Fork it The french way
  Home - The method - Q & A - Food and recipes - The authors - The medical experts - Press room - Testimonials - Forum  

Undoubtedly, the French diet remains a mystery and perhaps even a source of envy and frustration for those of us who would love to partake in rich cheeses, creamy sauces, buttery croissants and red wine, but can’t stop worrying about the extra calories, fat, and cholesterol! It doesn’t seem fair that such rich food can be eaten and enjoyed, without showing up on the hips or waistline. Wouldn’t you love to know the secret? Better yet, how would you like to lose weight and still be able to savor the food you eat?

There is a method that can help you do just that. It can help you achieve your desired weight loss, without counting calories, without weighing food and without completely restricting your food choices. You’ll just need to pay attention to your silverware! Introducing the Fork It method, and its most important eating utensil.

Back to the top

Fork It isn’t really a diet, but rather a new way of eating, which results in weight loss and weight stabilization. The basic concept is simple: You eat three meals a day, but at dinner you only eat what you can eat naturally with a fork. In other words, at dinner, there can be no knife, no spoon and no fingers. While this strategy may seem a bit peculiar, eating with a fork helps to regulate what you can eat at your evening meal and how much you eat of it. That eliminates foods like pizza, hamburgers and steak from your evening menu, but you can certainly partake in dishes that include pasta, salmon, and most vegetables.

Most importantly, because you can eat more freely at breakfast and lunch, you are not saddled with feelings of deprivation that accompany most diets and that result in failure. By following this method, you satisfy your hunger and liberate yourself from the usual psychological restrictions of dieting during the day, and at night, you eat less and eliminate those foods that are often the highest in calories, the ones you eat with you fingers.

Back to the top

Changing how and what you eat at dinner invariably affects what you eat the rest of the day, and this is the primary goal for the creators and co-authors of Fork It, Ivan Gavriloff and Sophie Troff. After all, altering your eating habits is paramount to losing weight. But, what is the best way to alter them? According to the Fork It method, the answer lies in a French adage: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

This proverbial wisdom prescribes a daily diet that is actually beneficial to the body’s constitution. French physician and nutritionist Dr. Alain Delabos has developed and designed a dietary regimen called Chrono-Nutrition that follows the body’s metabolism. This way of eating allows us to efficiently metabolize nutrients by consuming different foods at the best time of day to eat them. For example, it is better to eat fat and heavier protein--both crucial and necessary for a balanced diet--in the morning and at lunchtime. Eaten then, these foods are more likely to be converted into energy that is the needed to get you through the day. Whereas when eaten in the evening, these same foods have a greater chance of being stored by the body and converted to fat.

Applying principles of Chrono-Nutrition, the Fork It method offers a simple, healthy and modern approach to dieting that is easy to implement and maintain. All the doctors, nutritionists and medical specialists we interviewed confirmed that the method was completely safe to practice provided that practitioners fulfilled their daily nutritional needs. In the next section, you will discover how to restructure your daily diet to meet those needs. In addition, we have addressed more specific details in the Q&A section of our website.

When you decide to alter your eating habits for the sake of weight loss and/or overall health and wellbeing, it is best to consider certain dietary measures.

• Cut back on your intake of food. While it is not necessary to count calories daily, if you want to lose weight, you will need to reduce your calories at least 200-400 calories a day.
• Monitor your alcohol intake. No more than one or two (at the most) glasses of alcohol a day. Pregnant women should avoid alcohol entirely.
• Monitor your salt intake.
• Reduce your consumption of saturated animal fats.
• Eat an abundance of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
• Exercise regularly.

Back to the top

With this method, each meal is treated differently in order to cater to our specific dietary and metabolic needs throughout the day. Below you will find a descriptive breakdown for mealtimes, along with food suggestions to help you meet those needs.

In the Morning – Eat Breakfast Like a King You can go all out at breakfast and feel good about it! Nutritionally speaking, this is the most important meal: it gives your body a boost to start the day and keeps you going strong until lunch.* Remember, your body has a better chance of burning off the calories and fat from breakfast than from the other meals of the day. In fact, it is for these reasons that you can consider breakfast your feast for the day. So go ahead and treat yourself guilt-free to dairy products, like milk, butter, yogurts and cheeses. Approach this meal with all utensils in hand.**

Menu Suggestions for Breakfast

• 2 Eggs**, ham and 2 slices buttered whole wheat toast

• 2 Slices buttered whole wheat toast with cheese (approx. 3.5 oz.)
or peanut butter

• Cereal, yogurt, fruit and honey

• Oatmeal with raisins

*While breakfast can be a more substantial meal, on the whole, it is best to consume foods that are healthy for the body. Nutritionists advise against a breakfast that is high in sugar due to its effect on the body’s metabolism. Too much sugar can produce a temporary “sugar high,” which is followed by a “sugar crash” or a loss of energy. You want to give your body fuel that will get you going and stay with you until the next meal.

