To lose weight without diet or exercise seems to be the “holy grail” of diet culture. Many people simply want to drop pounds without having to sacrifice. Of course, many weight-loss “programs” promise significant weight-loss results—without dieting. One such program is the Food Lover’s Diet. Does weight loss for food lovers really exist? And what’s found on the Food Lover’s fat-loss diet plate?
The Food Lover’s Diet—What Is It?
The Food Lover’s Diet was created by nutritionist Robert Ferguson. The claims are common to those you typically see with diet programs, such as “eat whatever you like and still lose weight.” The “trick” to help you lose weight is to adjust the food combinations. In addition, you need to ensure you’re eating often enough.
According to the Food Lover’s Diet, one of the most important aspects to lose weight is to ensure you consume slow carbohydrates like fibrous green vegetables along with fast, starchy carbs like bread or pasta. You’ll also want to include protein with each meal. Together, these foods slow the rise in blood sugar that leads to increased hunger and lowered energy levels. The Diet also prescribes three meals a day plus snacks between meals.
By decreasing the consumption of fast carbs and adding slow carbs and a protein source to every meal, the creators claim the body’s metabolic rate increases. And this increase then leads to increased fat burning and weight loss. According to the diet creators, transforming these eating patterns can lead to a three-pound per week weight loss (depending on their initial weight).
Can You Still Eat the Foods You Love on the Food Lover’s Diet?
Some of the most positive aspects of diets like the Food Lover’s Diet are no strict calorie restrictions or calorie counting. You don’t need to count every calorie or give up entire food categories. What’s most important is reimaging the foods you add to your plate.
On the other hand, while pictures of decadent foods like chocolate cake are included to entice food lovers, when you dig into the diet, it actually discourages eating those foods. Instead, “sugar-free” options are recommended.
That does not, however, mean you can’t eat foods you love. In fact, many healthy foods are also delicious (such as these breakfast burritos or this Sunday dinner). Foods allowed on the menu for the Food Lover’s Diet include:
- Fast carbs like potatoes, whole grains, and some fruits (e.g., bananas)
- Slow carbs like squash, carrots, zucchini, and some fruits (e.g., strawberries and blueberries)
- “Free” carbs like cabbage, cucumbers, and mushrooms
- Proteins like eggs, chicken (breast), lean meats, and fish
- Fats such as nuts, seeds, and avocados
- Beverages like coffee, tea, water, and club soda or diet drinks (sparingly)
Foods to avoid (or at least reduce) include saturated fats, deep fried foods, hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, alcohol, enriched flavors, and foods high in sodium and added sugar.
In other words, there are dietary restrictions to consume mostly whole-food, nutrient-dense foods. Of course, most nutritionists would agree with making those types of choices to improve overall health and lose weight.
The Food Lover’s Fat-Loss Diet Plate
The Food Lover’s Diet encourages followers to reimagine their plates to decrease the amount of fast carbs while adding other foods. For example:
- 1 protein (e.g., portion-controlled meatloaf) + fast carb (e.g., portion-controlled baked potato) + slow carb (e.g., steamed broccoli)
- 3 slow carbs (e.g., big salad with leafy greens and tomatoes) + 1 protein (e.g., grilled fish)
- 1 fast carb (sandwich bread) + 1 protein (grilled turkey)
For example, rather than eating a breakfast of waffles covered with syrup, the serving of waffles is cut in half, and a protein source (e.g., an egg or serving of lean sausage) as well as a slow carb fruit (e.g., strawberries or blueberries) is added. The meal then becomes more well-rounded and higher in nutrition and likely more satisfying and satiating. In other words, it may help you stay full for longer due to the increased fiber and protein.
Does the Food Lover’s Diet Keep Its Promises?
If you are gravitating toward the Food Lover’s Diet so you can continue to eat fast foods, ultra-processed foods, desserts, and other “favorite” nutrient-sparse yet calorie-dense foods, you’ll be disappointed.
If you understand that losing weight is going to involve making some dietary changes, then the Food Lover’s Diet can offer some good insight into how to transform the diet from quick convenience foods to those that provide more nutrition and keep you full for longer.
That said, the three pounds a week promise comes with no scientific proof. And for many people, this expectation is highly unrealistic. There’s also no scientific support that you’ll see your metabolism increase in the claimed three weeks just by changing your diet plate.
Some of the benefits of the diet, however, are:
- It isn’t a starvation diet.
- You don’t have to count calories.
- You can skip pre-packaged (and typically unappetizing) foods that other diet plans prescribe.
- The plan is fairly easy to follow for most people.
- You will likely avoid hunger.
- It also doesn’t prohibit any foods, such as wheat or carbs.
The diet also encourages other healthy behaviors, such as increasing the amount of water you drink (to 12 glasses per day), exercising regularly (with exercise videos to help get you moving), eating more fiber (and including a cookbook for menu options), and getting enough rest.
The Cost of the Food Lover’s Diet
To get the full program with a cookbook, meal planner, videos, and a journal, you’ll shell out $19.99 per month. If you prefer to have more structure and guidance, you may choose a plan like this.
Do you need to spend extra money to follow a healthy diet? Probably not. For example, you can find thousands of healthy meal ideas for free on the internet (including on this site). You can use your own notebook to create a personalized meal planner. There are numerous free exercise videos available on various apps as well as on YouTube if you want to save your money.
Yes, portion control is necessary to lose weight. Plus, ensuring you include protein and fiber in each meal can help you stay fuller for longer. This can lead to improved weight loss and greater energy levels. You don’t need a specific diet plan for either. There may be more cost-effective ways to do so. The program also doesn’t provide any guidance on one of the most important yet overlooked aspects to the weight-loss equation: metabolic hormones.
Food Lover’s Diet Conclusion
There are significant pros of the Food Lover’s Diet, including increasing the amount of vegetables and fruits found in the average person’s diet. That said, there are other diets options available that are as good or better. What’s more, they’re often more affordable or provide additional supplemental support.
Mike Dorfman is BS in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado. Mike’s has worked as a personal trainer for Gold’s Gym and helped many clients achieve their weight-loss and fitness goals.
To health first, weight-loss second. Mike and Tetrogen are here to help you make the transition to the healthier, happier, and thinner you!