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Secrets of the Lean Plate Club: A Simple Step-by-Step Program to Help You Shed Pounds and Keep Them Off for Good
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Secrets of the Lean Plate Club: A Simple Step-by-Step Program to Help You Shed Pounds and Keep Them Off for Good

by Sally Squires
 

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"The seasoned creator of the hot Washington Post diet column elegantly coaxes us through an eight-week balanced program for sustainable healthy weight loss that everyone can follow. Climb on board."
– Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., coauthor of the New York Times bestseller You: The Owner's Manual

As recent studies have shown, you can lose

Overview

"The seasoned creator of the hot Washington Post diet column elegantly coaxes us through an eight-week balanced program for sustainable healthy weight loss that everyone can follow. Climb on board."
– Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., coauthor of the New York Times bestseller You: The Owner's Manual

As recent studies have shown, you can lose about the same amount of weight on any of the most popular diets out there. The problem is keeping it off. In Secrets of the Lean Plate Club, you will learn how to pick the best weight loss program, tailored to your own personal needs.

Join the millions of people who have shed pounds and kept them off with Sally Squires' unique, ‘non-diet' approach that will help you:

*Develop an eight-week customized, personal weight loss program

*Eat smart and move more

*Rediscover the joy of eating well with delicious recipes and healthy meals from famous chefs

*Learn how to develop healthier habits and keep your weight under control

Sally's tools for choosing the best foods, habits, and activities can help you achieve a healthy weight and make your results stick once and for all! Secrets of the Lean Plate Club is the first and only step you'll need to keep the weight off and to live a leaner life.

"A must-read for anyone who is serious about dropping the extra pounds."
– Karen Miller-Kovach, M.S., R.D., chief scientific officer, Weight Watchers International Inc.

Sally Squires has a master's degree in nutrition from Columbia University and is an award-winning, nationally syndicated columnist with The Washington Post. Her column, The Lean Plate Club, is featured every Tuesday in HEALTH and at WashingtonPost.com. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The seasoned creator of the hot Washington Post diet column elegantly coaxes us through an 8- week balanced program for sustainable and healthy weight loss that everyone can follow. Climb on board.” —Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., co-author of the New York Times Bestseller You: The Owner's Manual
Library Journal
Squires (coauthor, The Spotlight Diet for Children) reaches millions of readers through her nationally syndicated "Lean Plate Club" column for the Washington Post. With this book, she sets out an eight-week program designed to help readers learn why and how they've gained weight so that they can reverse habits. She stresses the importance of not just losing weight but keeping it off. Calorie counting, she insists, is essential, and she provides weekly food and activity goals, recipes, and exercise hints. A lot of the content here is common sense and readily available in many other diet and nutrition books, including information on mindful eating, nutrition labels, aspartame, body mass index, sleep help, carbs, and calories. Perhaps the unique value of Squires's book is the live-chat connection, where readers can find free online support for enforcing their new, healthier habits. Those with little previous dieting experience would do well to start with this book. For libraries with comprehensive nutrition collections.-Carla McLean, King Cty. Lib. Syst., Seattle Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312339180
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
04/03/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.78(d)

Read an Excerpt



Secrets of the Lean Plate Club



A Simple Step-by-Step Program to Help You Shed Pounds and Keep Them Off for Good



By Squires, Sally


St. Martin's Press



Copyright © 2006

Squires, Sally

All right reserved.


ISBN: 0312339178



Chapter One
 
Secrets of the Lean Plate Club
 
The messages often begin like this:
 
"Hi, Sally. I need to lose 20 pounds for a wedding later this month. What can I do?"
 
"Dear Sally--I've lost 35 pounds over the past year, but now I find that I'm slipping into my old eating habits, and I just can't find the motivation to exercise. Help! I don't want to put this weight back on after I worked so hard to take it off."
 
"Hey, Sally. I just got on the scale and I can't believe what I weigh! I don't know how this happened. Where do I start?"
 
"Sally--I'm working in my first job. I know I've been partying a little on the weekends, but the pounds are just piling on. If it's like this now, what's it going to be like when I'm 30?"
 
"Sally, I've lost 25 pounds in the last six months, but my weight seems to have plateaued for the last few weeks. I am so discouraged. What do I do now?"
 
