I thought '20/20' was a pretty simple name for a diet based on 20 grams or fat and fiber and so I posted this in the early summer of 2013 (see below). The celebrity named 'Dr. Phil' recently (2015) published a book by the same name... They are NOT the same diets.
The "20/20 Diet" is the diet that I often (but not always) recommend for weight loss. I present the basics of it here to help people understand what kind of weight loss I offer. This is not an exhaustive treatment of the diet. That comes at the time of a patient's first visit to our office. But still, this little outline can help you understand where we are "coming from".
The "20-Twenty" Diet is my best effort at a diet that is simple enough to understand quickly, scientific enough to work and easy enough to live with. It's a tall order and I won't pretend that the diet is perfect. But I think that it's pretty good and that it does offer people something better than most: a fighting chance at long-term success.
Eat Less than 20 Grams of Fat Per Day
Eat More than 20 Grams of Fiber Per Day
"Good fats" (Anti-inflammatory fats like omega-3 fatty acids) are "free". You do NOT have to keep track of their fat grams
Sugars that contain fructose should be limited by common sense to small amounts
Probiotics (yogurt) and "prebiotics" (inulin) should be consumed at least once daily
Never skip breakfast
Eat at least 3 meals per day
Weight loss is never about NOT eating when hungry. The reverse is in fact true: weight loss is about eating when you are NOT hungry so that you never GET hungry. It's what I call "pre-emptive eating".
THAT IS IT... (except of course that the devil is in the details. I'll have a lot more to say about them in-office)
They’re covered. When you eat less fat and more fiber you eat fewer calories automatically. You never have to count calories on this diet and because you don’t, you won’t end up feeling deprived.
Very high-glycemic index starches should generally be limited but for most people in a practical sense, starchy carbohydrate can be eating. This makes the diet far more liveable.
Sugar is different. Table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice, agave syrup and honey all contain fructose and large amounts of fructose may cause weight gain.
Because fat is calorie dense and easy to absorb. Even pure sugar has less than half the calories of fat. If you don’t eat fat, you can eat more food and get fewer calories at the same time.
Same reason. Fiber has ZERO calories per gram and it fills you up.
Fiber is plant material that we humans cannot digest and which therefore has zero dietary calories. Examples of pure fiber include bran and pectin.
Yes, ounce per ounce, gram per gram they are, BUT most fiber pills and capsules contain less than one gram of fiber so it’s generally easier (and cheaper) to get fiber from foods.
No. Not as long as you get the 20 grams of fiber from something every day.
Frequently Asked Questions About the 20/20 Diet
Answer: 1-2 pounds per week on AVERAGE.
Answer: Probably not. The water weight from low-carb diets occurs because of something called ketosis. This doesn’t occur on low fat diets.
Answer: You will probably consume more calories and gain a few ounces of fat that you otherwise would have lost. That’s all. You won’t have massive overnight weight gain the way people do if they blow a low-carb diet like Atkins.
Answer: You won’t lose weight as fast and you may feel hungrier.
Answer: Most people find it easy, especially compared to low carb diets. On this diet you can eat like a normal human being.
Answer: You may notice more intestinal gas at first. This is because of the fiber and it won’t last long (maybe 1-2 weeks). Fiber will also increase stool volume a bit and it should help keep you regular. Gallbladder stones are the big risk associated with fat reduction. Please consult the information I have provided about how to minimize gallstone risk.
Answer: Essential fatty acids are fats that our bodies need and cannot make. We must get enough of these from our diets or we will become deficient. This CAN be a problem on low fat diets. The best way to prevent deficiency in essential fats is to take a fish oil supplement.
Answer: The 20/20 diet is PART of the Holland Clinic medical weight loss program. No, you are not required to follow the 20/20 diet, but for reasons outlined later, I believe that this is the best diet for most people. Still, you may certainly follow a different diet plan if you like but I do ask that you let me know.
Why This Diet:
The simple answer is because it actually works. Of course you've heard that line before. So here's where the real difference lies: the dietary advice we give patients is based upon the latest SOLID scientific research as published in world-class peer-reviewed bio-medical and nutrition journals.
Below are some of the key features of our diet:
How we Teach Diet: