A High-Fat Diet for a Low-Fat Body
NOT TOO LONG AGO, we both were advocating specific diets for weight loss and
wellness. We weren’t just advocates of these plans—we built our professional lives
around these two seemingly contradictory nutritional philosophies.
As a practicing nutritionist, Jonny championed the ultra-low-carb Atkins Diet.
Famous for its high-protein intake and its jump-start approach to weight loss,
Atkins let people lose weight quickly, especially individuals with a lot of excess
pounds to shed. But despite the diet’s short-term success, Jonny was troubled by
its sometimes restrictive approach, as well as some of the highly processed foods
on the diet’s “okay to eat” list, specifically deli meats, which were liberally allowed.
His instinct was to add more variety, including additional plant sources of fiber
such as beans and legumes, which are also great sources of protein, as well as low-
sugar fruits like berries. Jonny preferred “clean” protein instead of the protein from
processed, commercial animal products such as feedlot farmed meat and pro-
cessed cheeses, all of which can be contaminated with additives, hormones, and
pesticides. But these modifications didn’t always adhere to the rigid parameters of
the Atkins Diet.
Meanwhile, Steven—a physician, nutritionist, trained chef, and medical fellow
with several prestigious health organizations—held the position of medical direc-
tor at the Pritikin Longevity Center where he oversaw many aspects of healthy
weight loss, including the center’s ultra-low-fat eating plan. Pritikin participants
often struggled with serious conditions like life-threatening heart disease and dia-
betes. After their stay at Pritikin—with its carefully regulated diet of whole, unpro-
cessed foods high in fiber and complex carbohydrates—people would lose weight
quickly, drop several of their medications, and leave the center in excellent shape.
But Steven noticed a troubling pattern: After participants left the controlled sur-
roundings of the Pritikin Center, they regularly returned to their old ways. They just
couldn’t stick with the program on their own. Steven, who has spent years re-
searching cardiac health and observing thousands of patients, knew that the Pri-
tikin Diet lacked the healthy proteins and important fats that would have rounded
out a truly nutritious and effective diet that a person could follow for life. But just
as Jonny found out trying to experiment with the Atkins Diet, any kind of variety or
modification, no matter how healthy, wasn’t allowed within the strictly regimented
protocol of the Pritikin Diet.
Though thousands of mil
Why the Smart Fat Solution Will Make You Lean and Healthy
FAT, FIBER, AND PROTEIN, served up with flavor—together, they’re a powerful, nat-
ural prescription for weight loss and wellness. Now let’s take a good look at each
of these aspects of the Smart Fat Solution so you can better understand the role
they play in controlling your weight, staying lean and trim, improving your health—
and saving your life.
Smart Fats at Work
Fat can make you thin, and controlling your weight will keep you healthy. Behind
this simple truth are some complex (biochemical) realities, but don’t worry—we’re
here to make them understandable.
If you don’t need to shed excess weight, congrats; you’ll still reap many benefits
from the Smart Fat Solution, including a reduction in the risk of various illnesses.
The Smart Fat Solution will help you turn back the clock on aging. Whatever your
goals, there are two big physiological reasons why adding smart fat to your diet will
yield the results you want:
1.Smart fats decrease inflammation. Inflammation is the basis for virtually every
degenerative disease and is a huge roadblock when it comes to permanent
2.Smart fats balance your hormones. If your hormones are out of whack, it’s next
to impossible to lose weight or to be truly healthy.
How Smart Fats Break the Inflammation Chain
Consuming beneficial dietary fat sets off a positive biochemical reaction in our
bodies, which decreases disease-causing, obesity-promoting inflammation. Don’t
underestimate the damage that chronic inflammation can cause.
What Not to Eat
WHEN YOU FOLLOW the Smart Fat Solution, you will never run out of appealing and
healthful options to eat. You don’t have to be rigid about combining fat, fiber, pro-
tein, and flavor for every meal or snack, though in time, you’ll naturally find your-
self including all four in every meal because they taste so great together. In no time
at all, you’ll get the hang of putting together sensible meals and snacks without
having to think twice about how to give your food a smart fat makeover. Nor will
you have to worry about portion sizes or measuring grams or counting calories.
The variety, and ease, of delicious foods available to you will free you once and for
all from the dreaded cycle of dieting and then gaining again and having to diet
But before we get to the how-to (and the all-important how-much), let’s look at
the what-not, as in what you shouldn’t put on your plate or in your mouth. Some
foods on our “don’t eat” list, such as artificial trans fats, won’t surprise you. But
we’ll bet some of the others will.