You can feel the frustration, impatience, and desperation in these messages. There's a sense of being out of control. Behind many of them is the nagging, unspoken fear that often comes wrapped in a little bit of panic: "Maybe I can't take the weight off. Maybe this really ishopeless."
 
I'm here to tell you that it's not.
 
Lean Plate Club members prove that week after week. Will the pounds melt away? Nope, I can't promise that. Successful weight loss takes time, focus, and commitment. Anybody who tells you otherwise is not being honest. And yes, the majority of people do experience a discouraging weight plateau somewhere in the process. But there are easy steps to make this a simpler journey, one that you can enjoy. Just ask Melissa Glassman, 50, who with help from the Lean Plate Club has lost half her body weight, going from 250 pounds on a 5'3" frame to a healthy 125 pounds. Whether you are trying to hold the line on future weight gain, shed a few pounds, or make some major changes like Melissa, the lessons in Secrets of the Lean Plate Club can help you achieve your goals.
 
Since I began the Lean Plate Club in July 2001, I've interviewed hundreds of experts, read several thousand pages of scientific journals, and been in contact with tens of thousands of Lean Plate Club members by e-mail, via the Web chat, and by phone. So to whet your soon-to-be-healthier appetite, here are just some of the secrets that you'll find in the pages ahead. Knowing and practicing these secrets will help you to reach a healthier weight and live like a thinner person.
 
Calories do count. Forget all the hype and empty promises. Yes, it does come down to the numbers: calories in versus calories out. Eat too much, burn too few calories, and the pounds add up--whether you adhere to a low-fat regimen, eliminate carbohydrates, or become a vegetarian. It doesn't matter. You're going to have to change the numbers in your favor, which means a deficit of daily calories to lose weight.
 
Amherst Mass.: Hi, Sally! Since I've lost 64 pounds, people often ask what the secret is. Well guess what? It's measuring portion sizes, knowing what a portion is, tracking food for the day, and exercising more. Recently, I hit a plateau and wondered why. I realized I'd been guessing in my head instead of writing down the number of servings in each food group every day. So the dreaded "calorie creep" happened. Three days after resuming keeping a little chart--which only takes a minute--I lost two more pounds and have continued that way to reach a body mass index of 21.9, down from 30.
 
"But what about Atkins or South Beach? They don't count calories." Read the fine print, and you'll find that some form of calorie restriction is part of every well-known weight-loss plan from Atkins to the Zone. That's why in a few pages, you'll discover how to calculate the right number of daily calories for you, including so-called discretionary calories for indulging in such treats as a glass of a wine or a piece of chocolate.
 
Diets don't work long-term. On the weekly Lean Plate Club Web chat, I've jokingly said that I could develop the Whipped Cream Diet and guarantee that it would produce weight loss. At least for a while. That's because virtually every diet does work in the short term. The simple act of monitoring what you eat automatically helps you focus on and decrease how many calories you consume. Cut calories and the weight starts to come off.
 
I can also guarantee that there would come a time when the novelty of eating whipped cream every day would wear off. In fact, you'd eventually get sick of whipped cream. Then you'd add back the other foods that the Whipped Cream Diet eliminated to keep calories in check. As you can probably guess, you'd start regaining weight, which is what happens with every other diet. They all stop working, because they're too restrictive, too complicated, or both. Pretty soon boredom sets in, nutritional mischief follows, and . . . well, you know the rest. To succeed, you must find a way of eating and staying active that you can live with long-term. For one 45-year-old Lean Plate Club member and his wife, that means establishing an exercise room in their basement, setting aside time for early-morning walks together, and making more of their food from scratch so that they can control calories and avoid processed ingredients.
 
You didn't put on the weight overnight. It may seem like rolls of fat have suddenly padded your waist, derriere, thighs, arms, back, chest, and stomach, but unwanted pounds creep on slowly and insidiously. Just an extra 100 calories per day--less than the amount found in a grande skim latte or a candy bar--add up to an extra ten pounds per year. Ten pounds this year, ten pounds next, and it's no longer a mystery why you, along with two-thirds of the U.S. adult population, have a lot of unwanted weight to lose. There are no quick fixes for these extra pounds, but the good news is that by making some simple habit changes, the odds are good that you can lose the weight in a fraction of the time that you gained it.
 
