The 90/10 Weight-Loss Plan
By Joy Bauer
St. Martin's Press Copyright © 2001 Joy Bauer M.S., R.D., C.D.N.
All rights reserved.
What Do You Mean I Can Eat Fun Foods and Still Lose Weight?
Congratulations! You are about to change your life forever. What I'm going to tell you about the 90/10 Plan will enable you to lose weight while still eating the foods you love.
You may not believe me yet—but you will. And you'll love it. You're going to learn a weight-loss strategy that will even let you eat chocolate, cookies, chips, ice cream, and hundreds of other delicious goodies banned on other diets—and you'll still lose a significant amount of weight in just fourteen days!
I know it sounds too good to be true, but I also know it works. And it definitely is not a gimmick. My clients would never stand for that.
I have been a registered dietitian for more than a decade and have built one of the largest nutrition centers in New York City. I've counseled thousands of people including some of the most high-profile businessmen, celebrities, models, and Olympic athletes. Believe me, the last thing they want is another fad. They know that I've spent my entire career developing sensible nutrition plans, and they come to me because they trust me to help them improve their health, their energy, and their looks—without gimmicks or risky diets.
In my years of working with so many different people with such a variety of diet problems, I've become convinced that there are no protein-to-carb ratios, food-combining methods, or pill-popping regimens that will magically melt their fat away. That is why I designed the 90/10 Plan around the only time-tested principles of healthy, long-term weight loss that really work: portion control and cravings satisfaction.
The question was, how could I create a diet that would meet my clients' health needs and satisfy their taste buds at the same time? My final answer is the 90/10 Weight-Loss Plan, a scientifically designed diet that actually encourages "Fun Food" flexibility 10 percent of the time, so they'd feel satisfied throughout the weight-loss process and wouldn't feel guilty for indulging in sugary or fatty snacks.
The 90/10 Plan works for fast, effective, healthy weight loss because it includes all types of foods—nutritious items as well as fun indulgences—in a healthy balance, so that you're sure to feel satisfied and motivated. All 90/10 menus are carefully calculated to provide ample amounts of nutrition while keeping total calories low enough to guarantee weight loss.
I call it the 90/10 Plan because I recommend to my clients that about 10 percent is the average amount of calories that should come from their Fun Food choices. But, as you will see in each of the menus, there is some room for personal choice. And although my recommendation is "approximately" 10 percent, the daily menus do offer options ranging from between 100 percent of the caloric intake from healthy and nutritious food to 80 percent healthy and 20 percent fun.
But the 90/10 Plan is not about exact math anyway. It is a food philosophy for an overall weight-loss strategy. And it's a strategy that not only works for fast weight-loss but it's also, if you can believe it, even better for long-term weight maintenance!
Why? Because it teaches your mind and your body how to lose weight while learning to eat the way you should be eating for the rest of your life. The fourteen-day plan offers such a variety of delicious, nutritious meals plus treats that not only will you never feel deprived, but you'll also never get bored. And to make sure you don't, I've provided ten additional dinner recipes, so there is a total of twenty-four deliciously different main-course dinner options. That's more choices than most people who aren't on a diet would even think about.
The reason I am so confident the 90/10 Plan will work for you is that I've already seen it work for so many of my clients whom I know for a certainty lost weight and kept if off. I have also met thousands of unsuccessful dieters, and time after time I see the same pattern to their failed efforts: They have all tried to lose weight with an eating plan that is different from the way they normally eat.
Whether it is food-combination diets, high-protein diets, no-sugar diets, fat-gram-counting regimens, no-dairy/no-wheat diets, and so on, if you are not used to eating this way, you're eventually going to fall off the diet wagon. Furthermore, most leading health organizations recommend that if you're going to go on a weight-loss plan you should do it only if it's a well-rounded diet—exactly what the 90/10 Plan offers.
The 90/10 Plan is a reasonable, healthy, and easy-to-maintain approach that has already proven successful for countless dieters who found those trendy plans too restrictive and unrealistic for their lifestyles, not to mention unhealthy. And trying to follow an unreasonably difficult diet is not only unhealthy for your body but it is poisonous for your emotional health as well.
The more you jump from one diet to the next, experiencing failure after failure, the more your confidence plummets, and you learn to doubt your ability to ever successfully lose weight. It is awful to feel this way. I have heard too many painful stories from clients who have struggled with unreasonable diets and have emerged feeling more lost and hopeless than when they started. I vowed never to promote a diet that produced such frustration and heartache.
Instead, I worked to create a healthy, easy diet that would work and that was grounded in the known successful principles of weight loss—a weight-loss plan that takes as its starting point that people should lose weight eating the very same foods they dream about eating after the weight is off. That is my 90/10 Weight-Loss Plan. No gimmicks, no magic, just solid science and countless proven success stories.
