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The I Diet

The I Diet

Use your food instincts to help you lose weight.

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The "I" Diet: Use Your Instincts to Lose Weight - and Keep It Off - Without Feeling Hungry is a book written by Betty Kelly Sargent and Dr. Susan B. Roberts. The I in the title of the book stands for instincts. This book outlines a program where readers use their five food instincts as a guide to weight control.

The I Diet has been highly praised by other publications in the weight loss industry as an obesity cure, a real paradigm shift and even wise guidance along the road to long-term weight management. The book features plenty of before and after photos from those who have tried the diet and been successful. The diet is based on lab research, keeps you from being hungry and focuses on behavioral modifications.

The average dieter on this program has lost 30 pounds in just a few months. The book includes recipes for delicious meals that you can eat while on the diet, and some don’t even have to be cooked.

The I Diet, or Instinct Diet, is based on the fact that there are five food instincts that control your eating habits. Those five instincts are hunger, availability, calorie density, familiarity and variety. Once you can control these, you can control your eating habits. The program is broken into three stages and includes several weekly menus, more than 100 recipes and options for those who are vegetarians.

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  • More than 100 recipes
  • Teaches the cause for your eating habits, and how to control them
  • Based on thorough research
  • Highly praised by several professionals in the scholastic world
  • Program broken into three stages
  • Explains some of the common myths related to dieting and weight loss
  • Exercise isn’t mandatory as part of the program, but recommended for overall health
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Downplays benefits of exercise

Eating is an important part of the Instincts Diet. You find this to be true, especially since the entire premise of the diet is based on your natural instincts where food is concerned. On this program, you are not starving yourself, but learning how to control your instincts and choosing foods to properly develop better eating habits.

There are three stages to The I Diet.

  • The first stage is the getting started stage, which lasts two weeks. During this stage you are getting used to the new style of eating. An important aspect of the Instinct Diet is that the heavier you are, the more calories per day you will start out with. This isn’t a one size fits all program and those who weigh more are going to need more calories each day to keep their bodies from going into starvation mode while trying to lose weight.

  • The second stage of the diet lasts six weeks, and is called the keeping it going stage. This stage will incorporate many more choices for you as well as daily treats. You will actually receive a 100-calorie treat each day during this stage. If you have a particular treat you want that is more than 100 calories, you can simply bank your treat calories until you have enough. You can also mix and match meal choices during this stage and your meals repeat every seven days.

  • The final stage of the diet is the maintenance stage. Some of the important factors in the maintenance stage include keeping off the weight you’ve lost, weighing yourself weekly to monitor your results and cutting the amount of calories you consume compared to before you lost the weight. Many of the changes you must make are simple, but they will take some thought.

Some of the recipes that are included in the book for your meals are as follows:

  • Vegetable Frittata
  • Orange-crumbed French toast
  • Apple, walnut and blue cheese salad
  • Watercress and orange salad with parmesan toasts and hummus
  • Mexican lettuce wraps
  • Cajun cod
  • Baked salmon with lemon-dill sauce
  • Florentine steak
  • Chocolate bread pudding
  • Almost apple cobbler
  • Vanilla spice cookies

While on the program, you are not required to exercise, although it is recommended for your overall health. The authors address the myth that a lack of exercise keeps you from losing weight. Exercise is great for your health and a great resource for avoiding weight gain, but if you aren’t doing it, that won’t keep you from losing weight.

It’s explained that even with 30 minutes of vigorous exercise daily, you may only lose about three pounds over a six month period if you change nothing else. Many people are so focused on exercise that they pay no attention to what they’re eating. This leads to frustration when they don’t see the results that they are looking for. By focusing on what you’re eating with The I Diet, you will lose weight that you can keep off, and be able to incorporate exercise when you’re ready.


The I Diet does give a lot of powerful information for those who desire to lose weight and keep it off. Many of the principles outlined in the book seem sound and are based on the authors' research as well as other research that has been done.

The beginning of the book is used to educate on the five food instincts before any details are given about the diet itself. You are using your knowledge of these instincts to combat the unhealthy eating habits and replace them with new habits. The overall program seems to be very solid and one that can be very effective if the recommendations are followed. The fact that exercise is not mandatory during the program may be a draw to some and raise questions for others.

Exercise can certainly be implemented if you feel it necessary, but the main focus of the program is to make people aware of the foods they eat.

Common MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

I deit, I diets, instincts diet, instinct diet

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