Update on The No S Diet - Diet Review
- POSTED ON: May 10, 2016

I believe that this is not a one-size-fits-all world, and that every diet doesn't work for everyone, but every diet works for someone.

That said, I'll admit that I have my own personal biases and prejudices. I've written about them here and there in various articles here on DietHobby, and you can find them in the Archives section. 

Personally, I'm strongly opposed to the concept of Intuive Eating as a means to lose weight or maintain weight-loss. I've read many books about it. I've attended seminars on it.I've experimented with it. I've spent a great deal of time observing others who try it out.

My conclusion is that ... for anyone who has a long-term problem with obesity ...Intiutive Eating as a weight-loss or maintenance of weight-loss diet is simply "wishful thinking", and it almost never works.

I am a great believer in using a computer software program to daily track one's food intake ... forever. I've written a very great deal about that, and although my own personal favorite is DietPower, any such software program that you can learn and use will work well. 

I've experimented quite a lot with various low-carb diets, and with alternate day eating, and I frequently incorporate elements of those plans into my own eating plans. 

One Diet that I am quite taken with, is the No S Diet.  While I do not follow it myself, I have incorporated many of its concepts. It is a simple plan, and its theme of moderation is a sound one.  Although it is ineffective for many, as a stand-alone-diet, It can be a behavior base for many other diets, and with a few modifications can become an excellent plan for almost everyone. 

The book, The No S Diet is simple, well-written, and quite excellent. I've read it many times, and have purchased copies for friends. You can find an extensive review of it

Here is a recent testimonial from a long-time user of the No "S" diet.  

I'm nervous and excited about finally writing this because I love No S so much and want to sing it to the high heavens, and not after just the honeymoon phase of success. At age 58 and two years, this marriage is going to last! 

I can’t be a source of hope for anyone who is trying to get into the low end of his/her BMI range, but there are others who can. However, No S HAS SAVED MY EATING LIFE AND MY SANITY AROUND FOOD. In 2 years, I’ve gone from 185 to 161 (13% of my weight) and am still losing. Not the huge drops some have, but I had some setbacks, and yet I’m stronger now than ever, unlike most people who follow traditional diets; they are usually heavier 2 years later. Plus, I look good in my clothes and I feel confident and peppy. I wasn’t even sure I would lose weight on No S, but I knew I had to do something about my insane compulsion to overeat, mostly sweets, and mostly in private. If you want freedom from the tyranny of food as much as or even (as I did) more than weight loss, I ecstatically recommend it! 

(BTW, the National Weight Loss Registry reports that it takes 2-5 years of compliance for the likelihood of relapse of overeating to drop to 25%, and this is only in the 3-15% who actually do lose weight in the first place. And those people do not usually get thin, just thinner. Sobering news, and more reason not to choose radical plans, in my opinion. Consistent moderation forever!) 

• I no longer worry about the pull of fattening or processed foods/ carbs/sugar. I can have small amounts without going overboard-- or none. 

• I don’t fear restaurants or social eating situations where lots of food is available. 

• I don’t feel deprived or in food prison. 

• I’m completely happy with the program. I’m not afraid that there’s a better, faster way to get lean and mean that will last. 

• I love my three meals a day and love getting hungry. I overeat some on the weekends, but less and less, and I enjoy all that I do eat. 

• I stuck it out even when I was bingeing on weekends much longer than many and it has paid off. Don't fear the weekends! 

• Thank you, thank you, thank you, Reinhard and all the long-term No S-ers here. 

The challenge for anyone with disordered eating is to find the right balance of ordered eating to counteract it. As I see it, the major problem is too many random decisions to eat a lot of calorie-dense food, especially in the face of promises to self not to eat. No S has been the best of both worlds for this recovering disordered secret “emotional” binge eater, even though it was not designed for it: a program that promotes flexible food choices with ordered limited access to food, and free eating on weekends to promote more independent judgment. Jackpot! I found that it didn’t matter what the reason was for my wanting to eat during the week. I just didn’t do it between meals. So freeing. And two years of mostly compliant weekdays tamed my weekends enviably. 

History for those who need to hear if it matches their problems: I started eating sweets secretly when I was about 10 years old and was told at 12 to lose 10 pounds (I weighed 120 at 5’4”). I did not and weighed 145 after high school when I went on my first real diet for a gymnastics class (even though I was in my normal BMI range). I managed over 40 years to stick to diets and lose weight for probably about 3 years total in that time. The rest of the time, I agonized over eating and my body, never able to stick to my attempts to cut eating sweets, especially at night. My disordered eating got progressively worse so that my weight rose from mostly in the 140-150’s before my 40's to eventually to over 200 for a short time.

