Can you lose weight by learning to feel full with less food? The Full Diet says it can train your brain to do just that.
You don’t have to count calories or eliminate any foods. Instead, by learning how to eat the right types of food (such as lean proteins and high-fiber foods) and understanding how your body handles appetite, you’ll know how to feel full on less.
The Full Diet targets people who want to lose about 5 to 80 pounds but are not morbidly obese. Plan creator and weight loss surgeon Michael Snyder says you can expect to lose a pound or 2 a week.
There are two ways to work the diet. One is to start with a 4-week beginning phase designed to help you drop pounds quickly. Then you’ll do a maintenance phase, in which you’ll lose weight more slowly.
Or you may skip the beginning phase and start with the maintenance phase, but it will take you longer to lose the weight.
What You Can Eat and What You Can’t
No foods are off-limits in this diet, but think twice before eating enriched flour. Focus on fiber, lean proteins like white-meat chicken, and unsaturated fats like nuts and avocados.
The diet includes a list of recommended foods under different food groups like vegetables, fruits, fiber, protein, and fats.
You can have two indulgences, like french fries and alcohol, per week.
Level of Effort: Low
Limitations: There aren’t many limitations. You have a lot of flexibility in what you can eat.
Cooking and shopping: Your cooking and shopping routines shouldn’t change much. You can find most of the items at your regular grocery store.
Packaged foods or meals: None required, but there are Fullbar products for sale to complement the plan. These include snack bars (Fullbars), diet gum, and diet pills. Snyder claims these products will help you lose weight and feel full.
In-person meetings: No.
Exercise: The plan recommends exercising 5 days a week.
Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?
Vegetarians and vegans: This diet could work for you.
Gluten-free diet: Check food labels for possible sources of gluten. Not all of the Fullbar products are gluten-free.
What Else You Should Know
Cost: The diet doesn’t have any fees. The only cost will be your regular grocery bill, unless you decide to buy some of the Fullbar products, which cost up to about $50.
Support: You do this diet on your own, although there is a web site selling the Fullbar products and describing the diet.
What Maryann Jacobsen, MS, RD, Says:
Does It Work?
The Full Diet is based on research showing that eating foods high in fiber, water, and protein will help keep you full with fewer calories. This diet is not about counting calories, and no foods are off limits.
You can expect gradual weight loss on this plan, but this may not be the case for everyone since you’re not cutting calories.
Is It Good for Certain Conditions?
Most people, including those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease, can benefit from eating foods that are healthy and filling.
If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, you will still have to watch your sodium or carbs.
The Final Word
The Full Diet offers sensible advice that can help anyone who wants to eat healthier and lose weight.
The plan is great if you don’t like counting calories and if you don’t want to give up your favorite foods.
But it’s not a structured eating plan, so if you crave more direction or have a lot of weight to lose (more than 80 pounds), this might not be the right diet for you.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “Book Review: Full: A Life Without Dieting.”
- Snyder, M. The Full Diet: A Weight-Loss Doctor’s 7-Day Guide to Shedding Pounds for Good, Hay House, 2012.