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Lean for Life Program
- How is the Lean for Life Program different than Atkins and other diets? The Lean for Life program is most different from other diets in several ways:
1. The diet is initially low carb and low fat.
Gradually, more carbs are added so that the diet is not restrictive (practically any food can be consumed some of the time) and that people learn how to better control their weight long-term. The amount of carbohydrates recommended are based on your activity, hunger, and weight loss results.
2. The Lean for Life program is very comprehensive.
Aspects of the program address self-image, psychological barriers to weight loss, physical activity, medical status related to weight gain and loss, and cultural influences. To the greatest extent possible, these aspects have been incorporated in our At Home program through computer and telephone support.
3. The Lean for Life program is personalized.
Rather than a one size fits all approach, the program is modified depending on one's starting weight, hunger and activity level, age, and goal.
4. The Lean for Life program is medically-based.
Medicine is an art and a science and, like any other science, is not stagnant. We are constantly learning from new research, ongoing studies, and the personal experience of hundreds of thousands of clients on the program in clinics and at home. Some diets are advocated by medical people (Atkins, for example) but do not stick to the same rigorous expectations that we require. Whenever comparing weight loss programs, you should be most curious about long-term results. Losing a lot of weight in a short time, just to regain it all back (usually plus more) in a shorter period of time, is of little benefit medically, physically, or psychologically. Our long-term clients have done very well in maintaining their weight but it requires ongoing effort and support. Look for articles and information about the Lean for Life program from other media sources as well. The program has been written about by major television programs and newspapers across the country.
- How many fat grams or what percent of fat should I have while on the program or in long term maintenance? The Lean for Life Program differs from most other reduced carbohydrate diets in that we recommend both low fat and gradually increased carbohydrates. On weight loss, the daily meals and snacks we recommend should reach a total of about 20 - 30 grams of fat per day. During maintenance, the total fat grams are usually closer to 40 - 50 grams of fat. This is considered an IDEAL. It's easier to measure grams than percent fat and it also accounts for portion sizes (30% of 2,000 calories is much different than 30% of 3,000 calories). You will notice in the Lean for Life book that we use both % and grams and that the number is generally higher. That is the UPPER limit and should not be used as a goal.
- What kind of fats should I include in my diet? Warnings to cut fat from the diet are good, but people should not go overboard and cut out fats that are healthy, the American Heart Association has said. The group repeated recommendations that people cut animal fats, such as butter, from their diets but said many vegetable oils, such as olive oil, can be good for the heart. "Previous studies have associated a Mediterranean-style diet with a lower risk of heart disease. These diets are rich in monounsaturated fats, primarily olive oil," registered dietitian Penny Kris-Etherton, a member of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee, said in a statement. "These studies are telling us that the type of fat may be as important as how much of it is eaten."
Saturated fat is found in meat, butter and a few plant oils such as palm oil. Among the so-called good fats, monounsaturated fat is abundant in olive and canola oil, as well as avocados, nuts and peanuts, while polyunsaturated fats are found in corn or soybean oil, nuts and seeds. Writing in the journal Circulation, Kris-Etherton noted that many people trying to cut fat from their diets substitute processed carbohydrates, such as white flour or sugar, which can alter the balance of cholesterol in the body.
There are three kinds of cholesterol -- "good" or high density lipoprotein (HDL), which carries fat away from artery walls, "bad" or LDL cholesterol, which deposits fat on artery walls, and triglycerides, which are also considered "bad." Diets high in the processed carbohydrates can lower HDL and raise triglycerides, Kris-Etherton said. The American Heart Association and other experts suggest people stay away from sweet, processed "low-fat" foods and eat whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Including good fats in such a diet can lower the risk of heart disease, Kris-Etherton said. "Some studies have found that these monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may make the platelets -- clotting components in the blood -- less sticky and less likely to form clots," she said. "Monounsaturated fatty acids may help to dissolve clots if they do form." Still, watch the calories
Some studies also suggest that diets higher in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats can help improve control of blood cholesterol in people with Type II diabetes. Such fats should not be eaten with abandon, however, because they are just as high in calories as saturated fats and are extremely fattening. But a little bit in the diet can be good, Kris-Etherton said. Monounsaturated fats include foods such as olive oil, canola oil, peanuts, and avocados. To start you on your way to a heart-healthy lifestyle, the AHA recommends that you begin replacing less heart-healthy saturated fats with monounsaturated fats. Also, unsaturated fats, in general, help make the blood-clotting substances, called platelets, less sticky and less likely to cause a clot. A blood clot traveling in the blood stream is a major cause of many heart attacks and strokes. The American Heart Association currently recommends getting no more than 30 percent of daily calories from fat.
- How many ounces is 2 cups of lettuce? I don't know how firmly to pack the lettuce when I measure it. Unless you have a very accurate scale, measuring can be rather difficult, so we generally avoid this. Just slightly pack your two cups, and you'll be fine.
- On the maintenance menu it says that dessert may be substituted in for a grain or fruit once a day but I cannot find anywhere in the paperwork what a dessert is and how big the portions should be. Any suggestions? We recommend that they contain less that 100 calories and have less than 30 % fat. 4 oz of fat free Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt contains 90-100 calories or less. We recommend that you steer clear of any deserts containing more than 30% fat or more than 100 calories per 4 oz serving.