The Instinct Diet
WebMD reviews The Instinct Diet plan, including how it works, what you can eat, and whether it’s healthy.
The Instinct Diet: What It Is
Understanding the five built-in food instincts that help control your eating habits is the secret of The Instinct Diet. Once you understand your eating instincts, the book says, you can learn how to control them -- and lose up to 15 pounds in eight weeks.
The Instinct Diet focuses on typical problems that undermine dieters, like hunger, cravings, and feelings of deprivation. By making simple changes in your lifestyle, you can become more satisfied with the foods you eat and reduce cravings for high-calorie foods, says author Susan Roberts, PhD.
The Instinct Diet is based on more than 20 years of clinical research done by Roberts, a respected Tufts University nutrition researcher. In addition to her own studies, Roberts did a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence on weight loss.
The book aims to teach you how to eat as well as what to eat. The Instinct Diet provides recipes, meal plans (including vegetarian options), and tips to help you master your instincts.
The Instinct Diet is divided into three stages. Stage One lasts two weeks and gets you ready for the diet with a limited variety of hunger-suppressing foods. Stage Two lasts six weeks, and allows a greater variety of foods along with time to learn good eating habits. Stage Three is devoted to the skills that will help you keep the weight off permanently.
The Instinct Diet: What You Can Eat
The menu plans call for about 1,200 calories per day for those weighing less than 160 pounds. People who weigh 160-200 pounds are encouraged to follow the 1,600-calorie plan; those above 200 pounds use the 1,800-calorie plan.
The Instinct Diet includes more than 100 recipes, complete with nutrition information. All contain hunger-suppressing ingredients, such as foods that are high in fiber or low on the glycemic index scale (a measure of a food's ability to raise blood sugar to a particular level within a given period of time ).
You don’t need to be a cook to follow The Instinct Diet. "Simply Good" menu plans are for no-cook, grab-and-go meals, while "Home Cooking" menus use the recipes in the book.
Dieters are urged to take a daily multivitamin, calcium, and fish oil supplements throughout the eight week plan.
Stage 1, the two-week starter plan, features three days' worth of menus repeated four times. This reduced-variety approach is designed for an extra dose of hunger suppression.
"The composition of each meal suppresses hunger while the limited variety helps you get started managing your instincts," says Roberts.
Here's a Sample Stage 1 menu plan.
- 1/4 cup high-fiber cereal with 3 tablespoons granola and 1/2 cup nonfat milk
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- Coffee or tea
- 1 apple
- 1 tablespoon peanuts
- Water or other no-calorie drink