What is a good diet plan? How does one differ between a good diet or a bad diet? Are there any healthy guidelines that can help us identify good diets?
I strongly feel any diet plan which has the following 7 health components can help anyone lose weight/build muscle and optimize their health.
Let’s analyze how the FAB-D Diet scores in each of the 7 components:
# 1 Health Component of a Good Diet Plan —Minimize or Eliminate Sugar
In today’s modern world, it’s not what you eat, but what comes in the way.
There are thousands of products in the supermarket and almost ALL are designed to make you fat.
The underlying component in them: SUGAR
SUGAR comes in disguised form. Here is a chart that shows sugar in different forms:
If you happen to find any of these ingredients (especially in the first three of an items ingredient list) then as a thumb rule, the majority of the calories of that product comes from sugar.
Did you know that in the 1900s, sugar consumption in the U.S. was 90 pounds of sugar per person per year?
By 2009, it had risen to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per person!
Three harmful effects of eating excessive sugar
Harmful effect number #1: Excessive sugar consumption causes obesity.
There is a close parallel between the upsurge in obesity and rising levels of consumption of SSBs (sugar-sweetened beverages). SSBs include soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy and vitamin water drinks, and sweetened iced tea.
Recently, a large number of epidemiological studies quantified the relationship between SSB consumption and long-term weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease risk. 
In a meta-analysis of 88 studies, a clear association between soft drink intake increased energy intake, and body weight was found. Higher soft drink intake was also associated with lower intakes of milk and calcium, as well as lower intakes and other nutrients and an increased risk of several medical problems, including diabetes. 
Harmful effect number #2: Excessive sugar consumption can cause type 2 diabetes.
If one starts to eat too much sugar, a metabolic syndrome called insulin resistance can develop. In this case, your pancreas releases more insulin to curb the excess sugar in your bloodstream, but eventually, it loses the battle. Your blood sugar keeps rising, and you end up with diabetes. 
Harmful effect number #3: Excessive sugar consumption can give you cancer.
There are multiple studies that link higher sugar consumption with cancer. 
Clearly, SUGAR is the main culprit and if any diet minimizes (or eliminates) it, it will help literally ANYONE lose weight and become healthy.
FAB-D Diet goes one step further and eliminates grains, fruits, and cereals. Huh?
Whats the rationale behind it?
Carbohydrate in any form other than fiber will eventually be metabolized by the body into sugar. It does not matter if it’s a fruit, whole grains or cereal. There is already an overload of carbohydrates in our diets.
Let briefly talk about Indian Diet.
An Indian Meal comprises of daal, subzi, and chappati. Daal and Chappati are high in carbohydrates and can easily account for over 70% of calories.
That’s highly skewed. And it’s fewer calories from healthy fats and proteins. That’s why most Indians are deficient in proteins.
There is another big problem.
The type of carbs that are available now is refined and processed. After having analyzed and counselled thousands of people, it seems pretty clear that those people consumed little calories come from brown rice, sweet potatoes.
Mostly its cereals, oats, biscuits, bread, pasta and other sweets. Calories from these foods cause insulin resistance over time.
Mostly its cereals, oats, biscuits, bread, pasta and other sweets. Calories from these foods cause insulin resistance over time as their glycemic index is high and causes a rapid rise in blood sugar.
This is also no surprise. India is the diabetic capital of the world where more than 40 million Indians have type-2 diabetes and an astonishing 77 million are prediabetic and the majority of them are not even aware of it.
# 2 Health Component of a Good Diet Plan—Enjoyability
Dieting is always an event. Once people are off their diets, they usually revert back their old eating patterns. Unfortunately, they also gain all the weight back!
You cannot win against powerful energy as sugar (or junk)
If we mention that we are going to eat pizza for dinner and somehow our 4-year-old son gets a hint, he just does not stop reminding us until he eats his first bite:)
I wish he had the same addiction to eating ‘DAAL’.
Unfortunately, that can never be the case, as the foods companies spend billions of billions of dollars every year in R & D. They employ super smart people to create chemicals that alter our brain chemistry, our taste buds so that no one can eat just one.
So let’s be smart, and include these chemically altered sin foods as part of our healthy diet plan?
By giving yourself the freedom to eat a percentage of calories from your favorite foods ONE day of the week. Not just for one meal, but for the entire day!
Applying 80/20 rule to this, why not allow 20% of calories from unhealthy foods. 20% of 2000 comes to around 600. Multiple this by 7 and it’s around 4000 calories.
