The Three Food Rule is a great Diet Plan!
Here is a diet I consider to be a good, nourishing and long term solution to getting that weight off and keeping it off.
It is a little slower in the losing weight department but is great for keeping it off while still being able to eat the things you enjoy!
This is part of my maintenance on my personal diet program as described in my eBook “All About Dieting”. To find out more about my ebook just subscribe to my eZine using the form on the top right hand side of most of the pages on this website.
Forget giving up chocolate chip cookies or trying to satisfy your cravings with baby portions. If you’re committed to losing weight, but can’t commit to giving up your favorite foods, here’s the weight loss plan for you: The Three Food Rule.
It’s called the “three-food rule,” and it’s a revolutionary approach that actually encourages you to eat more instead of focusing on all the things you can’t have. Not only that, the three food rule takes just minutes to learn, you can do it for the rest of your life, and the three food rule really works!
The three food rule was developed by Orlando-based nutrition counselor,Karen Beerbower, RD.
The three-food rule is simple:
Every time you eat, choose a combination of three food items.
Each item should come from a different food group, and one item must be a protein.
That’s it, the three food rule!
“It’s a rule with no exceptions and exceptional benefits,” says Beerbower, author of “Setting Places” (Nutritional Guidance, Inc., 2000), who developed the three food rule to teach her clients how to eat more healthfully.
Unexpectedly, many of them also lost weight–sometimes a lot of weight–as a result of the three food rule.
“Many people are sick of dieting,” says Beerbower. “They’re sick of counting grams and calories. They just want to know how to eat reasonably for a healthy weight, and this is it.”
The three food rule: How It Works:
The three food rule works because:
1. It gives you structure,
2. Satisfies your appetite with a healthy variety of foods,
3. And allows you to eat all the foods you love.
Want cookies? Fine, but also have a glass of milk and an orange.
Macaroni and cheese for dinner? Great. Just include two more items, such as fresh green beans and a fruit salad.
If you want seconds on the mac and cheese, that’s okay too, but you must have seconds on the beans and fruit salad as well.
The three food rule: Pick from these food groups:
and meat (includes fish, eggs, nuts, legumes).
(See some sample groupings further on in this article).
“People can’t believe I’m actually telling them to eat more food, but the idea is to satisfy your hunger and dissuade you from eating when you’re just bored,” Beerbower says.
When midafternoon munchies hit, for instance, you may try to satisfy yourself with an apple. But if that doesn’t do the trick, you grab some pretzels, then a muffin, and then some M&M’s.
“You’ll actually eat fewer calories in the long run by having a well-thought-out snack.”
Likewise, say it’s 3 pm, and you’re just bored. Normally, you might take a vending machine break. But with the three food rule, you can’t just grab a Snickers for instant gratification.
You have to do a little work to come up with two other foods, one of which is a protein. You’re forced to think about what and why you’re eating.
“If you’re not hungry, you’ll be more likely to decide the snack isn’t worth the fuss and skip it and the calories,” Beerbower says.
The three food rule: What about Dessert?
Pies, cakes, and other sweets are allowed within 15 minutes of any meal. Otherwise, any sweet snack should be enjoyed as one of three items in accordance with the three food rule.
And even if you eat all three food items (yes, it’s more calories than if you just had the candy bar), you’ll be fuller longer and more likely to eat less later. So over time you’re eating fewer calories.
“At first, the hardest part was getting used to eating all that food in one sitting,” says Jane, who lost 57 lbs. in just over a year following the three food rule. “I was so used to trying not to eat. Now I eat anything I want. The difference is that I’m satisfied, so I’m not walking around hungry, grabbing a handful of cookies here or a bunch of chips there.”
The three food rule: Protein Power
The three food rule also helps you feel more satisfied and less hungry because you’re eating the proper amounts of protein, says Beerbower. “Too many women toss out protein when they try to curb fat.” But protein’s important; it slows digestion and increases satiety.
“Clients never come in and say, ‘I just ate six broiled chicken breasts, boy, am I stuffed,'” she says. When you overeat, it’s almost always on starchy, sweet, or salty snacks. With the three food rule, you can still have those treats, but the addition of a protein food breaks the craving and stops you from falling into a carbohydrate fog.
Protein also helps maintain lean body tissue, and it assists in the formation of important compounds that supply energy and sharpen your mental focus and cognitive skills. Good sources include meat, eggs, dairy products, fish, seeds, nuts, and legumes.
“I never would have drunk milk or eaten yogurt as a snack before,” says Jane. “I eat a better variety of foods now. My meals and snacks end up being much healthier. My husband likes it too because we have a variety of food in the house.”
The three food rule: Stop Bingeing
As an eating disorders specialist, Beerbower also uses the three food rule to put the brakes on unhealthy eating habits of all kinds.
“Disordered eaters generally eat single-item foods, and they just keep eating one after another,” she says. First it’s the pint of ice cream. Then it’s the box of cookies. Next, the crackers. And then potato chips.
“These carb-heavy foods release the calming brain-chemical serotonin, so you feel better emotionally. But when the food effect wears off, you crash and feel worse for having binged, and the cycle starts again.”
“I used to binge when I was stressed, overwhelmed, or depressed,” says Lynn, 45. “Then I would starve myself or overexercise to make up for it. Once I started eating protein with every meal or snack, I felt less sluggish and more in control.”
The three food rule: Sample Groupings
The following are some perfectly matched three food rule meals and snacks to get you started. As a rule, count mixed dishes, such as pizza, sandwiches, and stews, as one item. For the healthiest combinations, include a fruit or vegetable as one of your items whenever possible.
Beverages, except milk, are “free” items and not considered part of the plan. Protein foods are marked with a (P).
The three food rule: Snacks
Cottage cheese(P) ¤ Fresh fruit ¤ Graham crackers;
Cheese slice(P) ¤ Crackers ¤ Grapes;
Peach slices ¤ Trail mix ¤ Yogurt(P).
The three food rule: Breakfast
Eggs(P) ¤ Grapefruit ¤ Toast;
Dry cereal ¤ Fruit ¤ Milk(P).
The three food rule: Lunch
Celery/cucumber sticks ¤ Ham-on-rye sandwich(P) ¤
Fresh peach slices;
Chilled roast chicken breast(P) ¤ Cucumber and romaine salad with vinaigrette dressing ¤ Whole wheat crackers;
Banana ¤ Potato soup ¤ Tuna sandwich(P).
The three food rule: Dinner
Fresh green beans ¤ Blackened salmon(P) ¤ Wild rice;
Baked ziti with meat sauce(P) ¤ Garlic bread ¤ Salad with vinaigrette dressing;
Asparagus ¤ Flank steak(P) ¤ Lemon orzo pasta.