Intuitive Eating and Weight Loss - Diet Review
- POSTED ON: Jan 09, 2018

If your wish is to:
Eat what you want,
Enjoy every guiltless bite,
and Be happy with
whatever way your body looks,

Intuitive Eating works flawlessly,

… but it stops at that point.

Intuitive Eating is letting your body tell you What, When, and How Much to eat.
                             It is NOT a weight-loss tool. 

Intuitive eating means making decisions based on what your body wants, rather than what your mind thinks it should eat. 

The body has a survival mechanism that determines the weight it wants to be. 

When a person who is currently at the weight that their body naturally wants to be, begins to successfully eat intuitively, that body weight will be "effortlessly" maintained.

However, almost every person who is under a “normal” weight, or who is at a “reduced obese” weight, weighs less … sometimes far less … than the higher number that their body’s survival mechanism considers optimal or “normal” for them. 

This means that when those people begin to successfully follow their body signals, they are going to gain weight.  "Reduced obese" people will usually re-gain ALL of their lost weight.

The practice of Intuitive Eating is sometimes called the “hunger and fullness diet”.

When you believe that you can only eat when you are hungry, and that you have done something wrong if you have eaten when you were full, you are using Intuitive Eating as a diet.

When a person feels like they’ve “fallen off the wagon” after choosing to eat according to their desires, instead of their biological cues, they are using Intutive Eating as a diet. 

A person can ONLY “fall off a wagon” when there’s a wagon to fall off of.  The term, “wagon” is a metaphor for "diet": meaning a set of rules, ideals or beliefs around food that we let determine how we feel about ourselves. 

Resisting whatever weight that your body considers to be your natural weight, makes it impossible to get to a “neutral and intuitive” place with food. 

Any Intuitive Eating guru who teaches normal eating, but also promises-or-implies a weight-loss result, raises a big red flag. đźš© Lessons on listening to your hunger will fall short if you are unwilling to gain weight. That’s a diet masked as “intuitive eating”.

The Dolly Diet - Diet Review
- POSTED ON: Dec 10, 2017

As part of my Dieting Hobby, I've studied a great many diets, and experimented with some of them.  I enjoy learning about the different ways that people handle their food issues. 

Some of these ways appeal to me personally, and some of them do not, but what they've all taught me is that there is no One-Right-Way-To-Eat that will guarantee weight-loss or maintenance of weight-loss for everyone. I've found that "Every Diet works for Someone, but No Diet works for Everyone". 

Every diet was created by someone, usually these "someones" follow the diet themselves with personal weight-loss success, and then begin sharing their diet plan with others.  Often this diet guru is a nutritionist, or medical doctor, or psychologist, or trainer, or celebrity. They write a book about the diet they've created. It gets published, and then publicized … which is how we normally learn about that specific diet.

The creation of a diet usually involves the following process. 

  • the Diet Creator begins by taking responsibility for his/her weight.

  • the Diet Creator trusts him/herself and finds the solution within, rather than relying on another's "diet".

  • the Diet Creator gives him/herself permission to do what is personally necessary, despite the opinions of others.

  • As a result of these steps, the Diet Creator discovers his/her own unique way of eating and/or exercise that leads to successful weight-loss.

I'm always interested in what makes a diet work for its Creator, and for the others who follow it.
Although the styles of eating vary between individual diets, each one of these involves EATING LESS in a way that keeps the Diet Creator from feeling deprived.

The Dolly Diet is an example of this process. Dolly Parton was the Creator of The Dolly Diet, and she shared this diet inside her autobiography, Dolly, My Life and Other Unfinished Business, (1994) by Dolly Parton.

In this book, after sharing a bit about her struggles to get and keep her weight down, Dolly Parton talks about her creation of what she calls "the Dolly Diet."

She says: "The inescapable truth about any diet is:  If you're going to lose weight, you're going to have to eat less food.

Dolly acknowledges that exercise is important, but says that "the hardest exercise for most of us is that one where we push or chair back from the dinner table."


Dolly accomplishes eating less by using two tactics.

  1. One, she eats any food she wants; but always eats a very small quantity; having only a bite or two of each food; leaving the rest of it for others to eat or throw away.

  2. Two, she chooses to sometimes taste food without swallowing it.  Specifically, she engages in a practice commonly known as "Chew and Spit".

Dolly has this to say about "Chew and Spit": 

"Our taste buds are only in our mouths, after all, and we don't really taste the food when we swallow it. You can get a lot of the satisfaction from the taste of things you love by just chew, chew, chew, chew, Chattanooga chew-chewing and then not swallowing. 

'Wait a minute' you're thinking, 'If I don't swallow, won't I have to spit the food out?

You're right.  'That's disgusting,' you say. 

That may be, but what's more disgusting? Spitting out food or being a lardass?  I'm not suggesting for a minute that you spit UP food.  That's very dangerous, but it doesn't hurt to spit it OUT.  I know for a fact that a lot of stars and models chew and spit.  The first time somebody told me that, I was so shocked I dropped a whole Styrofoam cup of chewed donuts. "

Dolly Parton says that she doesn't recommend the Dolly Diet to anybody else.  She recommends:

"that you go on the (your name here) diet.  Find one that works for you, even if you have to make it up.  As long as it's not nutritionally detrimental to your health, and you can afford it, I say go for it."

Out of curiosity, I looked up Dolly Parton's stats, and found: her Height, 5' 0" and her Weight 114 lbs.  This means she's the same height as me, and her weight is about my own goal weight. 

However, that source says her weight is distributed Bust 40, Waist 20, and Hips 36 … which is FAR different than my own weight distribution.

Dolly's personal food behavior solutions fascinate me, and I admire her for coming up with them. 

