The Plan

Eliminate the Surprising "Healthy" Foods That Are Making You Fat--and Lose Weight Fast


By Lyn-Genet Recitas

Formats and Prices




$12.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around January 1, 2013. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

New York Times bestselling author and cutting-edge nutrition expert Lyn-Genet Recitas reveals the surprising truth behind the “healthy” foods that cause weight gain and provides personalized meal plans for rapid weight loss.

Carbs and portion sizes are not the problem when it comes to weight loss, contrary to popular belief. Foods that are revered by traditional weight loss programs, such as turkey, eggs, cauliflower, beans, and tomatoes, may be healthy in a vacuum, but when combined with each person’s unique chemistry, they can cause a toxic reaction that triggers weight gain, premature aging, inflammation, and a host of health problems including constipation, migraines, joint pain, and depression.

Lyn-Genet’s groundbreaking 20-day program helps readers finally unlock the mystery behind what does and does not work for their individual bodies. With detailed meal plans, recipes, and effective, personalized advice, you will discover how to:
Lose a half a pound a day while enjoying generous servings of foods you love
Identify your hidden trigger foods that are causing weight gain and inflammation, among other symptoms
Build a personalized healthy foods list that promotes rapid weight loss
Avoid feeling bloated, tired, or unhealthy again!

Feel better, look better, and be empowered by the knowledge of what truly works best for your body!


Begin Reading

Table of Contents


Copyright Page

In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author's intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at Thank you for your support of the author's rights.


You've tried diet after diet.

You eat well.

You exercise.

Yet you're still gaining weight. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. Or maybe you're not gaining, but you just can't seem to drop those unwanted pounds the way you used to. At the same time, you might suffer from hormonal disorders, migraines, depression, skin conditions, joint pain, IBS, Crohn's, or other ailments. One day you step on the scale after eating healthy foods and your weight is up, and you have no idea why. You get frustrated and spend the next day eating cookies, and your weight stabilizes. You start to wonder if you should go on the cookie diet and at least have fun! You've tried everything that used to work: dieting, juice fasts, exercise—and still the weight isn't budging. If you're anything like the thousands of people I've worked with, you're seriously frustrated.

Why isn't your body responding??

It's pretty simple, actually. Your weight is nothing more than a reflection of your body's chemical reaction to foods. I want you to pause for a second here and repeat that out loud (yes, really): Weight gain is nothing more than my body's chemical reaction to foods. You're not eating too many carbs, or too much fat, or too many calories. You're simply eating certain reactive foods that are triggering an inflammatory response. And when your body is rife with inflammatory chemicals, it can cause a whole host of problems. Weight gain, migraines, skin conditions, high blood pressure—low-grade inflammation is the culprit behind all of them, aided and abetted by reactive foods that appear so righteous on the surface but are steadily and sneakily making us overweight, depressed, and sick.

And yes, I'm talking about supposedly healthy foods like oatmeal, salmon, turkey, beans, Greek yogurt, and more. That's why you're frustrated, my dear friend—and understandably so! All those things you've been told for years are "good for you" are actually the problem, insidiously packing on the pounds and sapping your health and vitality while you suffer and deprive yourself.

It's hard to believe, but cookies and nachos are not the problem. We know if we overdo it on junk day in and day out we'll gain weight. That's not a surprise. You don't eat them and say, "Wow, why didn't I lose weight and feel vitally healthy?" You do it because it's fun, and you should be able to indulge occasionally. But fish? Green beans? Tomato sauce? If you spend the day eating cupcakes and gain a pound, well, okay. Maybe you go to the gym the next day and it's gone. But if you spend a day eating healthy foods and you gain a pound, there's a problem. And I'm going to help you find it.

Your body is constantly communicating with you about what foods do and do not work for it in ways you might not be aware of: fatigue, poor stress response, digestive issues—these are all signals that your body is sending as an alert to please stop eating that food. But how do you know which foods? How do you interpret the signals? I'm here to help you put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

Welcome to The Plan. The next twenty days are going to be a controlled experiment to help you discover which foods do and don't work for your body. Every person's chemistry is unique, and we're going to systematically test foods to learn how your body reacts, so you can start making informed choices.

