In the first diet book in the organization's history, experts at the Mayo Clinic, the largest integrated, nonprofit group practice in the world, say that eating, like many other things, is habit-forming. The key to weight loss is to quit five bad habits, adopt five good habits and (eventually) adopt five bonus habits. On the good-habit side, they recommend loading up on fruits and vegetables, cutting out sugar and getting up off the couch once in a while. Bad habits like snacking are out (with an exception for fruits and veggies), as are restaurants, unless the meal fits in with their overall program. It sounds like a tough sell, but the book gives helpful step-by-step instructions on how to evaluate one's weight situation, set goals and get started.
Monday, January 11, 2010
She may be better known for her roles in the '90s teen comedy Clueless and those racy Aerosmith videos, but actress Alicia Silverstone is also an avid vegan and conservationist. In her new book, she preaches the benefits of eating green and having it all: feeling good, looking great and saving the planet at the same time. There are no claims of guaranteed weight loss, just a guide to understanding, buying and preparing a balanced vegan diet. The results, Silverstone says, include effortless weight loss, clear skin, increased energy and smooth digestion. Not quite sold? Maybe the endorsement from Paul McCartney at the beginning of the book will do the trick.
Nobody wants to detox in the middle of January. Cleansing your system through fasting or guzzling fruit juice doesn't sound all that appealing when it's near freezing and all you want is a hot meal. Ann Louise Gittleman understands this and has created a fat-flushing program that includes a specific diet for each season as well as a "5-Day Hot Metabolism Booster." Her book provides instructions on how to detoxify the liver and lymphatic system to shed fat and cellulite and explains how to best take advantage of your body's natural response to the seasons. Day 3 of the "Winter Fat Flush," for example, calls for a burger and a baked potato. Detox doesn't sound so bad all of a sudden.
A healthy breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Processed food is bad for you. Drink lots of water and stay away from sugary sodas. These are things we have all heard a thousand times, but dietitian Elizabeth Somer believes they bear repeating. Along with these age-old words of wisdom, Somer advises her readers on how to select real food, what to drink and how much of it, which supplements to use, the health benefits of wine and chocolate and countless other ways to improve disposition, sharpen memory and shed those excess pounds. She also offers tips on how to avoid the natural tendency toward face-stuffing. Who knew happiness was going to be so complicated?
Dr. Michelle May is not suggesting that people should continue their weight-gaining habits and magically expect to lose weight. Instead she offers suggestions on how you can change your approach to eating and create a diet in which, as she says, all foods fit. The key initials are BVM — balance, variety and moderation. She advises people to eat with a purpose and become fearless and mindful eaters, as opposed to emotional and mindless ones. That means thinking about the kinds of food you're eating (but not freaking out about it) and knowing how to put the fork down before you feel stuffed. You don't have to starve yourself; you just have to think a little.
Fat is your friend. Going against the standard diet-book philosophy, Dr. Lyons advises readers to embrace their fat intake as long as it's the right kind of fat. People need to trim their unhealthy, gut-forming yellow fat and replace it with so-called brown fat and sugar-burning tissue, which was only recently confirmed to exist in adults. This is done by avoiding food that leads to yellow fat, particularly most processed foods, and indulging in food that promotes brown fat, such as avocados, nuts and salmon. By doing this in combination with an exercise routine that's focused on building lean muscle (as opposed to cardio), Dr. Lyons hopes that you too will be singing fat's praises.
According to Dr. Jakubowicz, dieters really can eat what they want as long as they do it before 9 a.m. Her 28-day meal plan calls for a daily shake or smoothie accompanied by some unexpected breakfast items — like tuna melts, fish tacos and even steaks — that are designed to rev up the metabolism and burn more calories. It also claims to eliminate your craving for sweets, which can help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like Type 2 diabetes. That all sounds great, but the diet's most intriguing benefit may be eliminating that guilty feeling after eating two-day-old pizza for breakfast.