Leslie Sansone's Eat Smart, Walk Strong: The Secrets to Effortless Weight Loss


Fitness expert Leslie Sansone applies her proven six-week plan format to reforming the way we eat. Each week is focused on a theme of bad habits to break and good habits to develop.

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Fitness expert Leslie Sansone applies her proven six-week plan format to reforming the way we eat. Each week is focused on a theme of bad habits to break and good habits to develop.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The "secrets" revealed in this friendly volume won't surprise many readers: losing weight requires burning more calories and consuming fewer. But given that the obesity epidemic is getting, well, bigger, the helpful tips and ideas are needed, even if they aren't particularly newsworthy. Sansone, creator of the Walk Away the Pounds book and video series, begins by explaining healthy dieting habits, highlighting typical stumbling blocks and outlining her PERFECT support system (an acronym for plan, educate, repeat, flex, exercise, celebrate and transform) that details steps she believes are key to straightforward weight loss. Then she introduces a six-week plan, complete with workbook pages for each day, designed to eradicate bad habits and promote good ones. She also includes dozens of reasonably tempting recipes (e.g., Apricot Lentil Stew, Chicken Mole, and Oatmeal-Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies) to make in conjunction with the plan. Except for the depressing suggestion that "people do best if they spend most of their exercise time on indoor walking... walking in place... in complete privacy," this is an uplifting diet guide that can help anyone currently in the nonactive population segment-as long as they stick to it. Photos. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446693370
  • Publisher: Center Street
  • Publication date: 1/2/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 7.12 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Leslie Sansone's Eat Smart, Walk Strong

The Secrets to Effortless Weight Loss
By Leslie Sansone

Center Street

Copyright © 2006 Walk Aerobics, Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-931-72251-X

Chapter One

Learning to Love Food Again

Have I got some good news for you! Over the past few years, we have seen revolutions in both the science of nutrition and the development of weight-loss strategies, and those revolutions are going to make our lives a lot better. After decades of fad diets and bum science, we have finally reached a point where we know that eating fat won't necessarily make us fat and starving ourselves won't make us slim. We know that commonsense eating and an active lifestyle are what keep us fit and beautiful, and that few foods are "off the table" when it comes to planning a diet. With this knowledge, you can customize your own weight-loss plan-one that is easier, more flexible, and more effective than you ever imagined possible-and this book will show you how.

I want to help you make food a more delicious and exciting part of your life. I know that sounds strange for a weight-loss book. But this isn't any ordinary book. After hearing from so many fans of my walking book and videos who struggle with overeating, I realized there is a fundamental problem with many food diets. They are about rejection, about denying yourself enjoyment. And that is a very tough row tohoe. I thought about what methods I use to keep myself eating sensibly, and I realized that the secret is learning to love food more, to approach it with reverence and celebration. Anything approached with reverence is less likely to be abused.

Think about the act of saying grace before a meal. Partly this is to give thanks to God for providing the food, but it also serves to get our attention, to make us more conscious of the goodness of the food. I even think it makes food taste better. And I believe this act of developing a more intentional relationship with food-loving it, savoring it, and not taking it for granted-can actually make us eat less and enjoy it more.

We like to think that we already eat intentionally. Unfortunately, most of us are in a lot less control than we'd like to be, even those making a concerted effort to diet. Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar.

You did the weekly shopping a couple of days ago and loaded up on healthy food, straight out of the low-carb diet book you've been reading. Tonight, you'll make chicken breasts with sun-dried tomatoes and broccoli on the side, plus a salad. A healthy meal for the whole family!

Despite your best intentions, though, things don't go as planned. You run a little late at work. By the time you get home, it's nearly six o'clock. The kids are starving. You're starving. Everyone needs a nibble while you start dinner. What's ready to go? Chips. Maybe cheese and crackers or honey-roasted peanuts. Within minutes, an entire tub of peanuts and a two-liter bottle of Coke have disappeared while you pulled ingredients out of the fridge.

Now it's almost 6:30 and you've got to bake chicken breasts; wash, chop, and steam broccoli; dice sun-dried tomatoes; and so on. You're looking at an hour until dinner. And your son has a basketball game in thirty minutes. Even the prospect of washing and spinning the lettuce seems like a pain.

On the other hand, there are two frozen sausage pizzas in the freezer that can be ready in ten minutes. You know which choice your husband would prefer.

Problem solved.

Except, this is actually problem created. Even though you made perfectly rational decisions-you had to tie things up at work before leaving, you were too pooped to make a whole meal, and you had to get something in your son before he disappeared-the result is that you and your family wound up eating a meal that contributes to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and other problems.

This is just one example of the many compromises we make and habits we fall into in the course of our daily lives. None of these choices seems especially terrible in itself, but taken together, over the course of years, they add up to an obesity epidemic.

No amount of knowing that we should choose the salmon and brown rice over the burger and fries is going to solve this, because it isn't a question of knowledge or intentions. There are times in our lives when we are on the ball, when we have an extra hour and use it to create a beautiful, nurturing meal for the whole family, or when we order the grilled chicken salad in a restaurant and manage to escape without succumbing to dessert or scarfing down the entire basket of rolls. When our energy is good, we're all capable of making good food decisions. The slips happen when we're tired, starving, rushed, or simply overwhelmed by temptation. Those moments are going to happen to all of us from time to time. The trick is to learn to head them off at the pass whenever possible, and to have healthier, equally convenient solutions at hand when those moments do strike.

