What the F-Factor?

by: ALEKSIJA VUJICIC

I was recently chatting with a girlfriend of mine about all things ~Zenzy~ when she asked if I was a fan of Tanya Zuckerbrot and the F-Factor Diet. I responded to her question with a blank stare… What the F-Factor? Wrong answer, apparently. Her mouth dropped open as she realized I had not heard of the Beyoncé of dieting, along with Tanya and her obsessive GG cracker-eating followers. No, I hadn’t heard of GG crackers either… sue me.

Obviously, I had some catching up to do. It only took a quick Instagram search to realize why my friend was so shocked. Tanya and her (supposedly) fiber-fit bod are everywhere. As a self-proclaimed Zenzy Gal, it’s almost embarrassing that I was so out of the loop. But boy, now that I’m back in it… I have some thoughts.

Though most of you are probably already familiar with the infamous GG cracker, unlike me, allow me to give you a little background as to who Tanya is, and what the F-Factor Diet consists of. Here are the basics of the diet:

  1. According to Tanya herself, “the F-Factor program focuses on a diet full of high-fiber carbs, which are low in calories and keep you feeling full longer”. The end goal? To lose weight, of course!
  2. Claiming fiber is the “miracle carb”, Tanya basically says you should eat as much fiber as possible in every single meal. Replace high fat foods, high carbs foods, and generally all foods, with fiber. Just keep swimming, just eat fiber.
  3. How do you eat fiber all day, every day? Tanya’s solution is the infamous GG cracker. A flat, unappealing, terribly bland “cracker” that is effectively just one large piece of fiber, with a low calorie and low net-carb count. More on this curious cracker later.
  4. End Result: Rapid weight loss, according to Tanya. No exercise needed, apparently!

In case you were unable to tell by the tone of my voice, I’m more than a little skeptical of the so-called miracle fiber diet. Here at Zenzy, we’re always skeptical of any one-product diet that promises weight loss. GG crackers are just the new diet pill. We don’t support those either, for the record. If it seems too good to be true, that’s because it probably is.

Here is a quick summary of my thoughts, and an explanation of why I think F-Factor stands for Fishy-Factor. As in, there’s something fishy going on here, my friends.

  1. This point is first for a reason. It’s the most important point, which is that any diet that focuses entirely on weight-loss rather than a wholesome, healthy lifestyle, is just not a diet to follow in our books.
  2. Similarly, any ‘diet’ that pays no attention to the benefits of exercise, is therefore not advocating a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Getting active and exercising is a very important part of your health, and the effects go far beyond weight loss. Eating fiber and losing weight does not equal health, but maintaining a balanced diet and getting active does.
  3. There is no product nor food that will miraculously fix everything. Yes, GG crackers could be used as a low-carb substitute for bread, bagels, crackers, and other empty-calorie grains. However, maintaining your normal, everyday diet and not exercising, but just adding a GG cracker to every meal will notdo anything to improve your health or body shape. We promise.
  4. The F-Factor diet claims not to be a “fad diet” and yet that’s exactly what it is. It’s literally in the name. Don’t become caught up in the personality of Tanya Zuckerbrot and her promise that if you eat bland crackers and load up your meals with fiber then you will get your dream bod. Leading a healthful, balanced lifestyle is so much more than a GG cracker, sadly.

That being said, there are some basic, fundamental guidelines included in the F-Factor diet that are important to consider, and can be incorporated into your daily life without ordering a pack of GG crackers on Amazon…

Do you remember the Mean Girls scene in which Regina George is trying to lose weight, so she tries (and fails) to cut out carbs? Is butter a carb???The truth is, in order to be healthy and reach your optimal weight, you can eat carbs. The important thing is to eat the ‘right’ kind of carbs, such as vegetables and fruits, rather than low-nutrient carbs such as white flour (yep, we’re looking at you, white toast).

  1. Incorporating fiber into your diet is important, particularly as a woman. The average woman should ingest around 35 grams of fiber a day, as a high fiber diet will keep you full for longer, lower cholesterol, stabilize your blood sugar, and keep your energy high all day! That being said, you don’t have to get your fiber from a GG cracker. Foods such as beans, almonds, pears, broccoli and chia seeds are excellent natural sources of fiber!
  2. Eating a high-fiber diet (full of fruits and veggies), in combination with lean proteins (chicken, turkey) will help you lead a balanced diet and lifestyle. However, you shouldn’t cut out the healthy fats, as many following the F-Factor diet tend to do. Avocados, eggs, nuts, seeds and more are full of nutrients, and will keep your hair, skin and nails shining and healthy!

As is typical here at Zenzy, the final answer is everything in moderation. Can you eat a GG cracker? Sure. If you suddenly add a GG cracker to every meal will you lose ten pounds and have glowing skin? Definitely not. The key word, is balance.

 

 

COVER IMAGE: Pinterest

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