There is no one way to achieve a healthy weight. Numerous diet books and commercial weight-loss plans claim to provide the "right way" to lose weight, but there's no scientific evidence to back those claims. Every diet works for someone, at least temporarily. No diet works for everyone. During the Lean Plate Club Program, you'll add at least one healthy habit weekly--sometimes more--that will slowly, but steadily, help you to achieve a healthier weight. Think of it as attention to behavior change or the ABCs of the Lean Plate Club philosophy. By tailoring healthy eating to your food preferences and the kind of physical activity you like best to your daily schedule, you'll develop healthier habits for good. Anyone can do drastic things to reach a goal weight temporarily. But unless you eat what you like and do something you enjoy to work out, odds are that you won't stick with any drastic measures for long, and the weight will return.
 
If you have: Once weekly, Two-scoop ice-cream cone
Switch to: single-dip cone
Save: 115 calories each
Do that for a year = nearly 2 pounds lost
 
If you have: Three times weekly, Mocha Frappuccino (grande, 16 ounces)
Switch to: grande cappuccino with skim milk
Save: 190 calories each
Do that for a year = potentially 8 pounds lost
 
If you have: Five times weekly, 1 ounce potato chips
Switch to: 1 ounce pretzels
Save: 352 calories each
Do that for a year = about 4 pounds lost
 
Small changes have big rewards. For some 48 million Americans, only about 20 pounds stand between them and a healthier body weight. It's very easy to replace high-calorie fare with a few lower-calorie foods and reap significant weight-loss benefits.
 
Doing the math helps. One pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories. If you want to lose 20 pounds, you need to "lose" 70,000 calories (20 ¥ 3,500 = 70,000). Daunting as that may sound, spread those 70,000 calories over the next 365 days (70,000 ÷ 365 = 192) to see that it takes a mere deficit of 192 calories daily to achieve a 20-pound weight loss in just one year. While that isn't a quick weight loss, losing weight slowly but steadily means that you are more apt to keep off the pounds.
 
How easy is it to trim calories with smart swaps? This easy: Substitute a glass of skim for 2 percent milk and save 42 calories. If you drink three glasses of milk daily--the goal of the latest U.S. Dietary Guidelines--that adds up to a savings of 126 calories per day. Over the course of a year, it could equal a 13-pound weight loss.
 
Or trade your super-size fries (610 calories) for small fries (210 calories) and cut 400 calories. Do that just once a week, and in nine weeks you could lose one pound. Switch from a one-ounce bag of potato chips daily to a one-ounce bag of pretzels and trim 52 calories per day--the equivalent of four pounds over a year. Drink a 12-ounce can of diet soda instead of regular to save 140 calories. Do that five times per week and it could add up to a ten-pound loss per year.
 
The right carbs are a good thing. In fact, without them, your brain may not get the fuel that it needs daily, and you could be missing out on key vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting phytonutrients, not to mention fiber. Oh yes, and there's great flavor in those carbs, which include whole-grain bread, pasta, cereal, and brown rice, as well as other foods you might not expect, such as beans, fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. In Weeks 1, 2, and 5 of the Lean Plate Club Program you'll learn how to choose carbs wisely and how many carbs to eat daily. You'll even discover why enriched white carbs--a slice of warm French bread, a steaming bowl of white rice with Chinese food, or a serving of lasagna--can sometimes be smart choices.
 
Fat is not a four-letter word. Before there was a nutritional vendetta against carbohydrates, fat was considered the nutrient to avoid. Scientists have long shown that there are good fats and bad fats. The rest of us are just catching up with this concept. You likely know that saturated fat, cholesterol, and trans-fatty acids are fats to avoid. And you may even know about some of the healthy fats--olive oil and nuts, for example. But there's a whole lot more to learn about the good, the bad, and the oily. In Chapter Four, you'll find a brief nutritional primer that explains the many benefits of monounsaturated fats, such as olive or canola oils, why omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood are good for your heart, your brain, and your joints, and how to incorporate enough--but not too much--polyunsaturated fat, such as safflower oil. During Week 3 of the Lean Plate Club Program, you'll learn the secrets of trading the bad fats for the good.
 
