Robert Ferguson was the face and co-developer of Provida's Food Lovers' Fat Loss System, an infomercial staple that introduced a diet-free mentality to losing weight and keeping it off. Practically nothing is off limits -- it all depends on portion size and balancing your meals. (His workout DVDs are still part of the Food Lovers system.)
Ferguson, a certified nutritionist and fitness specialist, has long counseled clients at his Diet Free Life Center in Ventura, Calif., and last year wrote the book "Diet-Free for Life" Perigree, $17). Building on that concept, Ferguson has just introduced a new Diet Free Life weight-loss system that tackles losing weight through journaling, motivational messages, recipes and an online community. It also introduces a concept new to fans of his former program -- finding your carb threshold through carb stepping.
The system includes a Metabolism Jump-Start book, DVDs that explain the entire system, a cookbook, a pocket "cheat sheet" designed for dining out, and a Day-By-Day motivational CD series. It also includes the Power Parent program, which gets the entire family eating and moving in the right direction.
We talked with him recently to find out more about his new system.
Q. What was the impetus for creating the new Diet Free Life System?
A. I wanted to make available a way for people to customize weight loss instead of relying on standardized approaches. The only way you can customize weight loss is to identify your carb threshold – the amount of carbohydrates you can eat without gaining weight. I help people identify their carb threshold by carb-stepping so they can then customize their favorite foods as part of a sensible way of eating that results in a reduced waistline.
Q. Why is it important to live diet free?
A. The opposite of that is a diet mentality. Freedom from deprivation and restriction is a great thing and we all deserve a life free of diets.
Q. You talk about "meeting people where they are." Explain what that means.
A. To meet a person where they are financially is a prime example of what I mean by this. Case in point, not everyone can afford to grocery shop at Whole Foods. Millions of people have their food subsidized. When this is the case, you are eating what you have access to. So, meeting a person where they are is showing them how to make the most of the food they have access to. Other examples of meeting a person where they are includes exercise. Not everyone can begin exercising by running the stairs and jumping rope.
Q. How do conventional weight-loss plans fail people?
A. Albert Einstein once said, “You cannot solve today’s problems with the mindset that created them.” Unfortunately, conventional weight loss plans have been created by people with a diet mentality. These conventional plans are also standardized and not designed to be customized for each and every person and their metabolism.