The Pritikin Diet

The complete opposite of the Atkins diet, it emphasizes a high-carb, low-fat approach to eating. Though millions have used it to lose weight, Pritikin actually designed the program for people with heart problems, high cholesterol, or diabetes (who use his menus to normalize their blood sugar without insulin).

The Pritikin diet revolves around The Calorie Density Solution. Supposedly, it’s not the calories per se that’s the problem, but how many there are per pound. Fruits like apple and oatmeal are not calorie dense, so you can eat a lot and still not gain a lot of weight. Compare that to something that’s small and sweet, like a chocolate chip cookie. Binge on five, and you’ve already consumed your calorie count for a day.

Pritikin gives several charts that give the caloric density of different foods. A pattern clearly emerges: the more processed the food, the more calories it has per pound. Corn starts at 490 calories per pound, but a corn tortilla chip has a shocking 2,450 calories per pound.

It all boils down to eating food that makes you feel full, so you don’t experience that sense of deprivation that makes diets so depressing. Drink lots of water, take fiber, and eat vegetables, fruits, beans and unprocessed grains.

Pritikin was also one of the first to strongly recommend dieting with exercise. He gave the ideal figure get out those trainers as 30 miles a week.

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