As I mentioned, most of the currently trendy fad diets tend to focus on omitting entire food groups (foods your body needs, and will miss and crave) or on counting fat grams without paying attention to portion control. The 90/10 Plan focuses on what's truly important for permanent weight loss—behavioral changes that will transform your life.
On the 90/10 Plan, you will learn how to include all types of foods in your diet, and how to recognize and eat appropriate portions. The 90/10 Plan is designed to help you feel good about your ability to control and choose your food, while also making you feel good (never guilty!) about those daily fun indulgences. Because the foods you crave and enjoy are built right into the plan, balanced with more nutritious fare, you'll feel satisfied both physically and emotionally on the 90/10 Plan. Even after you've reached your weight-loss goal, you can easily incorporate the 90/10 Plan into your life on a regular basis, because everything your body needs and wants is part of the program.
In chapter 4, I will introduce you to three different caloric plans for weight loss. I will help you choose the right starting plan for you—either the 1,200-calorie plan, the 1,400-calorie plan, or the 1,600-calorie plan—based on the amount of weight you want to lose, the rate at which you would like to lose it, your dieting history, and the amount of exercise you are willing to commit to doing each week.
Once you've selected your plan, you'll have two full weeks of deliciously different daily menus to choose from. There are menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for each of the three plans for all fourteen days—that's forty-two meals for each plan, plus Fun Foods—which means that you don't have to spend your time obsessing over what foods do or do not fit into the 90/10 Plan and how much of them to eat.
Although controlling the number of calories you consume is important for weight loss, the 90/10 Plan is specifically designed so that you don't have to make yourself crazy counting those calories. I've already done the calorie counting for you. You'll also see that the menus are the same for the corresponding days in each of the three caloric plans, but the portion sizes or accompaniments will vary accordingly.
To limit the work required on your part, all of my food recommendations are presented in portion-controlled servings. If you don't like a particular breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack, you can swap it for another day's menu. That's because all of the breakfasts within the specific plan you decide to follow are calorie-equivalent, all of the lunches within your particular plan are calorie-equivalent, and so are all of the dinners and snacks.
For example, if you're not a big fan of turkey burgers, you can select the dinner menu for grilled fish or linguini and red clam sauce or grilled-chicken Greek salad instead. Or, if you enjoy ordering steak when in a restaurant, you can choose the steak dinner menu in this plan. And if you want steak (or chicken, fish, or a vegetarian entrée) three nights in a row, that's okay too.
Now, about those Fun Foods. In chapter 9 you'll find an almost endless list of Fun Foods—literally hundreds of salty snacks, sweet treats, rich desserts, and other indulgences—all presented in portion-controlled servings that are precalculated to fit into each of the three caloric plans. That means each day when you see my suggestion to "enjoy a Fun Food of your choosing," your options are plentiful. And your choice of Fun Food can be enjoyed at any time of day, whatever works best for you, given your hunger level and cravings.
If you can satisfy your taste buds while dieting, you will be a successful dieter. And one of the most important ways to keep satisfied is to follow a diet that allows for variety. The 90/10 Weight-Loss Plan does just that, with meal options ranging from omelets to waffles to pasta to red meat. Such diversity should help keep you motivated and excited about the diet and, with new and different foods to look forward to on a daily basis, you may even find yourself doing something most dieters don't get a chance to do: looking forward to lunch or dinner.
Enjoying such a wide range of foods will not only keep you satisfied but it will also help you get all of the nutrients your body needs. In fact the 90/10 meal plans are specifically designed to provide you with the most vitamins and minerals possible for the controlled amount of calories consumed.
What's more, I'll bet you'll feel more energetic and positive once you start following the 90/10 Plan. That's because, even with the inclusion of Fun Foods, the 90/10 Plan was designed to incorporate the majority of nutrition guidelines set forth by leading scientific authorities, including the American Dietetic Association, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American College of Sports Medicine.
Each of the three 90/10 Plans is perfectly adjusted to provide approximately 50 percent of total calories from quality carbohydrate, moderate amounts from lean protein, and limited amounts from fat—proportions that research has repeatedly proven to be optimal for good health and disease prevention.
The 90/10 menus are also low in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, and high in fiber, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, all of which will help to reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. The 90/10 Plan will also help to improve your blood circulation and increase your energy.
* * *
Lisa: Dieting Was All or Nothing
When Lisa, a thirty-five-year-old mother of two, came to see me she was forty-five pounds overweight. She had struggled with a weight problem her entire life, and had been on and off diets since the age of seventeen.
