Where’s Your PS Squared?

Ahhhh, Eatopia.  A place where you can both eat until you are perfectly satisfied AND succeed in your weight loss and health goals.  It seems like the impossible dream, the ultimate oxymoron, the unreachable star.  How can these two opposing worlds collide?  How can one eat to the point that one is Perfectly Satisfied and still be squarely on the Path to Success (with long-term health and weight loss)?  Let us show you how to find your personal PS².

No matter what dietary preference you have, the worst thing about trying to lose weight is that (it’s natural to assume) you have to get accustomed to eating less, or learn how to “control your appetite.”  The very thought of “dieting” makes one hungrier before even starting.  In fact, that is the main reason diets fail to work long-term, because it is nearly impossible to win the long-term war against your hunger genes.  You may win an occasional battle here or there, but your body’s natural need to feed will always win out in the long run.

The refreshing reality is that if you choose the right foods, you do not have to deprive yourself to lose weight.

What is the formula for being able to eat whenever you are truly hungry, without worrying that you are “falling of the wagon” and ruining your efforts?  Not surprisingly, the key is in healthily-prepared plants.  That is the fine print, the great formula for low-stress weight loss, almost eliminating the need for calorie counting and portion control.  Pick a diet, any diet (or rather any rational dietary preference), and you will find plants “on the menu.”  Your diet must consist primarily of those, usually in a 4:1 ratio.  And the best part about choosing plant foods is that there is a huge variety of options available between the different types – fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, especially when they can be prepared in a variety of different ways!

Not only will choosing these foods allow you to eat more as you lose weight, but their sheer nutritional (fiber, vitamins, and even protein) and antioxidant-packed power will prevent or preempt disease far more than the stuff most Americans eat that masquerades as food.

There are two properties of plant-based foods that allow you to eat more food, not less, as you lose weight:

  1. They generally have a low caloric density (this is something you probably already know).
  2. The body generally has to work harder to convert them to fat, burning off up to 25% of the calories in the process (most people do not know this)!

If you can eat a larger number of calories of low-caloric density foods, that is a lot of food!  And that is how you can find your PS², i.e., how you can eat until you are Perfectly Satisified and still be squarely on the Path to Success (with long-term health and weight loss).  Permission to eat?  Granted!

The more of these types of food you eat, as long as they are prepared in a healthy fashion (not fried or prepared with a lot of oil and sugar), the more you can eat without doing damage to your waist line.  The PS² for most people is about a 4:1 ratio, i.e., four healthily-prepared plant-based foods for every other (“whatever”) food, which includes all non-plant foods and all unhealthily-prepared foods.  Some people might be able to get by with a 3:1 ratio – others may require a 5:1 or greater ratio (including those who desire a faster weight loss, have more difficulty losing weight, are getting close to their target weight, and/or have more medical problems).  However, we recommend starting with The 4:1 Rule, which is SLIM TLC’s eating strategy.

The Good and Potential Pitfalls of Being Vegan

Vegans as a whole are far healthier than the rest of us.  If you choose to follow a vegan diet for religious, philosophical, or health reasons, you will live a longer, healthier life.  That being said, as I see it, there are at least four potential issues associated with trying to recommend that everyone follow such a diet:

  1. For now, it’s too difficult for most.  The grand majority of Americans will not or insist they cannot follow such a diet (therefore the widespread implementation necessary to cure the obesity epidemic must be addressed in a different way).  It is very difficult to eat out or go to someone else’s house to eat when you are vegan, especially a no-processed vegan (or WFPBeater – see below).
  2. It’s not completely necessary for amazing health.  As long as you neutralize or overpower small amounts of less-healthy food with a much larger amount of the sheer nutrition, vitamin, and antioxidant power found in healthily-prepared plant-based foods, you will have amazing health and weight loss success.
  3. It’s often not enough.  There is a growing number of obese and morbidly obese vegans, primarily because the vegan diet allows processed foods.  And vegans are humans, and often struggle with addictions to those foods as much as the next person.
  4. It’s not satisfying for many.  Since plants generally have a low caloric density, many who eat a vegan diet feel like they never fill up adequately, or they get hungry again soon after eating.  This can be partially overcome by eating plants with higher fat, protein, and fiber/complex carbohydrate content (consider beans, potatoes, whole grains, nuts and seeds), but it also takes breaking unhealthy addictions and habits (see TLC University Lesson 5 for a great discussion on how to overcome these – subscription required).  Nonetheless, some folks find that including a small amount of less healthy food (e.g., meat), snacks, or dessert will help them feel satisfied enough to stop eating (i.e., get their “fix”), instead of constantly grazing on plant-based food to try to fill the void, which may result in weight gain (especially if it includes lots of nuts and seeds).

