"Why is iDiet more sustainable than other diets?"
The iDiet is scientifically designed to make sure you are hunger-free and doing what it takes (following the menus, trying more cooking, making sure to eat the snacks) so you never feel deprived. Our iDieters typically feel that they’re not “on a diet”. Without hunger and with good food to enjoy, there is less reason to slide back to bad habits. We teach the value of repetition; repetition creates cognitive restructuring and helps new habits feel like old habits.
"Will I feel hungry while I'm on the iDiet?"
No! At iDiet, we deal with hunger vigorously. We know that if you are hungry, you won’t succeed – so we do not put up with it! If you experience any hunger on the iDiet, your Certified Group Leader will encourage you to try one our “Free Foods”. All iDieters are given a list of free foods that help them feel full and stay on our healthy menus.
"Can I iDiet if I'm Vegetarian, Vegan or Gluten-free?"
Yes. Particularly when you are in a group class and working with a Certified Group Leader, we have customized plans you can follow even if you are avoiding dairy, animal products, or gluten. We have modified meal plans for you, and lists of approved food products you can buy at the grocery store. If you are Gluten-Free, you will have more food restrictions than other participants, but we do see good results with Gluten-Free iDieters who follow the meal plans.
"Does iDiet require me to eat artificial sweeteners?"
No! iDiet does not require artificial sweeteners. Although they can be helpful for weight loss, they are not required. The I Diet book was written at a time when plant-based low-calorie sweeteners such as stevia and lo-han extract were hard to find in stores, but now that such natural alternatives are widely available, we encourage you to use the no-calorie sweetener you most enjoy. If you want to use real sugar, it should be used very sparingly, because it can increase hunger if not controlled.
"Does iDiet require me to eat margarine instead of butter? I don't want to eat trans fats."
Actually, it is easy to find margarines made with zero trans fats now, as well as with healthy omega-fat ratios. You are certainly welcome to substitute butter for a zero-trans-fat margarine if you prefer, though you should use less. Also keep in mind that the healthiest butter comes from cows fed an organic and preferably pasture-raised diet. Since environmental toxins are concentrated in animal and dairy fat, you can limit your exposure to toxic PCBs, flame-retardants, and pesticides by buying only organic butter and dairy products. Or by using a zero-trans-fat tub margarine such as Smart Balance or Earth Balance brands.
"What is cognitive restructuring and how does it work?"
Cognitive restructuring means allowing your brain to form new connections – in other words, you can actually create new neuronal pathways to make new behaviors feel routine and normal. By eating healthy food regularly and not eating unhealthy food, for example, you learn to like the new foods until the point where these new foods now feel “normal”. It usually takes 2 – 4 weeks to experience cognitive restructuring after starting new behavior.
"Why will I succeed on iDiet when I've failed on other diets?"
With the science-based help that iDiet provides, almost everyone can be successful on the program. It’s all about learning to work with – rather than against – your natural food instincts. Weight loss success does require some effort – even buying new food can be a challenge if you don’t know where the items are located in the grocery store! Trying a new recipe can be fun but takes time and thought. However, the results of your efforts are so dramatic that you’ll love this kind of “work”.
"Why should I join a group rather than just buy anbd follow “The ‘I’ Diet” book?"
The book is full of helpful materials and guidance, but most dieters find it challenging to apply the iDiet principles alone. A Certified Group Leader who is trained to provide step-by-step practical guidance leads our iDiet groups. The Group Leader offers personalized support and advice while you learn to apply key iDiet principles. The videos in our OnDemand program break everything down for you to make it easy. And our menus have been updated since the book was published.
"Is the iDiet healthy?"
The iDiet is a healthy and well-balanced long-term eating program that typically results in substantial improvements in cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose control. It’s an ideal diet to maintain good health but is also appropriate for people who have active diseases to manage. For example, our dietary composition profile (25% protein, 25% fat, 50% carbs that are mostly low glycemic index) is suitable for diabetics, even those on insulin.
"How much weight can I expect to lose on the iDiet?"
Many iDieters achieve the weight loss they have always dreamed about. That may be 10 pounds or 100, depending on the person. Typical rates of weight loss are quite rapid the first two weeks (often 3-6 pounds/week) and 1-2 pounds/week after that for women and 2-3 pounds/week for men. In the beginning, weight loss is very variable due to water loss. After the first two weeks, almost all weight loss is fat. You can stay on the iDiet until you reach your goal.
"How often should I weigh myself on the iDiet?"
Weighing yourself every day is an important and effective way to see and appreciate your success. You can look for a new low weight every week or see your average for the week going down. Should you stray a bit from the iDiet, your daily weigh-in will help you to get back on track immediately.