**In the big picture, it is equally important to consider the quality of fats you consume. A lean piece of ham is a better choice over bacon and sausage, which tend to be higher in saturated animal fat. It is also best not to consume more than 3-4 eggs weekly.

Eat Lunch Like a PrinceLunch should be high in protein and starches (rice, pasta or grains) and accompanied with vegetables.

Be conscientious of your intake of high caloric food, such as hamburgers with buns, French fries, pizza, chips and extra-sweet desserts. While such foods are not forbidden with this method, it is a good idea to take note how often you eat them

Mid-morning and afternoon snacks:
If you do find yourself hungry between breakfast and lunch, have a piece of fruit. In the afternoon, around 4 or 5, you can treat yourself to a little something sweet. Afternoon snack suggestions include dark chocolate, fruit or sorbet.

Menu Suggestions for Lunch

• Steak and potatoes

• Chicken with rice and vegetables

• Pasta dishes

• An omelet, salad and fries

• Soup and a high protein sandwich

• A salad and sandwich or hamburger

For dessert :

• Yogurt, fruit or fruit salad, or a small serving of pie, cake, ice cream or sorbet

Eat Dinner Like a Pauper and only with a Fork Your first concern at dinner is to ask yourself if what you are eating is something that is eaten normally with a fork and/or prepared with a fork. This meal is the method’s key to the success. The Fork It Only Chart indicates the foods to avoid at dinner.

Dinner should be a one-course meal of fish with vegetables or starches, but without dessert. Fish is a good dinner choice as it is high in protein, minerals and trace elements,* yet low in calories. Vegetables are obligatory. As a general rule, it is best to avoid meat at dinner simply because it takes so long to digest. (Approximately 4 hours!) If you like to finish the evening with something sweet, try a nice fruit tea.

*Trace elements are chemical elements, which are required only in minute amounts by living organisms.

Menu Suggestions for Dinner

Vegetables :
asparagus, beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots,
lentils, mushrooms, onions, peas, potatoes, salad,
spinach, soy

Grains :
pastas, rice (preferably brown), semolina, bulgar, quinoa

Fish :
Mackerel, herring, salmon, tuna, eel, carp, sardines, trout, turbot, sole

Meat* :
Chicken and ground turkey

*White meats only apply to those following the Light Fork It lightky option.

Back to the top

One of the advantages of this method is that you adapt it to your tastes and dietary goals. As long as you adhere to the meal descriptions listed above, you are free to choose the foods you want to eat. The Fork It Only Chart below details the foods and condiments you should refrain from at dinnertime. While initially it may seem like a lot of details to consider, you will quickly get the hang of the routine, especially when you begin to see and feel the differences the method makes for you.

You also need to determine which Fork It option best meets your needs. If your goal is to lose more than 10 lbs in a healthy way, then you will need to Fork It the strict way. If you just want to take off a few extra pounds and achieve a balanced way of eating then Fork It’s light option is the best way to go. Both options will help you to lose your excess weight as well as to lay the ground work for an effective weight maintenance program by providing a better way of eating, one that is healthy, efficient, economical and values the pleasures of eating and sharing communal meals.

Forking It the Strict Way:
This option is for those who want to lose a substantial amount of weight in a gradual and healthy way and adopt a better way of eating overall. At dinnertime, you choose only food that is eaten naturally with a fork and that doesn’t require a knife for preparation. That means that, aside from vegetables and fish, there is no cutting allowed during the preparation or eating of your meal. The chart below indicates foods that are eliminated at dinner due to the ban on silverware.

The Fork It Only Chart


No Finger foods

appetizers, peanuts, potato and corn chips, crackers, olives,
French fries, onion rings

sandwiches, hamburgers, pizza, sausages, hot dogs, fried chicken

hard cheeses

fresh fruits, sweets, chocolate….

fresh bread, loaf bread, enriched bread/dry toast/Melba toast, biscuits

donuts, cookies

Foods and condiments eliminated as No Knife is allowed for spreading

Pate, hummus, tarmasalata

Cheese spread

Crepes, waffles

Mayonnaise, butter, margarine, ketchup, mustard.

Foods eliminated
as No Knife is allowed for cutting

Sausage, hot dogs, quiche, pies, deli meats

Red or white meat

Soft cheese

Peeled fruit, pies

No Spoon foods

soups, stews

yogurt, cereal

cooked fruit, ice cream, entremets

béarnaise sauce, sour cream, gravy
Vegetables to avoid at dinner

Pumpkin, avocado, artichoke hearts, radishes

Back to the top

Forking It Lightly :This option is for those who want to lose a few extra pounds and achieve a balanced, stable weight. This option is a more lenient in that you can use a knife in the preparation of your dinner, and in addition, you are free to include the following foods on your dinner list.

Additional Dinner Suggestions
- Raw vegetables and salads
- White meats, cut into bite size pieces (chicken, turkey)
- Seafood (shrimp, lobster)
- An omelet

Back to the top