The Plan is divided into three phases. Phase One, the Three-Day Cleanse, will be an easy detox to create a neutral base line in your body. In Phase Two, the Testing Phase (Days Four through Twenty), we're going to test specific foods and your favorite restaurants as we home in on your "friendly" or "reactive" foods. Don't worry; if a food you love turns out to be reactive for you, it doesn't mean it's banished from your life forever. You'll learn how to easily work it in and enjoy it in an informed way. After that, in Phase Three, Testing on Your Own, you'll learn how to create your own menus and tests and analyze your body's responses, so that The Plan becomes a natural and easy way of life.

By the time we're done, you'll see an average weight loss of up to 8 percent of your body weight and a dramatic improvement in sleep patterns, energy level, digestive function, and wellness (many clients are able to wean themselves off medications they've been taking for years). All of these things happen when we root out your reactive foods, which cause inflammation, and allow the body to do what it most wants to do, which is repair, renew, and balance. Most of all, you'll be armed with invaluable knowledge of how your body processes different foods so you'll never again get sideswiped by mystery weight gain or symptoms that appear seemingly out of nowhere.

The Plan is not a diet program. I don't want you to eat macrobiotic, or vegan, or low-fat, or low-carb, or whatever other kind of regimen you've followed in the past. I want you to discover your own particular hidden saboteurs so you can eat like you, according to what works for your particular body. This is about creating your plan. It's not my plan. Okay, yes, it starts out as "The Plan," and yes, there's protocol you need to follow for these twenty days. But the ultimate goal is to empower you to create your own personalized plan, which will change your relationship to food not just for these twenty days, but for the rest of your life.

Here's just some of what you'll discover on The Plan:

• Why the foods we think are the problem aren't the problem. I can't tell you how many people are gaining weight snacking on celery sticks and hummus when they could be eating potato chips and guacamole and losing weight.

• Which are your "friendly" foods, and which are your "reactive" foods. (Note that I didn't say "good" or "bad"—there are no good or bad foods, only the foods that work, and don't work, for your body.)

• Why the very thing you've come to hate—the scale—is your new best friend. Your daily weight is nothing more than data, and we're going to use this data to inform you how your body is reacting to certain foods. You'll come to appreciate your scale as a highly useful interpretive device!

• How to determine whether your thyroid is sluggish (even if it tested normal) and is sabotaging your weight loss efforts, and how to easily reverse that.

• How you can enjoy the foods you love most and still lose weight and feel fantastic.

• How to create delicious menus that will help you maintain your weight and meet your health goals for the rest of your life.

Within twenty days, you will be well on your way to reaching your goals of eating healthier, awaking refreshed and energized, and, of course, losing weight. No more feeling tyrannized and confused. Most of all, no deprivation. I want to bring the joy of eating back into your life. I love good food! I come from a long career in the restaurant business and spent years immersed in the world of wonderful food like great steaks, cheeses, desserts, and, of course, lots of good wine. Those things are still very much part of my life, and if you love them, there's a good chance they'll be part of yours, too. I want you to stop having to avoid "fun" food and understand that you shouldn't put the kibosh on that steak served with bread and butter—it might very well be better for you than an egg-white omelet.

We've become so fearful of foods, hearing conflicting advice of "don't eat this" and "don't eat that," that we think we can only order a salad when we go out. Look, anyone can lose weight by limiting themselves to 500 or 800 calories a day. But that's no way to live! I want you to understand that all the information you read and all the diets you've been on are a compilation of averages. If something works for 70 percent of the population, it's considered highly effective. But what if you're among the other 30 percent?