I first joined No S in October of 2008 (age 55), probably weighing 180, had brief success, but fell off after Thanksgiving and didn’t return in earnest until Dec. 26, 2009 at 185. I WAS DESPERATE AND KNEW THAT MY DISORDERED EATING WOULD ONLY GET WORSE AND BE WITH ME MY LAST YEARS ON THIS PLANET IF I DIDN'T DO SOMETHING. I knew that eating 5-6 meals a day as I had been for 7 years was not stopping it. I knew that though intuitive eating had helped me get rid of a lot of food prejudices against supposedly fattening foods, I hadn’t been able to use it to lose weight. I knew that though I had actually learned a lot about what combinations of whole foods I enjoyed and actually satisfied me on traditional diets, I wouldn’t follow one, nor track calories forever. And I believed that at least for me, there was no food I couldn't learn to eat in moderation. No S was and remains my best bet, and I am so grateful I found it! I may alter what I eat at meals or how much on weekends but I will never go back to snacking, tracking, or sweets every day. This is it! 

May we all find peace with food soon.


Ht. 5'6" 

SW 12/26/09 185 lbs.

10/11/11 166 lbs.

1/08/2012 161 

Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:33 am    
Post subject: controlling disordered/emotional eating


NOTE:  Originally posted on 1/10/12, Reposted for New Viewers



The No S Diet - Diet & Book Review
- POSTED ON: May 08, 2016

 One should read the book “The No S Diet” by Reinhard Engels  even if only to access his wisdom, common sense, and Habit concepts. 

Reinhard Engels is a software engineer who created the diet for himself and lost 40 pounds.

His diet has just three rules and one exception: No Snacks, No Sweets, No Seconds, Except (sometimes) on days that start with "S" (Saturday, Sunday and Special Days).

The No S Diet is incredibly simple. It has just three rules.
These three rules
  focus attention on the three primary areas that affect a person’s diet.

No Seconds…means you have to use portion control. 
                All of the food in your meal must fit on one normal sized plate (the one-plate rule).
No Snacks..…means you have to eat at mealtimes only..no food in-between meals.
No Sweets......means you have to avoid foods that have sugar as the principal ingredient.

All of these rules apply on all normal (N) days.

 None of these rules apply on (S) days, i.e. weekends, holidays, and special occasions..
However, you are advised to normally stay with your normal-N day- habit and only SOMETIMES use your allowable exceptions. Just because it is an "S" day, doesn't mean sweets or snacks or seconds are REQUIRED. It just means there's no RULE against them. It isn't permission to binge. Following N day principles on S days is appropriate behavior.

Reinhard's No S is: ..."except SOMETIMES on S days".
Reinhard’s basic warning is: "Don't be an IDIOT".
Putting all of your food on one plate in front of you at the same time is meant to help you see how much you are actually eating, and keep you from deceiving yourself about that issue. Both the "No Snacks" rule and the "One Plate" rule are meant to keep one from DECEIVING oneself about how much one is actually eating. Reinhard hopes that the REALITY of seeing the food all together will jolt one into choosing to eat less. However, this depends on one's subjective beliefs about the size of "normal" food portions. 

The one-plate rule (no seconds) can be helpful information for a "normal" person, who is struggling in the "overweight" category if they understand how little food-intake they actually need, and have simply allowed their weight sneak up on them.
But it isn't very helpful for a person well into obesity, who thinks of large portions of high-calorie food as a normal amount.

No S is a simple, straightforward diet that is non-restrictive in nature. There are very few rules that must be followed. It allows people to occasionally eat foods that are normally restricted. It will fit into any lifestyle, and can be used together with other diet plans. It also is very affordable.

The No S diet relies strongly upon the concept of Habit, and the plan is based on getting people to cultivate habits that are sustainable for life…Habits which are intended to result in weight loss, or at least, result in the maintenance of one’s current weight.

There isn’t any fixed step-by-step plan, which could be an advantage to some, and a disadvantage to others. No S diet does initially demand huge amounts of self-control when it is used by people who have lifestyle habits that normally involve large amounts of between-meal eating, or large amounts of food at meals. You might suffer from hunger pains until your body adjusts to the No S way of eating.
You are the one who decides whether to make healthy food choices while eating within those rules. The No ‘S’ diet plan asks people to stick to a healthy diet plan. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less! The only food problem one needs to address, is the snacking, portions, and sweets part of their diet.

Initially, these rules tend to commonly result in weekend binge eating. This binge eating lessens over time for some people, but for other people weekend binge eating becomes habitual.

