I am not a nutritionist or an M.D.  The Dr. in front of my name is in cultural anthropology, which gives me credentials to do a lot of things, but nutritional analysis is not one of them.  I don’t have a lab to test the recipes.  So when I say that a food item has so many fat grams/serving, it is an estimate based on the fat or fat-laden ingredients that are in a recipe, such as oil or butter, meat, fish, or peanut butter.  I don’t count the 1.2 grams of fat in a cup of flour; it will only be 0.1 gram in one of the 12 muffins.  I don’t count the 0.2 grams in a 1/4-cup of raisins or the 0.6 in a banana. Yes, I know that all of these fractional amounts of fat might add up to a gram of fat in a serving, but I want to eat, not do math. This lack of precision, as long as I account for obvious fat content, has not hindered my weight loss or maintenance.  If you need for some reason to be more precise, look up each ingredient in a good nutritional counter for your own satisfaction.

I don’t include the total number of calories in a serving, because I’m focused on fat grams, not calories.  Why does it work? I think because a gram of fat has 9 calories and a gram of almost anything else has 4 calories – so if you restrict fats, you are already eating fewer calories.  You actually might eat a lot more calories on any given day, for example, if it is summer and like me you eat a lot of fruit.  But you will probably eat fewer calories another day. However, I do not claim that this is a scientific answer.

A final disclaimer: This way of eating works for me; it might not work for everyone.  But the food is good anyway.


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I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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