Megyn Kelly says she doesn't exercise and swears by the 'F-factor diet' to stay trim — here's the science behind it

Like so many of us, Megyn Kelly doesn't have time to go the gym.

In a small section of her 2016 autobiography, "Settle for More," Kelly describes how she stays svelte and healthy — and a workout routine isn't part of her strategy.

Kelly is the host of "Megyn Kelly Today" on NBC, and is a former star anchor on Fox News. In "Settle for More," she writes, "After I had my children, something had to give, and I gave up on exercise."

Now, Kelly says, she follows the F-factor diet, from the 2006 book by dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot. "I started after the birth of my first child, Yates. It took off the baby weight right away," Kelly writes.

In Zuckerbrot's book, "The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss," she makes the case for a high-fiber diet. She highlights two key benefits of the diet. One, fiber makes you feel full, so you end up eating less. Two, you're more inclined to stick with the regimen because you're adding, not eliminating, foods from your diet.

Related: Kelly's rise to the top

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Megyn Kelly's rise to the top
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Megyn Kelly's rise to the top

Megyn Kelly was born in Illinois in 1970. She was a cheerleader throughout high school and told Katie Couric last year that at the time, she didn't have much ambition. Her father was a college professor and her mother was a nurse. Kelly's father died of a heart attack when she was 15.

Source: The Washington Post

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Kelly became more focused on her academics when she started college. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in political science in 1992 and went on to earn a JD from Albany Law School in 1995.

Source: Elle Magazine

FNC

Soon after, Kelly joined prominent law firm Bickel & Brewer as an associate. Later, she spent nine years working for Jones Day. She credits her background in practicing law with helping her stand her ground when interviewing politicians and CEOs.

Source: Fox News

(Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)

Kelly entered the media sphere in 2003, when she started working as a general assignment reporter for an ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C. She covered multiple stories of national interest, including the 2004 presidential race.

Source: The Washington Post and Fox News

(LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Kelly joined Fox News one year later, in 2004. Former CNN President Jonathan Klein told The New York Times in 2015 that he regretted not hiring Kelly when she was starting out because she was "the one talent you'd want to have from somewhere else."

Source: The New York Times

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Kelly quickly established herself as a leading voice in political journalism while at Fox. She provided wall-to-wall coverage of critical events like the 2013 government shutdown, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Source: Fox News

She also gained recognition for her take-no-prisoners approach to interviewing politicians and high-level officials from both sides of the aisle.

(Fox News)

In one attention-grabbing interview, she asked Republican strategist Karl Rove an awkward question when during the 2012 election, when he was forecasting the numbers Republican candidate Mitt Romney needed to win the election: "Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better, or is this real?"

Source: Business Insider

Her tenure at the network was not without controversy, though. Kelly attracted sharp criticism in 2013 following a segment during which she told the "kids watching at home" that "Santa just is white" and that "Jesus was a white man, too."

Watch the clip on YouTube »

Kelly was roundly criticized for the segment's historical inaccuracy — Santa Claus can be traced back to a real-life monk named St. Nicholas who was from Turkey — and for its racial undertones.

Source: The History Channel

(Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

The segment was lampooned by late-night political satire shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

"Who are you actually talking to?" Daily Show host Jon Stewart asked after playing Kelly's segment, during which she addressed "all you kids watching at home."

"Children who are sophisticated enough to be watching a news channel at 10 o'clock at night, yet innocent enough to still believe Santa Claus is real, yet racist enough to be freaked out if he isn't white?" Stewart asked, drawing cheers from the audience. 

(Comedy Central)

Critics have also accused Kelly, who came out as an Independent in 2015, of adopting a double standard in her reporting.

Source: Business Insider, Variety

(The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Megyn Kelly, host of America Live on set at Fox News studios in New York. Fox News Channel celebrated its 15th anniversary on the air on October 7th.

Things took a turn during a Republican primary debate in 2015 when Kelly became part of the news cycle itself. After she questioned then-Republican candidate Donald Trump about his behavior towards women, Trump implied Kelly had been vindictive and said she had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her...wherever."

(Photo by Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images)

The remark, which many perceived as sexist, drew immediate and sustained criticism from observers, while Kelly garnered support from both sides of the political spectrum.

(Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) 

It wasn't all rosy for the Fox News anchor, though. Kelly told late night host Jimmy Fallon a few months later that she could "no longer go on Twitter" because of the harassment she experienced from Trump and his fans.

