Pritikin Diet: Diet Plan

Nathan Pritikin considered that the excess fat in the daily ration of many people was the main cause of a number of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes or even cancer. According to the author of the Original Pritikin Diet the keys to the beautiful figure as well as the health improvement and boost of energy were nutritious plant-based foods and moderate aerobic exercises. He used this assumption for the elaboration of his low-fat, high-fiber eating plan.

When following this eating plan we should eliminate from our menus the main culprit of the excess body weight and poor health condition – fat. Its consumption is to be reduced to about 10 percent of total calorie intake. Most of the calories should come into our diet from carbohydrate foods, because carbohydrates are more easily converted into required body’s energy.

So, the followers of the Pritikin Diet concentrate their attention on so called recommended foods which include whole grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, seafood, lean meat, beans, peas, non-fat dairy products and fish and avoid so called “stop” food. To the latter belong animal fats, fatty and processed meats, refined oils, foods with a high content of saturated fat, cholesterol and salt.

This diet plan presupposes up to six meals a day. They should be balanced and consist of foods which have nutritional value. Though frequent the meals mustn't be large and rich because such meals require a lot of energy for digesting. It is recommended to make lunch to the biggest meal of the day and to eat as little as possible in the evening or if nothing else to eat several hours before going to bed.

In order to keep the body sufficiently energized and not to feel hunger pangs you can have small snacks throughout the day. Dried fruit and nuts, low-fat yogurt, fruit salad, an apple or a banana – these are the perfect snacks on the Pritikin Diet.

The author doesn’t recommend consuming much of pasta, white bread, fried and processed foods. Fatty sauces, dressings with fat and vegetable oils are to be eliminated from the menu as well.

As any healthy approach to dieting the Pritikin Diet promotes sufficient drinking. Our body needs about 1.8 liters of liquid a day in order to be able to burn glucose for energy thus to function normally. Drinks like coffee, tee, coca-cola or other sweet fizzy beverages don’t count. Mr. Pritikin was an opponent of caffeinated beverages and recommended to use coffee substitutes.

The best beverages on the Pritikin Diet are plain, bottled or mineral water, vegetable juices, herbal teas like peppermint, rosehips or chamomile and cocoa. Alcohol isn’t advisable as well because alcoholic beverages are highly caloric and wake up the “eating” instinct. A good choice would make a glass of red or white wine but no more than 4 drinks a week for women and 7 drinks for men.

Doing sports is an integral part of the Pritikin Program. Regular physical exercises stimulate the fat burning process, create carbs cravings, improve the metabolism rate and mobilize the whole energy. Nathan Pritikin puts emphasis on walking as a perfect option for many dieters. A daily 45-minutes-walk will positively reflect not only on the weight loss but on the overall internal system.

The Pritikin regimen restricts some foods and tries to substitute the other but nevertheless it leaves enough room for us to create salubrious, appetizing and delicious meals. Whether these meals comprise all essential nutrients and valuable substances depends on our skills and desire to improve our eating habits.


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