The primary problem with the basic No S Plan (known as “vanilla” No S) is that it won’t necessarily result in weight-loss. As Reinhard says,

"The No S Diet is not designed to get you "trim trim;"
it's designed to help you eat moderately (and see what happens

People differ in their energy requirements. The energy requirements for large, active males are far different than for small, sedentary females. This distinction is not addressed in the No S diet, and under the basic No S rules, it is easy for small, sedentary females to eat more than their body requires which, over time, can actually result in weight-gain.

The No S diet is based on the principle of Moderation. For people who don’t want to count calories, carbs, or keep track of points or food-exchanges and want something simple, then the No ‘S’ diet can be a good plan. It is simple, but not necessarily easy. The primary problem is whether you can actually follow the restrictions underlined in the diet.

I am very interested in the No S diet’s Habit concepts, and have watched many others on the No S diet for several years. My personal observation is that "vanilla" No S tends to activate the "binge/fast" cycle for many people, and my observation over the past couple of years, has been that, time alone,does not seem to stop "IDIOT" behavior for obese people who tend to binge. It seems clear to me that these people need additional eating restrictions on "S" day eating.

Reinhard makes some good suggestions on some additions and modifications that might help resolve this problem for some people.My personal version of No S greatly differs from Reinhard's basic plan.
My opinion is that the brilliance of The No S Diet is not in the specific rules of the diet,
but instead in the philosophy of cultivating eating habits that are sustainable for life. 


NOTE:  Originally posted on 3/30/11, Reposted for New Viewers

No S Diet vs. Intuitive Eating - Diet Review
- POSTED ON: May 05, 2016

If I am "building castles in the air"
I am dreaming grandiose dreams without any foundation.

Building castles in the air is NOT however to be confused with dreaming big dreams and then planning through the steps necessary to make those dreams a reality.

A member of a forum I frequent, recently asked:

“Just curious. What about No S vs. Intuitive Eating?”

Here is my take on these two concepts.

No S accepts that it is a diet, and gives specific and objective (although flexible) rules...such as:  "No snacks, no sweets, no seconds except ..sometimes..on days beginning with S".

Intuitive Eating is one of those diets that refuses to admit it is a diet, and gives vague and subjective rules...such as:  "Eat only when hungry, eat what you want, stop when you're full".

No S relies on the principle that: when a person who is interested in moderation, sees and actually realizes the amount of food they are eating, they will choose to reduce that amount,and through that behavior, they will achieve and maintain a more normal bodyweight.

Intutive Eating relies on the principle that: when a person gets rid of outside rules,....except for the Intuitive Eating rules about eating when hungry etc....and relies on their BODY to tell them what and how much to eat, that their own body signals will cause them to reduce the amounts they eat  and eventually acheive and maintain a normal bodyweight.

 (Note: "Intutive Eating"  is a diet (labeled non-diet) used by many "eating disorder experts", although it has absolutely zero scientific basis, as well a dismal success rate.)

No S is objective and primarily based on common sense.
Intutitive Eating is subjective and primarily based on magic

Those of you who are unfamiliar with the No S Diet, and/or the diet-that-says-it-isn’t-a-diet concept known as “Intitutive Eating” can learn more about these from reading some of my past articles which are contained here in the ARCHIVES of DietHobby.

Some specific links are:


"The No S Diet” (2008), by Reinhard Engels is a book and diet plan that I’ve discussed and reviewed previously. Click here to see my review and viewer comments.


Here is one of my past articles about the Concepts of Intitutive Eating

The two concepts together, were the basis of a previous article posted in December 2011. See: 
Intuitive Eating and the No S Diet.


NOTE: Originally posted on 11/1/12. Reposted for new viewers.

Simple Eating Boundaries
- POSTED ON: Jun 29, 2015


My current path is to experiment with various Diets, Ways-of-Eating, Lifestyles, "non-diets" in a random manner .......
....... whenever it seems to me that one of these might become helpful in my own weight-loss and maintenance.

Previously I shared that in the last few months, I've been investigating the "3 Principles" concept, with a focus as to how that might impact my own ways of eating.

DietHobby's Blog Category - The 3 Principles contains several videos of Julian Frasier, who claims weight-loss success based on his understanding of the 3 Principles. In a recent video I saw him make the following statement about what led to his weight-loss:

"I realized it's all made up.
It's Just Thought.
I stopped following my urges to go and eat."

I found this statement to be quite meaningful, and have been pondering it for a while now, wondering if, and how, it might apply in my own situation.  At this point what seems to be clear to me that every type of eating I engage in involves some type of "urge to eat".  So for me to eat ANYTHING always involves a choice of WHICH eating urges to follow or not follow at any given moment. 