Everyone needs a backup plan. Trust me, no matter how strong your motivation is today, no matter how dedicated you feel right now, sooner or later something will get in the way of your new, healthy efforts. Maybe your work will become more hectic. You'll switch jobs or find you have to travel more. Perhaps your family is about to expand. Or maybe a relative will suddenly need some extra care or attention. Nothing in life stays static. It's a matter of when--not if--life throws a wrench into your plans. One Lean Plate Club member was living with her husband and two young daughters in Vancouver, British Columbia, and making good progress to a healthier weight when her husband was transferred with just a week's notice to Toronto. She stayed behind with her two daughters to let them finish the school year before moving to Toronto. Despite the stress of moving her family, living briefly as a single parent, and relocating her law practice and filmmaking business to another city, she still managed to stay on track and has now lost more than 150 pounds. "It was a very stressful year," she said. "We moved three thousand miles, but I have made this my lifestyle. I think that is really key. I actually choose different foods to eat and have different portion sizes than I used to eat, and I eat a lot of vegetables. In fact, my favorite breakfast is now a veggie egg-substitute omelet with high-fiber toast and light margarine."
 
How you handle these kinds of life changes will make--or break--your long-term success. That's why in Week 8 you're going to learn how to develop and practice contingency plans for the days when life overtakes you. You'll also find sample menus and recipes, and learn how to plan at least a meal ahead to stay on track.
 
Support helps. Everybody needs encouragement, especially with weight loss. Studies show that it's a key element of long-term success. How much support you choose is up to you. In the pages ahead, you'll find effective ways to get the help and support you need from your family, friends, and colleagues as you move toward a healthier weight. You'll see how to enlist an exercise buddy to boost your odds of working out regularly. You'll learn how to draft help to avoid overeating at parties and where to find a sympathetic ear when the going gets tough. In addition to the dozens of secrets that you'll discover throughout this book to help you live like a thinner person, you'll soon have new tools to help you take stock of your body and will see how to set key achievable goals. Plus, you are now a member in good standing of the Lean Plate Club, which includes a large electronic community to provide support, motivation, and inspiration. You can participate in the weekly online Web chat, e-mail me personally anytime, solicit help online from other Lean Plate Club members, and subscribe to the weekly free e-mail Lean Plate Club newsletter, where you'll find lots more tips, the latest nutrition and exercise news, and ways to help boost physical activity or just keep your exercise regime fresh.
 
You have to make time--not find it--for healthy habits. "I just don't have time to do this" is a lament that I hear frequently. Truth is, you don't have time not to. We all get the same 168 hours each week. What differs is how we spend it.
 
Throughout the coming pages you'll see how Lean Plate Club members have learned to fit in meal planning, grocery shopping, healthy cooking, and regular workouts, whether they go to the gym, work out at home, or even exercise at their desks. Everyone is busy. As one Lean Plate Club member advised, "The trick for me is not to think about it! I go on autopilot when I get home from work. I have a routine where I check the weather on television as I change my clothes and get out the door to exercise. Don't overthink it. You owe it to yourself."
 
Healthy habits energize you. There's scientific evidence that eating smart and moving more enable you to feel sharper and more efficient. Plus, when you're well fueled, your blood sugar doesn't rise and fall sharply, which affects how hungry and tired you feel. When you're physically active, you improve blood flow and increase oxygen throughout your body--even if you don't reach peak aerobic levels during every workout. "I have the energy of a 20-year-old and the enthusiasm of a 10-year-old," says one 45-year-old Lean Plate Club member who now weighs 265 pounds but once tipped the scales at more than 400 pounds.
 
Mankato, Minn.: One good way to add spice to your daily walking is to check out books on tape from your local library. When I go for a walk I start listening to a book. The time goes so fast that sometimes I want to keep walking to hear more of the story. I always stick a couple of extra tapes in my pockets so I can continue when the first tape runs out.
 
