Diet Level Key


Living a healthy lifestyle can take a lot of work!  So, we’ve created a few tools and resources to make it easier than ever for you AND all our tools and resources are absolutely FREE!  One of those tools is our “Diet Levels.” There are SIX participation levels (with corresponding recipes) within the CONFIDENT HOPE Fueled for GOD program!  Having six available levels is a great resource for several reasons:

  • First Different levels enables you to take part by “sticking your toe in the water,” if you will. In other words, you can test out the water without fully jumping in. For example, if you want to simply go “sugar-free,” then Diet Level 1, and all the recipes marked accordingly, would be your go-to. The same “testing the water” applies for all the Diet Levels.
  • Second Having the different Diet Levels allows you to design your own program. You get to pick and choose which level or levels YOU desire OR you can even combine the levels to create your personalized program.
  • Third You can utilize the various Diet Levels to design a maintenance program, once you have completed your 40-Day Challenge (or longer) and lost your unwanted pounds and inches.

All recipes marked with the assigned Diet Level Graphic will be “safe” for that level. The corresponding recipes will also have that same graphic in the upper, right-hand corner. Those recipes will be “tagged” with that level, thereby allowing you to utilize the Recipe Search Tool, the Meal Planner Tool, the Shopping List Generator Tool, and the User Menu Tool to find recipes that are filed under each Diet Level. Also, go to the Fueled for GOD CHALLENGED APPROVED FOODS PAGE for a list with purchase links of foods such as Sweet Leaf Stevia, protein powder, sugar-free maple syrup, etc. for use in recipes for all six Diet Levels.

Below is a brief explanation of ALL six Diet Levels:

DIET LEVEL 1: SUGAR-FREE

SUGAR IS EVERYWHERE!! Almost every packaged food at the grocery store has added sugar. It’s in bread. It’s in cereal. It’s even in your “healthy” granola bars. Don’t even get me started on salad dressings, yogurts, crackers, and yada, yada, yada…the list goes on and on!!! Once you begin really digging into those ingredient labels, you begin to see how much added sugar you are really consuming on a daily basis. SUGAR IS AN ADDICTION!!! This makes it a very difficult habit to “break!” BUT, you can do it! I have found that the best method is the dreaded “cold turkey” method. It’s best to just cut all ties with sugar. Okay, maybe not ALL TIES. We’re talking zero refined sugar and keeping your diet to whole-grains and unrefined foods. Your “sweets” will come from natural fruits and high-fiber vegetables. You may also opt in to using Sweet Leaf Stevia because it is unprocessed and left in its “natural” state. (You can find at most grocery store chains, as well as on Amazon.) To go totally sugar-free, you must virtually eliminate white potatoes, white rice, bread from highly refined flour, and of course all refined sugars, such as sucrose (table sugar), high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, honey, agave nectar, etc.

Remember this: There are no vitamins, minerals, trace elements, or fiber in refined table sugar, only empty calories.

If you would like some extra help going sugar-free, you might want to look at the following posts on this website:
CONFIDENT HOPE
BREAKING THE SUGAR HABIT
MEDJOOL DATES-HEALTHY SUGAR ALTERNATIVE

 

DIET LEVEL 2: SUGAR-FREE AND GLUTEN-FREE

Diet Level 2 is, obviously, taking your sugar-free level and adding a gluten-free component to it. The actual definition of a gluten-free diet is a diet that strictly excludes gluten, a mixture of proteins found in wheat and related grains, including barley, rye, oat, and all their species and hybrids. The inclusion of oats in a gluten-free diet remains controversial. We’ve all probably heard the term “wheat belly.” And, we’ve certainly all heard about gluten…probably more than we have wanted to! But, how about leptin? Leptin is a hormone that controls ‘satiety’ (how hungry you feel), weight and metabolism. Studies suggest that digested gluten inhibits ‘binding’ between leptin and its receptor. Simply put, that means gluten can interfere with your body’s ability to tell you when you’re full–which, in turn, can lead to weight gain. Most people suffering from obesity have high levels of leptin, suggesting they have a resistance to leptin’s ability to suppress appetite and weight gain. Ultimately, studies point to a potential link between gluten from dietary grains and weight gain. So, Diet Level 2 might be something to consider if you are stuck at a particular weight and can’t seem to make that scale budge.