Source: The Tonight Show

(Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

The incident, and Kelly's pushback against it, made her something of a cultural icon during the election. She was even a featured guest during the 2016 "Women In The World" summit hosted by Katie Couric.

Watch Kelly's interview at the summit »

(Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)

"It is bizarre, it's surreal," Kelly said of her experience with Trump and covering the campaign. She added that she didn't enjoy seeing her own name in the headlines and that she looked forward to moving on from it.

(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Kelly again came under the spotlight later that year, when she defended former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who had accused Fox News CEO Roger Ailes of sexual misconduct.

(Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for TIME)

While other network powerhouses like Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly leaped to Ailes' defense, Kelly backed Carlson and even encouraged another female Fox News anchor to speak out about the alleged harassment she'd faced from Ailes.

Source: New York Magazine

REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES)

Kelly later wrote about her own experience with Ailes. At one point, he was "trying to grab me repeatedly and kiss me on the lips," she wrote in her book, "Settle For More."

Source: The Daily Beast

(Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)

After Carlson made her allegations against Ailes public, the network approached Kelly several times to defend the CEO, she wrote, but "there was no way I was going to lie to protect him."

Source: "Settle For More" via The Daily Beast

(Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)

Throughout the next few months, the network saw a string of high-profile departures that began with Ailes stepping down, host Greta van Susteren leaving to take a job at MSNBC, and finally, Kelly announcing her own departure to NBC.

(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Her new, multi-year contract with the network gives Kelly several prominent roles, The New York Times reported earlier this year: she will host a daytime news and talk show, a Sunday night news program, and she will take point on covering prominent breaking stories and political events for the network.

Source: The New York Times

(Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Kelly had already stepped into her new position prior to debuting her daytime talk show on Monday. Earlier this year, she interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin in a segment that earned mixed reviews. Many critics felt she didn't press Putin hard enough on his record on human rights and Russia's election interference.

(Photo by Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images)

She also interviewed Alex Jones, an alt-right icon, strong supporter of Donald Trump, and the founder of far-right website InfoWars.

Source: NBC News

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

On Monday, she told her new studio audience that she was "kind of done with politics."

(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

However, Kelly wore a shirt that had a "pussy bow," a feature that gained traction after the infamous Access Hollywood tape, during which Trump demeaned women and said he could "grab 'em by the p---y," leaked last year. So whether she really plans to stay away from the political fray remains to be seen.

(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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Zuckerbrot explains that all your meals should include high-fiber carbohydrates and lean protein. By the time you complete all three phases of the F-factor diet (each one lasts about two weeks), you should be eating a total of nine servings of high-fiber carbohydrates daily.

There's compelling research behind the F-factor diet. Zuckerbrot cites one 2009 study, published in the journal Nutritional Review, that found high-fiber, low-fat diets may be more effective for weight loss than low-fat diets alone.

Another study, published 2015 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, found that participants who increased their fiber intake to 30 grams or more per day lost as much weight as participants who followed a stricter set of dietary guidelines.

But the role of exercise in weight loss is complicated. One study, published 2012 in the journal PLoS One, suggests that people burn roughly the same amount of energy no matter how physically active they are. In other words, it matters more what you're putting into your body.

