Curves: Permanent Results Without Permanent Dieting

Curves: Permanent Results Without Permanent Dieting

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by Gary Heavin, Carol Colman

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The power to amaze in 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week.

Two million women have discovered Gary Heavin's secret to permanent weight loss at more than six thousand Curves fitness and weight-loss centers around the country. In thirty minutes, three times a week—and without a restrictive diet—many have been able to take off the weight and keep it


The power to amaze in 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week.

Two million women have discovered Gary Heavin's secret to permanent weight loss at more than six thousand Curves fitness and weight-loss centers around the country. In thirty minutes, three times a week—and without a restrictive diet—many have been able to take off the weight and keep it off for good.

The Curves Promise:

  • A unique three-part nutrition plan that produces results quickly and shows how to maintain weight loss in order to eat normally for 28 days, and only monitor food intake two days a month
  • A Metabolic Tune-Up helps deter yo-yo dieting and shows how to lose weight by eating more, not less
  • Simple self-tests determine calorie or carbohydrate sensitivity, helping women individualize their food plan
  • Shopping lists, meal plans, recipes, food and supplement guides, and charts to track progress and guide users through every phase of the nutrition and exercise plan
  • A complete Curves At-Home workout, combining strength training and aerobics and taking only thirty minutes a day-no more than three times a week

Editorial Reviews
Jump on the Curves bandwagon and find out what 2 million women have already learned: 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week brings results. As founder and CEO of the world's largest fitness franchise, Heavin hasn't become such a success with gimmicks and fad diets; the simplicity of his philosophy is cornered on a quick metabolic makeover, safe strength training, and a positive attitude. Excellent diagrams, inspirational testimonials, and menus round out this book version of a membership at a Curves fitness center.
Library Journal
It seems that every time one turns around, there is another fitness guru with a book touting a miraculous (read: quick and easy) way to lose weight. Founder and CEO of Curves International, the largest fitness franchise in the world, Heavin is no different from the other experts. Heavin recommends working out three times a week for 30 minutes-which of course he would like you to do at Curves. But his book provides complete exercises with well-drawn examples for readers to follow or Curves regulars to use on their days off. Also included are a low-calorie diet and a low-carbohydrate diet, each with recipes and extensive menus, and a written quiz called "Test Your Metabolism" helps readers decide which plan they should follow. While good tips can be gleaned from these pages, Heavin really doesn't give us anything new. Buy for demand only if Curves is popular in your community.-Marianne Fitzgerald, Information Specialist, Charlotte Mecklenburg Sch. Dist., NC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
8.78(w) x 5.96(h) x 0.89(d)
Age Range:
18 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


Permanent Results Without Permanent Dieting
By Gary Heavin and Carol Colman


Copyright © 2003 Gary Heavin and Carol Colman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0399150617

Chapter One

The curves promise

Permanent Weight Loss Without Permanent Dieting

What would you give to have a great body without constantly dieting? Is it worth 30 minutes of your time three days a week? Would you be willing to watch what you eat two days a month if you could eat without deprivation the other 28 days? Would you like to liberate yourself from the drudgery and monotony of constant dieting? I'm going to make you a promise that cannot be made by any other weight-loss program. I will show you an easy way to achieve permanent weight loss without permanent dieting. It won't take a lot of your time. And it will lead you out of diet hell.

I am the CEO and founder of Curves International, which runs fitness centers dedicated to helping women look and feel their best. Our more than 2 million members come from all walks of life, from homemakers to teachers to secretaries to doctors to college athletes. All of them are looking for a fun and effective way to stay fit. They live in big cities like New York, Denver, and Los Angeles, and small towns and suburbs like Sun Valley, Nevada; St. Charles, Missouri; and Naples, Florida. They come to us for a million different reasons. They come because they are fired of living in plus-size bodies, because they are sick of or sick from constant dieting. They come because they don't want to show up at their class reunions looking like a swollen version of their former selves, or because they want to be beautiful brides or beautiful mothers of the brides. They come to us because after trying their best on other diets, they have failed. They come to us because on the Curves Weight-Loss and Fitness Program, they succeed. From our inception, we have helped hundreds of thousands of women lose weight, regain their health, and reclaim their lives. I am very proud of the wonderful results our members achieve, and I wish that every woman in the world would join Curves. But that is not why I am writing this book. You don't have to be a member of Curves to benefit from the Curves Weight-Loss and Fitness Program. We believe that what we are doing is so important for the health and well-being of women that we want to share it with everyone. And rest assured, you don't even have to belong to any gym or health club to follow the Curves program, because everything I recommend here can be done at home without fancy equipment. This book is designed to help everyone, whether you are an avid exerciser or a beginner who has never done any meaningful physical activity. My program will help you, whether you just need to lose a few pounds or are seriously obese.

What Is Curves?

