My New Diet: The McDougall Diet

mcdougall-dietI am trying the McDougall Diet.  After reading and reviewing, The Starch Solution, I decided to give the diet a try.

Those of you who are longtime readers of this blog and subscribers to my You Tube channel, know that I have tried many ways of eating a plant-based (vegan) diet.

I have yet to find the right diet.  Let’s see how I fare on the McDougall Diet.

What Do Your Eat on A Starch-Based Diet?

Do not let the word starch distract you.  Think of starch as carbohydrates (carbs).  All carbs are not starch.  The starch-based diet is a high carb, low fat diet.

Note:  I know many people frown on eating a high carb, low fat diet, but when you examine this closely, eating a plant-based diet is mostly a carb diet.

This diet is one in which you eat whole plant foods, limiting the amount of fat that you eat.

My diet consists of:

  • starches – whole grains, legumes, starchy vegetables.
  • non-starchy vegetables
  • fruit

How to Follow the Diet

  • Center your diet around the starches that you like.
  • Eat the least processed starches.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
  • Eliminate animal food from your diet, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, and milk.
  • Keep fat intake as low as possible.
  • Avoid any added fat in your food.
  • When eating soy foods, do not eat highly processed soy.
  • Keep the sugar and salt low.

 If you want to achieve maximum weight loss do these things:

  • Increase the amount of non-starchy vegetables.
  • Avoid simple sugars, including dried fruit and juices.
  • Keep fresh fruits to one or two a day.
  • Avoid flours and flour products.
  • Avoid all high-fat-plant foods.
  • Eat many small meals a day instead of one or two big meals.
  • Do not eat at restaurants.
  • Exercise more frequently.

Source of Information:  The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good!

Final Words

This is the plant-diet that I am following.  I officially started the starch solution diet on August 1, 2013 and I do not intend on stopping, unless it does not work.  I will publish weekly updates and upload monthly videos to you tube.

Let’s do this!

Below is my first you tube video documenting my journey.  If you have trouble viewing this video, click here.  Enjoy!

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23 Comments My New Diet: The McDougall Diet

  1. Linda Maran

    I went on the McDougall eating plan for health issues, not weight loss. But I went from 117 size 4 and 6, to 100 pounds, size 2. Getting really bad feedback from family and friends on my thin sickly appearance. (Yes, some are overweight, but not all.)
    My health issues have not really improved much, and I am so tempted to go back to a vegetarian diet, rather than vegan, or maybe adding a little olive oil to my salad and a few egg whites and salmon. But I have to keep inflammation at bay in my case, and oil is a no-no they say. But the dry skin is not too attractive. I hope this changes. Been on it since June. See my blog for some good recipes.

    1. Evelyn Parham

      Hi Linda!

      Welcome to my blog.

      One diet does not fit all. I’ve learned that you have to do what works best for your situation. I no longer follow the McDougall plan because it wasn’t the best plan for me.

      If you feel you need to add oil, then do it. Also look into EFA (essential fatty acids), like flax seed oil /seeds, hempseed oil/seeds, chia seeds, or even coconut oil (excellent moisturizer for the skin too). Avocados are great too.

      I love trying new recipes and I’ll be sure to visit your blog.

      All the best to you, Linda!

  2. Devon

    Hey Evelyn! I’m starting the Starch Solution myself and feel the same way about it so far. I love starches and always have. I’ve always said that I could eat potatoes for every meal for the rest of my life, and now I feel like I can if I wanted to without the carboguilt. I’ve noticed that my body is VERY sensitive to my fat consumption. Too many nuts, peanut butter, or chips and the scale shows it! I figure why not give this a try, right?

    Oatmeal is definitely the breakfast of champions. I’m having it for breakfast today! If you ever need a change of pace, try cream of buckwheat topped with fresh strawberries. It’s extremely nutritious.

    Good luck!

    1. Evelyn Parham

      Hi Devon,

      Thanks for stopping by and chiming in! That’s great that you have started the Starch Solution. It’s great when we enjoy our food and don’t have to worry so much about restrictions.

      I’ll definitely check into the cream of buckwheat and appreciate you recommending it.

      Thanks and all the best to you too!!
      Evelyn Parham recently posted..Top 12 Reasons to Visit a ChiropractorMy Profile

  3. Tamara

    Hi Evelyn, I just bought the book yesterday and will be giving it a try too. Will let you know how’s it’s going for me as well. Wishing you the best health.

  4. Carolyn Akens

    You go Evelyn! I look forward to your updates. I love how you share and let people know upfront that this is what you’re doing. I will be with you in spirit! :)

    1. Evelyn Parham

      Hey Ms. Carolyn!