Plus, where's the joy in denying yourself good food? It's depressing to feel like you can't go out and enjoy a wonderful meal. If I suggested a handful of foods that were universally "Plan friendly" that my clients were restricted to, I'd have a lot of very unhappy people on my hands. I want you to be able to stay on The Plan for the rest of your life, and that includes eating out and enjoying yourself. The Plan will empower you wherever you are—at home, in a restaurant, at a party, even on vacation. You'll have peace of mind, knowing how to choose the foods (even decadent ones) that give you joy and glowing health and that work with your unique body to make you look and feel strong, sexy, lean, and beautiful.

This is an important life change you're about to embark on. It requires work, but if you solidly commit yourself for at least ten days, we can get the basics. If you commit for the full twenty, we'll change your life. I am so happy to be on this journey with you.

Lyn-Genet Recitas

Part One



What's Going Wrong?

Carolyn, forty-four, came to me in a state of desperation. She'd tried every diet, cleanse, and pill to lose the twenty pounds that had slowly but steadily crept on over the past few years, with no results. She ate well and exercised four times a week but still felt sluggish and depressed most of the time. She'd been to the top doctors, diet gurus, boot camps, and more, searching for solutions, but everyone gave her conflicting advice, which confused her even further. By the time she called me, she was living on Zoloft, caffeine, and 800 calories a day, but the heaviness in her mind and around her waistline wasn't budging.

Jonathan, fifty-one, was aggravated. He couldn't lose the forty pounds that plagued him, even though he stuck to "perfect" diet foods like oatmeal, salads, and grilled salmon. Even more upsetting to Jonathan was the gout and high cholesterol that he couldn't seem to get under control. He was doing everything "right," but nothing was working.

Thirty-eight-year-old Jessica's experience was not as severe but was just as frustrating. "I never know what size I'm going to be on any given day," she sighed. "One day my jeans fit completely fine, and the next I can't even zip them because I'm so bloated. I can go for days with my stomach distended and I have no idea why, and then out of nowhere it's flat again. I feel like I have no control over my own body."

I've worked with thousands of clients like Carolyn, Jonathan, and Jessica: women and men who don't know what to eat anymore because it seems like everything makes them gain weight; who have conflated every diet plan they've ever tried and are down to only five foods in their rotation; who feel tired, depressed, or bloated, or suffer from IBS, chronic pain, constipation, eczema, and other maladies that are making them miserable.

These are smart, health-savvy people we're talking about. They've tried everything that should work, with no results. Eating clean, exercise, even extreme cleanses or detox diets that might have sloughed off the pounds in the past suddenly aren't making a bit of difference. The less things make sense, the more people come to distrust their bodies. And frankly, that's a bad place to be.

It's time to cut through all the diet hype and solve this perplexing mystery once and for all. We're going to get to the bottom of what's actually causing your weight gain and other painful or even debilitating symptoms. I promise, your body isn't betraying you, even though it feels that way. And food isn't the enemy. Absolutely not! Good food can nourish us physically and emotionally, just like diets can starve our bodies and spirits. No, neither your body nor food is the enemy here. Misinformation is. What's going wrong, very simply, is that we have the wrong information about what it really takes to lose weight.

Here are the "basics" that most of us have been taught to believe:

• There are healthy foods and bad foods. Stick to the healthy foods and you'll stay slim and vibrant.

• Eating in moderation is the key to weight loss.

• Fats should be kept to a minimum.

• If you burn more calories than you consume, you'll lose weight.

• Women should stick to 1,500 calories per day for weight loss, men to 1,800.

But what if you're doing everything "right" and still gaining weight or dealing with persistent health issues? Why are we gaining weight from seemingly healthy foods like turkey and asparagus—and why are our health issues cropping up when we do? There's more to the story here, my dear friends, and I'm here to tell you what it is.

The Insidious Offender: Inflammation

The hidden culprit behind all of this is inflammation. The idea that low-grade inflammation is behind nearly every disease and ailment has moved to the front burner within the medical community over the past decades. Countless studies have linked chronic low-grade inflammation to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, IBS, Crohn's, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), infertility, premature aging, and obesity. Medical journals publish article after article about the dangerous effects of chronic inflammation, and now the mainstream media has caught on. In 2004, Time magazine ran a cover story labeling inflammation "The Silent Killer." Bestselling authors and health gurus Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Mark Hyman have written books about the connection between inflammation, aging, health, and weight loss. Allure, Harper's Bazaar, and Vogue magazines have all run articles about how inflammation attacks the body from a cosmetic and health perspective.

