Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I just hate eating rice and potates without butter. They just don't taste very good.
A: Try using a few tablespoons of low-fat chicken broth instead. Fats counteract the dryness of certain foods; you can substitute non-fat liquids. Buying a book about how to use herbs and spices will be a great help.

Q: What about calcium?
A: With the broad variety of foods on The Plan, including beans and other legumes, calcium will not be a problem for many people. However, women in middle years or those with osteoporosis or a predisposition to osteoporosis may not get enough calcium because of the restriction on dairy products. Ask your doctor about using a calcium supplement.

Q: What about vitamins?
A: About the only health benefit to manufactured food is that many contain supplemental vitamins and minerals. But remember, the reason such nutrients are added is often to replace those that are lost through processing and aging. The Plan should provide all the nutrients needed. People on the StanPlan should consider taking a good vitamin-mineral supplement each day such as Theragran, Centrum or the generic equivalents.

Q: It's hard to find something to eat at lunch at the fast-food places.
A: I know. That's intentional. Fast food is high in fat and manufactured food and may be devastating to anyone trying to lose weight.

Q: I love a big steak for dinner. Why is there such a restriction on beef? Six ounces is hardly enough to taste!
A: Beef tastes good in part because its fat content creates an endorphin surge. So-called "good" beef is very high in fat. That big steak may contain over a thousand calories, all of which are crowded into one meal. Remember that gram for gram, fat has more than twice the calories of carbohydrate. The Plan doesn't count calories but by following it, you will naturally limit calories.

Q: What about salt?
A: The Plan does not restrict salt. Although many Americans eat too much salt, the consequences of obesity are far worse than eating too much salt for most of us. If you have any health problem that requires salt limitation, you should show this diet plan to your physician and discuss it with her/him.

Q: I have been on the diet for nearly two weeks and haven't lost anything yet.
A: Although you don't count calories on The Plan, you will not start losing weight until your calorie intake naturally declines to where it should be. As eating the right foods corrects the problem with excessive appetite, weight loss will gradually begin. If you are one of the lucky ones for whom this occurs rapidly, you will start losing rapidly.

Q: I need to lose around 10 lb per month to reach my goal. Will The Plan do that for me?
A: Maybe but probably not. This is not a rapid weight loss diet. It is a plan to control your appetite and to prevent the reasons you overeat.

Q: So you are saying that maybe my problem is not a lack of willpower?
A: That's correct. You can compare addiction to food to addiction to nicotine/smoking. It's the cigarette that you are currently smoking that creates the need for the next one. Likewise, eating the wrong food for one meal sets the stage to overeat at the next meal.

Q: Will I ever stop thinking about food?
A: To some degree, yes, but you will always be an ex-overeater just like someone who breaks an alcohol habit is an ex-drinker, not a non-drinker. There will always be a part of you that thinks about overeating but you will control that two ways. First, you will lose the craving to overeat. Second, you will actually start to feel full long before you overeat.

Q: What about an occasional treat to reward my good behavior?
A: The reward from the StanPlan is getting thinner. Food should never be used as a reward. Each deviation from the StanPlan will be a major step backward. Does the alcoholic reward sobriety with a drink? Does the clean heroin addict reward staying off heroin by taking a shot every now and then? “Rewards” are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Q: Will the StanPlan make me thin?
A: Probably not thin, but you can expect to be a lot smaller than you are now. The StanPlan will help you control your appetite and finally give you the edge over that incredible desire to eat more than you know you should.


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