I've researched the issue of "Chew and Spit", and don't personally judge that practice as morally reprehensible; nor do I judge it to be physically or psychologically damaging.

The technical term for "chew and spit" or "sham eating" is Oral Expulsion Syndrome (OES), which is defined as "the chewing but avoidance of swallowing food"

For some people, this is a dieting technique, allowing them to enjoy the taste and texture of food without suffering the physical consequences of overindulging.  For other people it can be a symptom of an eating disorder that includes a serious psychological disturbance.
Eating Disorder Marketing Interests    have appropriated "chew and spit" behavior for themselves, and put it into their catch-all category called "Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified" (EDNOS).  Their rationale being that some of the people who have been labeled Anorexic, Bulimic, or Binge Eater by "Eating Disorder Professionals", also sometimes engage in "chew and spit" behavior.

  Googling  "chew and spit" will bring up a multitude of inquiries about this way-of-not-eating.

  The most common question seen is whether this eating behavior will cause weight gain.
Most online responses to such questions 
are quite negative and appear to actually be based on moral issues, although those moral judgments are usually disguised as being "concerned" about the questioner's health. The most common answer seen is along the lines of "You are sick and disgusting, get professional help." 

Many online diet forums have a policy against "promoting eating disorders", and God help anyone who says they eat very little, throw-up, or chew and spit.  I say, "God help them", because it is certain that the other people in those online forums won't provide them with any encouragement or emotional support. 

I learned this years ago, while participating in various well-known diet forums.
I discovered that whenever I made an encouraging statement to anyone "who might be considered to be engaging in 'eating disorders'  behavior", my posts were removed by the moderators.

A few times, I even received e-mails warning me that if I posted anything they considered to be supportive of an eating disorder, I'd be banished from a site. 

Since that time, I've noticed that the Web is full of people who radically oppose ALL online communication that could be considered "supportive to eating disorders", even to the point of trying shut down various personal sites, which don't conform to their personal "anti-eating-disorder" values. 

On the issue of "chew and spit" online information, an old undocumented statement by an "Eating Disorder Specialist" which lists negative side-effects is frequently posted, reposted, and quoted at various sites throughout the web.  

However, upon review and reflection of that old "medical" statement, it seems to me that the alleged physical side-effects which MIGHT occur due to chew and spit could be avoided rather easily, and that such potential side-effects are relatively minor, especially when they are stacked up against the side-effects of other eating behaviors that are commonly referred to as eating disorders, such as:  Anorexia=Starvation;  Bulimia=Ruptured-Esophagus; and Bingeing=Morbid-Obesity.  

The true medical definition of an eating disorder is "abnormal feeding habits associated with specific psychological factors."  The APA says that Eating Disorders are illnesses in which the people experience severe disturbances in their eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions.

In my recent DietHobby article,
Eating Disorders Revisited,  I write about the way Marketing interests have blurred the line of distinction between: 

(1) a mental-health illness which INVOLVES specific eating behaviors, and

(2) those Specific and Individual Eating Behaviors themselves.

In truth, any specific eating behavior when UNACCOMPANIED by negative psychological factors and/or negative physical factors simply can't be ACCURATELY labeled as an "Eating Disorder".

The thing that strikes me about Dolly's chew and spit statements is that they are so free of moral judgment, guilt, shame, or self-loathing.  For her, it's simply a no-nonsense behavior choice she makes with food that she finds to be acceptable. 

I admire this tremendously, and I'm willing to go on record saying I think that she made a reasonable choice for herself.  I understand that my opinion might appear to be considered . . . by some . . . to promote eating disorders.  That issue is covered in DietHobby's Terms and Conditions section. Specifically:

This personal blog and website is created for my own recreational enjoyment, and to further my interest in Dieting as a Hobby.  I hope it will prove to be helpful to others who share my interests, but this is a secondary goal, and those who access my website, do so at their own risk.

Originally posted June 22, 2014. Bumped up for new viewers

Below is a video relevant to this subject, which I find amusing.

Intermittent Fasting & the Dangling Carrot - Diet Review
- POSTED ON: Oct 27, 2016

I recently received the comment:

Phyllis Collins, I've been following you and have been a fan of yours.
Have u tried the 24 or 36 hour fasts? Was wondering what your experience was?

I've done quite a lot of experiments with "modified" fasts --- like JUDDD & EOD, and with total water fasting as well. I’ve written quite a lot about this already. To easily find some of them here at DietHobby, …go to the right side of the page about half-way down.... for BLOG CATEGORIES, Fasting, ……where you can easily find past articles I've written about my thoughts and experiences with Intermittent Fasting.  

Once you’ve arrived at the “Fasting” category, the best way to find relevant articles is … go to the bottom of that page, below the 5 blog articles, where it says “Page 1 / Page 2 / …. Oldest", and CLICK the link to the Oldest.  Then work your way forward, from the past to the present.

Many of my previous blog articles discuss, in depth, my own experiences with various types of intermittent fasting.

The Donkey, the Stick,
and the Carrot,

an allegory applicable
to Intermittent Fasting.

"A farmer wants the donkey to take the load and travel. 

But, the donkey does not move.
He hits the donkey with a stick, but it still won’t move. 

So, he ties a carrot to the stick  and holds it in front of the donkey, just out of reach. 

The donkey wants to eat the carrot and moves forward. 

At the same time, the carrot also moves by the same distance.

The donkey cannot eat the carrot, till the farmer reaches his destination."

The Donkey is me, or another “intermittent faster”.

The Stick is Fasting = eating zero or very small amounts of food on “fasting” days or times.

The Carrot is the Promise of eating whatever you want on non-fasting days or times.

"Just get through today, and tomorrow you can eat whatever you want."

