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The 3-Apple-a-Day Plan: Your Foundation for Permanent Fat Loss Paperback – April 5, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tammi Flynn, M.S., R.D., is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition science from Texas A&M University. She has over twenty years’ experience in the health and fitness industry, and has helped hundreds of clients find a sense of peace and control over exercise, nutrition, and weight loss.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

THE CREATION OF THE 3-APPLE-A-DAY PLAN

The beginning

It all started when the American Cancer Society’s daily recommendation of five to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables (in general, a serving is one cup raw or one-half cup cooked) was proving difficult for one of my personal training clients. She was adamant about getting in her daily requirements but was struggling because she was extremely busy and traveled often. I asked her what her favorite fruit was, and she said apples.

Perfect, I thought. Apples are full of important nutrients, have lots of fiber, taste delicious, and, most important for her, travel well. I suggested she eat an apple before each major meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) to see if that would solve her problem.

Amazing results in just seven days

Just one week later, she came back to have her body composition retested saying that since she’d been eating three apples a day, she felt her body had actually changed. She was excited because she hadn’t noted any changes for several months.

So we measured, and sure enough, she had lost 1 percent body fat in one week! Now, a 1-percent body fat loss (1.5 pounds of fat) in one week is difficult to accomplish in a fit person–and she was already lean at 16 percent body fat.

“Wow,” I said. “Have you been running more?”

She said the only thing she had done differently was to add apples to her meal plan (which actually increased her caloric intake!).

At this point, I was cautiously optimistic. I decided to try this idea on others to see if the results could be duplicated. When Gold’s Gym of Wenatchee held its twelve-week Get-in-Shape Contest in January 2001, I added apples to the diet (which was then called the “Get Lean” Diet).

The Get-in-Shape Contest

The annual twelve-week contest, which I created in 1997, was (and is) a body transformation contest designed to lower body fat while retaining muscle tissue. Although judging is based primarily on visual change from before and after pictures, body composition changes are also recorded. As part of the contest, we provided the diet; exercise recommendations; tips on calculating calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat, and water; and other information pertaining to the program.

Apples and the “Get Lean” Diet

The original “Get Lean” Diet was always a balance of low-GI (see Chapter 7 on glycemic response) carbohydrates, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and essential fats–with a calorie distribution of 40 percent carbohydrates, 40 percent protein, and 20 percent fat. On this balanced twelve-week fitness contest diet, women averaged a body fat loss of 5 to 7 percent, and men averaged 7 to 10 percent loss.

In 2001, when apples were added to the “Get Lean” Diet, Gold’s twelve-week Get-in-Shape Contest participants experienced record fat losses! Women averaged body fat losses 7 to 10 percent, and men averaged losses of 10 to 12 percent. Not only that, two women broke the “most fat loss” record with 21 percent body fat loss each! One of those women, who later became a Gold’s Gym National winner, lost a whopping 53 pounds of body fat and gained 10 pounds of muscle!

The following year, one male contestant lost 84 pounds of fat and acquired 19 pounds of lean muscle. Another man lost 85 pounds of fat and gained 26 pounds of lean, calorie-burning muscle (see the success stories in Part V).

Remember, these changes were made in just twelve weeks!

What a bunch of (happy) losers!

We were on a roll and truly excited about what we had accomplished. In the 2002 contest, 346 people lost 6,126 pounds of fat. In 2003, 351 people lost 6,453 pounds of fat! In both of those years five of the ten Gold’s National contest winners hailed from Gold’s Gym of little old Wenatchee, Washington!

What’s the one thing Wenatchee winners all had in common? You guessed it . . . apples!

But was it really the apples?

After the first year of adding apples, even with all our contest successes, I still had reservations about whether apples were actually what helped these contestants lose more body fat than in years past. But adding apples was the only change we had made in the program.

Actually, I had eaten apples for many years when I was dieting for bodybuilding contests, but I never connected eating apples with losing body fat. In fact, I kind of felt like I was cheating when I ate them during my contest dieting phase–because they tasted so good!

It wasn’t until I had read some of the contestants’ amazing and inspiring personal stories–writing a personal story was a requirement for completion of the contest–that I was finally convinced. There just were too many testimonials naming apples as a major contributor to contestants’ success to be a mere coincidence.

The $500,000 Gold’s Gym Challenge

I became a true believer, and I was not alone. The entire staff at Gold’s Gym in Wenatchee was so strongly convinced that apples were a key to people’s weight loss efforts that we approached the Washington Apple Commission and Gold’s Gym Corporate about sponsoring a national contest.

Of course, the folks at corporate headquarters were skeptical at first. But with real numbers, testimonials, and real contestants, they signed on to the idea, and the $500,000 Gold’s Gym Challenge was born. At the same time, Gold’s Gym Corporate adopted the Washington apple as “the Official Diet Pill of Gold’s Gym.”

How and why do apples work in fat loss?

I was never hungry. In fact, I had to retrain myself to eat enough. Never tiring of the three apples per day, I had no cravings for sweets. I believe the sweet Fuji apples helped in this area. I looked forward to having my apple as a snack every night! I had more energy and was amazed at how steadily I lost weight. I plan to continue using the 3-Apple-a-Day Plan to maintain my weight.

