Tanya Zuckerbrot on F-Factor, Fiber and Feeling Good
by Alexandra Malmed
In the fast-paced, ever-evolving game of nutrition, one of the least glamorous players is proving itself to be an invaluable, tournament-winning, ball-stealing asset: fiber. It’s a word that may conjure images of prunes and saccharine white powders, but it’s making a major comeback in the worlds of weight loss and maintenance and wellness. To thank for this is Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, a registered dietitian in private practice in New York, and the CEO and founder of the F-Factor Diet.
If you’re not already a fan of Tanya and of F-Factor, know that the gorgeous, hyper-intelligent, and well informed CEO is on your side. She wants you to, as she says, “look and feel your very best,” every day, without sacrificing your social life, sanity, or happiness. F-Factor is a lifestyle, not just a diet—it’s a way of eating, drinking, and thinking that, after a bit of getting used to, requires little thought. It allows for you to socialize, drink, eat carbs, travel, cook for yourself and for others, and dine out—all while improving your health and your appearance. Sold? We are. We caught up with Tanya to ask her a few questions about her practice, the other F word, and what we can do to look and feel our very best, day in and day out.
Because fiber is everything—it has the most incredible weight management and health benefits. When it comes to weight management, fiber fills you up and keeps you feeling full for hours, but it’s low in calories. It also revs metabolism and binds with fat and calories, which in turn ushers them out of the body. Fiber is what allows you to eat carbs and still lose weight. It’s really the secret to weight loss without hunger. And from a health perspective, fiber improves gut health, supports healthy cholesterol levels, supports healthy blood sugar regulation, alleviates periodic and temporary constipation, improves sleep habits, and promotes overall wellness.
Why is calorie counting not required on F-Factor? Can it be a useful tool for some clients?
The reason counting calories is unnecessary on F-Factor is that there is an inherent calorie-cap built into the program. As long as you reach your daily fiber goal and limit your intake of simple carbohydrates to the amount allowable in each Step, you are guaranteed to feel full without exceeding your calorie needs for the day. Additionally, counting calories is associated with restriction and I would rather my clients focus on the abundance of food that they are eating. The goal on F-Factor is to get at least 35g of fiber per day, with no upward limit. By focusing on eating more fiber, rather than what you’re omitting calorie counting, feelings typically associated with dieting, like denial and deprivation, are minimized and the plan is more sustainable and enjoyable.
Fiber is what allows you to eat carbs and still lose weight. It’s really the secret to weight loss without hunger.
What are some great, F-Factor approved afternoon snack ideas, and why is it important to have an afternoon snack?
By eating a snack two hours before dinner, you won’t go into dinner ravenous, and are therefore able to make healthier decisions. Great #FFACTORAPPROVED snack ideas include:
F-Factor Pizzas – 4 high-fiber GG crackers topped with low-fat cottage cheese or mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, microwave until melted. Four of these “pizzas” contains ~200 calories, 24g carbs and 16g fiber.
20/20 Muffins – Muffins made with 20/20 FIBER/PROTEIN Powder are a great snack because they’re rather portable. I like to pair 3 muffins with a cup of tea for snack. Basic 20/20 Muffins (3 muffins) have 194 calories, 27g carb and 15g fiber.
20/20 Smoothie – 2 scoops F-Factor 20/20 FIBER/PROTEIN Powder, with ice, unsweetened almond milk (or other liquid) and whatever other fruit, vegetables or ingredients you prefer. Nutrition varies based on ingredients included but at very least 1 smoothie packs 20g fiber and 20g protein.
- F-Factor FIBER/PROTEIN Bars – Bars are among the easiest snacks that you can take with you on the go. They’re perfect to have on hand for when hunger strikes.
If your clients are hungry after dinner or want a small, light snack before bed, what do you recommend?
My clients really don’t experience hunger after dinner. If F-Factor is followed correctly, you shouldn’t be hungry after dinner because vegetables on F-Factor are a free food. Non-starchy vegetables are filled with fiber and have a high-water content, so the abundance of them at dinner should fill you up. If someone is still hungry after dinner, that’s usually a sign they simply didn’t eat enough of their vegetables and need to eat more of them.
If you want something sweet after dinner, that’s a different story. A dessert on F-Factor should be less than 100 calories and low enough in net carbs that you are still not going over your daily net carb allotment. Examples of good sweet treats include:
- Decaf 20/20 chai latte
- 20/20 meringue cookies
- 60 Lily’s Sweets Chocolate Chips
- Arctic Zero Light Ice cream flavors
How do you advise that people get back on track after an evening (or weekend) of indulgence?
The beauty of F-Factor is that Step 1 is always waiting for you as a reset. As you progress on F-Factor and really begin living the F-Factor Way, you will learn to incorporate mindful indulgences. When those mindful indulgences become less mindful and begin to add up, that’s when you simply just begin again with Step 1. Step 1 was designed to boost weight loss immediately. While it is the most focused stage of the diet, it’s also the basis of the diet; it’s where everyone who lives the F-Factor Way begins. Therefore, resetting and starting again with Step 1 is not only effective, but easy to maintain.
What is a perfect F-Factory Step 1 day of eating?
A perfect F-Factor Approved Step 1 Day of eating and drinking for me begins with a F-Factor latte and berries first thing in the morning, followed by F-Factor 20/20 waffles. Lunch is a huge salad of non-starchy vegetables and lean protein (usually egg whites and grilled chicken), and for snack I will either do a 20/20 smoothie or 20/20 muffins (I love the blueberry muffins with the crumb topping!) with cup of chai tea. Dinner is a small salad, lean protein (3-4 oz), vegetables, and a glass of wine.
What does the future hold for F-Factor?
F-Factor is expanding and growing in the most exciting ways. F-Factor is leveraging powerful digital technologies to expand our services to enhance even more people’s lives. In the more near future, we will focus on product innovation. We are currently working on expanding our product lines with more delicious high-fiber, high-protein foods to help people live the F-Factor Way. The introduction of more products to the marketplace will ultimately enhance the user experience by increasing the variety of healthy options available.
What are some of your daily essentials? What do you carry in your handbag and have at your desk at all times?
My wallet, mophie charger, sunglasses, makeup bag, and an F-Factor FIBER/PROTEIN Bar.
Words of advice for those looking to look and feel their best every single day?
Drink three liters of water, eat 35 grams of fiber per day, get a good night’s sleep, and laugh as often as possible. Remember, happy girls are the prettiest.