In its primary function, inflammation is a good thing. It's the body's immunologic response to an injury or illness that allows us to fight off infection. We want our inflammatory response to kick in when we injure ourselves, to speed the healing process and help protect our tissues. The problems occur when the inflammation doesn't subside and becomes chronic in our system. When the body is rife with inflammatory chemicals, our latent health issues get triggered, we age prematurely, and yes—we gain weight.

Most doctors shrug their shoulders at this, but the foods you choose can actually hasten or reverse the inflammatory process. We all have certain foods that are inflammatory for us. These foods might be healthy in a vacuum, but when combined with our body's unique chemistry, they can be quite toxic. When we eat one of these trigger foods, our bodies, being the brilliant machines they are, sense that something toxic has been introduced into our system. The body goes on high alert, thinking it is under attack, and it floods the tissues with water, trying to keep that toxic substance (and the hormones and chemicals it has released) away from the brain and other vital tissues—enter swelling, rashes, itching, and tissue damage. As the body continues to divert all its energy to the problem, other body systems start to slow down as a result, including digestion, circulation, and cognitive function (hello, weight gain, joint pain, depression…). In addition, 60 to 70 percent of your immune system is located in your gut-associated lymphatic tissue (known as GALT), so when you impair digestion, guess what happens to your health response? Until your body is able to excrete the perceived toxin, it's in your system doing its dirty work. This reaction to food can easily last 72 hours.

Weight gain is nothing more than your body's chemical reaction to certain foods. You eat something that is reactive for you, an inflammatory response is triggered, your digestion is impaired, and suddenly you're up a pound or two. The mistake would be in stopping there and saying that salmon or popcorn or whatever else causes weight gain. It's never the food itself that causes weight gain. It's the chemical response it triggers in your body that makes the number on the scale tick upward and awakens latent health issues.

Whenever you see a pound or more of weight gain, you'll see a corresponding health response—even if you're not consciously aware of it as a problem. I always have clients fill out an intake questionnaire about their goals and any health issues they have, and about 60 percent of them say they have no health issues. But then they start going through The Plan and suddenly realize that those under-eye bags are gone, they're sleeping through the night, or they can walk up two flights of stairs without their knees aching. Those symptoms that they always thought were "normal" are actually anything but.

And it's not just physical symptoms we're talking about. So many of us lead stressful lives, and we beat ourselves up for not being in better control of our emotions. But food has a great deal to do with that, too. Reactive foods can cause depression and poor stress responses and affect cognitive function. Most people don't even see it, like my client Angela, age forty-one, who was a stressed-out mom of two young kids. She beat herself up a lot for having such a short fuse with them, but she didn't realize that it was specific foods that were making her react. We started to identify her trigger foods, and sure enough, she came to see that within ten minutes of consuming one of these foods, she'd be screaming at her kids. And then her weight would be up the next day as well. Anytime you're not operating at your best—whether it's mentally, physically, or emotionally—there's an underlying reason for it, and very often it's a reactive food.

Remove reactive foods and a wonderful thing happens. My client Jack, fifty-four, asked me on Day Six of The Plan, "Is it just my imagination, or am I actually thinking more clearly than I have in years?" The answer was no; it wasn't his imagination at all. That's why we see people respond so quickly to their "trigger" foods, and why, once we get those foods out of their system and their diet, they see such rapid weight loss and such a dramatic decrease in symptomology. They look and feel better than they ever have. Douse the flames of inflammation and your body does what it was physiologically designed to do, which is achieve homeostasis.

The secret to unlocking the mystery of your unique chemistry is discovering the specific trigger foods that are setting off an inflammatory response. Identifying and eliminating those foods is the answer to losing weight, looking younger, and feeling your best. This is what The Plan is all about.

