Learn the Basics

Rules of the Road

There are many diet books in print today, each designed to help people lose weight. Although they are all different and have their own individual positive points, most of them work on a single principle such as “low-fat” or “low-carbohydrate,” Others expound the benefits of a balanced intake. The PVC Diet should not be looked upon as a strict diet, but rather as a simple set of rules to assist you in choosing your food.

We’re on our own today

In the past, food was only available based on seasonal availability and our diets automatically conformed accordingly. Today, our food industry is global and we can eat just about anything we want whenever we want. Food can be shipped to us from the southern hemisphere providing us fresh fruit and vegetables in the dead of winter. This is fantastic! We live in a wonderful era. Unfortunately, sometimes a benefit like this creates some complexities for us.

Since we have to eat multiple times every day, we frequently need to make good food decisions. This is difficult when we have the full food chain to choose from and limited time to make those choices. We also fall victim to the marketing and advertising of the food industry that is mostly interested in selling products even if they are not very healthy for us to eat.

Nutrition is complicated and therefore most of us need advice in order to make the correct food choices. The PVC diet is designed to provide you with simple, straightforward advice. There are no gimmicks or fads here, just a lot of commonsense principles rooted in scientific data.

No stressful counting plans!

The first thing you all need to know is “forget counting fat grams.” They are “considered” but are not “counted” in this diet. The only thing you need to remember is PVC—three easy letters that will steer you to the correct selection of food for weight control and improved overall health.

What does PVC stand for?

PVC Diet? That must stand for the Pasta, Vino and Cheese diet that I have been known to enjoy from time to time. Actually “P”, “V” and “C” stand for Protein, Vegetables and Carbohydrates, three totally different food groups upon which we base this diet. It would be nice if we could live on pasta, vino and cheese though.

Every Meal Counts

Every time you sit down to eat (and if you’re not sitting down, you should be), think PVC! By doing this, you will always be analyzing the nutritional value of your meal. Remember, every meal counts! We all have a bad meal here and there or indulge at a party, but it cannot become a habit or you will never lose the weight. More importantly, you can negatively affect your health.

How do we calculate our ideal weight?

How much weight do you need to lose? That depends on what you currently weigh compared to how much you should weigh. A simple rule of thumb is the following:

For a Woman:

You get 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of height + 5 pounds for each inch over 5 feet. If you are less than 5 feet then subtract 5 pounds for each inch.

Example for a woman who is 5’6″ =

First 5 feet = 100 pounds
6 inches over 5 feet = 6 × 5 = 30 pounds
100 pounds + 30 pounds = 130 pounds

For a Man:

You get 106 pounds for the first 5 feet of height + 6 pounds for each inch over 5 feet.

Example for a man who is 5’10” =

First 5 feet = 106 pounds
10 inches over 5 feet = 10 × 6 = 60 pounds
110 pounds + 60 pounds = 166 pounds

This is a rough, yet simple calculation for lean body mass.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

The most commonly used method of assessing weight today is the Body Mass Index (BMI). This number is based upon the relationship of your weight to your height. The ideal BMI is 22 and is associated with the lowest chance of dying (mortality rate). Your mortality rate rises if your BMI moves in either direction. Remember, it’s also dangerous to be too thin.

The figure below shows that mortality is directly related to BMI. The bottom of the “hockey stick” line is a BMI of 22. As you can see, the mortality rate rises as you depart from that point.


To calculate your BMI, use the following formula:

BMI = Weight (lbs.)

Height (in)2 × 703

BMI Categories:
Underweight = less than 18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = 30 or greater

There are numerous websites that will calculate your BMI for you. Try this one.

If your BMI is above 25, you need to keep reading. You are at risk for serious conditions like hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, strokes and more. If your BMI is over 30 you are obese and should discuss this with your doctor as well.