Thursday, 4 August 2011

Le Forking Diet - The Fork It! Method

Hardly a week passes by without a new diet craze doing the rounds of celebrities and followers alike. The latest on the scene seems to be Le Forking Diet. Launched in France, like the famous Dukan Diet, Le Forking Diet centres around food you can eat with a fork.

This may seem strange to those of us who normally dine with a fork. But, the ideas behind the diet do make sense. Le Forking diet or The Fork It! Method, was brought to life by entrepreneur Ivan Gavriloff, who discovered this way of eating helped him lose weight and thereafter keep it stable.

Quote from the website:

The method supports a nutritionally balanced diet. It helps to establish healthy eating habits. It provides a safe and effective weight loss plan, while avoiding the dangerous pitfalls common to yo-yo dieting. Its non-restrictive approach to eating is much more liberating than the traditional diets based on calorie counting and food limitation. Lastly, it is easy to incorporate into a daily routine and doesn’t hinder social and familial dining.”

What Sort of Diet is it?

Le Forking diet is really a method designed to help you achieve a more balanced way of eating. It’s also meant to become a way of life. There are no food restrictions (during the day), so dieters shouldn’t feel deprived. It should also help stop the pattern of yo-yo dieting that often happens with highly restrictive diets. The Fork It! method advocates the adage ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper’, whereby your main meals should be breakfast and lunch. Theoretically, these should fill you up so you’re not starving by dinner time. There are two methods: the strict version or a more lenient version called Fork It! Lightly.

How Does it Work?

The diet works by teaching you to eat the greater proportion of food earlier in the day as this is when most of us expend the most energy. Evening meals are restricted to eating certain foods which can be prepared and eaten using only a fork. No other utensils are allowed, including eating with your fingers. Using this method means you are more likely to eat foods which are easier to eat with a fork, such as fish, vegetables, starches and grains. Also, fork only eating can help slow down the speed you eat, helping you feel fuller sooner and (hopefully) eating less.

What Can You Eat?

The Fork It! method says you don’t need to count calories, though if you have weight to lose, it suggests cutting out 200-400 calories a day. When it comes to eating, you must eat three meals a day and each is treated separately.

Breakfast: Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you are encouraged to eat a substantial meal as your body has a better chance of burning off the calories. Although you can eat what you like, while using any utensils, it is recommended you include dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter and yogurt. However, you should also try limiting your intake of sugar. A sample menu includes 2 eggs, ham and 2 slices whole buttered wholemeal toast.

Lunch: Lunch can be eaten with any utensils and should contain protein, such as chicken, steak or eggs, and carbohydrates e.g. rice or pasta. While you can eat what you like, you are advised against going to extremes, such as trying to cram in as much food as possible in advance of the dinnertime restrictions. So, although you are allowed to eat a burger or an ice cream if you want, it’s best to limit these to occasional treats. A sample lunch menu would be steak and potatoes, chicken with rice and vegetables, or an omelet with salad and fries.

Dinner: This is the only meal which has some restrictions and it’s this meal which is the key to the diet’s success. You may only eat one course, no dessert, and the meal should consist of food which would normally be eaten and/or prepared with a fork. Foods which can be eaten are vegetables (from a list), grains and fish. The Fork It! Lightly method allows you to use a knife when preparing dinner and a few extra types of food such as chicken. A sample menu on the strict method would be salmon, broccoli, peas, carrots and rice.

Food restrictions on the Fork It! Only diet

For those whose intention is to lose weight, there are a number of foods which aren’t allowed to be eaten in the evening. This includes all finger foods such as nuts, corn chips, hot dogs, hard cheeses, bread and biscuits and nothing which involves using a spoon such as soups, yogurts, cereal, gravy, cooked fruit and ice cream. Also omitted are food or condiments which involve using a knife i.e. hummus, mustard, ketchup, pickles, pies and waffles.

Further Guidelines

To ensure you’re meeting your daily nutritional requirements there are suggested guidelines which dieters are encouraged to follow.

These are:
  • Monitor your alcohol intake. No more than one or two (at the most) glasses of alcohol daily. Pregnant women should abstain from alcohol entirely.
  • Monitor your salt intake.
  • Reduce your consumption of saturated animal fats.
  • Eat an abundance of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Exercise regularly.
Le Fork It! method could certainly work for some people, especially those who prefer eating a larger breakfast and lunch. It encourages a healthy way of eating which, during the day, doesn’t place the kind of restrictions on dieters which often lead to giving up on the diet.

However, the freedom to eat what you like in the day may difficult for some people who might see this as an opportunity to eat extra food during the daytime before the evening ritual. There may also be the tempation to use the fork as a knife, which many people already do. Overall though, the idea is a good one and some of the benefits including slowing down the rate you eat, such as happens when using just a fork, can certainly help with losing weight or maintaining it in the long run.


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