What's on the Menu?
The plan involves using the "fat loss plate" in one of three variations.
Here are the recommended foods to choose to make a healthy fat loss plate:
- Lean protein: pork tenderloin, sirloin steak, extra lean ground beef, skinless poultry breast, fish, low-fat dairy, and eggs
- Fast carbs: pasta, couscous, potatoes, bagels, English muffins, rolls, blueberries, cherries, grapes, apples, and dried fruits
- Slow carbs: artichokes, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, eggplant, asparagus, squash, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, lemons, limes, and legumes
- Free carbs: bok choi, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, onions, chili peppers, lettuce, mushrooms, radishes, spinach, and sprouts
- Fats: butter, peanut butter, cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheese, bacon, sausage, light salad dressing, nuts and seeds
Limited amounts of coffee, tea, diet drinks, and club soda are allowed.
Foods not recommended because, according to the plan, they are likely to slow metabolism: white, bleached, and enriched flours; alcohol; soda; saturated fats; trans fats; partially hydrogenated oils; high fructose corn syrup and other sugars; foods high in sodium; and most processed foods.
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.