The promise of days or times of unlimited, unrestricted eating is a Carrot that lures one to an Intermittent Fasting diet, but unfortunately, …for many of us, …. that Carrot proves to be nothing more than an alluring, false promise.

The Truth is that on “tomorrow = the non-fasting days or times”,  you CANNOT eat what you want, in the amounts that you want…unless what you WANT is merely the same as what a naturally thin person consistently eats in order to maintain a normal weight.

Success with intermittent fasting requires the zero, or very-low-calorie, "fasting" days to be balanced together with days or times of eating at or near one’s maintenance calorie level … in other words, the restrictive days or times need to occur alongside the kind of “healthy” moderate diet that is followed by the naturally thin. 

However, If I WANTED only “normal” amounts of “healthy foods", obesity would never have become a problem for me.

The issue is calorie balance.  The calorie number of the fasting day or time gets added to the calorie number of the non-fasting day or time with that Total number being divided by 2. When this Averaged calorie amount creates an ongoing calorie deficit, weight-loss will result from the ongoing calorie deficit.  However, this ASSUMES that an unmonitored participant would NOT follow a “binge-fast” pattern.  For example, a fasting day or time  of 20% with a non-fasting day or time of 200% (instead of 110%) would be a “binge-fast” pattern, and a calorie Average that would result in weight-gain.

The most extensive scientific research on Intermittent Fasting to date was done by Dr. Krista Varady.  This research is frequently quoted by Dr. Jason Fung to support his own fasting viewpoints.    For a limited time, a limited number of people “moderately fasted” = i.e. ate 20% of their TDEE on one day, and ate “normally” which turned out to be 110% of their TDEE on the following day.  

Personally, I question Dr. Varady’s conclusion that the non-fasting day 110% calorie total was a “naturally occurring” limitation.  Since those people KNEW they were being temporarily watched as part of a diet research program, one could reasonably argue that … despite being told to eat “normally” on non-fasting days, they were highly motivated to “not overeat” on “normal” days during that limited time period … which resulted in a modification of the way they would probably choose to normally eat, long-term, when not being watched by scientists.

For larger, younger people – especially males -- whose daily calorie burn is between 2000 to 2500 calories, Intermittent Fasting can be relatively easy…IF… their normal way-of-eating is to  “normally” eat around that amount; and …IF…they don’t tend to be “binge-eaters”, which means that they usually only eat VERY-high-calorie on limited special occasions.

However, I am a small, elderly, inactive,"reduced obese", female whose “normal” daily calorie burn is a bit under 1000.  It is a continual struggle for me to keep my food intake within that “normal” range, and for me … the reward of getting 1000 to 1200 calories the following day doesn’t seem like much of a Reward after a day of eating only 250 to 500 calories. So, far, despite my best efforts, my results on the up days are often 1500+ calories … which tends to cancel out any weight-loss results of the 250 to 500 calorie “modified-fast” days, … while STILL being FAR LESS than the amounts I really want to eat after a day, or alternate days, of calorie deprivation.

Dr. Jason Fung, M.D. - who is the current medical guru on Fasting - recommends fasting as a fix for “insulin resistance” . However, I do not have any type of Diabetes, and my blood sugars are in the normal range. Although I am a small, “reduced obese”, inactive, elderly female with a very low metabolic rate, I don’t appear to be “insulin resistant”. 

Dr. Fung also says the nature of obesity is “multi-factorial”, and that the key to understanding obesity is understanding that many different things can contribute to the development and the treatment …. Obesity is not a single problem. There is no single solution.”

There is no one perfect “diet” for everyone.  My problem is that I find Fasting to be … in and of itself…. "a form of suffering, and I know that weight that is lost through suffering tends to comes back when I get tired of suffering.

I agree with Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, MD when he says:  "If you don't like the life you're living while you're losing, eventually you're going to find yourself going back to the life you were living before you lost. " Doing this will cause your body to re-gain the weight-loss.

Nevertheless, Fasting is an interesting issue. As part of my dieting hobby, I expect that I will continue to learn more about it, and find new ways to experiment with Intermittent Fasting concepts. 

NOTE:  Originally posted on 8/23/16, Reposted for New Viewers

Weight Watchers 1972 & 2016 - Diet Review
- POSTED ON: Jun 26, 2016

There’s a lot of talk in the Diet World about Ophra’s purchase of WeightWatcher’s stock which caused the value of the stock to soar, to the extent that she doubled her $40 million investment in one day. 

She is now acting as a spokesman in WW advertisements, and the 2016 catch phrase is “Beyond the Scale.”  Allegedly the focus is now “Healthy” eating …although the diet program is … and has always has been… WEIGHT WATCHERS.

As someone with years of participation in that diet program,… between 1972 and 1992 I joined and involved myself as a WW member more than 15 times,….. I am greatly amused by this recent development, and the fact that otherwise intelligent people will no doubt buy into this latest Shell Game.  

My own position is:
Every diet works for someone, but no diet works for everyone


Decades of records show that only a very tiny percentage of WW members have ever achieved long-term weight-loss. (Long-term is 5 years or more.)

This current plan is clearly an attempt to refocus members toward the belief that it’s okay to continue shelling out the big bucks for an unsuccessful diet program because…  “Well, I’m still fat (or fat again), …but NOW I’m healthy.”

As part of my dieting hobby, after a bit of online research, I made a brief visit to the local WW store and bought a few books about the 2016 program. After that review, I was unimpressed, but even more amused when I understood that their “new” point system contains limitations which, if followed correctly, will serve to ban all but the tiniest amounts of sweet, fatty foods.  WW’s new system also penalizes saturated fats despite the tons of current scientific research on that matter.

Originally WW used an extremely restrictive Food Exchange Plan in order to guarantee that memers ate a "healthy" diet while losing weight.  See the detailed 1972 food rules posted below.
Over the years the Food Plan evolved into a more flexible Exchange System.

