We just got back from a lecture by one of the authors of the best selling diet book, The Full Plate Diet. The lecture was free and part of the Florida Hospital's effort to help people live to be a healthy 100-years-old. The following are my notes. Although, to be quite frank, I haven't had to take notes like this in a number of years. I'm sure I missed a few items, but I'm sure I got the important stuff.
Dr. Sherard started by asking the audience to make a list of reasons why traditional diets don't work. Here are a few excuses: no willpower, no lifestyle changes, you stay hungry, the diet is only temporary, the diet isn't satisfying, you get bored with the diet, you have limited time for food preparation, the diet is expensive, you become weak and tired, you don't exercise.
Then, she said some fascinating things. "The power to lose weight is adding fiber-rich foods to what you already eat. . .Fiber-rich foods have lots of water and fiber," both of which have no calories. So, fiber-rich foods have the least amount of calories. And "beans are the super fiber food." There's a recipe for a Last Minute Chili on the Full Plate Diet website that Dr. Sherard says takes only 7 minutes from opening the can to filling the bowl.
A high-fiber diet decreases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, acid reflux and 6 cancers among other health problems.
The concept of a high-fiber diet is to fill you up so you stay fuller longer (no snacking) and end up eating less. The diet still adds an appropriate amount of calories to give you energy. This diet is recommended for people who are tired of counting calories, carbs, proteins and points. You can count your fiber. Early on, it might make the process easier to understand. But if you make wise food choices, such work may not be necessary.
Dr. Sherard had three sets of "before" and "after" posters. The most popular was the two Egg McMuffins with orange juice. For only 4 grams of fiber in the muffins alone from the whole meal (none in the juice, eggs, sausage, or cheese), you can gain 1000 calories. But if you replace just one Egg McMuffin and the juice with fiber-rich foods, your meal would consist of an apple, berries, a banana and orange, and a glass of milk to equal the 1000 calories. The result if you could eat that much would be 22 grams of fiber! The take-home factors were a) There's no way you would likely be able to eat all 22g fiber because you would fill up so fast. b) You don't have to replace your entire diet. You can still eat the things you like, just less of them. Also, it is recommended to eat the high-fiber parts of your meal first.
The average American eats only 12 grams of fiber, when you likely need 25-40 grams. Individuals fighting diabetes should eat around 50 grams. It is not recommended to do a dramatic increase from 12 to 40 grams in one day as it can cause gas and/or constipation. And even though high fiber foods are made up of water, dieters must ensure their 6-10 glasses of water a day because fiber absorbs water, which can cause constipation.
In the lecture, I learned that nuts aren't helpful in weight loss because they do not have water even though they have fiber. The purpose of adding nuts and nut butters to your diet is to help you feel satisfied longer. Some also contain necessary proteins. Two-three ounces of nuts is a moderate amount, and the calculation of amount differs per nut. There are fiber calculators to help you navigate adding nuts to your diet.
There were two interesting questions from the audience. One was the difference between fibers and the other was what carbs a diabetic should avoid. Insoluble fibers gives foods a crunchy texture and soluble fiber gives food a gummy texture. Both are found in any food with fiber and do not determine success with the diet. When avoiding carbohydrates, starchy carbs, like rice and potatoes, are the ones that diabetics must count. They can be more liberal with watery cabohydrates, like fruit.
When the lecture was over, Dr. Sherard could cross out every excuse for not sticking to a diet, except exercise because exercise is not required to succeed. In fact, the gentleman pictured on the screen is Joe. He lost 90 pounds in 14 months just by eating more fiber. He's just now adding exercise to his good habits.
Now I'm not trying to lose weight. But I know with family history, I need all the help I can get fighting heart disease and cancer. I'm sold in paying more attention to what I eat and in what order I eat it.