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The Promise

No need to count calories on this plan. You can lose weight with a high-fiber diet made up of the right kinds of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains. But you have to give up refined sugar and flour and make other tweaks to the way you eat.

The plan emphasizes foods with a low glycemic index (GI), which help keep your blood sugar levels steady. Foods with a higher GI make your blood sugar rise more than those with a lower GI.

The foods with the highest GI are simple carbohydrates, including white bread, white rice, white potatoes, white flour, and sugar. But don't jump to conclusions: Carbs aren't all bad. The book that introduced the diet, Sugar Busters! Cut Sugar to Trim Fat , and then updated it, The New Sugar Busters! Cut Sugar to Trim Fat, teaches you how to eat the “right” carbs, especially whole grains.

What You Can Eat and What You Can't

No major food groups are off-limits, but you'll need to avoid foods with a high GI.

Fruits and vegetables: You can eat lots of fruits and vegetables, but steer clear of a few (like parsnips, watermelon, and pineapple).

Grains: Whole-grain bread and pasta, brown rice, and oatmeal are allowed.

Protein: You can eat low-fat dairy like milk, cheese, and yogurt; eggs; nuts; fish and shellfish; and many lean meats, including beef and pork.

Alcohol: You can have moderate amounts of alcohol, preferably heart-healthy red wine.

Sweeteners: Table sugar is forbidden, but artificial sweeteners like Equal, Sweet'N Low, and NutraSweet are allowed. Sugar-free ice cream is recommended instead of cookies and cakes.

Forbidden foods: You'll have to give up white potatoes, white rice, white bread, white flour, corn, beets, soda, candy, baked goods, and refined sugar.

Healthy Recipe Finder

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