By 1997 WW had changed it's Food Exchange System to a "Point" system, which was highly advertised as a change that was designed to allow a great deal of personal choice in the selections of one's daily foods.

WW’s previous point systems have treated all types of food in a similar manner, assigning about 40 calories as 1 point, however their 2016 new points+ system limits choices of foods such as sweets and saturated fats by assigning them a far higher point number than the points of “healthier” foods which have the same calories. 

Almost all fruits and vegetables are still “free” foods with zero points, (as they were in the most recent past points system). One can eat however much one wants of them every day (as long as they aren’t juiced or dried etc.). 

Upon review, It appears to me that women following the “healthy” recommendations would probably be eating between 1200-1800+ calories daily.  Since my own total daily calorie burn is around 1000 (see my past status reports here at DietHobby), for me…. following the current WW plan would turn into a personal weight-maintenance disaster.

Some of you might be interested in specifics of the original plan WW had when I first joined as a member back in the early 70s.  Instead of Counting Calories or Counting Points, one had to strictly follow a Recommended Food Exchange ListAt THAT time the focus was also on HEALTH as well as WEIGHT LOSS.

The Way It Was...
1972 Weight Watchers Program

Please follow the Program as given. Eat only the foods listed in your Menu Plan, in the quantities and weights specified and at the meals named. Never skip a meal. Foods may be combined in varied ways, as described in our recipes, but remember to count all ingredients. Keeping a daily food record as outlined later in this book will help you do this.

1.  DIETETIC PRODUCTS  For the most part, dietetic products are not permitted. The exceptions are the artificial sweeteners, carbonated beverages and imitation and/or diet margarines.

2.  USE AS DESIRED  A number of condiments and seasonings, such as herbs, spices, certain prepared sauces, and beverages, may be used as desired. See p. 235 for a complete list. Note that the products listed under #2A are unlimited; those listed under 2B are limited.

3.  VEGETABLES (UNLIMITED AND MODERATE AMOUNTS)  The 3A vegetables are unlimited - nibble on these whenever you're hungry. The 3B vegetables are to be eaten in the amounts given on p. 243. All vegetables in groups 3 and 4 may be used fresh; canned; frozen (without sauce); or freeze-dried (measured or weighed after rehydration.

4.  VEGETABLES (LIMITED)  Select one vegetable or a combination of several (totaling 4 ounces daily) from the list on p. 286, at noon or evening meal. Vary your selection from day to day. A serving is 4 ounces, weighed after the vegetable is cooked and drained.

5.  FRUIT  See your Menu Plan for the amount of fruit you are allowed. Choose one fruit or juice daily at breakfast. Fruits are divided into 3 groups; see pp. 128-130 for lists and details.

6.  FISH, MEAT, POULTRY AND ALTERNATES  Your Menu Plan gives net cooked weight (fat, skin and bones trimmed away from fish, meat and poultry; cooking liquid drained from Alternates.) Do not use natural gravies from any item below except from Group A.

Fish: Must be used at least 5 times a week, counting only lunches and dinners. (Although fish is allowed at breakfast, you don't use enough to consider it a fish meal.) Just once a week, you may select from the special shellfish group and count it, if you wish, as one of your 5 must fish meals.

Meat, Poultry and Alternates: These are divided into Group B and Group C foods. Choose from Group B foods exactly 3 times a week - no more, no less - for lunch and dinner, as you wish. Group B is further divided into two parts, and you are not to choose from the second part more than once a week. Choose from Group C as desired (but allow for must meals).

7.  LIVER  You must eat liver at least once a week - if you have it more often, consider it in the Group C category. Liver from any meat or poultry that's permitted on program may be used: beef, chicken, calf, steer, lamb, pork, etc.

8.  BREAD  You may have bread at mealtime only, as listed on your Menu Plan. Use packaged, presliced, enriched white bread, 100% whole wheat bread, or enriched rolls. Each slice of bread and each roll should weigh one ounce.

9.  CEREAL  You may have one ounce (or cup measure equivalent) of ready to eat (not presweetened) or uncooked cereal with at least 1/2 cup skim milk.

10. CHOICE GROUP  Two or three times a week you may, by omitting one slice of bread from your menu, substitute one item from this group.

11. FATS  Daily, but at mealtime only, you must use one tablespoon of any one of the fats listed on p. 213 (or 2 tablespoons of imitation - diet - margarine). The fat may be used in a spread, salad dressing, or sauce; it may also be used in cooking.


Eggs: Use 4 eggs a week for morning or noon meals only. Cook them in shell, poach or scramble without fat. See p. 73 for additional rules.

Cheese: Cheese and cheese products, while not required, add variety to your breakfasts and lunches. Select cottage cheese made with skim milk. Use no more than 4 ounces of hard cheese weekly.

13. MILK  See your Menu Plan for amounts of milk permitted; you may have skim milk, evaporated skimmed milk or buttermilk, as described on p. 196. Milks labeled "skimmed milk products" are not allowed on Program.

14. Do not eat or drink the following (except, of course, for "legal" recipes as given in this book):
Alcoholic beverages, beer, wine
Bacon or back fat (fat back)
.  Butter.
Cake, cookies, crackers, pies. 
Candy, chocolate
Catsup, chili sauce
. Coconut or coconut oil
. Corn
Cream, sweet or sour
. Cream cheese,
 Fried foods
Fruit-dried, canned in syrup or dietetic
Ice cream, ice milk, ices and sherbets
. Jams, jellies, or preserves.
Luncheon meats
, Muffins, biscuits. 

Non-dairy creamers or toppings
, Olives or olive oils. 

