Extra pounds coming for the holidays? Not with 4-Leaf.


So you’re eating 100% plant-based but still struggling with your weight?

Earlier this week a reader emailed me after receiving my “welcome note” for my daily blog. Linda writes:

Thank you for the warm welcome.  Somehow, I found you through Facebook, and I don’t want to lose you! Your 4 Leaf program sounds perfect, since I actually strive for 5 Leaves every day, but the fates intervene in a bad way all too often. So, your approach is my reality.  I have been vegan or vegetarian for over 35 years now, but I still struggle with my weight. I look forward to your updates for inspiration, as I do battle with the extra pounds.

Leveraging the simple, yet powerful concept of maximizing the percent of your calories from whole plant foods -- still in nature's package

Linda is right, 5-Leaf would be even better than 4-Leaf, but would mean that 100% of her daily calories would be from whole, plant-based foods — still in Nature’s package. It would also mean zero bread, pasta or wine — not that they’re bad for you.

It’s just that we have observed that many so-called “vegetarians” and “vegans” load up on the wrong foods and still struggle with their weight, never quite achieving the results they were seeking. As I said in our book, one could eat nothing but Diet Coke and potato chips and call themselves a vegan.

My gut tells me that many, if not most, vegetarians eat nowhere near the 4-Leaf level. Many of them load up on bread, pasta, oil, chips, sweets, and other, highly-processed plant-based foods. And this is the primary reason that they’re still struggling with their weight. With the 4-Leaf concept, we built in some flexibility but never lost sight of the primary focus:

Maximizing the percent of your daily calories from whole, plant-based foods — still in Nature’s package. Our 4-Leaf level begins at 80 percent — offering a simple, flexible, positive and powerful approach to achieving vibrant health.

If one simply does that and stays consistently at the 4-Leaf level for at least four consecutive months, I’d be real surprised if they weren’t steadily approaching their ideal weight at that point. Just watch out for the whole plants that are very high in fat: olives, avocado, nuts and seeds. Other than that, just eat a wide variety, including lots of greens, beans, and fruit.

So, with the holidays just around the corner, why not climb aboard the 4-Leaf train now and have your new, healthier eating habits well-entrenched before the temptations of the season have a chance to deliver that extra weight that you’ll be trying to lose in January? Under the category of weight-loss, here are a few earlier posts that might be helpful for you; providing some of that inspiration that Linda was seeking.

Authors J. Stanfield Hicks and J. Morris Hicks , working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

Eating 4-Leaf for “vibrant health” — with weight-loss as a bonus

Weight-loss targets; not recommended — Here’s why

Weight-loss or vibrant health? What is your goal?

Why do some vegetarians get fat?

Dr. Oz and his mixed signals…a reader speaks out

Nutritional excellence one week; yo-yo diet the next…

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

An ideal "weapon of mass instruction" for you gift-giving needs

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com

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About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
This entry was posted in Vegan or vegetarian?, Weight-Loss. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Extra pounds coming for the holidays? Not with 4-Leaf.

  1. Cacatua says:

    Well I for one must have some bread, and it is 100% whole wheat, and very substantial. I have ground my own flour and made 100% WW bread and this is the same quality. I wouldn’t accept anything less. Seeing as how you would generally cook any grain before eating it, I fail to see how eating 100% WW bread is a great deal different except it has added yeast and water, a little salt and a wee bit of sweetener for the yeast. It counts as grain as far as I am concerned.

    • jmorrishicks says:

      I understand about the bread. I eat bread too, but I try to find the rare brand that has less than 40 ingredients. I normally use Joseph’s brand at almost every meal, so that accounts for less than 200 of my daily calories of 2400 or so.

      We just felt that we should warn people against loading up on bread and pasta and not getting enough whole vegetables. For grains, I prefer to use brown or wild rice. We just arbitrarily chose 80% as a target; knowing that most Americans get far less than ten percent of their calories from whole plants. Best, J. Morris Hicks

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