Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Special Diets >
Jun 10, 2013 08:13 PM

The T-Factor Diet (split from Frugal, Tasty Recipes thread on Home Cooking)

Yes! There *IS* a way to lose weight in which calorie intake does not matter. It is called "The T-Factor Diet" (available on and on that diet you simply restrict your fat intake -- For women, not over 30 grams per day nor under 20, and for men, not over 40 grams of fat per day nor under 30. You need that amount of fat to properly metabolize fat soluble vitamins. When I was younger, I used to use it regularly, and my average weight loss on it was twenty pounds a month, and no, I don't do a lot of exercise. The book does emphasize good carbs, but I can shamefully attest that it still works with lousy carbs and good vitamin pills.... '-)

Duffy, I don't mean this in a confrontive way, but the human body is not a straight forward laws of physics machine. The human body is ruled by the endocrine system, and it is still not well understood. I have friends who are researchers in the field, and they scratch their heads on a regular basis.

And just to keep some balance here, many people also lost weight successfully with the ORIGINAL Atkins Diet while taking in more calories than seems reasonable, but all of them were meats. I'm not comfortable with it, but it does work. My son-in-law lost weight and got down to racing form (regattas) on that silly diet and would have a couple of pounds of bacon for breakfast! Well, slight hyperbole, but for "bread" he put his braunschweiger on pork rinds! This diet works because it basically puts your body in ketosis, and you have to drink LOTS of water to keep your kidneys from turning to ash, not to mention what it can do to your cholesterol levels, promote osteoporosis, and other such medical bonuses. I don't recommend it (or any low carb diet), but many swear by it, BUT!!! The present day Atkins diet is not the full bore all protein diet that Dr. Atkins originally preached, and that's the diet my son-in-law used.

So the bottom line is that the human body CAN lose weight by overeating, even by carbo-loading, *IF* you use either of these diets' off kilter menus. IMO, The T-Factor Diet is sound and works, but I like my kidneys too much for the full bore original Atkins diet, and don't know that much about the current version beyond the fact that it is a low carb (ketosis producing) diet.

Hope this helps! :-)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The original Atkins diet does NOT turn your kidneys to ash, nor does it require you to drink gallons of water. It's actually not much higher in protein than the standard American diet, and places no strain on healthy kidneys. What it really is is a high-fat diet - most Atkins dieters find that they end up getting between 65-80% of their daily calories from fat.

    The current version of the diet was published after Dr. Atkins' death (IIRC), but the Induction phase is more or less the same as it always was - 20g of carbohydrate per day, mostly from low-carb vegetables, plus as much meat and fat as you need to feel full. The major difference is that the company now hawks bars, shakes and other "frankenfoods" that were never intended to be part of the original diet, which was based entirely on whole foods.

    I lost 60 lbs on the original Atkins diet over 13 years ago and I've kept it off since with a low-carb lifestyle. It's a perfectly healthy way to eat, and a necessity for those with metabolic syndrome, diabetes and many other health issues. BTW, my cholesterol and triglyceride levels are optimal after 13 years - the Atkins diet, done correctly, is actually known to LOWER bad cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising good cholesterol.

    3 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      If you used The Atkins Diet to lose weight only 13 years ago, the "diet" had already been greatly modified from the original 1972 version that DID promote all the bacon and butter you could eat. You can still buy "antique" copies of the original 1972 version of "Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution - The High Calorie Way to Stay Thin Forever" in most used book stores for about three dollars a copy and up.

      There was heavy interest beginning in the late 50's that ran all the way through the sixties when physicians began to realize that there are major problems with the standard mantra of the "balanced diet" to loose weight by simply reducing your caloric intake. That diet was commonly called the Diabetes diet because it was strongly endorsed by the government and the American Diabetes Association. It finally began dawning on many physicians that "deprivation dieting" carried no incentive for their patients to stay on the diet. Less than 1,500 calories a day -- sometimes as few as 800 calories a day -- were commonly prescribed by family physicians for overweight patients. And the most motivated patients might stick to them for a month or so before total abandonment, simply because total deprivation is hard to stick with unless you're a prisoner of war.

      In the 60s, The Stillman Diet hit near national craze levels, and was the earliest well known no-carb/low-carb diet. Again, the primary reason for success was forcing the body into ketosis. IMO, it was the most radical of the early no carb diets, and on it you had to drink eight full glasses of water per day, you could eat all you wanted but ONLY skinless poultry, very lean meat, specific kinds of seafood, or eggs, all of which must be boiled, broiled or baked. Never fried!

      I lost my copy of The Stillman Diet years ago, but I did do it for a month or so when my kids were toddlers. I think it was in the book, or some guru told me that I should take one day a week (or was it every other week?} to go on a spree and eat anything. My way of doing that was to put some of anything I found tempting while dieting in the freezer -- my mother's chocolate cake, frozen Mars bars, a few See's Chocolates, an enchilada, a FRIED chicken thigh, some potato salad, ANYTHING that said, "I dare you to eat me" -- then thaw it all out on my "diet vacation day" and nibble from dawn to dusk! I also recall using litmus papers or something similar (I no longer remember) to check my urine to make sure I was in an active state of ketosis. I also recall that after losing the weight -- or most of it -- that I wanted to, it was equally as miserable a diet as the deprivation 900 calorie a day diet, EXCEPT it was much faster! MUCH faster. But as we all know, speed can kill, and it's as true of diets as it is of cars.