–Sandi Anderson, age fifty-three, lost 31 pounds of fat and gained 2 pounds of muscle in twelve weeks

When the Gold’s Gym Challenge began, I started getting a lot of questions about apples, mostly about how they work in fat loss and what research I had to back up the claims of significant fat loss from our contestants.

At first, I was unaware of any research studies that linked apples with weight loss–let alone fat loss! I chose apples originally because of their convenience, their sweet, crunchy texture, and their high fiber content (4 to 5 grams per apple). I had found a few studies linking increased fiber intake to weight loss, because increased fiber intake was associated with decreasing hunger and food intake, but none naming apples as the fiber source.

Recently, a Brazilian study of overweight women compared diets that contained three apples per day, three pears per day, or oat cookies, to determine their respective effects on body weight. The results showed that the women who ate either three apples or three pears per day lost significantly more weight than did the oat cookie group. This study is similar to what we found in our Gold’s Gym contest.

Apples are one of the only fruits that have high amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber, pectin, helps steady your blood sugar. Researcher Kay-Tee Khaw at Cambridge University says, “Pectin turns into a sticky gel as you digest it, keeping your stomach from absorbing the sugar too quickly.” According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, pectin eliminates the urge to eat for up to four hours.

Apples, too, are low on the Glycemic Index (see Chapter 7), at a rating of 38 (compared with sugar at 70 or maltose at 105). Low-GI foods don’t spike your blood sugar level, making them an ideal appetizer prior to a main meal or a perfect snack between meals.

In a more general sense, a twelve-year Harvard study of 74,000 women, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, concluded that those who consumed more fruits and vegetables were 26 percent less likely to become obese than women who ate fewer fruits and vegetables over the same time period.

Also, many studies have shown that apples can help in other aspects of health, such as preventing heart disease, stroke, and cancer and improving lung function and dental health.

The phenomenal increase in fat loss that thousands of Gold’s Gym clients experienced when they added apples to their diet plans, along with their personal testimonials naming apples as a key component to their success, is a more compelling reason for controlled studies to be done at the scientific level.

Right now, we’ll settle for what works!

Good news for Type II Diabetics

The 3-Apple-a-Day Plan is also used by Gold’s Gym of We-natchee in other challenges. One of those, the Type 2 Diabetes Challenge, is a six-month program based on a point system. As with the Get-in-Shape Contest, using the same diet and measuring body fat only, the contestants were required to keep food, beverage, medicine, and exercise journals; to test their blood sugar twice a day and blood pressure once a week; and to have pre- and post-challenge lipid (blood fats) profiles, including cholesterol and triglycerides (see Chapter 10), and an A1C test (a measure used to determine long-term blood sugar control). The participants did not have any kidney dysfunction before starting or after finishing the challenge.

The results from the Type 2 Diabetes Challenge showed that the group that ate at least three apples per day lost an average of 19 pounds of body fat. The group that ate only one to two apples per day lost 11 pounds of body fat. The other group, which ate one or no apple per day, lost only 3 pounds of body fat. Overall, the average A1C reading was reduced from 7.5 at the starting point to under 5 (normal range) at the finish.

Similar results were obtained with our six-month Wellness Challenge. The parameters were similar as far as keeping food, beverage, medicine, and exercise journals plus pre- and post-challenge lipid and glucose panels. Again, we saw a correlation between eating three apples a day and the greatest fat loss and a lowering of total cholesterol (mainly LDLs).

Worried about cholesterol? More good news

Most people who had high blood lipids before following the 3-Apple-a-Day Plan experienced dramatic changes in their blood work afterward. Exercise and eating the foods on the plan not only lowered their total cholesterol, LDLs, triglycerides, and blood pressure, but increased their HDLs (good cholesterol).

Here’s a great example. Byron, a forty-year-old male, started with an unhealthy cholesterol level of 211 and triglycerides level of 637. In week 11 of the program, his cholesterol fell to an amazing 97 (the low end of the range) and triglycerides to 51 (normal range)! On top of that, his HDLs improved from a low of 25 to a normal level of 35. With astonishment, his physician asked if he felt okay and suggested they double-check to make sure the readings were accurate. Byron said he hadn’t felt this good since high school. And yes, the reading was accurate!

Others around the country also noted improvements in their blood work. Richard from Utah lost 36 pounds and lowered his cholesterol from 218 to 152. More important, his LDLs went from 128 to 86 and his triglycerides from 270 to 61. His HDLs increased from 36 to 49.

Scott from Maine lost 83 pounds and lowered his cholesterol from 243 to 125. His LDLs dropped from 133 to 58, and his triglycerides fell from 220 to 55.

Pete from Florida lost 53 pounds, lowered his cholesterol from 278 to 176, decreased his LDLs from 180 to 116, and his triglycerides from 309 to 58. His HDLs improved from 36 to 48. Pete’s doctor told him he was a heartbeat away from a heart attack before he started the 3-Apple-a-Day Plan. When his final blood work was done, the doctor couldn’t believe the improvements Pete had made in just twelve weeks!

