Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Free e-Book and Ideal Weight Program 2.0 Announcement

I'm happy to announce that we're releasing a free e-book titled Why do We Gain Fat, and How do We Lose it? An Introduction to the Science of Body Fat, by Dan Pardi and myself. This is a slimmed-down version of the longer, fully referenced e-book we offer as part of the Ideal Weight Program. In it, we provide a succinct overview of the science of body fat gain and loss, and the evidence base for our program.  It also contains a schematic that ties together the various concepts in visual form. You can download it from the Dan’s Plan site by following this link to our program overview page.

Ideal Weight Program 2.0 Upgrades

Over the last year, Dan and I have been working hard to improve the Ideal Weight Program, both in response to user feedback and our own ideas for development.  Here are some of the new features we offer in 2014:
  1. Four-week meal plans and shopping lists for the FLASH diet and the Simple Food Diet, as requested by Ideal Weight Program users.  This is in addition to the recipes and cooking guides we already provide.  
  2. The Protein Unit system.  Research suggests there's an optimal amount of protein for appetite control and fat loss, depending on your height, weight, gender, and physical activity level.  Our fat loss diets are high in protein, but how do you know you're getting the right amount?  We've created a calculator that does it for you automatically, and explains how to apply your personalized Protein Unit value easily and intuitively using real food. 
  3. Diet plates.  These are visual guides to following our diets, based loosely on the intuitive USDA MyPlate design.  
  4. Cheat sheets.  Put these on your fridge to remind yourself of your diet and lifestyle guidelines, and daily protein unit goal.
  5. Updated guidance.  We've refined a few things in the diet guidance documents. 

At a time of year when many people want to shed excess holiday pounds and start down a leaner, healthier path, we offer the Ideal Weight Program 2.0.  The program comes with a 30-day no-questions-asked refund policy so you can try it without risk.  We think you'll love this program, but if it doesn't work for you, we're happy to refund your purchase price. 

Financial disclosure: I receive a portion of the revenue from the sale of the Ideal Weight Program.  I do not receive revenue from the sale of other products associated with Dan's Plan or the Ideal Weight Program (such as the Fitbit, cooking tools, and other programs).


elbatrofmoc said...

Many thanks for the free e-book. I greatly appreciate the effort. I'm also really happy that you managed to make it that short and to the point (so many diet books are way too long in my opinion).

One question: Is the protein calculator available for everyone, or is it only for the buyers of the program? I don't really need, but I would like to see what my optimal protein intake should be out of sheer curiosity.

ulfben said...

I would love to try this, but no support for the metric system is a massive turn-off.

Could you talk to someone over at Dan's and have them fix their sign up page and add a toggle for the rest of the world to use this site?

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi elba,

You can see your protein units without purchasing the program, but the explanation of what it means and information on how to apply it requires purchase.

Hi ulfben,

Yes, sorry about that. We're working on adding that feature. Much of the guidance is already metric-compatible, but making the charts etc. metric-compatible will take some development on our end that is not trivial. Still it's an important feature that we plan to add.

Unknown said...

Love the simple food diet plan. I fear I love cheese, greek yogurt, and creamer [for coffee] too much to do be successful with it though. I was surprised to see that there was no mention of nuts? What was the rationale behind that?

ulfben said...

Just wanted to follow up and let you know Dan answered in an email too, and said;
Thanks for the note. Our ex-US audience is expanding rapidly so we're getting this request regularly now. I've escalated the feature as a priority. We have our hands dirty working on finalizing a few other projects but I plan to get to this once those are done. Hopefully, we'll have this done within two months.

Happy new year,

There's hope. :)

Unknown said...

Hi Stephan, could you point out exactly where the protein calculator is? I'm a subscriber to the program but I'm having trouble finding that feature. I've found the thing that calculates what my personal protein target should be, but not the thing that works out what that means in terms of specific foods.

It's a great site in general, and the material is good, but the navigation can sometimes be a bit confusing. Cheers :)

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi Unknown,

Glad you like the program. It does allow Greek yogurt, though no cheese or fluid milk. There are reasons for that, but one of the key elements of successful weight loss is having a sustainable intervention. If you need to add a bit of cheese and creamer to make it sustainable, you should go ahead. I will note that the Lean Maintenance Diet allows all of those foods.

The rationale for avoiding nuts during the fat loss phase is that they're calorie-dense and easy to overeat in an unrestricted situation. There has been a frenzy of recent research suggesting that nuts don't cause as much weight gain as expected (or sometimes none at all) but that doesn't make them an effective fat loss food.