      I fell asleep last night with the TV on and woke in the wee small hours to an infomercial (why are they always so much louder?) for a new diet "revolution" where you dump weight by the bucketsful by limiting your daily intake of sugar! Same kind of agenda as most: eat all you want, never count calories, but COUNT YOUR GRAMS OF SUGAR!!!!!

      Same old, same old. Now, it is true that ALL of these diets can precipitate serious weight loss. But the reason gastric bypasses and lap bands have become so popular is that IN MOST CASES, the weight loss is sustained, whereas you begin picking it up again as soon as you go off the magic diets. Ever heard the word "yoyo" connected with dieting?

      I do not, for a minute, believe there is anyone on the planet who understands all of the ins and outs of obesity. It is an extremely complex issue. Genetics certainly play a role. There is a tribe of Native Americans -- the Mojave Tribe of California -- that were used in an intense study of diabertes because all of them are obese AND diabetic, obviously a genetic thing. There is also a group of Native Americans in Mexico with a similar profile.

      What we are able to observe from all of these "magic" diets such as Stillman, Atkins, etcetera, is that some weight loss diets work better for some people than others. It is also medically documented that there are people, such as those with Dercum's Disease I mention above, who are fat and impervious to weight loss, including magic diets, lap bands and gastric bypass. So the bottom line seems to be that there is no "one size fits all" answer to eliminating obesity. But one thing is clear. Today's "American" fast food diet that we are spreading around the globe isn't doing anything anywhere anytime or anyplace for good health for anyone. Shame on us!

      The following are offered in support of what I have written though they are NOT the sources of my information.

      1. re: Caroline1

        The only books available to me when I started the Atkins diet were the 1992 version (which is the one I actively used) and the 1972 version (a copy of which I eventually procured to read). The 1992 version isn't much different from the 1972 version, and honestly, you CAN pretty much eat all the bacon you want and still lose weight. It is, however, TOTALLY different from the Stillman diet, in that the majority of your calories come from fat. On Stillman, since all you're allowed to eat is LEAN protein, the majority of your calories come from protein, which can indeed be tough on your kidneys.

        Anyway, I absolutely agree with your assertion that there is no one size fits all answer to obesity. However, denigrating Atkins and other low-carb diets as "magic" but not effective for permanent weight loss is completely unfair. These diets work because they are based on science, and the fact that people regain the weight when they go off the diet isn't the fault of the diet. Rather, it's the fault of the DIETER for thinking that they could lose weight and then simply go back to the habits that made them fat in the first place but stay skinny. Long-term weight loss is about PERMANENTLY changing your lifestyle, which is why Atkins writes extensively about the Lifetime Maintenance phase of his diet in his books.

        1. re: biondanonima

          As I note below, my original post in this thread was made in the "Frugal, Tasty Recipes" thread where I was responding to someone in the framework of trying to feed a family well on SNAP/food stamps, or with any other kind of restricted food budget. That person had tried to use a one-size-fits all approach by saying caloric intake alone determines the size of all people. Not true. But none of these diets -- Stillman, Atkins, T-Factor -- are ways of feeding oneself OR one's family on a restrictive food budget.

          Yes! Education, intelligent use of one's ability to make food decisions, and having a budget that is not a constant thorn in one's side is the perfect answer! But economically and intellectually and educationally, the world -- and especially America! -- is not there yet!


    2. Caroline, if your docs are happy with your BG/lipids/bp, etc on this diet, mazel tov.

      Couple of observations...this is not terribly different from Dean Ornish's observations. In his original tome, he advocated using sugar as a "seasoning" in recipes that omitted fat (I'm referencing his "reversing heart disease" tomes).

      The issue with fat free foods is that many do the same things (from salad dressings to dairy products)....the fat goes down, and the sugar content goes up. For folks who are diabetic (or pre-diabetic), this is not good. In fact, for many folks with Type II diabetes, even "good" grains (like unsweetened oatmeal can spike BG levels.

      Again, I'm not speaking for everyone, but what was killing my H (and his kidneys, his nerves, his heart) was the diabetes from a high-carb, low fat diet...even though he got a ton of exercise as a carpenter/active golfer.

      Just my two cents :-)

      2 Replies
      1. re: pinehurst

        I'm not endorsing ANY of these diets, even though I have used a couple of them before gaining greater wisdom! My allergies demand I eat ONLY grass fed organic beef, which is okay be me because it's what I grew up eating. That's all there was back then! I only wish the prices were still the same.

        As the header shows, this thread was "kidnapped" from the Frugal Tasty Recipes thread in Home Cooking by the mods. Until now I didn't even know there was a Special Diets category. My cooking is primarily from scratch, and it's a lot healthier and much closer to what I ate as a child on through the fifties when grain fed beef burst upon the scene.

        Just for the record.

        1. re: pinehurst

          I suffered horrid health consequences of the Ornish diet. Yeah, sugar can't hurt you, he wrote, because it's fat free. Only count against it is lack of nutrition, he said.

          Idiot quack.

        2. There is absolutely NO damage to normal kidneys from high protein diets, of which Atkins isn't one. Glucose is what damages kidneys, and high glucose comes from carbs.

          Atkins is a high fat diet, folks add fat and veggies and reduce starches and sugars. Protein intake doesn't change, unless you weren't eating any before.

          Further, the very large and long Harvard Nurse's study found that the lowest fat eaters had the most breast cancer and the highest starch eaters had the most. A later study of Mexican women found the same.

          Lipids researchers do not believe that even 30% fat provides the level of EFAs one needs for health and immune function.

          Only fats and proteins keep you alive and are essential, to restrict something you will literally die without enough of is a terrible idea.