Pancakes, waffles
. Peanut butter
, Peanuts, other nuts
, Popcorn, potato chips, pretzels
. Pork products
Puddings, custards, flavored gelatin desserts. 

Raw fish or meat
. Specialty breads.
 Salad dressings.

, Smoked fish (except finnan haddie and salmon)
Soda pop, ades, punch, 



1.  Amounts: Woman (1 slice for breakfast, 1 for lunch)  -  Man (2 slices for breakfast, 2 for lunch)  -  Youth (1 slice for breakfast, 2 for lunch, 1 for dinner.

2.  Use packaged, pre-sliced, enriched white bread or 100% whole wheat bread. Slices should be 1/2" thick or about 1 ounce. No thin-sliced, dietetic or specialty bread. Use packaged, enriched white or 100% whole wheat rolls weighing about an ounce each.

3.  The bread must be eaten at mealtime only; never between meals.

4.  Exceptions: When you are having cereal for breakfast, you may either have your bread at breakfast, or transfer a slice to another meal. You may also omit one slice of bread from the menu for one of the Choice Group (but don't do this more than 2 or 3 times a week).

CEREAL One ounce (or the cup measure equivalent) of any ready-to-eat cereal or uncooked (not presweetened) cereal may be used if desired. Cereal must be eaten with at least 1/2 cup milk. If cereal is taken - it is allowed only at breakfast - your slice of bread may be taken at breakfast or another meal.

1. Amounts: Breakfast (1 ounce hard or 2 ounces farmer or 1/4 cup cottage or pot cheese)  -  Lunch (2 ounces hard or 4 ounces farmer or 2/3 cup cottage or pot cheese.

2. Do not use more than 4 ounces of hard (or semi-hard) cheese weekly.

3. Cheeses are "illegal" if they are soft enough to spread evenly and not hard enough to slice easily. Do not use cheese spreads.

4. Any hard or sliceable cheese and any soft cheese which does not spread smoothly are approved. Follow your Menu Plan. The following cheeses are permitted:

Hard or Semi-Hard: American cheese - mild to sharp; Bleu - sharp, spicy; Canadian slices; Cheddar - mild to sharp; Colby and Coon (type of cheddar) - mild to sharp; Edam - mild, nutlike; Farmer (colby type); Feta - slightly salty; Monterey Jack (Monterrey, or jack cheese) - mild; Mozzarella - mild; Muenster - mild to mellow; Parmesan - sharp, piquant; Port Du Salut (oka) - mellow to robust; Ricotta salata; Romano - sharp, salty; Roquefort - sharp and spicy; Stilton - piquant, spicy; Swiss - sweet, nutlike; Tilsit - mild to sharp.

Soft: Basket; Cottage (skim milk variety preferred); Farmer; Pot; Ricotta


Omit 1 slice of bread from the menu and select one item from this list 2-3 times weekly, if desired.

Beans (fresh) - lima, 1/2 cup cooked; red or white, 1/2 cup cooked; soybeans, 1/2 cup cooked; Cornmeal (1 ounce dry)
Cowpeas and/or black-eyed peas: 1/2 cup cooked; Hominy Grits (enriched): 3/4 cup cooked; Pasta (enriched): 1/2 cup cooked noodles (see note); 1/2 cup cooked pastina (see note); 2/3 cup cooked macaroni or spaghetti; Potato: 1 (about 3 ounces) baked or boiled; Rice (enriched), 1/2 cup cooked. Rice, brown: 1/2 cup cooked. Note: Green noodles and green pastina are permitted.


1. Use 4 eggs a week, for breakfast or lunch only, never for dinner.

2. Eggs may be cooked in shell, or poached or scrambled without added fat. Do not eat raw eggs.

3. Egg whites and egg yolks may be prepared in separate recipes, provided that both white and yolk are consumed as part of the same meal.


1. Amounts: Woman, Man & Youth (2 ounces for breakfast; 4 ounces for lunch); Woman & Youth (6 ounces for dinner); Man (8 ounces for dinner) When buying fish, allow 2 ounces extra for shrinkage in cooking and 2 ounces more for bone, in addition to cooked weight.

2. You must eat a minimum of 5 weekly fish meals (for lunch or dinner), but use shellfish only once a week. You may have more fish meals if you wish - follow the Menu Plan.

3. Use fresh, frozen or canned fish (except if packed in olive oil). Drain off oil before using any allowed canned fish.

4. The only commercially smoked fish allowed are finnan haddie and smoked salmon. Raw fish is not allowed.

5. Fish may be boiled, poached, broiled, roasted, baked or browned in a non-stick skillet and the sauce or liquid left in the pan when fish is cooked may be consumed.

6. Fats (see p. 213) may be added by any of the following methods:
a) After fish has been cooked and served on your individual platter, you may add fat. b) After fish has been broiled, transfer it to an individual broiling pan, spread it with "legal" fat, and return it to the broiler for no longer than one minute. c) For luncheon, combine "legal" bread crumbs with fat, and spread on cooked fish in an individual pan, then put under broiler just long enough to melt fat (no more than one minute).

7. Approved fish (select 5 meals weekly from this list):
Abalone, Angel, Bass, Blackfish, Bluefish, Bonita, Bullhead, Buffalo, Butterfish, Carp, Catfish, Chicken haddie, Clams, Cod, Crappie, Cusk, Dolphin, Drum fish, Eel, Finnan haddie, Flounder, Frog's legs, Grouper, Haddock, Halibut, Leopard shark, Mackerel, Mullet, Octopus, Oysters, Perch, Pike, Pompano, Porgy, Porpoise, Red Snapper, Roe (from any fish in this group), Salmon, Scallops, Scrod, Sculpin, Scungilli, Scup, Shad, Shark, Smelts, Snook, Sole, Speering, Squid (cuttlefish), Sturgeon, Sucker, Sunfish, Swordfish, Tile fish, Trout, Tuna, Turbot, Weakfish, Whitefish, Whiting.

