What’s the i diet

What’s the i diet

Diets, diets, what is in a “diet?”

If you search online “what is a diet?,” you would find something similar to this: “the kinds of food that a person, animal or community habitually eat.” Quite personally, I like this definition because upon educating and advising a client, I always hope that my directions can become something “habitually” done.

For now, I will focus on my initial question: “What’s the i diet?”

Founded by a Tuft’s professor of nutrition and psychiatry, this way of eating revolves around getting the brain to think differently when it comes to food and a neurological blueprint, so-to-speak. Dr. Susan Roberts, developer of the the i diet, also known as The Instinct Diet, states that there are 3 “feeding centers” in our brains that control hunger and satiety, reward and pleasure. She claims that those “feeding centers” can be targeted via these 5 food instincts:

1. Satisfy hunger, feeling of fullness
2. Availability of food, when it is there it is eaten
3. Food with caloric density, people are drawn to high calorie foods
4. Familiarity, people crave food they know
5. Variety, eat and love food that is attractive

With The Instinct Diet, Dr. Roberts explains that a diet needs to be science based so that it is biologically effective. She goes on to explain that a diet needs to also be practical, simple and enjoyable. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have to agree on those 3 points wholeheartedly. When a diet possesses practicality, simplicity and is enjoyed, would’t you think it could easily become a lifestyle and essentially a life-long, sustainable weight loss success?

A few aspects of this diet I like:

  • Up front and honest: reveals that it is not easy since the first two weeks revolve around eating from home, adhere to those menus and no alcohol
  • Support: essential online check-in points, weekly emails sent to inspire you, online support forum to share with people on similar journey
  • Not a fad: appears to be based around better food choices without eliminating complete food groups such as no dairy or gluten unless medically necessary
  • Chef inspired: Dr. Roberts is also a chef so her culinary talent has been integrated into the menu making it more appealing and appetizing, yet still healthy

Interested in what the food looks like? Here are a few sample recipes from the Instinct Diet:

Hot Cereal with Maple Syrup and Blueberries

What’s the i diet

For one serving:

  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup blueberries


Place oatmeal, bran and 2/3 cup of the milk in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, or until it is to your desired liking. Serve with maple syrup, the remaining milk and blueberries.

Grilled Hoisin Pork Tenderloin

What’s the i diet

For three servings:

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pork tenderloin, 12-14 ounces in weight


Mix hoisin sauce, ginger, onion and wine together. In a large baking dish, add the pork drizzled with sauce and allow to marinate overnight, covered with foil. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit (or heat an outdoor grill). Cook for 25-30 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Serve with steamed broccoli, large salad of greens and tomatoes or any of your favorite vegetables.

What would I add?

Although it may indicate somewhere within the online program, I did not find any mention of exercise. Being a personal trainer as well as a dietitian, I am a big advocate of daily physical activity so I would surely add this on to your personal program.