Introduction to the UnDiet

From early childhood through to early adulthood I went through periods where I would eat and eat and eat, followed by a period where I would eat hardly anything at all. I didn't monitor my weight; I just followed my own inner clock. I never weighed myself, but I was always thin, so I never thought to reaccess this manner of eating. Somewhere in my mid-twenties I noticed that I was spending longer periods of time in the "eat and eat and eat" stage and less time in the "hardly eat anything at all" stage and my body was beginning to reflect this change.

I didn't want to go on a strict diet, so I cut back on sweets, cut out fats almost entirely, watched those calories and as I was already a vegetarian that was pretty easy. Instead of losing though, I began to gain. Every time I became more stringent with my diet I gained! What was happening?! Allright, I would go on a really strict diet. I chose the Rotation Diet where you're instructed to eat 300 calories for 3 days, then 600 calories for 3 days, then 900 calories for 3 days, then take a few days to a week off and start the 300-600-900 cycle again, repeating it as often as necessary until you reach your goal weight. It worked! It was torture, but it worked! Until I went back to my normal eating pattern of no sweets, no fats, no meat, watch those calories. I gained it all back and more! A-a-a-ahhh!

The more I watched my weight, the more I watched it creep up the scale! There must be a way to live and still be able to fit into your clothes. Well there is! And here's how I did it!

Over brunch one Sunday some friends were talking about the Atkins diet, a high-protein, low-carbohydrate eating plan. I read "The New Diet Revolution"by Dr. Atkins and learned all about what a carbohydrate is and what it does once you eat it and began to understand why my way of eating had contributed to weight gain. Because I was a vegetarian all my protein came from combining grains and legumes and occasional additions of protein powders and protein granules to my meals. My diet was heavy with fat-free bagels (not whole grain) and potatoes cooked "every which way but loose". My favorite vegetables were potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, bell peppers and onions (all high carbohydrate veggies and in the case of the potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn, high in starch); whole wheat tortillas, white rice, fat-free muffins (not whole grain) ... Well you get the idea. I was eating very little Fruits and vegetables and when I did add veggies to my diet they almost always were starches.

I started adding meat to my diet, along with butter, olive oil, cheese, cream in my coffee (instead of non-dairy creamer which was laden with high fructose corn sweeteners) and eliminating all breads, rices, beans, corn products, Fruits (high in carbohydrates), and dried Fruits. I lost three pounds the first day and a pound a day for a week.

Then I went to a wine tasting and gained three pounds in one day. I lost those three pounds, then had two glasses of wine at a dinner party and gained back two pounds. It took me a month to realize that there was no way I could lose weight and drink wine. So I eliminated all wine and lost a few pounds but then couldn't lose a thing for a week.

Come to find out aspartame (Nutrasweet) reacts with many people's metabolism's so that it's impossible to lose weight! Isn't that a kick! All those diet soft drink and diet gelatin commercials and you can't lose weight if you're consuming their products! Notice I mentioned no brand names, except Nutrasweet because clinical research supports the fact that many can't lose weight while consuming Nutrasweet and aspartame.

Nix the Nutrasweet and hurray, I was losing again. For a few days, then I plateaued. For two weeks I lost not a pound. I called the Atkins center and they didn't have anything to tell me since I wasn't doing any of the no-no's. The Atkins Diet Revolution does suggest going on a carbohydrate splurge if you plateau, so I thought I'd give it a try - and it worked - for a few days. What now?!

I came across Susanne Somers' book "Eat Great Lose Weight" which explains how to lose weight by practicing food combining and that worked, and worked and worked. I continued to lose weight using the principles of food combining, combined with the principles of the Atkins Diet.

As I got comfortable with eating this way and continued to lose weight I started to miss certain meals and dishes which were not permissible with Somersizing and the Atkins Diet. Over brunch one afternoon some friends were talking about the Zone Diet which advises you to arrange every meal in a ratio of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, 30% fat. Well this system would allow me to eat the meals and dishes I was missing!

I tried the Zone Diet for a couple of days and gained a couple of pounds, but I attributed that to not getting the ratios right. I decided that it was too much trouble to try and get the ratios right for every meal and every snack and besides Dr. Sears (the author of The Zone) only allows you 1200 calories a day while you're losing. The Zone Diet does allow you to lose, but at 1200 calories  there's no magic to the fat/protein/carb ratio, that's a very calorie restrictive diet just like any other diet! The real truth is that I don't want to be restricted to 1200 calories and when you look at it, 1200 calories is a pretty restrictive diet and I got into this whole thing looking for a way to cook and eat the foods I love and not have to count calories, fat, or carbohydrates. I later discovered that combining proteins and starches in the same meal was not healthy and didn't allow each meal to properly digest, thus leading to weight gain, disease, and illness.

Then I discovered "Fit For Life", which incorporated much of what I'd been doing, but recommended some further changes, based not on metabolism, but on the digestive processes of the body. At last, I was on my way to my goal weight again! Please note that I don't strictly follow the Fit For Life plan as I've learned some further things that helped me to lose weight faster and how to fix certain foods that shouldn't go together but with some very easy modifications are perfectly compatible.

While I didn't go on The Good Calorie Diet described in Dr. Philip Lipetz and Monika Pichler's book "Naturally Slim and Powerful" the UnDiet will give you the benefits of "losing weight without losing your mind" and is very easy to follow. The UnDiet will naturally boost and level out serotonin levels in a woman's body (don't worry guys the UnDiet won't mess with your hormones) while suppressing the overproduction of insulin. The most important aspect of The Good Calorie Diet is to get your serotonin boost in the morning. Fruits eaten alone are the best way to accomplish that.

So here's the plan that all my friends and clients and friends of friends keep asking me to write out for them. I quickly became tired of xeroxing, mailing and faxing recipes and information so I decided to put it all on this web site. It's so much easier to just give you all my URL and let you wander around collecting information, recipes and tips.

The UnDiet is extremely flexible, allowing you to make deviations based on your personal taste, the choices confronting you at any given time, your mood, your cooking skills and the time you have available. A gourmet cook can be happy with the UnDiet as well as those who don't know or care what saute means. You can eat out at restaurants and parties and still not fall off the UnDiet. You can eat olive oil, butter, cream, meat, mayonnaise and still not fall off the UnDiet. You can eat until you're full and still lose weight, once you've mastered the basic principles of the UnDiet.

The basic rules are outlined in The UnDiet Basic Plan, but I realize that "going all the way" is sometimes difficult, overwhelming or impractical so I've followed The UnDiet Basic Plan with two other plans, Produce Power, and Protein Blast. Choose which plan you'd like to start with and then work your way through each successive stage as you feel ready.

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last revised February 22, 2005
Copyright Kathleane C. O'Leary 1997-2005 all rights reserved
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