      Good to see you. I hope you are staying cool. It is so hot today. Anyway, thanks for stopping by and checking on me. I truly appreciate that. :)

  5. Aqiyl Henry

    Thanks for the info Evelyn. There is conflicting information about carbs to fat, and complex carbs to fat. I find the best way to cut through the confusion is to talk to real live people and see how things actually effect them, which is why I want to yo to keep us informed. I definitely know first hand the reducing fat removes fat, because it gives the body a chance to burned stored fat. It is a little bit more difficult to tell how much frutose form fruits, and complex carbs from starches effect the fat levels because when I started my vegan diet it was a low complex carb (starches) and high simple carb (fruit) diet. I lost 25-30 lbs eating this way and dropped to 5% body fat. Maybe it is just the removal of fat that is the cause of the weight loss. My diet is basically aligned with the fruitarian diet, which doesn’t include much starches and many of the people are slim. I know people who have done high carb (complex carbs) diets and have gained weight, which has led to the misconception that a high carb diet can make you gain weight. It is the types of carbs you eat that lead to weight gain. Let us know how it goes for you.
    Right now, from my experience a low protein, low fat, low complex carb (starches), high simple carbs (fruit), and lots of veggies is the key to weight loss, healing, and high energy.

  6. Trinity

    Blessings to you, Evelyn, as you start your new diet! Your hair and skin look great! I look forward to the weekly updates. Have a terrific weekend!

  7. TeaJae

    I understand the basic principles of this and it does sound good. I’m wondering that would eliminate making almond milk, no cashews no nuts at all and no avocados since these are high fats. Your body needs some fat so where would it come from hmmm…guess I’ll have to do more research on this one. I will be following you on this journey Evelyn. I’m proud of you for continuing to search for what will be the best for your body and health.

    1. Aqiyl Henry

      Hi TeaJae. The diet calls for low fat, not no fat so you can and have to eat fat just not at a lot of it.

      Evelyn, how much fat does the McDougall Diet call for?

      The fruitarian is a 80/10/10 diet. 80% carbs, 10% fat, 10% protein. I eat a 70/20/10, as I needed a little bit more fat in my diet.

      Most of the carbs come from fruits and not starches though. I used to eat a lot of avocados, but I cut down on the amount of this fat I eat, and I more nuts instead (almonds, walnuts), and my complex carbs are really limited to garbanzo beans. my weight has dropped from 180-185lbs 10 155-160lbs and I am in the best shape of my life at 45.

      Hey Evelyn, sorry for writing so much.

      1. Evelyn Parham

        Hey Aqiyl,

        Dr. McDougall does not give a specific percentage in the his book (The Starch Solution), but from my research I think it is 80/10/10. He doesn’t say that you cannot eat nuts or avocados, just don’t eat too much. Keep it low. He only recommends avoiding those fattier foods when you want to achieve maximum weight loss. I guess it is similar to what you have done by cutting back on the avocados and eating foods that are lower in fat.

        You’re doing very well. It is such a wonderful thing to be able to say, that at 45 you are in the best shape of your life. It is truly a blessing!!

        No problem! I just wrote you a book. (LOL)

    2. Evelyn Parham

      Hi TeaJae,

      You don’t have to totally eliminate these foods, unless you want to achieve maximum weight loss. Fats are in plant foods, just in smaller amounts. So if those foods were eliminated, it wouldn’t hurt anything, but I wouldn’t do that for too long. I would only eliminate the fat if I was really overweight. After reaching my desired weight goal, then I would add those plant foods higher in fat back to my diet; but I wouldn’t overdo it.

      I will eat nuts, seeds, and avocados, but not too often. I used almond milk in the cereal that I showed in the video. I’m eating low-fat, however, I’m not excluding fat entirely. I stopped using refined oils in my food a while ago and I’m still going strong with that.

      Thanks for stopping by and chiming in. I appreciate your support!

      Have a great weekend!

      Evelyn

  8. Aqiyl Henry

    I wish you success on your diet and please let us know how it goes.

    I practice a high carb, low fat, low protein diet and the weight continues to strip off. I actually had to add some more fat back into my diet because I was losing more weight than I wanted.

    The high carb portion of my diet doesn’t consist of much starches though, and consists mostly in the form of simple carbohydrates (simple sugars) in the form of fruits. These carbs are burned more quickly than starches (complex carbs) and don’t stay in the body to turn into fat. Complex carbs are harder to digest and have more of a chance to turn into fat and be stored in the body.

    Keep us informed of how the diet affects you.

    1. Evelyn Parham

      Hey Aqiyl,

      Thanks!

      I appreciate you sharing and chiming in.

      I’ll be sure to watch my weight to see if I have issues with fat storage. I’m not trying to get fat, I hope trim down some. :)

      However, I want to put this info on the table for others to see.

