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Level of Effort: Medium continued...

Level of limitations: The last two waves are pretty well-balanced, but Wave 1 suggests a fairly restrictive menu low in calories.

Cooking and shopping: If you’re prepared to stock your pantry with sugar- and trans-fat-free foods, you’ll do well with shopping and cooking on this diet. The diet’s book contains recipe samples for each wave of the program.

Packaged foods or meals: No.

In-person meetings: No.

Exercise: There is no formal exercise component tied to the plan, but you are encouraged to incorporate some daily physical activity.

Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?

Vegetarian or vegan: If you love fruit, veggies, wine, and healthy food in general, you’ll do well on this diet. Meat-free protein sources like soy and eggs are allowed, as long as they are low in saturated fat and free of extra breading or carbs.

Low-fat diet: This is a great option if you are on a low-fat diet. During the first wave, hydrogenated fats are banned; and sugars and carbs are limited throughout all waves.

Gluten-free: This diet doesn’t cater to gluten sensitivities, but it can work because emphasis is placed on fruits and vegetables. Read the labels of your foods to ensure they are gluten-free.

What Else You Should Know

Cost: Other than the cost of the book and your food, this diet is free.

Support: At an affiliated web site,, you can find recipes, success stories, and tips from Guttersen. You can also sign up for an email newsletter.

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