Regarding the protein units, your number is in the "Plan Details and Settings" page on the left sidebar, under the "Weight" heading. We're currently working on the design to make it more prominent. For guidance on how to apply it, go to the "Program Guidance" section on the main program page, and click on "Daily Protein Target". This will explain what the protein units mean, how to apply them, and present examples of daily meal plans for our diets.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating book. I would like to add an important perspective on the weight loss journey.
I have come lately to realize the first and second noble truths – that suffering is to be understood; and that the cause of suffering (chiefly, craving) is to be released. In my mind, when I want something really badly (e.g. a falafel sandwich), the craving has two parts:

a) fear that if I avoid what I want this time, I will feel great (“immeasurable”) disappointment and loss

b) the want to want (meaning there is a reason we want – we have to want to want – this wanting to be in a state of ‘wanting’ is unconscious, but it is definitely there)

These two factors when coupled are basically impossible to deal with, and any renunciation of the craving just intensifies it for next time.

I have started to take a different approach. I give in to the craving – I gratify my craving – but I do it with my eyes wide open. I then objectively ask myself in real time – in fulfilling this craving, am I getting everything I had expected and desired? The answer is always no. There is usually something that disappoints – maybe the music was too loud in the falafel restaurant, maybe the satiety from eating it was short-lived, or maybe the promise of it just did not deliver, in some intrinsic way. So I see the danger in the craving, I’ve realized the danger in the craving after gratifying my senses. That now leads me to see the escape. Next time, I will not get falafel. Next time, I will not eat potato chips. It just wasn’t worth it. I didn’t see any deep-seated, enduring, permanent satisfaction of my craving – in fact, I realize it just perpetuated the cycle. Time to get off that bus.

As you can tell, I have stolen all of this from Pali Canon. It is not of my conceiving, but it really, really works. Next time when giving into any craving keep your eyes open to the gratification, the danger and the escape. The escape will open up as though you were dropping a searing-hot piece of coal - because you have seen through the gratification and seen into the danger.

joanent said...

Hi - based on the quality of your excellent blog, I signed up for this. Interesting that it's a one-time membership. I'm hoping that more will be added to the site. I like that I can enter my sleep hours and it's easy to enter the exercise minutes, which is where I am starting. I follow a pescetarian diet, and have tried other programs that emphasized higher protein. I like the simplified approach of protein units. I hope that you and Dan will add some kind of meal tracking, at least for the protein count. I find that when I track my food using an online tool, I can lose weight, but just can't spend the amount of time this requires without some kind of extrinsic reward, such as a contest offered by my companies fitness center. So just entering protein foods would be a quick way to monitor the one measure that this diet asks to track.

Dan said...

Hi Stephan, what does the program recommend broadly in terms of exercise?

Intrigued said...

I stumbled on your site at the holidays. Your academic work makes sense to me and you communicate it well, so I kept reading, and my wife put the Ideal weight Program in my Christmas stocking at my request; I'm beginning to apply it.

One question about the Protein Unit calculations: I wonder why they provide so much protein.

For example, the program tells me to eat 21 Protein Units daily.

If I choose chicken breast for my 21 Protein Units, I am eating 21 oz a day of it, since 1 oz of chicken is 1 Protein Unit. 21 oz of chicken breast provides ~175 g of protein, much more than standard low-carb diets that say to eat ~125 g of protein.

I wonder about the rationale for guiding people to eat comparatively more protein.

Quick facts: I am a man, 6'1", 195 lbs; I walk at least 10,000 steps most days, workout moderately 2-3 times a week, and sit for much of my work.


Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi Intrigued,

Increased protein intake facilitates fat loss, in part due to its high satiety value and ability to reduce appetite. Our recommendations are based on randomized controlled trials that successfully used a high protein intake to promote fat loss and maintenance. Our assessment of the fat loss literature indicates that protein is the most important macronutrient to focus on.

How you meet your protein units is up to you, but in general, most people will get their protein from a variety of sources, rather than getting all of it from chicken breast. When you mix up your protein sources by eating meat, seafood, eggs, yogurt, beans, and lentils, you can eat in a pretty normal way. These protein-rich foods should displace primarily carbohydrate-rich foods, at least as compared with a typical mainstream diet.

Best of luck and don't hesitate to e-mail us with further questions.

Stephan Guyenet said...

By the way, my response assumed you are on the Simple Food Diet. If you're on the FLASH diet, your choice of protein-rich foods is more limited than what I listed, however you can still eat a number of different protein foods, as described in the diet materials.