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4-3-2-1 Diet

author image William Lynch
William Lynch has been a freelance writer for the past fifteen years, working for various web sites and publications. He is currently enrolled in a Master of Arts program in writing popular fiction at Seton Hill University. He hopes to one day become a mystery novelist.
4-3-2-1 Diet
A young woman is shopping for produce from a market. Photo Credit: Michael Blann/Photodisc/Getty Images

A key component of NBC’s hit show “The Biggest Loser,” a 4-3-2-1 Diet helps achieve weight loss through controlling calories and eating a healthy, well-balanced menu. Dieters enjoy wholesome fruits, vegetables and lean proteins while eating foods low in fat and complex carbohydrates. Due to the popularity of the TV show, the 4-3-2-1 Diet is sometimes known as the "Biggest Loser" diet or the "Biggest Loser" pyramid.

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What's in a Name?

The 4-3-2-1 Diet gets its name from its recommended serving suggestions. Dieters on the program eat four servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of protein, two servings of whole grains and one serving of healthy fat each day. Ideally, the diet allows for a daily intake of between 1,050 and 2,100 calories, although the total can be adjusted according to the person’s starting weight.

Meals and Exercise

Individuals on a 4-3-2-1 Diet plan eat three meals a day and one to three snacks, as well. Dieters must keep an accurate calorie count and monitor their progress on a daily basis. The 4-3-2-1 Diet also recommends exercise as part of the weight-loss regimen, suggesting individuals build up to 200 to 300 minutes of cardio each week.

All About Food

The 4-3-2-1 Diet stresses eating fresh fruits and vegetables along with lean proteins like chicken, turkey and fish. Dieters must limit starchy vegetables such as potatoes, while completely avoiding refined grains and sugars. The 4-3-2-1 diet’s list of healthy fats includes avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds. The plan strives to get 45 percent of its calories from carbohydrates, 30 percent of calories from proteins and 25 percent of calories from healthy fats.

Benefits of the Diet

The 4-3-2-1 Diet is easy to understand and provides a simple, straightforward approach to weight loss. The diet allows individuals to enjoy a wide range of foods each day, and the idea of eating three meals plus additional snacks will appeal to many dieters used to more restrictive programs. The diet’s eating plan, which limits carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, is also based on sound nutritional principles.

Drawbacks of the Diet

Individuals on the 4-3-2-1 Diet must strictly keep track of their calories and may also need to purchase food scales and measuring cups to properly gauge serving sizes. These tasks can prove too troublesome for many dieters. While easy to understand, the 4-3-2-1 Diet has calorie restrictions that could prove too harsh for many individuals, compromising the diet’s effectiveness.

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