My wife, Diane, and I opened the first Curves in Harlingen, Texas, in 1992. As of 2003, there are nearly 6,000 Curves in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe, and we will soon be opening Curves in Asia and Australia. We are the fastest-growing franchise in the world-we're even listed in The Guinness Book of World Records! Our phenomenal success is not the product of advertising and promotion; rather, it is the result of word-of-mouth recommendations made by happy, slim clients, and you will be reading some of their inspirational stories in this book.

Each Curves offers our unique approach to weight loss, which includes nutritional counseling and an innovative workout that is not only fun but also amazingly effective. We offer two different Curves Meal Plans that can be customized to suit individual needs. Our members typically lose weight rapidly-and permanently-while following our safe and healthy eating strategies. Our fitness program is incredibly efficient. In just one half-hour, our members can do resistance training, aerobics, and stretching, the three components absolutely essential for fitness, flexibility, and permanent weight loss. I have created a Curves-style workout for women to do at home that is fast, fun, and effective. Those of you who are already Curves members may want to follow the Curves At-Home Workout on days when you can't get to Curves. Curves members who want to continue to get maximum benefit from their Curves workout can follow the tips in Chapter 10, Enhancing Your Workout at Curves.

Taking Care of Yourself Is Not a Luxury

I know that many women reading this book are probably saying to themselves, "Who's got the time for exercise? I barely have time to breathe!" Sadly, seven out of ten Americans don't get regular exercise, and nearly half of all women don't get any exercise at all. Exercise is not only good for your figure, it's essential for your health. A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of developing fife-threatening health problems down the road, including heart disease, the number-one killer of women, as well as breast cancer and diabetes. My goal is to make exercise easy and accessible for all women. The truth is, it doesn't take a lot of time to be trim and fit if you exercise efficiently. It just takes commitment and consistency. All I ask is that you devote 30 minutes three times a week to exercise. That's only an hour and a half a week! I understand that many women, between family obligations and work, have no free time. Nevertheless, you must carve out a little amount of time for yourself. Don't think of it as a luxury. You are putting your long-term health at risk if you don't take care of yourself. It's a small investment for a big payoff-a life of good physical and mental health. In combination with the Curves Meal Plan, the right exercise will free you from dieting, once and for all.

Temporary Dieting, Permanent Success

Many of you may be reluctant to embark on a new weight-loss program because you have been disappointed by so many others. If you've failed on other diets, you're not alone. More than 90 percent of all dieters cannot maintain their weight loss for even a year. The reason is simple: Conventional diets set you up for failure. They ask you to do the impossible: diet forever.

Unless you follow these diets for the rest of your life, you'll likely regain your weight. If you don't stay on the diet, within a year or two you typically end up weighing more than you did before you started dieting! So you begin another diet, only this time you find that it's even harder to take weight off, so you have to eat even less. And pretty soon, you're sick of the new diet (and sick of being hungry), so you go off it, you gain more weight, and you're back on yet another diet. The vicious cycle begins all over again, each time leaving you a few pounds heavier and weighed down in despair. This phenomenon is so common that it has a name: "the yo-yo syndrome." That's why every major weight-loss plan-from Atkins to the Zone to Weight Watchers-offers a so-called "maintenance diet," a euphemism for dieting forever. It's the "small print" in the unspoken contract between dieter and diet. These diets require you to make a lifetime commitment or suffer the consequences. I don't think this is realistic or fair. A diet should be temporary; that is, you should be able to go off the diet when you reach your desired weight, and you should be able to do it without regaining those extra pounds that you fought so hard to lose. It should not become a way of life.

There is no maintenance program in this book. I repeat, there is no maintenance program in this book. Once you achieve your goals, you can return to eating normally most of the time, not merely on special occasions like your birthday or on designated "days off" from the diet. By eating normally, I mean eating 2,500 to 3,000 calories a day, consisting of real meals with real food. I don't expect you to live on salads or forsake all bread, pizza, soda, and dessert. You don't have to eat like an angel to stay out of diet hell.

When I say you have the freedom to eat normally, it is also my hope that you will chose to eat healthfully, at least most of the time. I will give you the latest information on nutrition so that you can stay slim and well. In reality, most of the women who complete my program find themselves eating better because they want to and because when they eat well they feel better and have more energy. But I repeat, you don't have to eat like an angel-you don't have to eat healthfully all the time to succeed.

Unlike standard diets, the Curves Weight-Loss and Fitness Program is designed with the knowledge that you are going to cheat, and there will be times when you may not be able to pass on the french fries, or forgo an ice cream with the kids, and you shouldn't have to pay a steep price for these small pleasures. I will teach you a technique to keep your weight in check. I will give you the tools to maintain your ideal weight for your entire life, without constant deprivation.

Ahead of the Curve

The name "Curves" speaks volumes about our philosophy on health and fitness. Curves conjures the image of femininity, strength, and vitality-not the all-too-common image of rail-thin, unhealthy-looking models living on semi-starvation diets, or that of weak, undernourished women puffing on cigarettes to stay skinny, or that of women who are in the throes of eating disorders because they've been taught to hate their bodies. I am the father of two daughters, and I believe that these images are counterproductive to women's health and their emotional well-being, and that they have done tremendous harm. The success of Curves is proof that you can be strong, lean, and sculpted without starving yourself. Women need not be size 4 or size 6 to look great, as long as they are trim and fit. My mission is to keep you and all women healthy.