8. Choose only once a week, if desired. Crab, Crayfish, Lobster, Mussels, Shrimp

1. Amounts: Woman (3 fruits a day); Man and Youth (5 fruits a day)

2. One fruit must be taken at breakfast. Select 1 daily from List #1 and the others from List #1 or #2.

3. Use fresh, unsweetened frozen or unsweetened canned, packed in its own juice. Freeze dried may be used if equated to fresh fruit.

4. List #1:
Choose 1 fruit from this list daily.
Cantaloupe, 1/2 medium; Currants (fresh), 3/4 cup; Fruit juice: orange, grapefruit, orange and grapefruit, or tangerine, 1/2 cup (4 fl ounces); Grapefruit, 1/2 medium; Honeydew or similar melon, 2-inch wedge; Orange, 1 small; Orange sections with juice, 3/4 cup; Papaya (1/2" cubes), 3/4 cup; Strawberries, 1 cup; Tangelo, 1 small; Tangerine, 1 medium; Tomato juice or mixed vegetable juice, 1 cup (8 fl ounces); Ugli fruit, 1 medium. Note: If tomato juice is used in this way - it is in addition to your daily bonus of 12 ounces tomato juice.

5. List #2:
Choose daily from this list, if desired.
Apricots (12 per pound), 3 whole or 6 halves with 2 tbsp juice; Berries (blackberries, blueberries, loganberries or raspberries), 1/2 cup; Boysenberries, 2/3 cup; Caimito, 1 medium (available in Puerto Rico); Crab apple, 2; Cranberries, 1 cup; Gineps, 2; Guava, 1 medium; Jobo, 1 medium; Mandarin orange, 1 medium; Mandarin orange sections, 1/2 cup; Nectarine, 1 medium; Paw Paw, 1/4 medium; Peach, 1 medium or 2 halves or 1/2 cup slices with juice; Pineapple (canned in its own juice), 2 small slices (or 1 large) with 2 tbsp of juice or 1/2 cup crushed, chunks or diced, with juice; Pineapple (fresh), 1/4 medium; Plums (any type), 2 medium or 1 large; Rhubarb, 2 cups raw or 1 cup cooked; Sour sop, 1/3 cup; Sweet sop (or sugar-apple), 1/2 cup. You may choose from the following daily if desired: Woman (as 1 of your 3 fruits); Man (as 2 of your 5 fruits); Youth (as 3 of your 5 fruits) Apple, 1 medium; Pear, 1 medium

6. List #3: Once a week, if desired, you may substitute one of the following for one of your daily fruits. Do not choose the same fruit every week. Woman and Man (On the day you make this choice, do not include an apple or pear among your fruits); Youth (On the day you make this choice, do not include more than 2 apples or 2 pears among your fruits). Banana, 1 medium; Grapes (any type), 1 cup; Sapote (marmalade plum), 1/4 cup diced; Sweet or sour cherries, 1/2 cup pitted or 3/4 cup unpitted.

1. Amounts (net cooked weight): Woman and Youth (4 ounces for lunch, 6 ounces for dinner); Man (4 ounces for lunch, 8 ounces for dinner)

2. Liver must be eaten at least once a week, either for lunch or dinner. It may be taken more often. If so, consider it as a Group C meat, which may be broiled, baked, roasted or pan broiled (without added fat). If liver amount is split, you may not count it as one of your required liver meals.

3. Liver from any meat or poultry that's allowed on Program may be used. This includes chicken and calf liver (the tenderest and most delicately flavored); lamb (not often available), steer and baby beef liver (usually tender and of good quality); and the more robust kinds of liver, which include mature beef, turkey, rabbit and venison livers. This last group of livers are frequently marinated for 30 minutes before they are cooked. Or they may be covered with boiling water, drained after a few minutes, dried and cooked as directed in the recipe.


Amounts (net cooked weight): Woman, Man and Youth (4 ounces for lunch or Alternates, 7 ounces; except soybeans, 6 ounces); Woman and Youth (6 ounces for dinner or Alternates, 10 ounces; except soybeans, 9 ounces); Man (8 ounces for dinner or Alternates, 14 ounces; except soybeans, 12 ounces).

Meat and Poultry   1. For each serving, allow 2 ounces for shrinkage in cooking and 2 ounces for bone, in addition to cooked weight. Fresh and frozen meats are permitted. The only smoked (or cured) meat allowed is ham. 2. Remove all visible fat before cooking. 3. Broil, bake or roast Group B Meat on a rack. Broil, bake, roast or pan broil Group C Meat. Meat marked with an Asterisk may be boiled. To do this, pierce first if necessary, then boil until cooked. Drain before serving.

Alternates,  Dried peas and beans, as listed, may be used. Cook them according to package directions. Drain, weigh and serve in the amounts indicated in your Menu Plan. Liquid drained from Alternates may be consumed. Group B (choose only 3 times a week): Beef, Gizzards; Kidney (beef, calf, lamb); Lamb

Choose only once a week, if desired: *Frankfurters (all beef); *Ham; *Heart; *Knockwurst (all beef); *Sweetbreads (beef, calf, lamb); Pork; Beans, dried lima, red or white; Lentils, dried; Peas, dried, black-eyed or cowpeas, chick or garbanzos, split. *Can be boiled, pierce first if necessary, drain.

Group C (choose as desired): Antelope; Buffalo; Capon; Caribou; Chicken; Cornish hen; Elk; Goat meat; Guinea hen; Moose; Pheasant; Pigeon; Quail; Rabbit; Soybeans, dried; Squab; Tripe; Turkey; Veal; Venison.