Who can use this plan?

The 3-Apple-a-Day Plan is useful for most people. My clients consist of women and men of all ages–ranging from eighteen to eighty–many of whom have adopted the plan for their entire family. Others, who have heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid dysfunction, and type 2 diabetes, are interested in improving their health and reducing their medications.

As mentioned earlier, people with type 2 diabetes have been very successful using this plan. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 17 million Americans with type 2 diabetes, currently termed the “obese disease.” This number has tripled since 1960 and is anticipated to triple again by 2050. By that time, one in three children born in 2000 will have diabetes if people don’t start adopting a healthier lifestyle–meaning healthier eating and more exercise. What’s even more frightening is that the CDC estimates 70 million Americans are currently overweight, including one out of four children!

What exactly do we mean by “overweight”? That’s a tricky question. I’ll discuss it in the next chapter. The answer may surprise you.

Always check with a physician before starting a food program, especially if you have had previous health risks.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; First Edition edition (April 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767920414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767920414
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Sweeney on October 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I started on this diet with actually just the booklet over 4 years ago. This diet works over the long haul, but you don't stop once you've lost your desired weight. I lost 25 lbs. from 140 to 115 with this diet and it is one of the very best of all the books I've looked at. I had bought at least 5 or 6 different books in the quest for a weight loss plan that would work. This book gives you all the keys you need to loose weight. And yes, it does require a person to workout and any book that says you can loose weight and not workout is pulling your leg. Don't pass this book up it is a chance to change your life and feel better about yourself.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Tami Gurnard on January 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm proof that Tammi's plan works. I lost 27 pounds of fat and 16.5 inches in 12 weeks. With Tammi's guide I learned how easy it can be to eat healthy foods and promote weight loss. Her book is easy to understand, motivational and will show you how to achieve similar results. It can work for you too! You won't be disapointed. The knowledge and confidence I received from Tammi have literally changed my life. This is not a magic pill but the tools she gives you are. Find out why Wenatchee, Washington sings the praises of Tammi Flynn!
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Lee Gamelin on September 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am a personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise and have reviewed many books on exercise and nutrition. Tammi Flynn's work is outstanding! She gives the reader the opportunity to learn and form new habits without the stress usually associated with fad and crash programs. The 3-Apple-a-Day Plan makes sense. I recommend it to all my clients.

Lee Gamelin, CPT

Merrick, New York
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37 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Lee Mellott TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Apple Diet is essentially a low fat diet with a twist. Dieters on the plan eat three apples a day - one prior to each meal.

The premise behind the diet is a simple one. You eat an apple that fills you up with fiber, water and other nutrients and thus reduce your appetite. Apples pack a lot of benefits in a low calorie package.

This plan also includes a moderate calorie, low fat diet. Sample 1500 day includes apple, omelet, and oatmeal for breakfast, non fat cottage cheese and non fat yogurt for a snack. Chicken, broccoli, brown rice and apple for lunch, cappuccino shake for mid afternoon snack and dinner of salmon salad and you guessed it - an apple.

The plan also includes lots of exercise. Cardiovascular, and weight training with squats, lunges, chest presses etc.

The book makes it sound easy. Just eat your apples and voila..simple weight loss. In truth the plan would be very difficult for the average person looking to lose lbs. to stick with for the long haul and keep the weight off.

The diet reminds me of Bill Phillips initial Body for Life plan only not as good. Bill's initial diet included eating very clean ie chicken breast, brown rice, non starchy veggies etc. but it allowed for more fat. The Apple Diet plan is under 20% fat. Bill's plan has also expanded to include his new Eating For Life cookbook with tons of great tasting recipes. The recipes are far more interesting and easy to stick to than the ones in the Apple Diet.

Bill also allows for one cheat night. With the Apple Diet you get nothing..Nada..no chocolate, no ice cream, no dippin dots. Just grilled this or steamed that. How boring is that!

So yes this will work if you are hard core ready for intense clean eating.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Julie A. Gill on March 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was really informative and the diet or meal plan is easy to follow. I really liked the book and the general premise.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Trina on September 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great for moms (who just had babies with just belly fat) or people who are trying to lose less then 50lbs in a 6-8 month period. I wish it had more of a variety on the food menu but other then that it's okay.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert D Vie on April 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have had this book for a number of years, but bought this one for my son and his family. We look to this book for recipes and have been happy with the results.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Francois James on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The 3 Apple-a-Day book is packed with vital info on this diet. Written by a nutritionist, it allows you to enter the book at your desired level of interest by discretely presenting info. The part I found least appealing were the endless examples of who lost what when I wanted more info on how I could lose more. The science sounds good but beware non-weight bearing exercisers and those who don't lift on a regular basis; you may have a very shallow weight decline. I'd like to see many more recipes instead of the endless testimonials. Also, the book itself fell apart at its binding about halfway through making the whole reading experience and plan to use it over and over quite problematical. I'm yearning for an e-reader now.
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