Weight Management

Pritikin Principle To Help You Lose Weight

The Pritikin Longevity Center was set up in California by Nathan Pritikin in 1979. The basis of their program was a diet extremely low in fats (10%). Originally planned for helping diabetics lower their cholesterol without taking insulin, the added benefits of weight loss spurred them to launch several programs aimed at the obese. Nathan's son Robert wrote the book called The Pritikin Principle in which he focuses on the Calorie Density Solution.

The Calorie Density Solution
Foods that are less dense in calories (calories per pound) help fill up without piling the calories. For example, if you eat apples and oatmeal as much as you want, you can feel full without gaining any weight. You need not have to bear with the feeling of hunger in order to reduce weight. By substituting foods high in calorie density with those low in calorie density, you will surely lose weight, and permanently. Shedding of excess weight means better health and longevity.

The diet
To quicken the weight loss process, Pritikin advises eating lesser calories than those burned. This is in addition to the calorie density solution. It is the simplest formula for weight loss and Pritikin uses it.

The book is full of pages showing the calorie density of every kind of food that America eats. Graphical representations help compare the sheer differences in the calories per pound between various foods.

Natural foods are least in calorie density while processed foods top the charts. For example, raw and unbuttered broccoli contains 130 calories per pound while chocolate chip cookies contain a mammoth 2,140 calories per pound. How you eat food also hugely affects calorie intake.

Fiber in food helps feel fuller. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are highly recommended by Pritikin. Three meals and two snacks are up on the menu.

Calorie density of each meal should be less than 400 calories per pound to cause weight loss. Vegetables are less than 200 calories per pound and therefore should always be added to meat and starches. Lean cuts will further decrease the calories.

Exercise, especially walking is highly recommended. Although Pritikin would like his dieters to walk 30 miles a week, he says 15 miles a week is not too bad.

* There will be weight loss for sure.
* The diet is rich in nutrients and low in calories.
* Exercise is encouraged.


*The diet is very low in fats, which is not necessarily a good thing. It could cause cravings in some people and there could be dearth of essential fatty acids required by the body cells for development.
* It is difficult and tedious to prepare food so low in fats.
* Once away from the Pritikin center, it will be hard to continue the diet.
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