1. Amounts: Woman and Man (16 fl ounces skim milk, or 12 fl ounces buttermilk, or 8 fl ounces evaporated skimmed milk); Youth (1 quart skim milk, or 24 fl ounces buttermilk, or 16 fl ounces evaporated skim milk).

2. The skim milk we allow is the instant non-fat dry milk, reconstitute according to label directions; or skim milk labeled either "skimmed milk" or "modified" or "fortified skim milk" with no whole milk solids added. Do not use milk labeled "a skimmed milk product" or "99% ft free."

3. Your daily allowance of evaporated skimmed milk may be diluted with an equal amount of water to make a total of 16 ounces skim milk.

4. The buttermilk may be made from either whole or combination of skim milk and whole milk; Bulgarian buttermilk is not permitted.

5. You may use your milk at any time, at meal times, as snacks, at bedtime, in coffee or tea, or in our popular milk shakes and whipped toppings, but you must consume the amount allotted to you in your menu plan.

6. Mix-and-match your milk if you like. For example, a woman may use 1 cup (8 fl ounces) skim milk and 1/2 cup (4 fl ounces) evaporated skim milk to complete daily requirement.

7. Instant non-fat dry milk reconstitutes to the ratio of 1:3; therefore, if you stir 2 tsp dry milk into your coffee, you must count 6 tsp (1 fl ounce) skim milk.

1. Fats in the amounts included in your Menu Plan must be taken daily (at mealtime only):

...1 tbsp (3 tsp) mayonnaise; or 1 tbsp (3 tsp) vegetable oil; or oils such as corn, cottonseed, safflower, sesame seed, soybean, peanut and sunflower; or 1 tbsp (3 tsp) liquid vegetable oil margarine or 2 tbsp (6 tsp) liquid vegetable oil imitation (or diet) margarine.

2. Fats may be mixed-and-matched; e.g., you may have 1 tsp margarine and 2 tbsp mayonnaise daily.

3. Any product labeled "mayonnaise" and any oil labeled "vegetable oil" may be used.

4. Two types of margarine may be used. Molded margarines in stick form or by the pound may be used only if the first word on the label ingredient list is "liquid" followed by the name(s) of the vegetable oil(s) used. The second type of margarine which may be used includes those labeled "imitation and/or diet" margarine. These are usually sold in containers.

5. Fat must always be spread with a spatula or knife (not brushed on) so that none will be lost.


1. Dietetic Products: Two are permitted, in reasonably unlimited amounts: Any artificially sweetened carbonated beverage not to exceed 15 calories per day. If a 12-ounce container of beverage has only 3 calories, you may consume 5 containers in one day. If a 16-ounce bottle contains 8 1/2 calories, you may drink 28 ounces per day. Any dietetic beverage that contains 3 calories per fl ounce must be limited to approximately 5 ounces.  

Artificial sweeteners: There's no limit on the amount allowed (until you reach the Leveling Plan). However, many of the revised formulas for sugar substitutes have changed in caloric content. Check labels: If the packet (equivalent to 2 tbsp or more of sugar) lists up to 4 calories, consider it "legal."

2A. Unlimited - Use as desired the following: Browning sauce (liquid); Clam juice; Club soda; Coffee; Dehydrated vegetable flakes (as seasonings), e.g. celery, chives, onion parsley, not dehydrated vegetable flakes containing carrots or potatoes; Herbs, spices and other seasonings (e.g. shake-on type) for flavor. Shake-on seasonings in which either sugar or starch is listed as first ingredient are not permitted; Horseradish (red or white); Lemon and lime juice, fresh or reconstituted (for flavoring only); Mustard, prepared or dry; Pepper sauce; Postum (limited to 2 cups daily); Red hot sauce; Salt, pepper; Seaweed (agar agar, dulse, kelp, etc.); Soy sauce; Tea (mint, Gossip, rose hip, sassafras, unsweetened instant teas, and usual tea leaves); Vinegar (all vinegars are "legal": Cider vinegar, made from apples, wine vinegar from grapes, malt vinegar from grain, etc.); Water, Worcestershire.

2B. Limited Items - Bouillon cubes, instant broth and seasoning mixes: Not more than 3 per day; Extract and flavors (natural or with added imitation flavor): Use 2 tsp per day. Please note that we use the term "flavor extract" throughout the book to signify products labeled either "flavor" or "extract."; Unflavored gelatin: Up to 3 envelopes (3 tbsp) per day. Kosher unflavored gelatin is permitted; Tomato Juice or Mixed Vegetable Juice: You may use up to 1 1/2 cups (12 fl ounces) daily, if desired. In cooking, 3/4 cup tomato puree or 1/3 cup tomato paste may be used in place of 1 1/2 cups tomato juice reduced to half its volume.

1. Use vegetables raw or cooked; fresh frozen (without sauce), or canned, either at meals or between meals (but always have at least one #3 vegetable at lunch).

2. You may eat all you want from Group A. Eat up to 4 cups raw or 2 cups cooked from Group B.
Note that cucumbers, peppers, pickles and tomatoes are counted rather than measured. The number listed (e.g. 2 medium cucumbers) counts as the total daily requirement of #3B vegetables. However, you may mix and match; for example, on the day you use 1 medium tomato, you may also have up to 1 cup cooked or 2 cups raw #3B vegetables.

*3. Please note asterisks designating dark green, deep yellow and red vegetables. You must select from these marked vegetables at least 2-3 times weekly. Vary your selection from day to day.

3A. Unlimited: Capers; Celery; Chicory; Chilies (peppers); Chives; Escarole; Gherkins; Lettuce; Nasturtium leaves; Parsley; *Pimentos; Radishes (Daikon); Romaine; Truffles; Watercress (Peppergrass).

