The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


January 19, 2011

Health writer's plan: No more banned foods

Anderson native Robert Ferguson authors 'Diet-Free for Life'

ANDERSON, Ind. — Eat potatoes, chocolate or pizza and still lose pounds?

Weight-loss author Robert Ferguson, an Anderson native, says it can be done by following his “Diet-Free for Life” program.

He’ll discuss the book during a brown-bag lunch at 1 p.m. Friday in the Miami Room of the Anderson Public Library, 111 E. 12th St.

The event is open to the public. Copies of the book will be on sale, and proceeds benefit the library.

The book is subtitled “A Revolutionary Food, Fitness and Mindset Makeover to Maximize Fat Loss.” In it, Ferguson focuses on one’s glycemic profile and develops a flexible plan that includes fast and slow carbohydrates, protein, fat and condiments.

Growing up in Anderson, Ferguson (who was then known as Lawrence) attended Madison Heights High School. He earned MVP football honors and graduated in 1986. The 42-year-old lives in Ventura, Calif., with his wife of nine years and his two daughters; one is 3 years old and the other is 9 months old. He operates a food and fitness clinic there.

His aunt and uncle, David and Barbara Lynch, live in Anderson.

He talked with The Herald Bulletin over the phone Tuesday after an appearance on WGN in Chicago.

The Herald Bulletin: Why is this program revolutionary?

Ferguson: Einstein once said that you cannot change today’s problems using the mindset that created that problem. I am not coming from a place of a diet mentality. I’m coming from a place of information that meets a person where they are. ... If you’re in the Northwest in Oregon, salmon is a staple. In California, they eat oatmeal, but if I’m in Jackson, Miss., they eat grits. Being from Indiana, I grew up eating catfish. That was one of our staples, and I’m not talking about broiled or baked.

It all goes back to the question: Can I upgrade my health, reduce my waistline and expand my lifeline eating fast foods, eating the foods I love? And the answer is yes.

It’s just a matter of learning, and it’s a small learning curve. But learning how to combine really the carbs in the right way where you can keep your blood sugar levels from spiking too high or too low, that’s really it.

The Herald Bulletin: Looking at the cover of your book, you look thin. Have you ever been overweight?

Ferguson: I had a moment when I started to gain unwanted weight. I almost got on the same path of yo-yo dieting. That’s when I woke up and I said there’s got to be more to this. Next thing you know, I was helping other people, but I was teaching people how to do it with diet and not really a lifestyle that was sustainable.

I was the guy, if you went back 12, 13 years ago, who said just take out the white stuff — flour, salt and sugar. Then one day this lady from the Philippines became a client and I asked her to not eat white rice for 21 days, and I never saw her again because that’s her staple. She had seen everybody she loved eat white rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That was the moment when I said you got to meet people where they are, show them how to make it work from a cultural and then from an economic standpoint.

The Herald Bulletin: How often do you get back to Anderson?

Ferguson: I get back at least once a year, but my goal is to be able to come back at least two or three times. I have two kids and I would love for them to know their extended family, and I would like for them to have that part of me that grew up in Anderson. So the goal is to start getting back there a little more often.

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