I'm not just an entrepreneur. For nearly 30 years, I have been a physical trainer, nutritional counselor, and health club owner. I experienced success early and fast, but it's been a bumpy ride. By the time I was 17, I was pretty much on my own. There were times when I couldn't afford to pay rent and had to sleep in my car, and there were times when I couldn't afford a car and had to sleep on the floor of the health club where I worked. Yet by the time I was 26, I owned seven fitness centers with 25,000 members. I had written a book, The Sweet Joy of Sugar-Free Living, which described a dramatic departure from the traditional approach to weight loss. I had made it-I had a loyal following and even my own airplane! Within a few years, I suffered some major financial setbacks and lost everything. Naturally, I was devastated, but in retrospect, that ride up and down was a terrific and necessary learning experience. I continued to work as a fitness trainer, but with more empathy for my clients, many of whom had experienced nothing but disappointment and failure in their lifelong quests to lose weight. The Curves Weight-Loss and Fitness Program is the culmination of nearly three decades of working with thousands of such women.

I'm often asked why I have devoted my life to improving the emotional and physical health of women. From an early age, I understood the importance of women's health and, more important, what happens when women lose their health. When I was 13, my mother, Doris Joy Heavin, who had just turned 40, died of a stroke, leaving behind five children. She was a devoted and loving single mom who was under enormous emotional and financial pressure. For most of her adult life, she suffered from high blood pressure and depression, and was taking lots of medication to no avail. In fact, the drugs just seemed to make her groggy and even more depressed. I now know that conditions such as hers are best treated not by masking symptoms with drugs but by attacking the root cause through dietary changes, exercise, and stress reduction. I've learned that the typical medical model-"diagnose, prescribe drugs, perform surgery"-is the wrong model, and I often think about how the Curves program might have saved her life. But back then, all I knew was that losing her was devastating to me and my siblings. I decided that I wanted to go to medical school so I could help prevent the same tragedy from striking other mothers and their children. I worked my way through two years of college, following a pre-med curriculum that included courses in biology and human physiology. The courses gave me a wonderful grounding in science, but before I could graduate, I was forced to drop out of school to work full-time. I took over a failing health club, which gave me a welcome opportunity to make money while helping people avoid getting sick in the first place. Still, I never gave up my goal of finishing school. Later in life, despite my busy work schedule, I earned my BS in Health and Nutritional Counseling from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey.

My deep faith helped me get through some difficult times. I'm a born-again Christian, and I take my commitment to God and humanity very seriously. My wife, Diane, and I believe that we have been blessed, and we believe that to whom much is given, much is expected. Among our many projects, we are currently funding research at Baylor University in Texas that will test my weight-loss theories in a research environment.

The Conventional Wisdom Didn't Work

I loved working as a trainer and was deeply committed to making a positive difference in the lives of my clients. Early in my career, however, I was disturbed by the fact that the standard dietary advice of "eat less to lose weight" didn't make sense for most women. I observed that although many women were already on strict, low-calorie diets, they were not only not losing weight-over time, they were gaining weight. Inevitably, out of frustration, they would go off their diets, gain even more weight, and then go on another diet. They were the victims of a vicious diet cycle. Each time they lost and gained weight, the pounds became increasingly harder to lose. I concluded that the standard weight-loss programs being followed by my clients were hopelessly flawed. The reason seemed obvious. Typical low-calorie diets wreak havoc on metabolism, the process by which the nutrients in food are broken down into smaller particles that can be made into energy to run the body. Simply put, the body uses up the nutrients it needs to do work and stores excess nutrients primarily as fat. But that's not the end of the story. I knew that there was much more involved in metabolism than simply "calories in, calories burned." I observed that pregnant women seem to gain weight even when they suffer bouts of morning sickness and eat little food. It became obvious to me that hormones could influence metabolism-for better or for worse-a fact that was ignored by conventional diets.

I reached the conclusion that dieting turns on so-called "starvation hormones" that actually enable the body to survive on less food and burn less energy. There is a good biological reason for this.


Excerpted from CURVES by Gary Heavin and Carol Colman Copyright © 2003 by Gary Heavin and Carol Colman
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Meet the Author

Gary Heavin opened his first fitness center for women in 1974, after pursuing a pre-med major in college. As a nutritional counselor and fitness instructor, he has worked individually with more than 100,000 women on weight loss and fitness. Heavin began the Curves franchise in Harlingen, Texas, in 1992, and today it is the largest fitness franchise in the world, and the third largest franchise of any kind in the United States. Currently, 250 Curves franchises open every month.
Carol Colman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Curves.

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Curves: Permanent Results without Permanent Dieting 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tought me so much and i have just started and it is amazing! The exerise are hard but it show results right after you have gone through the strength training and aeorbic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago