Manuel Villacorta MS, RD, CSSD, is the founder and creator of the Eating Free program for weight management. With more than 16 years of experience working in the nutrition field, Villacorta was named a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, identifying him as a leading weight loss and nutrition expert in the country.
Over the course of his career, Villacorta has built the #1 rated weight loss clinic in San Francisco as well as an online version of his program to serve clients nationwide.
DietsInReview.com had a chance to speak with Villacorta about his successful weight loss program. Here is an excerpt of that conversation.
You can read a complete review of the Eating Free plan here.
When most of us think of dieting, the word “free” doesn’t come to mind in regards to our food choices. Can you describe what you mean by Eating Free?
With eating free, we want to take all of these myths in regards to food and show you that food is not the problem. What is the problem is what we have done to food in regards to processing it, its portion size and the mindless way in which we eat.
So many foods have been demonized. Few of us know what to eat and we have become so fearful of certain foods. For instance, so many of us have become scared of white rice, even though it’s just white rice. With Eating Free, we take away the guilt and fear and teach people how to eat what they like in a responsible and healthy way.
What does the Eating Fee plan look like?
Your body works on weekly averages, not daily. With this plan, you have a week to eat what you like and when you like. It’s up to you to manage what you are going to eat.
We now know that eating is not just about counting calories. There is a strong self-care component to eating such as eating to reduce stress and eating without mindfulness. Eating Free takes into consideration all of these elements that factor into the eating process.
What is the Free system?
FreeQ is a score-system that tells you where you are with Eating Free. But this system also takes into account your quality of life and your quality of weight loss. For instance, even though a person may be maintaining their weight loss, perhaps they are eating in such a way that takes away from their quality of life. They are essentially not eating free.
Therefore, we have a concept of Freebies, which are allowances of different food groups that you get to eat each week. You determine how you will spend your Freebies.
Say, for instance, you know that you are going to eat chocolate cake at a party this weekend. You simply plug what you want to eat into your own Eating Free plan and it tells you exactly how to adjust your Freebies so that you can have your chocolate cake and never have to worry about getting off track with your weight loss goals.
What is the nutrition plan with Eating Free like?
I have found that for weight loss, good muscle maintenance and daily energy, you need to eat 45 percent of your calories coming from carbohydrates, 30 percent from protein and 25 percent from fat. This balance gives your brain and body what it needs to keep it healthy and strong.
With Eating Free, people lose one to three pounds a week. There is a learning curve, and to be honest, some individuals can get a little frustrated because they want to lose 10 pounds in one week. But over time, they will lose weight and realize that as the pounds are coming off, they are also eating everything they want to eat.
Thanks so much Manuel!
August 5th, 2010