What is the Ratchet Diet?

People come up to me and ask : “Hans, What exactly is The Ratchet Diet? How does it work?, and what is a Ratchet anyway?”    Those are fair questions and as I am a very busy man I don’t always  have the time to explain the concept when grabbed by the lapels of my lab coat without warning whilst en route to an important meeting or conference.

So I have decided that the time has come to re-visit this post and hopefully explain what the diet consists of.

First of all what is a Ratchet?      Google gives the following definition of a Ratchet

 
noun: ratchet; plural noun: ratchets
  1. 1.
    a device consisting of a bar or wheel with a set of angled teeth in which a pawl, cog, or tooth engages, allowing motion in one direction only.
    “a ratchet screwdriver”
    • a bar or wheel that forms part of a ratchet.
  2. 2.
    a situation or process that is perceived to be changing in a series of irreversible steps.
    “the upward ratchet of property taxes”
verb
verb: ratchet; 3rd person present: ratchets; past tense: ratcheted; past participle: ratcheted; gerund or present participle: ratcheting
  1. 1.
    operate by means of a ratchet.
    “a ratcheted quick release system”
  2. 2.
    cause something to rise (or fall) as a step in what is perceived as an irreversible process.

The Ratchet Diet is probably best described by this excerpt from the official definition:

“A situation or process that is perceived to be changing in a series of irreversible steps”.

The core of the diet is the use of Fasting to drive the weight down into predefined Weekly Ratchet Zones.  The Zones consist of weekly one pound / 0.5 Kilo increments.    As the dieter  loses weight they achieve new Ratchet Weights.    A Ratchet Weight is simply short hand for the lowest weight recorded so far on the current diet campaign.

It is important to recognise that the use of terms like Ratchet Weight and Weekly Ratchet Zones are convenient metaphors to enable the dieter to visualise the weight loss program as a mechanical process.   They are a form of mental hack that we can apply to  the dieting process.   There is no actual physical Ratchet involved in this process.   We do not intend to hook you up to some sort of machine that will regulate your food intake and weight loss automatically.

There are two forces at work in The Ratchet Diet.

The downward momentum of weight loss towards your target is driven by FASTING and symbolised by the achievement of new Ratchet Weights.

The anti-reversal force (or pawl) is provided by the fierce determination of the dieter to never slip backwards out of a Weekly Ratchet Zone, once having entered it.    This force is a learned skill consisting of Will Power, Clear Goals, Tricks and Techniques to minimise temptation and healthy food choices so that blood sugar is not spiking wildly out of control and food cravings are reduced.

The tool that cements all the above together is The Ratchet Log.   This is an Excel Spread Sheet which I have developed and is available on request.   NOTE that the The Ratchet Log is a work in progress, under constant refinement and will eventually be replaced by an App.

(To get your copy of the latest iteration of The Ratchet Log contact me at hansratzenburger@gmail.com)

I will be going into some very detailed explanation on this website about how the Ratchet Diet works and why it is probably the only diet currently available that works every time without fail.   But you don’t really need to know the science to use this diet.

Lets face it, when you enter a room and flick the switch the light goes on.   For that to happen, you did not need to get an advanced degree in electrical engineering did you?

So if you are on this site to lose weight, leave the scientific enquiry for later.   Right now I am assuming that you are here because you have a weight problem and would like to solve it.

So lets get straight down to it.   I am going to show you the diet in the following set of instructions.   If you follow these instructions you WILL lose the weight and you will attain your desired body shape, and rediscover a level of fitness that you probably thought you would never experience again.

 The Ratchet Diet

Food Guidelines – Diet Phase

Zero:

  • Sugar (Cakes, Ice Cream, Candy, Doughnuts, etc.)
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Starchy vegetables (Potatoes, Pumpkin, etc.)
  • Grains  (Oats, Cereals, Crackers, Bread, Pasta, Rice)
  • Seed Oils (Sunflower, Canola, etc.)
  • Processed foods (Anything that comes in a box or can)
  • Fast Food (Burgers, Pizzas, Fried Chicken, etc.)
  • Fried food
  • Alcohol
  • Fruit

Permitted:

  • Red meat (Beef, Lamb, Pork, Kangaroo, etc.)
  • Poultry (Chicken, Turkey, Duck, etc.)
  • Fish – all types
  • Non-starchy vegetables – unlimited

 

Food Guidelines – Maintenance Phase

Zero:

  • Sugar (Cakes, Ice Cream, Candy, Doughnuts, etc.)
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Most Grains (Oats, Cereals, Crackers)
  • Seed Oils (Sunflower, Canola,  etc.)
  • Processed foods (Anything that comes in a box or can)
  • Fast Food (Burgers, Pizzas, Fried Chicken, etc.)
  • Fried food

In Moderation:

  • Fruit
  • Alcohol
  • Some Grains (Bread, Pasta, Rice)
  • Starchy vegetables (Potatoes, Pumpkin, etc.)

