The F-Factor Diet and Tanya Zucketbrot (Founder) have been on my radar for many years, but it was not until we became Insta (now real!) friends that I discovered what an amazing person she is! Tanya is an inspiration in the true sense of the word. She is an incredible mother, first and foremost, a rockstar entrepreneur, and a super smart cookie (an RD with her Masters Degree). On top of that, she is gorgeous inside and out, has an amazing sense of style, and is beyond generous (always sharing her immense knowledge of nutrition and promoting her peers and followers on social media).

While some people think The F-Factor Diet is all about eating fiber crackers, that’s actually not the case. What I relate to the most about F-Factor are the principles of eating protein and fiber at every meal and not eating less, just eating better. F-Factor is also not just another low-carb diet. While Tanya does promote limiting net-carbs (total carbs minus fiber), she encourages doing so by increasing fiber-rich, non-starchy vegetables. As I always say, it’s best to “crowd-out” the unhealthy foods by bulking up on the healthy ones. Non-starchy veggies (aka fiber) and lean proteins fill you up, and as Tanya says, “make losing weight easy!”

I have loved getting to know Tanya and I am so excited to feature her on LivLight! Hope you’ll read on to learn more about Tanya Zuckerbrot and The F-Factor Diet. Also be sure to check her out on Instagram @tanyazuckerbrot and @f_factor and on her website

“Light”ning Round

I am…Tanya Zuckerbrot and I am a...Registered Dietitian, Founder and CEO of F-Factor

My alarm goes off at…6:00am

The first thing I do is… but first, coffee…

My favorite products (body, skincare or make-up) are… Bobbi Brown – I love the shimmer brick, it’s a great multi-purpose product.

For breakfast I eat… 4 GG crackers with protein – either eggs or smoked salmon, a bowl of berries.

My uniform is… heels.

My go-to workout is… running late.

My favorite activewear is… anything from Bandier, and I’m loving my Nike Air Zoom Strongs.

Lunch is… salad with protein at my…desk, or Fred’s at Barneys if I can get away – everywhere I go I practice what I preach 😉

Snack is… 4 “GG Pizzas”

My version of self-care is… Relaxation.

I drink… a lot.

My favorite dinner is… Liquid… Kidding, but I love a good Bolognese.

Of books, Netflix or Housewives I choose… Housewives – I’m embarrassed to admit, but gotta zone out somehow.

I am sleeping by… 11pm after I… wash my face and have slathered on my night cream and lotions.

Interview with Tanya Zuckerbrot, The F-Factor Diet

For the regular person it is very hard to navigate all the conflicting advice out there about nutrition (no sugar, no carbs, eat carbs, no fat, eat fat, etc!!!). What is your general eating philosophy and why do you focus on fiber?

The weight loss space today is oversaturated with information; I don’t blame people for being confused as to who and what to listen to.

Most diets are based on deprivation. They tell you to cut out certain foods, like carbohydrates or fats, leaving dieters feeling hungry and dissatisfied. The F-Factor Program, on the other hand, is a liberating approach to weight loss and management, because it’s about what foods to add into your diet. The F in F-Factor stands for fiber, which is added to the diet to make for weight loss without hunger, but stands for something else too: freedom. On F-Factor, you have the freedom to dine out for breakfast, lunch or dinner, anywhere and everywhere. You have the freedom to drink alcohol from day one and you’ll have more free time, too since life with F-Factor doesn’t require you to spend hours at the gym. F-Factor isn’t just about adding years to your life (which it does, as fiber has been linked to longevity!), but about adding life to your years.

What are your top weight loss tips for people who aren’t able to become F-Factor clients?

Buy the book The F-Factor Diet book (an update version is coming out very soon!) is a great resource for anyone trying to lose weight. It explains everything you need to know to do F-Factor, and is complete with 80+ recipes.