 

DIET LEVEL 3: SUGAR-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, AND DAIRY-FREE

Diet Level 3 takes it up another notch. Now, we’re going sugar-free, gluten-free, and adding a dairy-free component as well.  Any chance you’ve noticed the number of non-dairy milk, cheese, and even cream cheese replacements available these days? The choices are mounting, even in conventional grocery stores! Plenty of people stay away from dairy products for a number of reasons, including allergies, lactose intolerance, and even concern over the environment or the way animals are raised and treated. While organic dairy products can be a healthy option, some people just plain feel better, lighter or less congested with fewer dairy products or none at all in their diet. If you are one of these people, then Diet Level 3 is for you! It’s never been easier to lighten up or go dairy-free than it is right now, and it keeps getting easier.

  • Almond milk – the unsweetened version, of course. There’s even almond milk, grated cheese now!
  • Hazelnut milk – try this for hot chocolate! Just be sure to keep it sugar-free as well!
  • Hemp Milk – good for baking and using in smoothies.
  • Coconut Milk – great substitute for milk or cream. It can be a bit thick so you may want to try it thinned out with a bit of other non-dairy “milk.
  • Many milk replacements are available unsweetened. Be sure to check those ingredient labels, as some have a lot of added sugar.

 

DIET LEVEL 4: SUGAR-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, AND LEGUME-FREE

Diet Level 4 goes one more rung up the ladder and adds legume-free to your list. Legumes include all types of beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts. The part we eat is the seed of the legume plant. The seeds of legumes, just like the seeds of cereal grains, store a large amount of energy in the form of carbohydrates. In fact, the amount of carbohydrate present is double or triple that of the protein. Because some of the short-chain carbs in legumes aren’t properly absorbed in the small intestine, they can act as food for bacteria living in both the small and large intestines. The possible fermentation of these carbs is what causes gas and bloating. So, if you are trying to lose weight and decrease bloating, it might be wise to cut out legumes for a time, stick to Diet Level 4 recipes, and see if this makes a difference in both your weight loss and your gut-health.

 

DIET LEVEL 5: SUGAR-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE,
LEGUME-FREE, AND GRAIN-FREE

Diet Level 5 is the most difficult level. It sounds like you are just about cutting out every food group known to man (or woman:)! However, it is also the level around which the entire program was originally written and the level that has provided so much success for so many women! It is, of course, the most restrictive…AND…it is the level that will yield you the most (and quickest) results! There are TONS of recipes for this level, so you definitely will not be bored! Be sure to check them all out!! One thing you might want to consider is following Diet Level 5 Monday through Friday and then changing to one of the less restrictive levels on the weekend…just a thought:)
Grains in General
Grains are seeds of plants in the grass family. This includes wheat, oats, barley, rye, millet, corn, rice, sorghum, spelt, kamut, buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa. Grains store most of their energy in their seeds as carbohydrate. Depending on what we do with those grains and how we consume or over-consume them, all that carbohydrate places them on the Diet Level 5 NO list. Let’s break them down into refined and whole grains.

Refined Grains
Refined grains lack most of the original nutrients, but still contain almost all the calories. They are made into white bread, instant oatmeal, snack foods, and desserts.  No and NO!  They are considered junk food!  Enough said.  Let’s move on.

Whole Grains
Beware of food labels touting “100% whole grain.” The Whole Grains Council allows the use of their Whole Grain Stamp on products containing 8 grams or more of whole-grain ingredients per serving–even if the product contains more refined grain than whole grain!!!

 

DIET LEVEL 6: CLEAN EATING

Diet Level 6 recipes will be termed as “clean eating” recipes. Granted, there are many definitions of “eating clean” right now…it’s a very popular term. However, for the purposes of this program, “clean” recipes shall be deemed as those that are made with whole foods that have not been processed or chemically injected by man. Diet Level 6 is the level that you might want to follow if you are someone who has counted “points” in the past. You can easily “portion control” these recipes to fit that program. Also, if you have followed the “caveman” diet, many (not all) of the recipes in Diet Level 6 will fit within that particular diet. Certainly, they can all be adapted to fit that lifestyle and way of eating. You will see recipes that use honey and maple syrup as sweeteners. The flours used will be whole grain oat flour, almond flour, and coconut flour. Diet Level 6 is a great level to use as a maintenance level after you have lost all your weight. It is also great to search out these recipes for potlucks or dishes to take to family or friend gatherings. That way, you know you are bringing a healthy dish, but it is somewhat disguised and should tickle everyone’s palate.


PORTION CONTROL is key with ALL the Diet Levels. If you want a little help on what a “portion” looks like, check out THIS blog post. At the very end is a link taking you to a handout with guidance on various foods and portions for each.

NOTE: If you would simply like an alphabetical, categorized listing of recipes by “CATEGORY” (i.e., appetizers, breakfasts, lunches, sauces, etc.), click on the RECIPE INDEX at the top on the green bar!

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