Until I read about the author, I had no idea that she has been in the health and fitness industry for 25 years, and this book has been out since 2012. I had never heard of her before. Most recently, you may have seen JJ Vrgin on PBS with her program for the fall or spring fundraising campaigns.
The theme for those needing to lose weight is: If you are doing everything right, meaning, eating low-fat foods, whole grains, and egg-white omelets and still not losing weight, then “your favorite “diet” foods may be to blame.” Her premise is that food intolerance may be the reason for your weight gain. There are 7 main foods that are the typical ones likely to cause food intolerance. When you eliminate these foods, you will—in just one week—drop up to 7 pounds. In short, you will lose weight when you are not eating foods that your body cannot handle and which are thwarting your efforts to lose weight.
What are those high food-intolerance (high FI) foods. They are: gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, corn, peanuts, and sugar and artificial sweeteners. In the first cycle of her plan, which lasts 21 days, you cannot eat any of these high-FI foods. Before you say, “Are you kidding? No way will I stop eating eggs,” you just can’t eat them in the first 21 days, as the goal is to get them out of your system.
After a break, you add some of the healthier high-FI foods back into your diet in Cycle 2 of the plan, to see whether you can tolerate them, sort of like the process of elimination to determine the guilty culprits in allergic reactions. She admits that a lot of her clients were skeptical of such a plan. Food intolerance is not the same as a food allergy, and she explains all that in layperson’s terms. Besides, as she says, you can do just about anything for 21 days (although that is obviously a problem for all those who made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, which did not last even three days). Cycle C is maintenance, or the Virgin Diet for Life.
One of the more interesting theories she talks about, and which this weight watcher found fascinating, is moderation—it is your enemy, she says, and she abhors the phrase, “Everything in moderation.” I have to agree with her when she says, if something is not good for you, then a little bit is also not good for you if you plan to control it. That plays out in: one cookie turns into two, a few chips turns into the bag of chips, and one small slice turns into a bigger slice.
She writes that moderation sets you up for cravings. Take artificial sweeteners, for example. You eat sweet and you want more and more of sweet. With artificial sweeteners anywhere from 300 to 700 times sweeter than sugar, well, you can easily see why moderation does not work. She elaborates very well on why moderation is a myth and why you just have to forget controlling your weight through moderation. She has some words about vegetarians and vegans, too.
The book has the guidelines and plans to put together your own meals, as well as recipes for each of the cycles. There are pointers on how to stock your pantry and refrigerator, too. Exercise is always a part of any healthy lifestyle, and she talks about it (it has to be hot and sweaty), but more as an important key to maintaining a healthy weight.
If you want to challenge yourself, find out which foods you may like but your body does not, and you can do something for 21 days, then get this book and do it. To motivate you, too, sidebars highlight people and their results.
The book is very easy to read and understand, as she has boiled down the various chemical and medical theories we do not often understand. You will enjoy reading it and, hopefully, enjoy the results, too. This book is in the Albuquerque Library system.Check your local library where you live.