Thank a WFPBeater

My personal feeling is that the healthiest way to eat on the planet is a no-processed plant-based diet, or what Dr. T. Colin Campbell calls a whole-foods, plant-based or “WFPB” diet.  Despite this, plant-eaters are often the target of unfair criticism and the blunt end of jokes (try mocking the gorilla, a plant-eater).  Instead, WFPBeaters should be thanked.  After all, because they are generally the thinnest and healthiest people on the planet, they are the ones who will be paying the medical bills of the obese and unhealthy, the ones who are able to squeeze into the middle seat between obese people on the airplane, etc.  But I’ll stop there.  The reality is that the nation and its individuals are paying a high, unsustainable price for our unhealthy habits.  We can and must do better.  Since The 4:1 Rule is mostly plant-based and discourages but does not outlaw processed food, I guess you could call it a low-processed, mostly plant-based (LPMPB) approach.

Simplicity and Flexibility

The 4:1 Rule can be considered “The Great Unifier.”  It works very well all by itself as an eating strategy; however, if you already have a specific dietary preference and are not succeeding, add The 4:1 Rule and success will be yours.  Two cardinal virtues of The 4:1 Rule are simplicity and flexibility.  Both are necessary if we wish to help the largest number of people reach their health and weight loss goals, and to encompass the largest percentage of varying eating habits and preferences.  You may alter or personalize The 4:1 Rule however you desire, in a way that works best for you.

Most everyone knows that most everyone needs to eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.  However, most everyone disagrees on a host of other factors, including the healthiest types of different plant-based foods, the role and best type of protein, macronutrient (fat, carbohydrate, and protein) content, the role of vitamins, etc.  The good news is that different preferences can easily be adapted to The 4:1 Rule.  For the “4” part, simply choose healthy versions of the types of plant-based foods allowed within your specific dietary preference.  For the “1” or “whatever” part, choose whatever you want!

Because of its simplicity and flexibility, our goal is to make The 4:1 Rule a single banner behind which most health-conscious people can unite.

Where’s the Protein?

Many people are unaware that many plant-based foods have lots of protein, especially dark greens, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and even potatoes and corn.  In fact, if you follow the basic 4:1 Rule Weekly Worksheet (contained in the SLIM TLC Program Materials, available by joining SLIM TLC Online), you will get 40-50 (or more) grams of protein from just the plants you eat!  Nonetheless, if you feel you need more, or that you need a specific type of protein, that’s what the “whatever” option is for!

I think 20% unhealthy food is way too much!

No one said you have to fill that 20% with “unhealthy” – fill it with “whatever” you want!  For the grand majority of people, especially in a nation that lives by The 1:4 Rule, there has to be a little flexibility, or no one will follow it long term.  And yet you can do whatever you want with that “whatever” section.  That is the beauty of The 4:1 Rule.

Discover Your PS²

It is important to understand that everyone’s PS² is different, and you will need to discover yours.  It will depend on a variety of factors, including your own personal drives and eating patterns, genetics, activity level, and muscle mass.  How hard it is to reach your PS² will depend not only on these factors, but also your habits, stress level, environment, and how addicted you are (as most Americans are) to many of the foods that fall into the “whatever” category.  If you are not succeeding in your long-term health and weight loss goals, SLIM TLC will help you do so without having to worry about going hungry.

Even if you disagree with The 4:1 Rule, that does not disqualify you from benefiting from other aspects of SLIM TLC.  You can still follow the SLIM TLC Map (our unique goal-setting system), ask your doctor to provide a SLIM prescription, and apply what you consider to be TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes).  No matter what you feel is the right approach, to significantly increase your chances of success, take what you have and add SLIM TLC!  Get started now.

Succeed…but this time for life!

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