Editor’s note: St. Petersburg author Dawna Stone’s new book, “The Healthy You Diet” (Rodale), features a weight-loss plan, recipes and tips to help dieters customize the program to meet their needs. Here is an excerpt, a chapter titled “What Kind of Eater Are You.”
One of the many problems with traditional weight-loss programs is that they take a one-size-fits-all approach. The truth is that we all gain and lose weight differently. Each of us is unique, especially when it comes to eating patterns and habits. Some of us carry extra weight on our hips and butts, while others pack on the pounds around our bellies and love handles. Some of us find it easy to give up sugar and alcohol, while others think nothing of saying good-bye to red meat and artificial sweeteners but struggle to give up a nightly glass of wine and piece of chocolate. Some of us would never let a day go by without going to the gym, while for others the mere idea of exercise is frightening. I have identified five diet personality profiles. Knowing what kind of eater you are is just as important as determining your weight-loss goals. To get the most out of the Healthy You Diet, figure out your specific profile. Read the following descriptions, determine which one best represents you, and follow the five corresponding tips for your profile to help ensure your weight-loss success.
The Remote Controller
Do you drink coffee and eat a bagel while driving to work, inhale a sandwich while emailing and texting at your desk, or wolf down dinner while watching TV and folding laundry? Then you’re a Remote Controller, who eats mindlessly and wonders why the pounds keep packing on.
I find that people in this category often need to lose 40 to 100 pounds. The Remote Controller knows that she needs to change her eating habits but doesn’t know how or where to begin. If that sounds like you, here are some tips.
During the 14-day Healthy You program, focus on your meal-by-meal, day-by-day progress, and stay on the Week 2 Clean Phase until you reach your goal weight.
Eat your meals at the kitchen or dining room table. At work, find a place other than your desk to have your lunch or afternoon snack. Try a conference room, an outside table, or the steps of the building. The location doesn’t matter, as long as you’re not eating and working at the same time.
Focus on each bite of food at each meal. Don’t watch TV, drive, text, read, or do anything else while eating.
Keep a food log or journal. Studies show that keeping a journal aids in weight-loss success.
Work out at least three or four times a week. If you haven’t exercised in ages or never in your life, start with a 20- to 30-minute walk, outdoors or on a treadmill. Get moving!
If you’re a Nonbeliever, you’ve probably just about surrendered in the battle of the bulge. Through the years, you’ve picked up some poor eating habits, given up on exercising, and packed on 30 to 40 pounds. You think, “Why bother? I’ve tried every diet in the world, and no matter what I do, I’ll never fit into those skinny jeans again.”
As you well know, the trouble with most diets is that they’re based on deprivation. You feel fine and virtuous for the first few days on the latest fad diet, then those familiar cravings and hunger pangs move in and you’re back to your old bad eating habits. Well, the Healthy You Diet is your chance to finally believe in yourself. You can be back in those skinny jeans before you know it. To reach your weight-loss goals, the Nonbeliever should:
Stop the negative self-talk. Acknowledge your positive changes, and don’t berate yourself for missteps in the past.
Focus on eating well every day, and praise yourself for a job well done.
Keep a food journal of what you eat and how you feel when eating. Hunger pangs and cravings are often set off by emotional issues, so look for patterns that make you want to rip open a bag of potato chips or dive into a pint of ice cream.
Weigh yourself before you begin the program, then wait until the end of the Elimination Phase to weigh yourself again. Record the numbers in your food journal.
Get moving, whether it means going to the gym, walking for 30 minutes a day, or taking a yoga class three times a week.
You’re a Flip-Flopper if you quickly lose weight on a diet and just as quickly gain it back, along with a few additional pounds. You have great intentions but very little follow-through after the first 5 days on a diet. Your closet is filled with “fat pants” and “skinny pants,” but you spend more time in the fat ones. Motivating yourself to exercise is just as difficult as sticking to a diet. Here are some recommendations for losing those extra 20 to 40 pounds:
Set small goals, like losing 3 pounds in the next 5 days, rather than focusing on a long-term goal of losing 30 pounds. Achieving success even through small milestones can help the Flip-Flopper stay motivated and on track.
Keep track of your meals in a food journal. A Flip-Flopper will often “forget” that she had a piece of cake at an office birthday party or a martini with the girls on the way home. If you make a note of everything you eat, you’ll be less likely to slip off the program.
Enlist a partner this strategy works well for Flip-Floppers. Engage a friend, sister, or colleague to start and stay on the program with you.
Weigh yourself before beginning the program, recording the number in your food journal, but wait until the end of the Elimination Phase to reweigh yourself. The number on the scale can fluctuate based on small factors such as clothing type, dehydration levels, and menstrual cycle, and these slight discouragements can derail the Flip-Flopper.
Get your heart rate up and burn extra calories by running or speed walking on the treadmill, and do some resistance exercise 5 days a week.