I have learned that my own physical hunger pattern is dependent upon whatever eating pattern that I establish.  Eating a lot makes me physically hungry for a lot of food.  Consistently eating very little makes me physically hungry for very little food.  However, my own extensive study
and experimentation with "Intuitive Eating" has shown me that - for me personally - the "hunger and fullness" concept is far too vague to be useful. For past writings on the Intuitive Eating concept, check out DietHobby's ARCHIVES.

For the past ten+ years I've counted and recorded the calories in the foods that I eat daily, - even when I was experimenting with Intuitive Eating plans - and this counting-recording process has become a sustainable habit for me.  However, it seems clear to me that for right now, In order for me to continue with my current 3 Principles experiment re eating, I need to set some additional, simple, eating boundaries for myself.

 So my current update is that after looking at a great many past diets with which I've previously experimented, I've chosen to add the eating boundaries of the "No S diet" to my current 3 Principles experiment.  Some of my past writings about the No S diet can be found within DietHobby's Blog Category - The No S Diet.

Personal Diet Experimentation
- POSTED ON: Apr 23, 2014


The No S Diet by Reinhard Engels is a diet book that I recommend, and there are several articles discussing that diet in the DietHobby Archives.  I recently received and answered a question in a forum that I frequent, and due to its relevancy, decided to also post it here. 


A Forum member wrote

I realize I've never understood how you use No S.
Do you stick to 3 meals, but also track calories?
And continue to experiment with food types or limiting calories?

Although I have personally dealt with severe obesity, for all of my life, I have no ultimate answers or ultimate solutions for people who are severely obese. I've come up with personal observations and possible solutions, and here in my personal blog, DietHobby, I talk about these issues a great deal. I've made no secret of the fact that my own personal weight-loss and maintenance requires constant vigilance, and ongoing experimentation.

 In my opinion,  "Diet Head" is a negative term useful only for those who are exhausted with their dieting failures, and who wish to avoid taking further personal responsibility for their own ongoing food choices. I reject that concept, and I have learned that ... for me...any short term "peace" that comes from giving up personal vigilance over my food and weight issues has always resulted in a very rude (and unmerciful) awakening.

My own choice is to consistently approach my food intake mindfully, to be constantly aware of how my food and my weight relate to each other, and to purposely choose to view "dieting" issues as an enjoyable "hobby".

  I understand why people would feel they don't have a clear understanding of my personal dieting practices. My own personal diet / food-plan / way-of-eating has a great deal of flexibility.            

The only thing that I am concisely "rigid" about is my choice to track and log ALL of my food EVERY DAY into a computer software food journal. I have done this every day since September 20, 2004... It is now an enjoyable HABIT, and my computer history tells me that "0 out of 3503 days have missing data".

 My computer food journal automatically gives me access to extensive nutritional information about my food, including calories. I see that information every day, so it is something of which I am constantly aware.  Since I have ongoing information of how my own weight relates to my own calorie ingestion, I pay attention to that calorie number and I consistently work toward keeping my ongoing calorie averages low enough to avoid weight gain. Sometimes I feel frustrated, but shame or guilt is not part of my personal mind-set.

  The No S concept that has been the most valuable to me is the Habit concept. I've found No S to be flexible enough to be valuable for my own long-term use. Over the years, I've used No S principles in many different ways, and I really like the support I've received from Reinhard for that process.

There are times when I practiced "vanilla" No S, exactly as recommended; I learned very quickly that, for me, following a basic "S" day plan without modification would take me rapidly back into morbid obesity, and I've experimented with many different "S" day, modifications.

There are times when I've experimented with the specific number of meals in my "N" days, trying out modifications involving having more and having less daily meals. There are times when I've experimented with various other modifications, sometimes independent personal modifications, sometimes these modifications which involve combining No S principles with other diets.

Except for my consistent daily food tracking Habit, I am quite flexible about involving myself with food-intake experiments. Sometimes I've combined No S with experiments of different food types. Sometimes I've combined No S with experiments of higher and low calories. Sometimes I've modified No S to fit in with other food intake experiments.

 My ongoing pattern is to engage myself in a variety of dieting experiments.  I continue to do this because I have not yet found ONE single way-of-eating that will allow me to maintain my large weight-loss in a sustainable and enjoyable manner.

  At present, what is sustainable and enjoyable for me is the habit of searching and experimenting.  Anyone interested in the details can access the hundreds of posts and videos through my DietHobby Archives, or by following my ongoing DietHobby posts.

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