T-Factor Diet

The T-Factor Diet was one of the leading influences in the 1990s low-fat diet craze. Written by Dr. Martin Katahn in 1989 and updated in 2000, the book claims that weight loss is less about how many calories you eat than what kind of calories you eat. In his case, he believes that people can eat as many carbohydrates as they wish, but limit fat grams and still lose weight. For women, he suggests 20 to 40 a day; for men, 30 to 60 a day. Katahn says that extra fat is stored as fat, while extra carbohydrates are burned, rather than stored as fat. This process he calls the T-Factor, or the thermic factor. Katahn explains that the body expends more calories to digest complex carbohydrates than it does fat; therefore, eating carbs helps people boost their metabolism rather than depress it.

This weight loss plan flies in the face of everything taught by the “low carb” faithful; indeed, if the thought of eating bread again makes you happy, this diet might be one to check out. Katahn does not suggest gorging on white bread and pasta, however. He has modified the diet to say that people should not fill up on overprocessed “fat-free” baked goods with a ton of hidden sugar. These kinds of foods are not any better for your body than eating cheeses and meats, he says.


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