3B. Moderate Amounts: Anise; Asparagus; *Bean sprouts; *Beans, green; Beans, wax; *Beet greens; *Broccoli; Cabbage, red or white; Cabbage, swamp; Cauliflower; Chard (Swiss); Chinese cabbage (Bok Choy); Chinese pea pods (Snow Peas or Chinese peas); Chinese winter melon (Tonqua); Collard Greens; Cucumbers, 2 medium; *Dandelion greens; Eggplant; Endive (including Belgian); Fennel; Fiddlefern (Fiddlehead greens); Finocchio; Grape leaves; *Kale; Kohlrabi; Mushrooms; *Mustard greens; *Peppers (green and red), 2 medium; Pickles (dill, sour), 2 medium; Poke salad greens; Sauerkraut; Sour grass; *Spinach; Squash (summer); Casserta; Chayote; Cocozelle; Cymling; Pattypan; Scalloped; Spaghetti; Straight or Crookneck; Vegetable Marrow; Zucchini; Tomatoes, cherry (1 1/2" in diameter), approximately 10-12; *Tomatoes (green or ripe), 2 medium; Turnip greens.


1. You must eat 4 ounces (drained raw or cooked weight) per day, or a combination totaling that amount (for example, 1 ounce each of 4 different kinds). The #4 vegetables may be eaten only at the noon or evening meal.

2. Please note asterisks designating dark green, deep yellow and red vegetables. You must select from these marked vegetables at least 2-3 times weekly. Vary your selection of #4 vegetables from day to day.

3. These may be bought fresh, canned or frozen (except for those frozen with butter or other sauces); they may be eaten raw or cooked.

4. Drain your vegetable before you weigh it, but not down the drain. You may consume the liquid as is, or use it to replace water in making soups from bouillon cubes, etc.

5. The following vegetables belong to this #4 group:
Artichoke hearts; Bamboo shoots; Beets; Burdock; *Brussels sprouts; *Carrots; Celeriac (celery roots); Jicima; Leeks; Okra; Onions; Oyster plant (Salsify); Parsnips; *Peas; *Pumpkin; Rutabagas; Scallions; *Squash (winter) - Acorn, Banana, Butternut, Calabaza, Des Moines, Gold Nugget, Hubbard, Peppercorn, Table Queen or Danish Turban, Turks Turban; Turnips.

From "Weight Watchers Program Cookbook" by Jean Nidetch
               © Weight Watchers International, Inc., owner of the registered trademark.

 Originally posted on December 30, 2015, updated for new viewers June 26, 2016

Conflicting Views: Reviews of Diets and Books
- POSTED ON: May 13, 2016

I am not, nor do I wish to be, a nutritional expert. My writings here at DietHobby are a result of my choice to manage my own personal problem with weight-loss and weight-maintenance by treating the many aspects of dieting as an enjoyable hobby.

I enjoy looking at many different viewpoints on the issues of food, nutrition, and obesity, and remain open to the possibility of new ideas. I have opinions about what behaviors are effective for me, and sometimes even opinions about which behaviors appear to be effective for others. My opinions are based on my own experiences; on what I have personally witnessed; and on information that I’ve gathered in my own pursuit of knowledge about those issues. Sometimes my opinions change.

For Dieting Perspective, see my past article located in the DietHobby ARCHIVES, What is the Best Way to Diet?

Life is filled with conflicting views, and just because two different “experts” hold differing opinions doesn’t really mean that either one is wrong.

“Experts” can be correct in some areas, and incorrect in other areas.

I have no personal need to decide who is “right” and who is “wrong”, and although an “expert” with a convincing argument can cause me to lean toward a specific belief, another “expert” can make a counter-argument which results in me changing my mind.

DietHobby is a combination of thoughts and ideas that interest me. Often, when I share the ideas and thoughts of others, I include my own. Sometimes I haven’t yet formed an opinion on an idea that I share here at DietHobby, except for the fact that I find it worth thinking about.

I read many, many books, articles, and comments involving issues relevant to my Dieting Hobby, but usually, I only write about the concepts that I find the most valuable to me, OR the most interesting to me.

I was recently intrigued by the statement: “Obesity is seen as a simple problem: people get overweight because they eat more calories than they expand. That’s a bit like saying “cancer is simply a cell gone wrong”.

After reading a few articles by the author of the statement, I ordered a book that he published about a week ago, November 2, 2012, entitled: “Something to Chew On: Challenging Controversies in Food and Health” by Mike Gibney, who is a professor at University College Dublin, with a global reputation for research on food and nutrition.

Allegedly, the book covers … from a scientific point of view… all of the worldwide controversies dominating the popular press in relation to the modern food chain. He says he wrote the book to help the average person to gain some understanding of the mainstream science of food & health and in so doing to de-bunk many common myths and misperceptions.

The book appears to have a chapter that challenges the claims of environmental groups that genetically modified foods are a danger to health and the environment. Another chapter looks at data about the rise in obesity pointing out that obesity has been rising in the US in waves dating back to the early 20th century, and challenges the conventional wisdom that it is simply due to junk food.

One chapter challenges the myth that organic food is more nutritious, more tasty, more flavoursome and more environmentally friendly than conventionally grown crops. Another chapter explores “the roles of the players in the drama of food politics”, and includes the issue of starvation existing now for some populations. A chapter apparently explains how society assesses risks in our food supply and the testing processes. Evidentially the final chapter has a focus “
on the two great food tragedies of modern times: obesity and malnutrition”. 

I love exploring ideas from different perspectives, and am looking forward to learning specifically what the author has to say. Will I be writing about it in the future?  Maybe… it all depends on what I see when I read the book.


NOTE:  Originally posted on November 6, 2012.  Reposted for New Viewers.

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