How fast will I lose weight on the No-Fail Diet?
The No-Fail Diet Meal Plan is designed to help you safely lose up to two pounds each week. Depending on which calorie level you choose in Phase 2, you can lose anywhere from ½ to 2 pounds every week. Research shows that losing at this rate is safe, effective and far more likely to be permanent.
If you find you're losing weight more slowly than you'd like, increase your exercise or drop down to the lower calorie level.
How often should I weigh myself?
While you are losing weight on the No-Fail Diet, weigh yourself once per week. Write down your weekly weight on the 12 Week Body Measurement Tracker found in Appendix 1.
Some people may prefer to weight-in more frequently, and that's okay. Research suggests that daily weighers are also more likely to adopt weight control behaviours such as reducing portion size, cutting back on restaurant meals, watching less television and removing high calorie treats from the house and office. For these folks, daily weighing doesn’t seem to result in lowered self-esteem, anxiety or depression.
Weighing yourself everyday also allows you to understand what’s happening to your weight in real time. You can see the after-effect (e.g. water weight gain) of eating too much salt- and carbohydrate-rich sushi or pizza, for example, prompting you to not overdo it next time.
Whether you weigh-in daily, weekly, or somewhere in between, weigh yourself before breakfast, bare naked (or wearing similar clothing), and after you’ve gone to the bathroom.
Your weight fluctuates during the day, so don’t weigh yourself multiple times a day. Food and water consumption, fluid retention, constipation and clothing can affect the number on the bathroom scale. Women may also retain fluid around menstruation.
Do I need to take a multivitamin supplements while losing weight?
I recommend that healthy people take a multivitamin and mineral supplement whether you are losing weight or not. While you should always strive to eat right first, a multivitamin helps ensure that you are meeting your daily requirements for folic acid (a B vitamin), B12, vitamin D and iron - nutrients that can be challenging for many people to get from food alone.
The No-Fail Diet requires you to reduce your calorie intake. Eating less food means you will also be consuming fewer vitamins and minerals. With the possible exceptions of calcium, vitamin D and iron, the No-Fail Diet is designed to give you the nutrients you need. Despite this, I still recommend a daily multivitamin supplement.
Can I follow this diet if I have high blood cholesterol?
Absolutely! In fact, this is the very same type of diet I recommend to my clients who have elevated cholesterol levels. Losing weight alone will help reduce your cholesterol reading. But the No-Fail diet also teaches you how to choose foods that are low in saturated fat and trans fats, two types of fat that tend to raise cholesterol levels.
And when making choices from the Starchy Food group select foods that are high in soluble fibre such as oatmeal, oat bran cereal and psyllium-encriched cereals. Include nuts as part of your daily Fats & Oils servings. Both soluble fibre and nuts help to lower LDL cholesterol.
Is this diet safe for me if I have high blood pressure?
Yes! Losing weight is an important strategy to lower elevated blood pressure. But the types of foods you eat each day can also help reduce your blood pressure numbers. Foods that contain calcium, magnesium and potassium are part of a diet (called the DASH diet) that lowers blood pressure. And of all these foods are prescribed in the No-Fail Diet.
You'll also find information on managing your sodium intake in Chapter 3, Foods for Health & Longevity.
If you are taking medication for high blood pressure, monitor your blood pressure regularly as you lose weight. If you find it is getting too low, or you feel light headed, speak with your doctor.
Can I follow the No-Fail Diet if I have type 2 diabetes?
If you have type 2 diabetes and you are not taking medication, this diet is absolutely safe to follow. Losing weight can help you reduce your blood sugar. The foods recommended on the No-Fail Diet are low in refined sugars and many are high in fibre and should be included in any diet to manage diabetes.
The No-Fail Diet Meal Plan also shows you how to space out your food servings over the course of the day, another important strategy for managing blood sugar.
If you have type 2 diabetes and you are taking a medication that lowers your blood sugar, speak to your doctor first. You should not follow Phase 1, which eliminates starchy foods at lunch and dinner, but Phase 2 is appropriate for you. Just be sure to eat your meals and snacks at regular intervals to prevent a low blood sugar reaction. Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly.
What happens if I stop losing weight despite following the plan closely?
If you have been following the No-Fail Diet faithfully and your weight loss has come to a halt, this is called a plateau. A weight-loss plateau is when you were losing weight and then stopped losing, without changing your diet, exercise or other lifestyle factors.
Plateaus are frustrating but they are a natural part of the weight loss process. They often occur when you reach a weight that you have not been below for quite some time. As you lose weight, your body requires fewer calories and your rate of weight loss may temporarily slow down.
It takes persistence and consistency to break through a plateau, but you can do it. The key is not giving up. If you say to yourself it doesn't matter what you eat because your weight isn't budging, you'll never break though that number on the scale.
I do not advise that you eat less food in order to speed up your weight loss. Instead, the best way to work through a plateau is to notch up your exercise to burn more calories. If you've been doing the same workout routine for months, it's time to challenge your body.
Consider cross training by adding different types of cardiovascular workouts to your weekly routine. It might be time to add strength-training exercises to your program. Strength training helps build more muscles to rev up calorie burning.