Soup-only sustenance, detoxifying smoothies and fat-burning superfoods are just a few of the many ways people have attempted to lose weight in recent years. Although many diets can help a person shed unwanted pounds or get healthier, many more fail to address the problems boomerang dieters often face: the fundamental lifestyle choices that lead to weight gain in the first place.
A common problem for dieters is the inability to keep weight off once they have lost it. Registered dieticians Julie Upton and Katherina Brooking, authors of the book, "The Real Skinny: Appetite for Health's 101 Fat Habits & Slim Solutions" (Tarcher/Penguin), find that there is a pattern to the weight gain yo-yo. That pattern, the authors suggest, often involves unhealthy "fat habits" that are a common component of dieting woes. Once these poor lifestyle choices are recognized and replaced with "slim solutions," weight loss and a healthy relationship with food is much more attainable.
Upton, a representative of the American Dietetic Association and frequent contributor to national news programs, and Brooking, who has a master's degree in nutrition science from Columbia University, combine their experience and expertise on the subject of food and also include data collected from numerous nutritionists and dieticians in their book.
Instead of touting quick-fixes, gimmicks and the latest trendy food, the authors present a weight-loss guide that offers real solutions for real life. Examples of some of the strategies offered in the book include:
* Stop placing blame on others or finding excuses why you can't lose weight and focus on the ways you can.
* Understand the facts behind metabolic rate and find the right number to burn the maximum number of calories.
* Know the difference between "curves" and extra pounds.
* Recognize that losing weight is actually the easy part. Keeping the weight off is the real challenge. Aiming for smaller goals (5 percent of body weight at a time) can help you keep weight off over the long haul.
* Exercise is essential. Few people can keep weight in check without increasing physical activity.
* Increase the amount of protein you eat, which can help you feel sated and less likely to overeat. Upton and Brooking suggest these protein powerhouses that are under 200 calories per serving.
1. Almonds: One ounce provides 170 calories and 6 grams of protein.
2. Peanut butter sandwich: Peanut butter on whole-grain bread is tasty and portable and offers heart-healthy fat.
3. Parmesan popcorn: Sprinkle low-fat microwave popcorn with 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese to add protein and calcium to the snack.
4. Pistachios: One ounce of pistachios is equal to 49 nuts. That's an impressive snack at 160 calories with high fiber.
Leading by example with inspiration and suggestions anyone can follow, "The Real Skinny" can safely help readers attain a slimmer, healthier body. A 14-day meal plan and easy recipes are included in the book, which is available in digital format and anywhere major books are sold.