Customer Review

290 of 293 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More review after being on the diet for 7 weeks (below original review), January 23, 2007
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This review is from: The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss (Hardcover)
INITIAL REVIEW
As I read this book I couldn't help thinking how similar it is to the Zone diet. Low refined carbs, high fiber, lean protein, and a small amount of healthy fats. The only thing that's different is that you are aiming for about 35 grams of fiber per day; the Zone doesn't stress fiber as much, although it does clearly say that the more fiber, the better, because it fills you up.

So...I am now on day 2 of the 2-week introduction phase of the diet, and I'm not dying...yet. I don't feel too deprived on this diet because the foods you eat really are quite filling. I also like that after the first 2 weeks, there are no forbidden foods...you just have to eat appropriate portions since what you can eat is limited to a certain # of servings.

I had to buy a case of the GG Crackers online, because I can't find any stores here that sell them (and I'm in Seattle!!!). The crackers are definitely 100% fiber, and they taste like it. I've found that as I get more creative with how I use them, it gets easier. For instance, they're great with peanut butter. I also like them with light cream cheese and lox, or light cream cheese and cucumbers w/ cracked pepper.

So, basically it's a diet. If you're an absolute foodie like myself, you will feel limited, despite the author's claims. The notion that "you don't take away foods, you just add more fiber" is a little misleading, because you have to cut way down on processed carbs. However, processed carbs aren't off limits, you just really can't enjoy that chicken pot pie like you used to.

Overall, it's a sound diet. It describes the way humans are probably meant to eat. It's healthy, there are a million benefits to eating enough fiber, and you definitely feel less weighed down on it. However...the fun factor goes right out the window. I mean, seriously...have you ever seen a Nutritionist who looks like he/she has any FUN when he/she eats?

ADDITION TO ORIGINAL REVIEW, 7 weeks later:
I don't know if it's due to the diet, or due to me finally being enlightened about my relationship with food, but I have definitely been able to integrate the concept of more fiber/less refined carbs into the way I just live. After the first two strict weeks, I have definitely relaxed some of the "rules" (I mean, sometimes you need a slice of pizza) and found that I'm successful at 1) Not feeling guilty when I do indulge, or feeling like I've "failed" and 2) Being able to continue the diet without feeling that since I've gone off course, there's no longer hope. My main mantra is that if I follow the diet (which I now consider to be a lifestyle) 90% of the time, then I will benefit from it 90% of the time (I believe Dr. Sears of the Zone had a similar philosophy). There is no danger of going "out of the Zone", or getting "out of ketosis" i.e. Atkins. There is no physical state that you "must maintain" in order for the diet to work. You just pick up where you left off.

So...some things I've experienced while on this diet, and again--I can't claim that it's 100% due to the diet, or if it's because I am now finally "ready" to accept that living a healthy lifestyle means ADOPTING healthy habits--are below. I do believe this fiber diet has been a great initiation to a better lifestyle:

1. I have lost about 10 pounds in the last 7 weeks. This doesn't seem like a lot, but it has been gradual and I've accepted this as the way I will eat for life, not a crash diet. Also, I have NOT increased my exercise during this time. I'm o.k. with slow progress if it means I'll be able to do this for a lifetime and never have to diet again. I am slowly working more physical activity into my lifestyle. I feel much better, clothes fit better, and I carry myself with the confidence I had when I was in my 20's and weighed much less.

2. I was taking a proton pump inhibitor for my chronic heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux. I was able to stop taking this medication after week one because I no longer have the above symptoms, and really believe that I won't need to take it ever again. I'm relieved for this because of recent evidence that suggests PPIs inhibit calcium absorption and therefore may lead to less bone density (particularly in the hip) and higher risk for bone breakage as I age.

3. My hunger is under control. I have learned how to be satisfied without being "stuffed" when I eat, and I am happier with smaller meals, thus fewer calories. I do not feel the low blood sugar crash when I get hungry between meals (meaning that I am not a crazed maniac if I cannot immediately eat), and I am much more aware of what I'm eating because of it. If I eat a really large lunch, I can easily eat a much smaller dinner and be perfectly satisfied. I no longer have cravings for junk, and believe me: I used to LOVE the junk.

RECIPES AND STUFF THAT'S WORKED FOR ME:

One thing that has been a great addition to this diet are Mama Lupe's low-carb tortillas (60 calories, 3 grams fat, 7 grams carb, 4 grams fiber in each 10-inch tortilla). They are the best tasting low-carb tortillas I've ever had, and I've tried many. I have not found them in stores, but order them online. I'll make quesadillas with fresh homemade salsa, use them for wraps with lunch meats, cheese and plenty of fresh veggies, or use them as I would normal tortillas when I cook Mexican food.

As for the GG crackers, some great success I've had:
1. With peanut butter and apple slices
2. With dijonaisse, lunch meat and low-fat cheese and pickles
3. As pizza crust: line them up on the bottom of a baking sheet, add your favorite tomato topping (or make your own by simmering fresh diced tomatoes, plenty of garlic, oregano and salt to taste), add the italian cheese blend you can find in the bags already shredded, and top with chicken italian sausage that you've taken out of the casings and cooked in a skillet (may need a bit of olive oil since the good chicken sausage is low-fat). Throw the whole thing in a 375-degree oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and getting to be golden. The crackers soften up a bit, but hold up to the firmness needed to hold the toppings.

4. I've been adding a tablespoon of ground Flax Meal (you can find it at health food stores, or online) to my morning yogurt for an added boost of fiber, plus the great benefits of heart-healthy omega-3's.
Flax has a wonderful, nutty taste and adds great texture.