      Excerpt from the Starch Solution book about sugars in starches converting to fat. I’m not disputing what you are saying, but I just want to share this information, because I have always been afraid of eating complex carbs out of fear of getting fat. I’ll try McDougall’s diet, but if I see the weight going up, I’ll have to make some adjustments.

      “Excess starch does not turn to body fat: A widely held myth holds that the sugars in starches are readily converted into fat, which is then stored visibly in our abdomen, hips, and buttocks. If you read the published research, you will see that there is no disagreement about this whatsoever among scientists, and that they say that this is incorrect! After eating, we break down the complex carbohydrates in starchy foods into simple sugars. These sugars are absorbed into the bloodstream, where they are transported to trillions of cells throughout the body for energy. If you eat more carbohydrate than your body needs, you’ll store up to 2 pounds of it invisibly in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. If you eat more carbohydrate than you can use (as your daily energy) and store (as glycogen), you’ll burn the remainder off as body heat and through physical movement other than sports, such as walking to work, typing, yard work, and fidgeting.

      Turning sugars into fats is a process called de novo lipogenesis. Pigs and cows use this process to convert carbohydrates from grains and grasses into calorie-dense fats. That’s what makes them so appealing as a food source. Bees do it, too, converting honey (simple carbohydrate) into wax (fatty acids and alcohols).

      We humans, on the other hand, are very inefficient at converting carbohydrate to fat; we don’t do it under normal conditions. (The cost for this conversion is 30 percent of the calories consumed). Subjects overfed large amounts of simple sugars under experimental laboratory conditions, however, will convert a small amount of carbohydrate to fat. For example, both trim and obese women fed 50 percent more calories than they usually ate in a day, along with an extra 3 1/2 ounces (135 grams) of refined sugar, produced less than 4 grams of fat daily (less than 1/8 ounce). That’s just 36 extra calories stored as fat per day. You’d have to overeat all of those extra calories and table sugar every day for nearly 4 months just to gain 1 pound of extra body fat.

      The warning about carbohydrates turning to body fat is a myth and nothing more: In humans, even substantial quantities of refined and processed carbohydrates contribute only to a trivial amount of body fat. The same is not true of animal and vegetable fats, however. A passenger on a cruise ship gains an average of 8 pounds on a 7-day voyage – caused by dining on buffets of meats, cheese, oil-soaked vegetables, and high-fat desserts.

      So, where does all the extra belly fat come from? It bears repeating: The fat you eat is the fat you wear.” The Starch Solution, p. 22-25.

      Sorry so long, but I wanted to share this excerpt from the book.

      Have a great weekend!

      Evelyn

      1. Aqiyl Henry

        Thanks for the info Evelyn. There is conflicting information about carbs to fat, and complex carbs to fat. I find the best way to cut through the confusion is to talk to real live people and see how things actually effect them, which is why I want to yo to keep us informed. I definitely know first hand the reducing fat removes fat, because it gives the body a chance to burned stored fat. It is a little bit more difficult to tell how much frutose form fruits, and complex carbs from starches effect the fat levels because when I started my vegan diet it was a low complex carb (starches) and high simple carb (fruit) diet. I lost 25-30 lbs eating this way and dropped to 5% body fat. Maybe it is just the removal of fat that is the cause of the weight loss. My diet is basically aligned with the fruitarian diet, which doesn’t include much starches and many of the people are slim. I know people who have done high carb (complex carbs) diets and have gained weight, which has led to the misconception that a high carb diet can make you gain weight. It is the types of carbs you eat that lead to weight gain. Let us know how it goes for you.
        Right now, from my experience a low protein, low fat, low complex carb (starches), high simple carbs (fruit), and lots of veggies is the key to weight loss, healing, and high energy.

        1. Evelyn Parham

          You’re welcome.

          The information is very conflicting. I really do believe that when fat is removed the weight comes off pretty fast.

          I was doing some research and found this article. This lady failed on the McDougall diet, but tried it again and had success. Her reason for the failure is that she was not eating each starch/complex carbs, but when she added more starch, it worked for her. Here is the link to the article, but I for some reason her site is down right now. Check it out when you can. http://www.lanimuelrath.com/diet-nutrition/my-mcdougall-diet-failure/

          Thanks for sharing your eating experience with us!

          1. Aqiyl Henry

            Her site must be hosted by justhost.com because my site is down also. I think I will switch to Hostgator.

            I know removing fat the weight comes off, and your experience will help me to see how eating a lot of complex carbs (starches) effects weight loss also.

            Thanks for the compliment above. Yes it is a blessing to be 45 and be in the best shape of my life. I am constantly putting the slap down on the 25 year old in the gym. :)

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