Both of us have always believed that information is power. That’s why we think
it’s important that you understand the reasons why we want you to avoid certain
foods. We believe that if you understand why these changes are important—why,
in fact, your life depends on making them—then you’ll be much more willing to
make the health changes at the heart of the Smart Fat Solution.
Fats: Not Always Okay
Despite what you may have heard, saturated fat, on its own, isn’t going to kill you,
though it won’t necessarily improve your health. However, there’s one big excep-
tion: the toxic fat found in commercially produced animal products, which, sadly,
make up most of what you’ll find in the meat and dairy sections of most super-
markets and in restaurants.
Unlearn What You Know About Food
BETWEEN THE TWO OF US we’ve met many thousands of people who can reel off
calorie counts for hundreds of foods. They also know their total percentage of calo-
ries from fat; have memorized total number of grams of protein, saturated fat, and
carbs; and can recite these numbers faster than a sports fanatic can rattle off base-
ball stats. Some of them can even tell you the exact amount of potassium in a pota-
to. In a world in which billions of eaters have access to the Internet, information on
food is easy to come by.
Not all that long ago, every conscientious “dieter” had a well-thumbed paper-
back in the kitchen that listed the calorie counts for everything imaginable. Then
the listings got more specific. There were separate books for those who wanted to
count carbs and for those who wanted to calculate protein. There were books on
how to avoid fat in your diet. Next came books that listed a food’s glycemic index.
And soon the books themselves were replaced by countless websites and apps for
tracking and analyzing every single morsel or sip. Meanwhile, the nutrition and
ingredients labels on food packages grew longer and longer—not exactly a good
omen for the consumer.
We have a lot of facts at our fingertips about what we eat and drink—more than
at any other time in history. But has all this information really helped us? We’re still
struggling with our weight and our health, diabetes is rampant, we’re in the midst
of an obesity epidemic, and according to a statistical update from the American
Heart Association, heart disease kills almost eight hundred thousand people a year
in the United States alone.
Why is this happening?
We have an answer. It may not be the only answer—health is, after all, a com-
plex, multidetermined affair—but it’s definitely an important part of the answer.
We think that one reason for our nutritional dysfunction, and the serious health
consequences that have resulted, is because we’ve learned the wrong lessons from
all those facts that we’ve accumulated about food. We’ve drawn incorrect or
incomplete conclusions; we’ve misunderstood the science (which is often badly re-
ported, overly hyped, or oversimplified by the media); we’ve listened to erroneous
information from diet and health gurus; and we’ve been led to believe things that
simply aren’t true. Sometimes the misinformation is deliberate (like when the facts
come from the marketing departments of chemical companies), and sometimes
it’s innocent (such as advice from well-meaning doctors who just don’t know
much about nutrition).
The Smart Fat Solution
WE KNOW YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A CHANGE—and not just a temporary fix that will
last for a few weeks or months or for the length of the two-phase Thirty-Day Plan
that you’ll find in the next chapter—but big, lasting, and positive change for life-
long good health, including meeting your weight-loss goals and feeling healthier
and stronger than ever. It’s time to get started and find your Smart Fat Solution.
You know the reasons why we advocate smart fats, protein, and fiber. We’ve
given you the science behind our message (and if you’re hungry for more facts,
visit our website, www.SmartFat.com, for the latest studies and news). Now it’s
time to turn all this knowledge into practical advice on how to eat every day.
But before we get to meal plans, recipes, and other specifics, we want to intro-
duce you to the foundation of the Smart Fat Solution, because that is the frame-
work that will ultimately help you “smart-fat” all your food for life, after Day 30 of
the Thirty-Day Plan, without a recipe or a meal plan, no matter where you are or
what you’re faced with when it’s time to eat.
What to Eat Every Day for the Rest of Your Life: 5-5-10
You don’t need to remember how many calories are in a cup of berries or how
many grams of sugar are in a teaspoon (four, if you’re wondering). All you have to
remember are three numbers: 5, 5, and 10:
Five (5) servings of smart fat every day
Five (5) servings of clean protein every day
Ten (10) servings of fiber every day
You don’t have to create a “perfect plate” with precisely balanced amounts of
fat, protein, and fiber every time you have a meal or snack. Just remember 5-5-10
(servings) as a minimum, not a maximum—a framework or template for your daily
diet. What you’re aiming for is a daily intake that you can configure based on your
needs and wants. Our Thirty-Day Plan and recipes will help you hit the mark every
time, but when you’re ready to take off the training wheels and smart-fat food on
your own, you’ll want 5-5-10 to be second nature—and with a little practice, it will
The Thirty-Day Plan of Smart Fat Meals
HERE’S YOUR THIRTY-DAY PLAN OF MENUS, divided into the ten-day Phase 1 (Days
1–10) and the twenty-day Phase 2 (Days 11–30) that we introduced in Chapter 5.