Related: Megyn over the years

47 PHOTOS
Megyn Kelly through the years
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Megyn Kelly through the years
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Thursday, September 28, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, September 25, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Megyn Kelly on Friday, September 22, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0742 -- Pictured: Journalist Megyn Kelly arrives for an interview on September 21, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Megyn Kelly visits 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 19, 2017 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Megyn Kelly is seen on September 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by PG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Douglas Brunt and journalist Megyn Kelly attend the 17th Annual USTA Foundation Opening Night Gala at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2017 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, August 21, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Thursday, July 6, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 26: Journalist Megyn Kelly arrives to discuss Douglas Brunt's new novel, 'Trophy Son,' during Douglas Brunt In Conversation with Megyn Kelly at Free Library of Philadelphia on June 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, June 23, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 13: Megyn Kelly attends The 2017 Mirror Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Friday, June 9, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Savannah Guthrie, Craig Melvin, Hoda Kotb, and Megyn Kelly on Monday, June 5, 2017 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA JUNE 2, 2017: NBC News Anchor Megyn Kelly waves at the plenary session at the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017) at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre. Mikhail Metzel/TASS Host Photo Agency (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) talk to journalist Megyn Kelly (R) on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) at the Constantine (Konstantinovsky) Palace, Russia, June 1, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 2, 2017: NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly moderates the plenary session of the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017) held at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre. Mikhail Metzel/TASS Host Photo Agency (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Megyn Kelly attends the 2017 NBCUniversal Upfront at Radio City Music Hall on May 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Megyn Kelly attends 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between' Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Megyn Kelly attends the 2017 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
Fox News host Megyn Kelly greets the crowd before interviewing Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, at Calvary Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. (Travis Long/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24: Megyn Kelly (C), Darth Vader and Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion attend New York Philharmonic's Spring Gala, A John Williams Celebration at David Geffen Hall on May 24, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for New York Philharmonic)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 07: Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly attends the 142nd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 07, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Joey Foley/FilmMagic)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0470 -- Pictured: Journalist Megyn Kelly during an interview on May 12, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Megyn Kelly attends the 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Douglas Brunt and Megyn Kelly attend the 102nd White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on April 30, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
MEGYN KELLY presents: Megyn Kelly (R) and Donald Trump (L) during the FOX special 'MEGYN KELLY presents' airing Tuesday, May 17 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY presents: Megyn Kelly (R) interviews Michael Douglas (L) during the FOX Special MEGYN KELLY presents airing Tuesday, May 17 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: Journalist Megyn Kelly attends Variety's Power Of Women: New York 2016 at Cipriani Midtown on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 06: Megyn Kelly attends the 7th Annual Women in the World Summit Opening Night at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on April 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic)
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly waits to begin the Republican presidential candidate debate at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Candidates from both parties are crisscrossing Iowa, an agricultural state of about 3 million people in the U.S. heartland that will hold the first votes of the 2016 election on Feb. 1. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 28: Moderators Chris Wallace (L) pats on the shoulder of Megyn Kelly (2nd L) as they wait with Bret Baier (R) for the beginning of the Fox News - Google GOP Debate January 28, 2016 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Residents of Iowa will vote for the Republican nominee at the caucuses on February 1. Donald Trump, who is leading most polls in the state, decided not to participate in the debate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Megyn Kelly appears on ABCs 'Good Morning America,' Friday, February 5, 2016. 'Good Morning America' airs Monday Friday (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MEGYN KELLY
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0411 -- Pictured: (l-r) Journalist Megyn Kelly during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on February 4, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Megyn Kelly appears on ABCs 'Good Morning America,' Friday, February 5, 2016. 'Good Morning America' airs Monday Friday (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MEGYN KELLY
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: News anchor Megyn Kelly speaks onstage during Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit - Day 2 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune/Time Inc)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: TV personality Megyn Kelly attends the 2015 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 21, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Megyn Kelly attends the 2014 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 080 -- Pictured: (l-r) Political commentator Megyn Kelly during an interview with host Seth Meyers on July 31, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27: Megyn Kelly attends at the benefit concert for Army SPC Bryan Dilberain at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on April 27, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19: Kid Rock with host Megyn Kelly visits FOX's 'America Live' at FOX Studios on June 19, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: Fox anchor Megyn Kelly prepares for the Fox News/Google GOP Debate at the Orange County Convention Center on September 22, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. The debate features the nine Republican candidates two days before the Florida straw poll. (Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Megyn Kelly, host of America Live on set at Fox News studios in New York. Fox News Channel celebrated its 15th anniversary on the air on October 7th.
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Another, small study, published 2017 in the Journal of Endocrinology, found that increasing the intensity and duration of your workout can help decrease hunger — at least in young men.

All that said, exercise is still an important part of a healthy lifestyle. And Zuckerbrot hardly advises readers to ditch their workouts.

She writes: "Combining the F-factor diet with exercise is the most powerful formula for losing body fat. ... Dieting, or reducing your caloric intake, will result in dropping pounds, but keeping the weight off long term is almost impossible."

Even if, like Kelly, you feel you're too time-crunched to work out on a regular basis, it's worth trying to squeeze it in when you can. That's true whether your goal is weight loss, or simply being your healthiest self.

NOW WATCH: Megyn Kelly defends controversial interview with far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

See Also:

SEE ALSO: How Megyn Kelly rose from small-town cheerleader, to Fox News' star anchor, to NBC's daytime talk show host

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