"Should I exercise while I'm on the iDiet?"
We all know that diet and exercise are the keys to a healthy lifestyle. Unlike many other programs that treat those components equally, the iDiet puts its emphasis on food. It’s been proven that changing the food you eat results in the most impact on weight loss and behavior change. Our healthy menus produce substantial weight loss and sustainable changes in eating habits that can last a lifetime. Over time, we also encourage iDieters to exercise to improve health and prevent weight regain. However, in the beginning, our only exercise recommendation is to “keep doing what you are doing”. This is not to say that exercise is unimportant, but that weight control cannot happen without first changing food habits.
"Can I expect to get rid of my food cravings on the iDiet?"
If you follow the iDiet menus carefully, you should experience a substantial reduction in cravings after just two weeks. There is substantial cognitive restructuring that occurs when you follow the menus. The iDiet recipes are also important for reducing cravings because they give you familiar “crave” tastes but with more fiber and fewer calories. Our iDiet Ice Cream Sundae is a popular example.
"I don’t want artificial sweeteners and I believe in whole or organic foods. Do I have to eat processed foods on your plans?"
iDiet believes in whole foods. We do offer some processed food options as part of your overall food plans, but we do not require that you eat them. They are options.
The only processed food options we include in our menus are those that are designed to be better for weight loss than the real thing. For example, low-carb breads and high-fiber pastas help you to enjoy familiar foods such as sandwiches while getting more fiber and controlling blood sugar and hunger spikes. And low-sugar protein bars help you carry a portable snack that could save you from eating something truly bad if you are presented with temptations while you are hungry or stressed.
Likewise, we advise that if you have a sweet tooth, any of the FDA-approved no-calorie sweeteners can help you enjoy your foods while staying within your calorie target as well as within our proprietary nutrition ratios that encourage healthy weight loss. These include plant-derived sweeteners such as Stevia or Lo-Han, and the forms of rare but naturally-occurring sugars that resist digestion, such as Xylitol, Erythritol and Allulose. But you have the option to forgo using them.
"Are there variations on the meal plans for people with special dietary needs, such as vegetarians?"
Yes. iDiet offers our regular EasyPlans designed for people who enjoy foods like pizza and burritos. We also offer a Vegetarian version that can be modified to be Vegan, and a Gluten-free version.
"What is the minimum number of calories per day suggested by the plan?"
We base your calorie target on each person’s individual energy requirements, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this. Our goal is to lose up to 2 pounds per week, which is the maximum healthy rate for weight loss that preserves your metabolism and your lean muscle mass. We do not believe in crash dieting or exceeding unsafe calorie ranges to achieve faster results.
"When using iDiet are there any plans, support, or advice for long-term maintenance of weight loss?"
Yes. The good news is, we make healthy eating enjoyable, and we help you retrain your brain to prefer it. Once you have reached your goal weight and are ready to maintain the success you’ve achieved, we do have guidelines for how to do it sustainably. We also help you to maintain without waking up old cravings and old eating patterns that caused weight gain in the first place. It’s important to remember that losing weight is not an interval of temporary suffering and then you go back to your old eating pattern. Maintaining weight loss requires eating for your new size, and to maintain health and good nutrition for a lifetime.
"Do you offer one on one programs or only group programs?"
We do offer one-on-one coaching with some of our senior Group Leaders. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.
I am a graduate of an idiet program, but haven't followed the program in a few years. What program would you recommend?"
You can re-take an iDiet class as a refresher, and benefit from the group energy that comes with learning together. As a graduate, you can also take OnTrack Plus. OnTrack Plus is welcoming to all graduates now, whether you are maintaining or actively trying to lose weight.
The differences are:
1) In a regular iDiet class, you get group support and lessons. So if you’ve forgotten how to make iDiet work for you, a class is a good option.
2) In OnTrack Plus, the focus is on group coaching, group sharing, and special weekly topics related to motivation, meaning, and the psychology of weight loss. We do not have lessons, on the assumption you have already taken one or more iDiet classes, and also because you have continued access to your prior class recordings. Another aspect of OnTrack Plus is that it’s open-ended, meaning it doesn’t stop until you cancel. So you don’t have to worry about being tied to a 12-week timeline.
So if you already feel you understand iDiet principles and your challenge is motivation, and you need to be enrolled in a group to borrow some enthusiasm and understand your weight psychology better, OnTrack Plus is a good choice.
But if you need to totally reboot and start your educational journey over, taking an Engage or Advance class again as a first reboot step would be helpful.
You can also take OnTrack Plus to get the group coaching, and to re-watch the videos in your account from your Engage and Advance meetings on your own. We always recommend re-watching your videos regardless, because it’s impossible to absorb or remember everything from one viewing.