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Fab Four

Are fat, protein, fiber, and greens the true solution to ending manic diet obsessions, regimens, crazes, and trends for good?

Article
Tiffany Duncan
Photos
Courtesy
Posted
September 28, 2018

Call off the dogs, the hunt is over. The golden ticket has been found. The needle’s been rustled from the haystack.

Ladies and gentleman, I’ve found it — the true solution to ending manic diet obsessions, regimens, crazes, and trends for good; the answer that all of those weight loss programs out there promised to deliver us but only ever ended in a raging dumpster fire of hangry binging. Yep, I’m calling them all out: whole 30, ketosis, paleo, low-carb diets, high-protein diets, no-dairy diets, no-meat diets, no-sugar diets, no-fun diets … to every single one of you unsustainable ways of eating, I say to you now, your days are over. At least for me.

Let’s back up. At the beginning of this year, I began a quest to find an easy, manageable way to make sustainable lifestyle changes that resulted in losing weight, not my mind. I originally thought the answer was simply in balancing what I ate, meaning mostly healthy choices with a side of celebratory pizza and champagne here and there. Over the course of this year, I’ve mostly stuck to that, but the thing is, I actually haven’t lost much weight this way. I was missing something, a key piece to the puzzle I needed to really ignite the change.

That is, until a couple of weeks ago, when I was listening to the Rise podcast by Rachel Hollis (author of the wildly awesome book Girl, Wash Your Face), and she interviewed celebrity health coach Kelly LeVeque. Now, whenever I hear the term “celebrity health coach” I tend to tune out because I automatically picture outrageously expensive diet regimens and unattainably perfect butts shaking it out there in the L.A. sunshine. I assume that whatever a celebrity health coach is touting, I probably can’t afford or access here in the bread-basket middle of the country.

Except this time, I was wrong.

As I listened to Hollis talk with LeVeque, their conversation made me stop what I was doing to stare at the wall in open-mouthed shock. She said things — heartbreaking things — like oatmeal was not a good breakfast choice, and hummus was not a healthy snack. I’d never heard anyone talk about food the way LeVeque did, explaining that whatever the food item contained the most of (fat, carbohydrates, protein, etc.), that is what it gets processed as in the body, regardless of other nutrients they may contain. Thus, the amount of carbs in food items perceived as “healthy”— like oatmeal and hummus and black beans — outstrips other nutrients in them and are therefore broken down like any other carb and ultimately stored as fat.

Now admittedly, that was bad news. I was upset to hear that my beloved go-to foods I’d been eating to lose weight were actually working against me. But here’s the shout-it-from-the-rooftops good news: she went into the science of hunger and digestion in a way that was clear, understandable, and definitely attainable to anyone who cares to give it a try.

You see, LeVeque is more than just Jessica Alba’s personal nutritionist; she has a long background in medical science, even spending some years doing tumor gene mapping and molecular subtyping (you know, whatever that means). This woman knows the body inside and out, and as I listened to her talk about the science of hunger and digestion, I knew she was speaking the truth in a way no one had ever presented it to me before. I immediately ordered her book, Body Love.

LeVeque’s philosophy on hunger and weight management is wholly science based, focusing on how the body breaks down foods into blood sugar, and how to elongate the blood sugar curve to keep us fuller, longer. In a nutshell, LeVeque teaches that all meals should contain what she refers to as the Fab Four: fat, protein, fiber, and greens. Eaten in the correct amounts for your body type and lifestyle at each meal, these four basic “macronutrients” provide the satiety that both the body and the mind need to stay full and satisfied for five or six hours.

The more I read, the more excited I became. Finally, here were the answers I’d been needing so badly to eliminate the complicated food clutter from my life. She answered questions I’ve always had, like why am I starving not even two hours after I’ve eaten my “healthy,” supposedly filling breakfast? She also explained things like why we crave sugar and carbs so intensely when we aren’t eating right or sleeping well, why we can feel hungry again just a few hours after eating a big bowl of pasta, and why eating just a light salad can spell disaster when we are attempting to lose weight.

Here are just a few lines of the seriously life-changing content of her book. See if you can read them without also feeling compelled to flip open your laptop to order the book right now:

“Have you ever been on a diet and literally fighting yourself not to eat because you’re so hungry? It’s miserable! We don’t do that on my program. One of the most empowering, liberating things about the Fab Four is that together they naturally balance your various hunger-related hormones.

“Most diets and regimens don’t get to the root of the problem — lack of satiety, blood sugar imbalance, and hormonal disruption. My approach will set you free from the restrictive dietary noose and give you realistic, sustainable tools to live free and be well!”

What about eating six small meals a day? We’ve all heard that’s a good thing, right? Nope, we’ve all been had. LeVeque uses easy-to-understand biological explanations to explain how eating at too many intervals during the day taxes the digestive system and screws it up, actually leading to weight gain instead of loss. She also delves into how improper eating habits can be the culprit for things like acne, dull skin and hair, hormone imbalances and conditions such as PCOS, low energy levels, moodiness, lethargy, dark skin around the eyes, that stubborn belly pooch, metabolic syndrome, and much more.

In the first half of Body Love, LeVeque walks her readers through the science of hunger and the biological processes of digestion, and how they can get hung up when we aren’t eating right. The second half focuses on what food items exactly fall under each category of the Fab Four — again, that’s protein, fat, fiber, and greens —  and how to incorporate them into your life through providing pages upon pages of recipes.

My favorite part of the book is the recipe section that includes instructions on how to construct a Fab Four Smoothie for breakfast. In this section, LeVeque suggests dozens of combinations to combine the Fab Four into a quick smoothie that keeps you full for five or six hours. I will admit I was very skeptical of something keeping me full that long, but I pinky swear to you, each time I had a smoothie in the morning, I didn’t even think about food or crave sugar to get me through to lunchtime.

LeVeque challenges readers to put her method to the test by changing nothing in their daily routines except for having a Fab Four smoothie every morning for a week, and see if they don’t lose at least 5 pounds. Well, I’m here to tell you she’s right; I did indeed lose 5 pounds. I’ve also felt far less bloated and less “fuzzy” in the head. It feels so encouraging and empowering to finally have found a source I can trust to help me navigate the murky waters of the food industry, and  I’m so beyond excited to see where LeVeque’s Fab Four method continues to take me.

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Utilizing as many free and cheap resources as she can find in the 918 area, routinely forsaking her fitness comfort zone to discover effective workouts, and cooking more intentionally from home, Duncan is publicly documenting her progress in each issue as she works to lose 30 pounds in 2018.