Food Lovers Fat Loss System: Diet Review
The plan's five-week Food Lovers for Life phase is a little more liberal. It's a maintenance plan that follows the three-week initial phase.
Alcohol, refined flour, sugar, and fried foods are allowed in this phase but are strongly discouraged. For example, instead of eating deep-fat-fried foods, dieters are encouraged to eat oven-fried foods.
"At the core, this diet is similar to what I recommend for weight loss," says Marisa Moore, MBA, RD, LD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly called the American Dietetic Association). "There are lots of good aspects to the Food Lovers Fat Loss System, but it is gimmicky and makes unrealistic promises like your metabolism will be faster or more efficient after 21 days, which is not grounded in scientific evidence."
Dudek gives it a thumbs up. "The real important part of the eating plan is the reduction in the amount of carbohydrates and learning to make a Fat Loss Plate, the rest is frosting on the cake," he says.
The plan recommends taking a daily multivitamin, which may be needed to cover nutrient shortfalls. It also recommends, but does not require, certain "fat loss" supplements, including omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed, and protein powder. However, those supplements do not optimize metabolism or promote fat loss.
Two of the "fat loss" supplements -- borage oil and the "5 Way Metabolic Fat Fighter," raise a red flag for Moore. "There are no studies to support the effectiveness of the 5 Way Metabolic Fat Fighter or borage oil," she says. Individually, some of the ingredients may promote weight loss, but Moore does not recommend the supplement because there is a lack of evidence that it is safe and effective.
"There are no magic bullets to weight loss, but these supplements may not be a bad thing to add to your diet," Dudek says. "Borage oil is an anti-inflammatory agent, and some of the ingredients in the 5 Way Metabolic Fat Fighter may have a minimal effect."
Moore's advice: Save your money, follow a healthy diet plan from My Plate, and skip the weight loss supplements. "Weight loss supplements do not help dieters develop critical lifestyle changes that are the real key to dropping pounds and achieving lifelong health," Moore says.
Food for Thought
Once you get beyond the promises, the Food Lovers Fat Loss System is a healthy calorie and portion-controlled plan with an emphasis on eating lean protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fats. It is rewarding for dieters to know they can enjoy their favorite foods, even if only in small quantities.
Overall, the meal plan appears balanced and sustainable long-term, yet may be deficient in nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium.
Losing weight is challenging, but if you learn how to choose the right foods and eat them regularly, weight loss should be easier. Eating the right food combinations will keep you full and satisfied so gnawing hunger won't derail your diet.