Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Few "No" Diets

In my last post, I told Fred Schenck's weight loss story. His "avoid the whites" eating plan was a do-it-yourself project. Yet this is a commonly used approach to weight loss, actually. Probably the most popular of these plans is  Dr. Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Diet

Dr. Gott is a retired physician and syndicated newspaper columnist who for many years has urged patients and readers to try his approach to weight loss. As with many of the home remedies he champions—Vicks VapoRub for toenail infections, bars of soap under the sheets for restless leg syndrome—Dr. Gott’s diet is simple and inexpensive. You need not count anything, but you must read labels. If flour or sugar is there, it's off limits.

The plan's simplicity is appealing: “It is a wonderful diet that was easy for me to follow,” says Joan Petrillo, who lives in the next town over from me and used it to lose 20 pounds.

In Dr. Gott's plan, though, avoiding flour means not just white flour, but any kind of flour, including rice, wheat or corn. Sugars on the banned list include cane sugar, glucose, sucrose, beet sugar, honey, maple syrup, high fructose corn syrup and molasses.

Dr. Gott replaces these foods with whole grains such as brown rice, and starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes; and for sweets, fruits and sugar substitutes. In addition, he includes lean meats, legumes, low-fat dairy products and fresh vegetables, emphasizing nutrient-dense foods that satisfy hunger.

The whole idea of this grand switch is to cut your daily calorie intake. "The key to weight loss is simply to burn more calories than you take in," he says. "I have found, and my patients’ successes have verified, that eliminating flour and sugar from your diet is a simple way to cut calories instantly. "

In my next post, though, I'll talk about two camps of weight loss: those who totally avoid certain foods (like Dr. Gott) and those who swear by moderation. I've had comments from people who believe moderation is the way to go, because they see it as an approach they can maintain for life. Others, though, find success only through avoiding their "addictive" foods. Both approaches can work!


  1. Hello! I look forward to reading your next post. I'm a moderation girl myself.

  2. I know... that's what got me thinking about moderation vs. avoidance.