The Food Abuser
Do you believe that exercising regularly gives you a pass to eat whatever and whenever you want? Then you’re a Food Abuser, and you can easily achieve your goals if you just take control of your diet and discard all the junk food in the house. Poor nutrition rather than a lack of exercise keeps extra pounds from coming off. Stick with the Healthy You program and those 20 to 30 pounds will disappear faster than you can say “ice cream.” The following are some tips for the Food Abuser:
Remove all junk food cookies, ice cream, pretzels, and other unhealthy snack foods from your kitchen for the 14 days. Out of sight, out of mouth!
Drink water throughout the day to curb cravings. You might be thirsty rather than hungry.
Keep track of your meals and progress in your journal.
Limit snacks to one per day. It might be helpful to initially save your snack for after dinner rather than between lunch and dinner, because Food Abusers typically consume excess calories at night. If you like to eat in the evening or before bedtime, it’s important that you break this habit. One way is to temporarily postpone your designated midafternoon snack until after dinner; then, as you get used to eating a smaller and healthier snack after dinner, you can move it back to midafternoon and completely eliminate your evening snacking habit.
Drink a cup of herbal tea before bed or after dinner. Not only can this help you relax, but it can also deter you from nighttime nibbling.
The Almost Achiever
Your goal is oh so close, but no matter what you do, you can’t seem to lose those last 5 to 15 pounds. As an Almost Achiever, you lead an active lifestyle but allow yourself to eat wheat, dairy, meat, and processed and sugary foods and drink alcohol more frequently than you should. These small changes will help you reach your goal.
Increase your water intake. When you have so few pounds to lose, staying hydrated can help control your appetite and ensure that you’re eating out of hunger rather than thirst.
Keep track of what you eat in a journal. Sometimes just being more aware of your choices is enough to help you drop those last few pounds.
Add 15 minutes to your exercise routine.
Focus on portion control. Cutting back on serving sizes will help you reach your ideal weight.
Weigh yourself every day while on the 14-day Healthy You program. This will help you understand how certain food choices affect your weight. Just remember that many other variables affect the number on the scale, including water intake, dehydration, constipation, and your monthly cycle.
Me? Like many women, I was a Food Abuser who struggled with my weight before I developed the Healthy You Diet. Once I stopped eating junk food and cut out the red meat, alcohol, dairy, and wheat, I was amazed at how quickly the pounds came off and stayed off. I still indulge on occasion, but I can now do so in moderation and without sabotaging my weight loss.
Reprinted from “The Healthy You Diet” by Dawna Stone. Copyright (c) 2014 by Dawna Stone. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.
MEET DAWNA STONE
Dawna Stone will have a book signing at 2 p.m. Jan. 10 at Barnes & Noble, 213 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. For more on the Healthy You program, go to dawnastone.com.
Shiitake Mushroom and Rice Noodle Soup
Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat. Buckwheat is technically a seed, not a grain, which makes it gluten free. Buckwheat comes from an entirely different botanical family than wheat. Make sure that the soba noodles you purchase are 100 percent buckwheat; some varieties may contain wheat. Miso, a Japanese soybean paste that comes in all sorts of colors and depth of flavors, will keep in the refrigerator for 6 months once opened.
6 ounces 100 percent buckwheat soba noodles
1 cup shelled frozen edamame
2 teaspoons peanut oil
3 baby bok choy, stems and leaves separated and sliced
pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cups water
3 tablespoons white or yellow miso
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
In a large saucepan, prepare the soba noodles according to package directions. Drain in a colander and immediately rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, cook the edamame according to package directions. Drain in a colander and set aside.
Return the large saucepan to the stovetop and heat the peanut oil over medium heat. Cook the bok choy stems, mushrooms, garlic and ginger, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add the spice powder and red pepper flakes and stir for 30 seconds. Add the water and the bok choy leaves and bring to a gentle simmer.
Put the miso in a small bowl. Remove 1 cup of the hot water from the saucepan and whisk with the miso until smooth. Add to the saucepan and stir. Add the scallions, sesame oil, reserved soba noodles and reserved edamame and stir to combine.
Ladle the soup into 4 soup bowls and garnish each with sesame seeds.
Makes 4 servings.
Source: The Healthy You Diet by Dawna Stone (Rodale)
Snapper and Asparagus en Papillote
cup uncooked brown basmati rice
4 snapper or halibut fillets (1 pounds total)
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
24 thin asparagus spears, trimmed
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley, or 1 teaspoons dried dill
Cook the rice according to package directions.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cut 4 sheets of parchment paper, each approximately 18 by 12 inches. Fold the parchment in half the long way. Using scissors, cut a large heart out of each piece of paper, beginning the cut on the fold.
Season both sides of the fish lightly with salt and pepper. Place 1 fillet on one half of a parchment heart, leaving at least a 1-inch border. Drizzle with one-quarter of the oil and top with 6 asparagus spears and a few lemon slices. Sprinkle with one-quarter of the dill or parsley. Fold the other side of the heart over the fish and twist the edges together to make a seal. Fold the bottom edge under the packet to keep it from opening during cooking. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Transfer the packets to 2 baking sheets and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Using oven mitts or tongs, transfer the packets to 4 plates. Be sure everyone is at the table to open their packet with scissors. Take care because the steam is hot. Serve with the rice.
Makes 4 servings.
Source: The Healthy You Diet by Dawna Stone (Rodale)
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