Trigger Foods

The most frustrating part of this is that you've probably been eating the very foods that are setting the whole inflammatory process ablaze in your body—without knowing it. I always say it's not the chocolate, or cheese, or wine, or even the cake and cookies that are making you overweight and sick. But it very well might be one of your go-to "healthy" foods that is.

Donna was in her early fifties and had very bad eczema. She was single and living in Los Angeles—just about the last place you'd want to have a visible skin condition. She had twelve to fifteen pounds she wanted to lose, but the eczema was what brought her to me. Eczema is an inflammatory condition, so I knew The Plan would help us uncover what was igniting it.

Donna followed the first three days of The Plan, which is a cleanse that incorporates only the most universally nonreactive foods. On the cleanse, people generally see a weight loss of anywhere from four to six pounds and a dramatic decrease in symptomology, and Donna was no exception. On Day Four she woke up five pounds lighter, but even more importantly, the eczema was gone. Completely. She was thrilled!

On Day Four, we plugged in one of her favorite snacks: raw almonds. What could be healthier, right? Well, about eight almonds and as many minutes later, Donna pulled her car off to the side of the road to text me: "My mouth is on FIRE!" Aha! From there it was no big surprise to see that she gained a pound and a half and all of her eczema returned by the next morning. Donna had been eating raw almonds instead of chocolate as a treat all along, never realizing that this "virtuous" snack was actually the source of her problems.

Chances are you've been eating one or more of your specific trigger foods for years, mistaking it for something healthy. But one of the fundamental and life-changing truths you'll learn from The Plan is this: There is no such thing as healthy. There is only what works for your body. Every person's chemistry is unique. What might set off an inflammatory response in your system and cause weight gain might be perfectly fine for someone else, and vice versa.

A lot of people call me the contrarian because I'm not touting the merits of "healthy" foods like salmon, or oatmeal, or asparagus. Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against these foods, if they work for you. But those are the key words right there: if they work for you. In the abstract, these foods might be considered healthy, or even superfoods, but for 85 percent of my clients over the age of thirty-five, they lead to weight gain and health issues (The Plan is geared toward people over the age of thirty-five or people with weakened digestion. As you'll read about shortly, unless a person has a chronic illness, foods will not generate the same amount of reactive response in those under thirty-five because we lose digestive enzymes as we age).

Common wisdom in the dieting world has taught us to believe that some foods—usually the fun ones—are universally bad. So, if you're like most of the men and women I've worked with who are desperate to lose weight and improve their health, you start cutting those out. But they're usually not the problem. If they were, then you wouldn't be faced with the all-too-common mystery of eating "healthy" or drastically reducing calories and still gaining weight. How many times have you ordered plain grilled fish at a restaurant and thought, "Wow, I'm being so good," not knowing that every time you ate it you were gaining a pound? How many times have you opted for multigrain bread, not realizing that the corn or oats were causing your weight gain and health issues? At the same time, how often do you deprive yourself of the foods you love when in fact they might be better for you than Brussels sprouts or asparagus?

Believe me, I know what you're thinking. How can white bread be better for you than multigrain? Or potato chips better than bananas? It comes back to that fundamental truth that there is no such thing as universally healthy. We've all heard stories about people who lived well into their nineties eating steak, white bread, and butter. Clearly these foods are friendly for their chemistry. I wouldn't dare tell these people they have to switch to broccoli, it could kill them!


On Sale
Jan 1, 2013
Page Count
320 pages

Lyn-Genet Recitas

About the Author

Lyn-Genet Recitas is the New York Times and international bestselling author of The Plan and The Plan Cookbook, which offers an effective way to lose weight, improve health, and reverse the aging process. A sports and holistic nutritionist, Recitas has helped hundreds of thousands of men and women reach their best health by finding their chemical responses to food, not counting calories. Recitas has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, Fox & Friends, and Fox News, and in Women’s Running, Fitness, and More magazine, among others.

Learn more about this author