If you’re looking for a healthy weight loss diet plan, look no further than the Pritikin diet. As explained in his fascinating book, The Pritikin Principle: The Calorie Density Solution, Robert Pritikin, son of founder Natahn Pritikin, offers a "calorie density solution" that will work for anyone.
The epidemic spread of overweight and obesity is essentially a modern phenomenon. More than of the adult United States population is now overweight – or even obese. In fact, the weight of our population is greater than at any other time in human history? But why? According to Robert Pritikin in, the answer is that we are consuming more "calorie dense food" than at any time in history.
Healthy food, food that will help us lose weight, is filled with water and fiber. Calorie dense food is not. And by using a Pritikin example we can see why so many of us are overweight.
Let’s use the common vegetable corn as our example: in its a natural and unprocessed state, corn has about 490 calories per pound. The humble corn kernel contains copious amounts of both water and fiber. Water, of course, has no calories, insoluble fiber has none and soluble fiber has so few calories that they’re almost uncountable. But the great thing about both water and fiber is that they fill us up. So corn is low in calories but high in satisfaction. No starvation for us!
Now let’s take our wonderful corn, dry it and grind it to make tortillas. The calories in our corn are now concentrated and our corn kernels are bunched tightly together. In other words, it takes a lot more corn particles to occupy the same volume that our corn kernels filled before. Now we have the same volume of corn — but it now contains 1000 calories per pound.
Dry and grind that corn meal even finer so that even more calories can be packed together and now we’ve got corn flakes, a favorite American breakfast. Unfortunately, our cornflakes have 1770 calories per pound! Our tortillas and cornflakes are now loaded with calories. In other words they are much more calorically dense than our original corn.
Now let’s throw in some oil, oil which has 9 calories per gram instead of only 4 calories like carbohydrates. Add that to our corn and then fry these new chips in oil and now we’ve got a food that contains 2450 calories per pound. No wonder we can’t lose weight.
Unrefined corn = 490 calories per pound
Corn tortillas = 1000 calories per pound
Corn flakes = 1770 calories per pound
Fried corn chips = 2450 calories per pound
No HUNGER On The Pritikin Program
What of the main reasons that we all fail on a diet is because we get hungry. It’s insanity to believe that we can use an iron will and control our hunger for the rest of our lives. There may be such a human being but I don’t know any – and I’m definitely not one of them.
The Pritikin solution hunger is to add food. What we want to do is to add low calorie foods to high calorie foods to bring down their average calorie density.
Average Calorie Density Explained
An example will explain how to lower our calorie density: let’s say you are a pasta lover like I am. You want to eat your pasta — but you want to lose weight. How can we do that?
Pasta has a calorie density of 630 calories per pound [depending on the brand of course]. So how can I have my pasta and eat it too? The way to do this is to mix equal portions of pasta with a vegetable that has a lower calorie density. Let’s use the example of broccoli which has 130 calories per pound. If we add these to calorie counts we will come up with 760 calories per pound. Divide that by two and we had a calorie density of 380 calories. And that’s good news because, according to Pritikin, we can lose weight on this calorie density.
Pasta = 630 calories per pound
Broccoli = 130 calories per pound
Average = 380 calories per pound
Using Average Calorie Density To Lose The Flab
Here are Robert Pritikin’s calorie density numbers:
400 calorie meals (or less) = weight loss
Meals between 400 – 600 calories per pound = maintain weight
Meals between 600 – 900 calories per pound = will cause a weight gain in every one except stirringly active young people who exercised rigorously every day.
900+ calories per pound is a one-way trip to obesity for just about everyone.
"How Can I Follow The Pritikin Diet?"
Eat whole, unprocessed and natural carbohydrate rich foods. This simply means eating whole, unprocessed grains, vegetables and fruit like dark green lettuce, potatoes, squash, all kinds of beans, apples, pears, strawberries and bananas. One processed grain that is acceptable is oatmeal because it is cooked in water and therefore has a low calorie density, as well as being nutritious. It is obvious that pasta is a better choice than a piece of bread or a cracker for example. Bread and crackers are compressed and dry and therefore their calories are very concentrated.
Eat foods that are low in fat. Fat has an amazing calorie count of 4000 calories per pound! Some are a bit lower and some are a bit higher but that is the average count. The Pritikin program allows no more than 3 1/2 ounces of fish, poultry or meat every day. It also allows low-fat dairy products.
Eat frequently. Hunger is the single biggest cause of diet failure and with three full meals per day and two snacks, there isn’t any reason to be hungry.
There are no portion controls at all on the Pritikin diet.
There is no need to count calories.
Move, move, move! Pritikin doesn’t advocate killer exercise a simple walk each day is sufficient.
Our Grade For The Pritikin Die: A+
Robert Pritikin states that following his plan will overcome such horrors as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, overweight and many other degenerative diseases. There is a lot of support for his program as well, with lots of Pritikin recipes and bookss – and even the Pritikin Longevity Center, if you need help to get started. This is a sane and sensible diet. All you have to do is know the average calorie density of every meal and you will discover rapid and healthy weight loss without hunger.
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