When our energy is good, we're all capable of making good food decisions. The slips happen when we're tired, starving, rushed, or simply overwhelmed by temptation.

Learning such tricks and strategies is what this book is all about. What makes this program such an exciting departure from traditional weight-loss books is that it will help you develop smart eating habits that become second nature, where eating healthy food requires no more effort or willpower from you than choosing junk food did. The low-carb diets (or even the old low-fat diets, for that matter) work great, if you can stick to them. How many people do you know who started a low-carb diet, lost real weight, and looked great but then a year later wound up right back where they'd started? I know quite a few. From them, I realized that to start solving America's weight problem, we needed to stop focusing on what people should be eating and instead focus on why they eat unhealthily in the first place.

Behavioral psychologists have been studying people's eating habits for some time. The things they've found may sound all too familiar. For instance:

Convenience is a major factor in what people choose to eat. Having to cook is a drawback.

Access is key. If candy is within arm's reach, it is hard to resist. If it is out of sight in a cupboard, we eat less of it. If it isn't in the house at all, we are very unlikely to actually get in the car and seek it out.

The main causes of overeating bouts are not hunger or the deliciousness of the food, but emotional and psychological cravings.

Larger serving sizes make us consume more food (even if we don't finish the serving).

There is little relationship between meals; for example, eating a large lunch will not help us eat a small dinner.

We eat or drink more from large half-filled containers than from small full ones but believe we have consumed less.

We are more susceptible to suggestion than we think.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. In presenting the six-week food plan, I'll explain the many mind games we play on ourselves (and food companies play on us), and I'll give you the tools you need to deprogram yourself. The best thing about these findings is that they make for some of the easiest fixes imaginable! Forget the idea that seemingly insurmountable problems require heroic solutions. I've spent my career teaching people that the solution to their exercise and weight challenges lies in taking simple steps that develop into an ongoing habit. Food issues are no different. As you repeat these small changes in your habits, you'll find that, like a seesaw, momentum suddenly swings to the other side and everything happens on its own. You just have to hold on for the ride, which is why you are going to find my Eat Smart, Walk Strong plan the easiest, most effective program you have ever tried, and you are going to have fun doing it!

If you've done Walk Diets with me in the past, you're going to enjoy this variation. It's still a six-week program, but this time the amount of walking you do stays the same (the amount is up to you), while your diet gets healthier and healthier. That makes this plan ideal for people who have reached a level of exercise they like but who still want to lose more weight.

How can changing a lifetime of eating habits be fun, or easy? I'm glad you asked! So many reasons jump to mind. Here are some of my favorites:

A whole new relationship with food. For many of us, food is a burden as much as a comfort. We love food, but we struggle with the temptations and the guilt, the way it makes us feel bad about ourselves. Having to count calories takes away the enjoyment of eating and turns it into a math game fraught with worry. That's why you don't count calories on my Eat Smart, Walk Strong plan. Instead, you cultivate smart lifestyle habits that help you exercise naturally and eat right without thinking so hard about it.

More flexibility. Many diets have a one-size-fits-all mentality. But we all have different tastes and different factors influencing our lives, and the solution to anyone's diet dilemma is going to be unique to that person. My PERFECT Support System is designed to flex each week as you customize it to work with you, not in spite of you.

Discovering delicious new foods. We all tend to develop eating ruts, where the same twenty foods rotate through our meals each week. By venturing into some new areas and trying some unique yet easy recipes, you'll get a lot more variety and enjoyment in your diet.

Better energy and mood. It's amazing how a poor diet can sap my energy. I feel sleepy, sluggish, uncreative, and foggy. Then, when I start eating right, the fog lifts. I practically leap into my walking routine, and tasks like everyday problem solving-or even finding the energy to cook-seem to come quite easily. I get more accomplished and my emotions stay on an even keel.

Better health. There are few things more frustrating than having an illness or condition that prevents you from trying new things or participating in certain activities. Eating right is your best medicine; it will ensure a lifetime of fun with friends and family, instead of hours spent worrying about your body.

Better looks. You are what you eat, and guess what? You look like what you eat, too! It's easy to see the difference between healthy eaters and unhealthy ones by looking at their bodies, faces, and skin. And we all know that looking better makes us feel better about ourselves, and feeling better keeps us a lot more active, engaged, and content.

Better spirit. As I said at the beginning, food is one of our most direct ways of connecting with the source of all life. Stay connected to that source and everything else falls into place.

Together, you and I are going to make all these things happen in your life. Our secret is pattern-busting activities we use to break you out of old habits and into healthy new ones. These activities may be powerful, but they aren't hard. They involve actions as simple as turning off the TV while you eat, reinventing breakfast, and choosing glasses and dishes that reinforce your eating goals. If you can do those things, you can change the way you eat and the way you live.

Remember to take this one step at a time. I've laid it all out for you. Each day for six weeks, just flip open to the page for that day and follow the plan. By the end of the six weeks, you'll have established a team of good habits that will serve as your personal motivation coach, trainer, and Secret Service agents to keep you on course and prevent destructive behaviors from getting anywhere near you.

This program is going to have a sensational impact on your waistline, but I hope it goes further than that. I know how lonely and isolating it can be when food becomes a trouble spot in your life. But I also know the pleasure that comes from preparing wholesome food and sharing it with family and friends. Eating is a spiritual act. Let's get started on rediscovering that spirit.


Excerpted from Leslie Sansone's Eat Smart, Walk Strong by Leslie Sansone Copyright ©2006 by Walk Aerobics, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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