Permitted:

  •      Red meat (Beef, Lamb, Pork, Kangaroo, etc.)
  •      Poultry (Chicken, Turkey, Duck, etc.)
  •      Fish – all types
  •      Non-starchy vegetables – unlimited

 

Start-up Activities:

Prepare Ratchet Chart:

  • Enter Height
  • Enter Starting Weight
  • Enter Starting Waist Measurements
  • Set weekly weight loss amount (recommended amount is one pound / 0.5 Kilo)

Understand the targets:

  • Target-A –  Normal – Waist to Height Ratio
  • Target-B  –  Normal or low end of overweight BMR
  •  Use weight as a measurement of progress not as a target

Practice Fasting

  • Practice partial day fasts
  • Practice full day fasts

Monthly Activities

  • Prepare Monthly Ratchet Chart
  • Review Progress of previous month
  • Visualise Progress for next month

 

Weekly Activities

  • Review Progress of previous week
  • Visualise Progress for next week

 

Daily Activities

Daytime:

  • Weigh yourself in the morning – enter in The Ratchet Log
  • Take Waist measurement in the morning – enter in The Ratchet Log
  • A record low weight is your new  Ratchet Weight
  • Check that you are in your Weekly Zone (IE, your weight is under the new Zone Weight for this week)
  • If you are Outside the Zone, go on a Fast until 6PM
  • If you are In the Zone, have a normal day of eating (Except for Monday)
  • Aerobic Exercise (Walking, Rebounding, Skipping, Jogging, Cycling)
  • Resistance exercise (Push-ups, Sit-ups, Chin-ups, Weights)

Evening:

  • If you were Outside the Zone in the morning, weigh yourself
  • See if you are now in your Weekly Zone (this is a second chance to hit the Zone after a daytime fast)
  • If you are Outside the Zone, don’t worry, you will probably get there tomorrow.
  • Meditation
  • Go to bed early.  Aim to get 8 hours sleep.

How The Ratchet Diet Works

  • The food guidelines recommend eating healthy, nutritious, whole foods while minimising the intake of poisonous toxic foods
  • The use of Fasting as a tool of the Ratchet Diet, provides a powerful weapon to smash through the barriers and plateaus that  destroy progress on other diets.
  • The use of Fasting as a tool of the Ratchet Diet, gives a host of benefits too numerous to mention, that go way beyond mere weight loss.  (Refer to the literature on Fasting for more details)
  • The exercise guidelines assist in maximising fat loss while minimising muscle loss
  • The Ratchet Chart provides constant feedback on progress to keep motivation levels high.
  • Achieving a new Ratchet Weight gives a sense of achievement and an endorphin rush to the dieter
  • The Ratchet Weight is not a target.  It is the mechanism by which weight is reduced.
  • The Weekly Zone is a modest and achievable target that is well within safe guidelines from the majority of medical authorities
  • Staying in the Weekly Zone gives a sense of achievement and accomplishment without the danger of trying to lose weight every day.
  • The end goal of a normal Waist to Height Ratio, is a recognised metric that is associated with good health and reduced risks that are linked to obesity.
  • By NOT setting a target weight, the dieter is spared the guesswork of what their ideal weight should be.   Your ideal weight is a very subjective figure which is different for everyone depending upon genetic background, age, body shape, muscle mass, bone density and water retention.
  • By not setting a target weight we avoid the danger of becoming obsessed with weight loss for the sake of it, which would put the dieter at risk of developing an eating disorder
  • By aiming for a normal Waist to Height Ratio, the dieter is aiming to be healthy rather than thin.   Being too thin is almost as bad a health risk as being obese, so we don’t want to overshoot with our weight loss and swap one problem for another one.

And that’s all there is to it.   Simple really isn’t it?

RatchetCongratulations

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3 Comments:

  1. Another mind blowing post Hans.

    I am losing weight super fast with all of your advice.

    Thank you.

  2. You are raising the bar for bloggers in the weight loss field.

    I love the way your posts inform us about ways to lose weight, and inject some humour to make what can be a boring topic, seem like fun.

  3. I read a lot of interesting articles here. Probably you
    spend a lot of time writing, i really appreciate reading them and am learning a lot about diet and nutrition

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