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    The Promise

    What if flavor were one of the keys to losing weight for good?

    The Flavor Point Diet focuses on flavor. The idea is that limiting the flavors on your plate helps you recognize when you're full, so you stop eating.

    This plan has three phases:

    Phase 1: Each day will have a “flavor theme” during the first 4 weeks of the program. All of your meals will share a common ingredient. Sticking with the same flavors will train your brain to turn off the hunger switch, so you’ll reach the Flavor Point faster, according to author David Katz, MD.

    Phase 2: You get more flavors during this phase. You choose and prepare meals according to the Flavor Point guidelines to control appetite.

    Phase 3: You keep using the Flavor Point guidelines as you make progress toward your goal weight and then transition into maintenance.

    What You Can Eat and What You Can't

    You eat three meals and two snacks a day, plus an optional dessert, all adding up to 1,200-1,500 calories a day.

    Say goodbye to fast food, all-you-can-eat buffets, artificial sweeteners, and soda on this plan.

    During Phase 1, the flavor themes include pumpkin, pineapple, lemon, walnut, and basil. Any time during or after Week 3, you may use one of the “special indulgence” menu plans each week, which include chocolate or coconut.

    Katz encourages you to read food labels in order to avoid ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats.

    You will need to save alcoholic beverages until you’re near the end of a meal, since alcohol can make you more likely to overindulge.

    Level of Effort: Medium

    This plan plays with flavor, which may be something you hadn't thought about if you've tried to lose weight before.

    Limitations: Phase 1 has the most limits. The “special indulgence” menus help conquer cravings.

    Cooking and shopping: You cook or eat out as usual, as long as you stick to the Flavor Point guidelines. There are plenty of suggestions for tweaking the plan when you're eating out.

    Packaged foods or meals: No.

    In-person meetings: No.

    Exercise: Required. A mix of cardio and resistance training is recommended for 30 minutes on most days of the week.

    Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?

    Vegetarian and vegan: You could adjust this diet to make it work for you, since it emphasizes fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as lean protein and healthy fats.

    Gluten-free diet: This diet doesn't focus on gluten, but you can substitute gluten-free items for the breads, crackers, and pastas.

    What Else You Should Know

    Cost: Just your groceries.

    Support: You do this diet on your own.

    What Maryann Jacobsen, MS, RD, Says:

    Does It Work?

    Katz’s Flavor Point diet is based on solid research showing that increased food variety is linked to overeating and being overweight.

    One study found that people lost between 10 and 31 pounds on the Flavor Point Diet. The weight loss is likely due to the plan’s low calories, not the limiting of flavors.

    Is It Good for Certain Conditions?

    This plan is low in saturated fat and high in fiber, focusing on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, making it good for many health conditions, like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. If you have diabetes, however, you would still need to count carbs on this diet.

    If you’re over age 50 or have a health condition, check with your doctor before starting this diet.

    The Final Word

    If you want a nutritionally sound plan geared toward the whole family that can help you lose weight and control your appetite, then this plan is for you.

    The downside is that the flavor themes will take some time to get used to and may be too tedious for some.

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