5. I make a home-made Chinese Chicken Salad with cabbage, shredded carrots, diced chicken or turkey breast, sesame seeds and whatever sesame dressing (I like Girard's Chinese Chicken Salad dressing--it's fairly high fat but I consider it my daily indulgence--the glass triangular bottle). Then, instead of the high-fat fried chow mein noodles, I'll add 1/2 cup of Fiber One cereal for crunch. The salad still tastes great, and packs a nice fiber punch.

6. I have been very dedicated to preparing meals and setting aside "leftovers" or putting something together for lunch the next day at work. Because of this, my lunches are healthy and support my diet, and I save money because I don't eat out every day like I used to.

Best of luck--if this diet resonates with you and you can work with it as a lifestyle change, I have no doubts that you will benefit from all the great things FIBER can do for you!
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 2, 2007 1:28:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 2, 2007 2:13:34 PM PST
Raven says:
Ms. Diaz stumbling over your post was so advantageous. I've been eating my own formula healthy-foods high fiber diet the past three days and am delighted to report I'm still hunger free, and you have given me so many great ideas. Thanks for your diligence and care in giving us your findings and I applaud your great success. Like you, I'm at a place where I'm weary of diets that ultimately never work and want to find that perfect eating "lifestyle". My own experience these past three days and what you report have given me great hope I can continue my successful quest to control my blood sugar and overcome the manic night-time cravings through healthy eating of the right (delicious and healthy) high fiber foods throughout the day.

I've not read this particular book but I will as I'm convinced high fiber IS the healthy and painless answer for most women seeking to overcome persistent hunger.

Posted on Mar 2, 2007 6:30:38 PM PST
xoxo says:
Great review!! I have to tell you that knowing you were able to stick with it for 7 weeks really motivates me. There are so many diets that would be healthy . . . but are too hard to stick with. I really appreciate also the update review. Keep them coming!!! I am getting the book. Look for my review in a few weeks because I am going to give it a go.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2007 7:07:45 PM PST
200 won says:
You are more than welcome. I have found that due to time constraints it can be difficult to "maintain" this diet, but that really is no excuse. I still very consciously choose higher-fiber options (like brown rice vs. white) and always read my labels. Still enjoying the fiber crackers with peanut butter, and dipping them in soup helps round out a small meal. You'll have to let me know if you had any luck with it, and if you found the book to be helpful!

Posted on Oct 11, 2009 8:24:44 AM PDT
banks10187 says:
Thank you for your informative post. I, too, have been successfully using a high-fiber diet of my own design, and feel like I have discovered "the secret" to being in control of my weight. Nearly everyone knows, or should know, that weight loss is completely determined by burning more calories than you digest, and yet weight control is so difficult that it has created a multi-billion dollar industry. The simple reason that it is so hard is that you get hungry, and you must balance the necessity of satisfying your hunger against the desire to lose weight. As you exercise and burn calories, you get hungrier and you get no caloric advantage from it unless you also eat foods that reduce hunger. Weight loss is really all about the ability to manage hunger, and lo and behold, the way to do that is by eating more fiber, which the brain interprets as "food", but the body cannot metabolize as energy. I am fortunate to live in New England, where in the fall we have the most incredibly delicious apples, which are high in fiber and very satiating. For snacking, I use either apples or 100 calorie "Smart Pop" popcorn in the evening, as well as high-fiber, high-protein foods for breakfast and lunch, and as a consequence I can eat pretty much whatever I want for dinner... as long as the total calories are within the target that I've set for myself. I'm also an avid cyclist, but now my cycling has a definite, beneficial effect on weight loss that it never had before. Finally, by using fiber to control hunger, I have control over my weight. Bring on the fiber-rich recipes!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2010 10:49:47 AM PST
Always Happy says:
What a great review - thanks for taking the time to be so specific and for the follow up. I was contemplating getting the book as I have tried sooooo many in the past, after your review I will buy it.

Posted on May 3, 2010 9:02:55 AM PDT
Lisa says:
This is one of the most informative comments I have ever read. This reviewer writes about the good and the bad and lets the reader make his or her own decision. Thank you.

Posted on May 28, 2012 10:22:33 AM PDT
oolala53 says:
I'm wondering if you have been successful maintaining this lifestyle. Five years is how long it takes before the relapse odds drop to 25%. Seven weeks is usually still in the honeymoon phase. Has the marriage lasted?

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 2:55:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2012 3:01:23 PM PDT
200 won says:
The honeymoon phase is definitely over but the marriage is still good, lol. The past 5 years have been a balance of healthier eating and making mental health as much of a priority as physical health, which is not hard since we garden so much and live in a city that values local, seasonal, healthy food. Also tremendously helpful: getting off all my prescription meds and finding more natural solutions (see my review for D-Limonene), and back to a "baseline" of sorts...knowing my body as it was before I had to start taking PPIs, then H2 blockers. After 5 years of working on my relationship with food, going up and down in both weight and spirit, I can certainly say that it always comes back to unprocessed foods that are naturally loaded with fiber...I very rarely shop in the aisles in the grocery store, I stick to the perimeters. However, I think about it very differently now. Becoming more aware of our entire food system and avoiding anything with ingredients I have to work too hard to pronounce has resulted in the most success. Reading Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan has entirely changed how I look at food and health in general, and my life is much better for it. Thanks for the follow-up question, I just happened to come across it today.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2014 9:56:31 PM PDT
T.R. Hammer says:
One of the best reviews about any product I've read on Amazon since 1999. Thank you.
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