FAB-D Diet will allow you to eat close to 4000 calories per week from your favorite foods!!!!
However, there is a condition. Instead of eating these calories spread out throughout the week, you will be given an entire day/week preferably a SATURDAY where you can eat those calories.
Why just one day of the week? We are creatures of habit. If we eat junk every day two problems will arise:
First, we will become more habitual of eating junk. If you do more of something every day, even if it’s less in the quantity you create habits albeit strong ones.
Secondly, it super hard to control once you have started with any junk food. Just two slices of a cheesy pizza have more than 600 calories. How many people do you think will stop at two slices?
How many people do you think will stop at two slices?
We humans would prefer binge eating to control eating.
Another advantage of these binges could actually turn out to be beneficially for you. Most of the calories that you will eat on your cheat day will come from carbs. Extra carbs will completely replenish your glycogen stores which have a direct impact on the quality of your workouts.
Your hormones leptin and T3 will also be optimized. You see a caloric deficit diet to lose weight is a stress to the body and overall it results in low levels of these causing headaches, cravings, disruptive sleep patterns and so forth.
A refeed (every week) will help improve your hormonal profile helping you to stick to your diet plan better.
# 3 Component of a Good Diet Plan—Safeguard against cravings and hunger
Eating more Proteins. Protein has a satiety effect. It gives you that feeling of fullness. For example when I eat this:
I don’t feel hungry for at least 3-5 hours!
Including healthy fats along with proteins does help as one gram of fat has 9 calories and therefore it slows down gastric emptying.
# 4 Component of a Good Diet Plan–Inclusion of Healthy Fats
For past few decades, fats have been demonized. Saturated fats have gotten a lot of attention in the press over the years, but these fats have been unfairly demonized. It all started with Ancel Keys and the Seven Countries Study.
Keys launched the Seven Countries Study in 1958 to research the relationship between dietary patterns and the prevalence of coronary heart disease. He uncovered a direct link between heart disease from high total serum cholesterol and saturated fat intake.
However, the study was seriously flawed; Keys started out with data from 22 countries and simply omitted the data from the countries that didn’t fit with his hypothesis! For the last four decades, because of him and his deceptive study, we have been eating cereals with skim milk instead of whole egg omelets made in butter.
FAB-D Diet has a lot of healthy fats, 50% calories to be precise!
Fats can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It is easy to get confused when talking about fats because some are good and some are bad.
Good fats: Egg yolk, ghee, coconut oil, walnuts, almonds, avocados, and so forth. Bad fats like trans fats which are added to virtually every processed food items are completely eliminated on this diet. Vegetable oils that people consider healthy are also a big-nono as they turn rancid and toxic when used for cooking.
Fats play a host of important function in our bodies, makes our food tasty and slows down gastric emptying which when combined with protein can help you alleviate cravings and hunger.
# 5 Healthy Component of a Good Diet Plan—Enough Fiber
Most experts agree that the average person only gets about half of the fiber needed daily. Estimates indicate that most of us are getting no more than 12g a day which is severely deficient.
Ideally, women should get about 25 grams a day and men at least 35 to 40 grams a day.
FAB-D Diet has beans, lentils, and vegetables as its core ingredients, so when it comes to fiber [both soluble/insoluble] it is certainly not an issue! See the micro-nutrient chart below.
# 6 Healthy Component of a Good Diet Plan—Probiotics
Optimizing one’ gut bacteria is the key to good health. Foods like chutney, buttermilk, yogurt and other fermented foods like kimchi, pickles are necessary and included as part of this diet.
# 7 Healthy Component of a Good Diet Plan—Balanced levels of Macro and Micro-Nutrients
FAB-D diet is not lopsided where one macronutrient is completely missing. Calories from Healthy Fats is fixed at 50% and calories from proteins and carbohydrates vary based on your food choices, mainly related to the fact whether you are a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian.
Fat: 50% of Total Caloric Intake
Proteins: 25 to 40%
Carbohydrates: 10 to 25%
What about micronutrients?
Here is a snapshot of the FAB-D Diet with all its core food ingredients. Notice the levels of micronutrients and fiber. Almost everything above 100% above the recommended dose.
Note: The best way to get Vitamin D is through the sun.
It seems like THE FAB-D Diet comprises of all health components and guidelines that can help anyone lose weight/build muscle and optimize their health.
Millions of people have been following a diet plan with similar guidelines with great results.
But I am always the skeptical one. I am on it 100% and I want you to give it a try.
If you have any questions do let me know in the comments below!
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