Over the years she had tried hundreds of diets—cabbage soup, juice fasts, big-name programs, and some of the recent trendy regimens like the high-protein/low-carbohydrate kick. Some worked, but only on a short-term basis; she always ended up gaining back the weight, sometimes more than she had lost in the first place.
When she walked into my office for the first time, Lisa felt completely frustrated and was unhappy and uncomfortable with her body. She said her energy level was so low she couldn't even play with her children (ages two and five). And she admitted that her eating habits had become out of control. She was obsessed with food and was constantly either struggling to avoid the fattening foods she loved, or bingeing on them—and, ultimately, not even enjoying her binges because she felt too guilty for eating the forbidden foods.
The main problem with Lisa's past attempts at weight loss was that all of the diet programs she tried to follow completely ruled out the fun, fattening foods that she loved and that her kids were always eating. Typically, Lisa would start off the day strong, closely following her diet-of-the-moment. But by mid-afternoon, when she was physically exhausted and emotionally drained from spending the day with her children, she would break down and start nibbling on something "off limits," usually her kids' snack foods, like Goldfish® crackers, chocolates, cookies, and the like.
Once she had gone off her diet, even slightly, Lisa would feel that she had ruined the entire day and would then proceed to eat anything and everything, thus turning a few bites of what she considered to be a "bad" food into an all-out food binge. Of course, she would always vow to start fresh again tomorrow. This would continue for a few days or weeks, until she gave up on that diet completely.
Soon enough she would attempt to stick to yet another restrictive diet plan, and the cycle would repeat itself. Lisa's "all or nothing" mentality had her bouncing between diets and eating frenzies for years, with no lasting weight-loss results.
Lisa was a perfect candidate for my 90/10 Plan. She needed to learn that all foods, including her favorite sweet and salty treats, could fit into a weight-loss plan—as long as they were eaten in portion-controlled amounts. She did not have to cut out her favorite foods or eat healthfully 100 percent of the time. More specifically, Lisa needed to plan to eat her Fun Food in the mid-afternoon while her kids were snacking, since this was the time she usually craved a treat. Feeling satisfied, and remaining confident in herself, she would then be able to continue on with a healthful dinner.
Lisa and I also discussed the importance of exercise, and we planned a realistic routine she would be able to follow. With little to no solo time, Lisa wasn't able to go to a gym to use exercise machines or to take aerobics classes. Instead, I suggested that she purchase several exercise videos and play them in her living room, also encouraging her kids to jump around with her. On other days, we determined that she could put her youngest child in the stroller and take a power walk while her older child was at school.
In just fourteen days, Lisa had lost seven pounds. After two and a half months, she was twenty pounds thinner, and looked and felt fabulous. Two years later, all the extra weight plus an additional two pounds is off. Even more important, Lisa no longer views foods as "good" or "bad." Instead, she continues to follow the 90/10 Plan, eating healthy foods 90 percent of the time while satisfying her cravings for Fun Foods 10 percent of the time. With the 90/10 Weight-Loss Plan, Lisa lost weight, learned healthy yet nonrestrictive eating habits, and changed her life.
* * *
Of course, not everyone who wants to lose weight is like Lisa, with her long history of dieting. You may have started dieting only recently, in an effort to lose those pounds that inevitably creep on after age thirty.
By that time most people's eating habits are well ingrained and may seem impossible to change. After all, once you have been eating a certain way for so many years without needing to diet, changing your eating habits can seem like an overwhelming effort. But, as my clients prove to me again and again, even the most stubborn or busy or set-in-their-ways people can learn to follow the 90/10 Plan.
They can do this because the 90/10 Weight-Loss Plan satisfies rather than deprives, and can be adapted to fit anyone's lifestyle. Best of all, the 90/10 Plan is usually not so drastically different from the way most people have been eating all along.
* * *
Steven: Diets Didn't Fit His Lifestyle
Another client, Steven, a fifty-year-old businessman, never had a weight problem until he hit forty. Between forty and fifty, though, Steven gained twenty pounds, which left him feeling heavy, sluggish, unattractive, and uncomfortable in his clothing.
The weight gain had also caused Steven's cholesterol level to shoot up over 260 (a healthy cholesterol level for a middle-aged man is anywhere under 200), and he developed serious high blood pressure. He had even been put on a blood-pressure-lowering medication. His cardiologist had been nagging Steven to lose weight and to eat healthier in order to bring his numbers down to an acceptable level.
Steven tried several diets, including a vegetarian diet, a high-protein/low-carbohydrate plan, and several of his own approaches, such as skipping breakfast and lunch so that he could indulge at dinner when he often had to entertain clients at restaurants. (Continues...)
Excerpted from The 90/10 Weight-Loss Plan by Joy Bauer. Copyright © 2001 Joy Bauer M.S., R.D., C.D.N.. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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