Actual tips, eat more fiber. Fiber is the zero-calorie, non-digestible part of a carbohydrate that adds bulk to food. When eaten, fiber swells in the stomach. Therefore, when you follow a diet rich in fiber (like F-Factor) you feel full after eating and you’ll generally eat less throughout the day, leading to weight loss. Fiber also absorbs and removes fat and calories, and boosts metabolism, which also aids weight loss efforts. Women need 35 grams of fiber daily in their diets, yet the average American eats less than 15 grams per day. I recommend aiming for 40 grams for optimal weight loss results.

Aside from eating fiber, eat breakfast and drink more water. Breakfast is important because it jump starts your metabolism; skipping breakfast slows down metabolism and leads to weight gain. Studies show that breakfast eaters burn calories more efficiently throughout the day and are more likely to be thinner than non-breakfast eaters. In fact, Sumo wrestlers in Japan aren’t fed breakfast, so that they gain weight. Breakfast is also the perfect opportunity to get half your fiber needs early in the day/ before noon.

Water plays a key role in nearly every bodily function and it fills you up so you tend to eat less, but for F-Factor Dieters it’s especially important because of the high amount of fiber they consume; fiber needs water to work it’s magic. I recommend my clients drink 3 liters of water per day.

I love when you talk about healthy vs. healthy for weight loss. Can you explain the difference for LivLight readers?

Many people are eating a ton of “healthy” foods such as avocados, nuts, and quinoa, yet they struggle to lose even a pound and can’t understand why the scale doesn’t budge. That’s because “healthy foods” are not always healthy, for weight loss.

Many foods that are “vegan,” “gluten free,” “all natural,” “dairy free,” or “organic” may still be high in calories, fat or carbs, and therefore can interfere with weight loss.

Additionally, many people think carbohydrates make you fat. That is not true, and in fact, our bodies need carbohydrates for energy. What does lead to weight gain is when carbohydrates are eaten in excess of what our body can use for fuel.

Foods that are healthy for weight loss are high in fiber and low in overall carbohydrates. That’s because fiber is the indigestible part of the carbohydrate, so it contributes 0 calories. Fiber allows you to eat carbohydrates needed for energy, without gaining weight.

No foods are off limits on F-Factor. However, it is important that clients understand how to incorporate healthy foods into their diets while at the same time making them appropriate for weight loss.

What role do you think exercise plays in weight loss?

Diet trumps exercise when it comes to weight loss. Exercise offers a plethora of health benefits (increased energy, heart health, mood), and can support weight loss efforts, but when it comes down to it, you can’t outrun an unhealthy diet.

I tell clients, let F-Factor be your cardio. People do cardio to create a caloric deficit, but cardio can stimulate appetite and impede weight loss efforts. Instead, create a caloric deficit by eating a diet high in fiber, like F-Factor. The reason this works is because eating fiber burns calories—fiber can’t be digested, so it revs metabolism- the more fiber you’re eating the more calories your body burns at rest. I don’t know about you but I’d rather eat fiber than spend more time on the treadmill…

What I do recommend is for people to focus on strength training activities at the gym. Often in weight loss, people lose muscle mass as well as fat mass. Maintenance of lean muscle mass is very important in weight loss, mainly because muscle burns more calories than body fat. When doing strength training exercises, you create a lean physique and build lean muscle, which boosts metabolism and keeps it going throughout the day, while not increasing your appetite (like cardio does) whereas less lean muscle means a slower metabolism. This is because at rest, lean body mass is actively burning calories. When you do cardio, you’re essentially only burning calories during the activity. But when you do strength training/weight resistant activities that build lean muscle, you continue burning calories, even when you stop the activity. The more lean muscle one has, the faster their metabolism.

Strength training is an excellent choice to complement a healthful diet like F-Factor.

Do you have a favorite recipe you’d be willing to share with LL?

I love our high-fiber pancake recipe – made with just a few simple ingredients, this pancake packs in 19g protein and 16g fiber, for less than 225 calories, and can be made into something savory, or sweet. It’s quickly become a staple recipe for my clients.