You’ll find many of the recipes in Chapter 10 (and more on our website at www.S-
martFat.com). We’ve indicated the dishes below that have a recipe either in the
book (*) or on our website (**).
You may be wondering whether you have to cook the recipes and follow the
daily meal plans exactly as presented in order to lose weight and reap the health
benefits of the Smart Fat Solution. The short answer is, no. But here’s the thing:
The meal plans and recipes are carefully calibrated to give you the just-right
amounts of smart fat, protein, and fiber for success—whatever your dietary and
health goals may be. That’s why we urge you to follow the Thirty-Day Plan as close-
ly as you can for the thirty days. The first ten days are especially important as your
body gets used to smart fat eating and you start to break free from dangerous in-
sulin and leptin resistance.
If you don’t want to use the recipes, that’s okay. You may wish to use your own
recipes or change the flavors to suit your taste buds. (For some meals, we’ve sug-
gested general ideas for main dishes and sides—like a grilled sirloin steak or a
baked sweet potato—but we don’t include a recipe under the assumption that
you’ll prepare these basic foods as you wish.) It’s fine if you choose to use this
Thirty-Day Plan as an inspiration for your own breakfasts, lunches, and
dinners—but it’s absolutely essential to follow the 5-5-10 guidelines for both phas-
es, even when you’re adapting your own recipes. For instance, if you have a recipe
for turkey chili that you like better than ours, go for it! Just make sure that the ingre-
dients you use are in line with the phases as outlined. (That’s so important that
we’re repeating those guidelines in boxes for quick reference.) It’s pretty simple to
cook using your own recipes, if you think of it that way.
We also offer a daily snack suggestion in our meal plan, which you are free to
have at any time of the day when you feel you need it most. We think a snack be-
tween lunch and dinner is the best time, but it depends on your schedule. You may
have a really long stretch between breakfast and lunch some days, so that’s when
you’ll probably want a little something extra. It’s up to you—but we do suggest you
avoid eating right before bed, as well as midnight trips to the refrigerator, unless
you are trying to gain weight. Sumo wrestlers, who do just that, have taught us that
eating before bedtime most definitely promotes weight gain!
One more note: The Thirty-Day Plan is presented as Days 1 through 30. You’re
free to kick off this plan any day of the week, but in our experience, starting on Sun-
day works well for many people’s schedules. We encourage you to prepare a soup
of the week on weekends, or whenever you have some free time. We also reserve
some “goodies” for weekend meals (if you start this on a Sunday, those meals fall
on the weekends, like the brunch idea on Day 21), and include some recipes that
are more suitable for a weekend night.
THE SMART FAT SOLUTION is a safe, scientifically sound, effective way to lose
weight, restore your health, and reclaim your energy. But it’s not the whole story.
This statement may have you thinking, “Here comes the chapter where they pay
lip service to all the lifestyle stuff.” Trust us—as you’ve trusted us so far—it’s any-
thing but lip service. What you do beyond food is vitally important to your quality of
Smart fat eating virtually guarantees that you’ll be putting top-grade fuel in your
personal energy tank. That one change alone will have a dramatic, immediate, and
positive effect on everything from your weight to your energy level. But that’s just
You see, your body is like your car: No matter how good the gas you put in the
tank is, it’s not the only thing you need to get top performance out of your engine.
It needs spark plugs. It needs oil changes. It needs regular maintenance. Only then
will the engine perform the way it’s really capable of performing.
Which brings us to this chapter.
Smart Fat eating is only the first part of a five-part program. We have spent the
bulk of this book on food—the gas for your engine—because eating the smart fat
way will have the quickest and most dramatic effects on your overall well-being, not
to mention your weight. But food is only part one. Now we’re going to cover the
other four parts: exercise, stress reduction, sleep, and relationships.
Please don’t skip this chapter. By spending time on each of the four areas cov-
ered here, you will be virtually guaranteed to turbo-charge your results, increase
your performance and stamina, feel lighter, freer . . . and happier!
After all, people don’t read a book like this if they don’t believe it can help them
have a better life. And one of the keys to a better life is managing one of the only
metrics you can measure every single day: your own energy. When you have
boundless energy, you tend to have boundless enthusiasm. You begin to be more
optimistic. You see the bright side of things, and you act accordingly, assuming
that what you do can actually make a difference. People notice you in a different
way. You’ll seem—and perhaps even look—lighter.
But to get all of these benefits from the Smart Fat Solution—benefits we know
can be yours—you’ll have to do a few other things besides eat right.