked to common cancers. A high intake of fruit has the opposite effect – fruits protect powerfully against cancer. If you want to lose weight even more rapidly, eliminate low nutrient calories ( the 150 calorie allotment) altogether … particularly a good idea if you have a slow metabolic rate, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Make the “6 Week Strategy” your “Life Strategy” … its actually easier for many to do it that way.

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What If I Fail

Don’t be discouraged! If you fall off the wagon … just make sure you get back on it as quickly as possible. This is marathon, not a sprint … its a Life Strategy remember! The goal is to eat at least 90% of your diet from nutrient dense plant foods … so if you fail in one area, make up for it in another. If you accomplish the goal stated above of eating all the recommended amounts of green vegetables, beans and fruits you will have consumed more than 40 grams of fiber. By consuming so many crucial nutrients and fiber, your body’s drive to overeat is blunted. You will see major differences between these recommendations and many traditional authorities who generally recommend eating less food to lose weight. With the Life Strategy you are actually being encouraged to eat more food! Only by eating more of the right food can you successfully be healthy and well nourished and feel satisfied . On this plan you will be consuming more than ten times the phytochemicals and ten times the fiber that most Americans consume.

 

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Is the Life Strategy Still a “Low Calorie Diet”?

 

 

Yes it is! Excess calories don’t just make you overweight … they shorten your life. The Life Strategy enables most people to feel satisfied with 1000 to 2000 calories per day, whereas before you may have needed 1600 to 3000. Of course, those of you who are already physically active, perhaps being heavily involved in sports and an intensive exercise program will need more calories … but that’s fine … you will get more protein and other nutrients from eating more healthy vegetable based foods, not by reverting to old eating habits and an unhealthy diet. Some people can lose weight just by switching their calories to a healthier plant based cuisine while maintaining approximately the same caloric consumption. Other people are not able to lose weight as easily. They need the entire package … the metabolic benefit of natural plant based foods, along with the satisfaction that results from both the greater bulk of the recommended “unlimited foods” and the consequent nutrient fulfilment these foods bring. Such people need even fewer calories. The good news is when your body becomes accustomed to fewer calories, it becomes satisfied with fewer calories permanently … as will become clearer when we consider the suggested menus, recipes and implementation strategies later. Ultimately you should be aiming at a target calorie consumption of 1200 calories per day for women and approximately 1600 for men … as a way of life.

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What If I’m Following The Life Strategy But Still Not Losing Weight?

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your current body has taken decades to develope into the physical personage that is (currently) you!  Your body might not initially be too responsive to dramatic changes … its a battle of mind over stomach remember … but that will change. Just stick to the strategy and don’t give up. If you were never able to lose weight in the past, be happy with about one or two pounds per week. Tip … if you are not losing weight as fast as you like, write down what you eat and how much, to see if you really are consuming a whole pound of raw vegetables a day and an entire pound of steamed green vegetables a day. If you are an overweight female following the guidelines contained in this site, and are losing about one or two pounds per week … you are probably consuming about 1100 to 1400 calories a day. You can count calories if you want, but it is not necessary; you will feel satisfied and content on fewer calories than you were eating before. Eating healthfully will make you drop unwanted pounds efficiently … independent of caloric intake. It’s as if the body wants to get rid of unhealthy tissue quickly!

 

What if the rest of my family don’t want to eat healthfully?

Every individual has the right to choose how he or she will live their lives and that includes the choice of whether or not to live healthfully. Don’t preach … that will only get your families backs up. The key is to encourage your family to learn and to understand the tremendous benefits of a nutritious diet … and how they could benefit too. The best way to help other people is by setting an example. You lose the weight, get in great health and wait for your friends and family to start asking how you did it. Very few people object to the presence of healthy foods as long as you do not take away the foods that they enjoy. You can always make healthful meals for yourself and some extra food for the rest of the family. Over time it will get easier. Keep in mind that some people require more time to make changes … the key is patience!

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Can I have the occasional “naughty meal”?

It is virtually guaranteed that you will have lapses and set backs on your long journey to health, wellness and your ideal weight. A party, a leaving celebration at the office, an anniversary … there WILL be occasions when sticking totally to the Life Strategy will be very difficult if not impossible. Deviating from the strategy for one meal is not the end of civilisation as we know it! Rather it should give you more incentive to continue the rest of the week without a setback. Eat healthy for the rest of the week so as to make that one meal off the diet almost meaningless. In other words, follow the 90% rule.The 90% rule allows you some leeway for imperfection and special occasions or to have a treat once in a while. You can still retain the benefits and your healthy slim body if you follow that less than perfect “special occasion meal” with 20 healthy meals.

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Focus on Your Actions: Weight Loss Will Follow

If you have patiently studied the advice provided so far on this site, you will already have received an excellent education in human nutrition and learnt many ways that you can personally improve both the quantity and the quality of the food you eat. Knowledge is certainly power when it comes to good nutrition, and provides the most effective and powerful impetus for change. Superior health and optimal weight will no longer be a matter of chance, but something you can control and manage effectively. To avoid discouragement when progress with weight loss is slow, try not to focus on what the bathroom scales say but rather on what you are doing. The weight will drop off provided you continue to eat intelligently, exercise and adopt a continually improving life style. Your body will naturally respond and gravitate toward the ideal weight for you when you eat healthily. Don’t worry if a few days go by without losing any weight: your body will lose those unwanted pounds at a rate it naturally chooses is best. Try not to weigh yourself too often eg once every day. Most people find once a week is sufficient to keep track of their results. And track everything … know your numbers so that you can accurately monitor your progress … and make tweaks where necessary.

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Stay in Control

You need to be both realistic and flexible . You must give your taste buds time to adjust to your new food choices. Changing your old behaviours and adopting a new, healthy lifestyle is your key to success. Moderation in all things … and that doesn’t mean go on a binge, abuse your body and then feel guilty afterwards. Moderation should mean recovering quickly when you have slipped up. Its not necessarily bad to plan cheats, once or twice a month … a cheat once in a while is okay as long as you go right back to the program immediately and then ensure that you don’t do it again for at least a week. As previously mentioned, many weight reduction programs advocate only small changes: the fear is that if you change your eating habits too radically you may give up on the whole thing.The Food & Dietz .com Life Strategy takes a very different view. It has been observed time and time again that those who jump in with full effort during the first six weeks are the same individuals most likely to stick with the plan and achieve excellent results month after month. Dieters who do it gradually … generally those who are following some kind of calorie counting diet. are the ones most likely to revert back to their former way of eating. The gradual approach tends to lead such ones to a  “yo-yo affect” … where they alternate back and forth between old behaviours and new ones and ultimately make little long term progress … if any. Yes change is hard … but I never said it was going to be easy. Rest assured … the results are worth it!

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