The bottom line isn't just the number on the bathroom scale. Focus on the habits, and the pounds will fall into place. Weight loss doesn't always occur exactly at the rate you wish. In fact, it's not unusual for some people to lose more inches than pounds at first. "My clothes are looser and people tell me that I look thinner," one Lean Plate Club member noted. "But the scale hasn't moved yet." It's a well-documented phenomenon that scientists don't yet have an answer for, although many believe that it has to do with the body's readjustment of fat and lean body mass.
 
Others, especially those who are quite overweight or obese, may find that the scale moves steadily downward at first, then slows, and may even plateau before moving lower again. "When I was big, I could lose six pounds some weeks," said Arlene Rimer, who lost a total of 70 pounds before she hit her first plateau. It lasted four months.
 
The secret is that achieving a healthier weight is usually not a straight downward path but a trend that can have plateaus and even a few brief upward spikes. In the pages ahead, you'll learn how to cope with these discouraging moments.
 
Or as a Lean Plate Club member who lost more than 100 pounds told me, "After years of trying various diets and setting lofty goals, I finally started out just saying that I needed to lose some weight. I didn't worry about the amount. I did the same thing week after week. For quite a while, the scale dropped a half pound or a pound every week. But then there were weeks when I did exactly the same things and the scale stayed steady. And some weeks when it even rose a little. I used to joke that the only difference seemed to be the way I parted my hair."
 
That's why it's fine to monitor the scale regularly but best not to get obsessed by it or to consider the numbers on the scale your only measure of success. In "Take Stock" on page 40 and in Chapter Three, you'll learn how to set reasonable goals, how to meet them, and how to measure your progress, not just your success. At more than 400 pounds, a Lean Plate Club member from northern Virginia found it difficult to walk just a block. When he added healthy eating habits, he lost weight steadily; then his weight stabilized for a couple of months. "In the old days, I would have gone back to my old habits," he said. "But it didn't bother me, because I feel so incredibly good." He's since shed more than 140 pounds and completely altered his daily habits. "It is taking time for me to reach my goal, but I look okay and I certainly feel okay, so that's all that matters," he said.
 
Give yourself permission to eat. Food is sustenance. That means it's okay to enjoy a healthy, balanced meal. And no, standing over the kitchen sink, eating directly out of the fridge, mindlessly consuming calories in front of the television, or chowing down in the car does not count. There was a reason that our ancestors stopped toiling, sat down, and ate at regular intervals throughout the day. Many Europeans continue this tradition, and their rates of overweight and obesity have risen more slowly than in the United States. Our nonstop noshing is endangering the age-old practice of eating regular, satisfying meals.
 
Somehow, in our fast-paced lives, we've lost sight of the fact that food is nourishment--not escape--and is meant to be savored. During the next eight weeks, you'll learn how to savor food. You'll see how Lean Plate Club members with lives as busy as yours have taken back control of their kitchens, dining rooms, and pantries. You can, too. In Week 8 of the Lean Plate Club Program, you'll practice mindful eating, learn how to tame food obsessions, and identify the trigger foods that can fuel your overeating.
 
Nothing is off-limits. Make foods forbidden, especially any favorite foods, and it's likely that you'll want them even more. So unless you break out in hives or are otherwise allergic to a particular food, there are no foods to avoid with the Lean Plate Club. But that doesn't give you license to consume unlimited amounts of your favorite high-calorie fare. "Everything in moderation" is one of the mottoes of the Lean Plate Club.
 
In the weeks ahead you'll learn how to put that motto into practice, as did this member from Coral Springs, Florida: "I allow myself one small treat each day. I really love chocolate, so I look forward to treating myself to a small amount, such as half a brownie (and looking forward to the other half tomorrow!) or a snack-size candy bar, or sharing a dessert at a restaurant. If I know I'm going to eat out, I don't have a treat during the day so that I can look forward to dessert. When faced with a number of tempting choices, I pick the one that I feel I will enjoy the most or don't otherwise have the opportunity to taste very often. I've been using this strategy for about ten years now, and I never feel like I'm missing out on anything."
 
It's never too late to work toward a healthier weight. It doesn't matter whether you're 18 or 81. It doesn't matter if you're just a bit overweight or morbidly obese. Eating smart and moving more help people of all ages, shapes, and fitness levels feel better, and there's solid scientific evidence of important health benefits from doing so. The federally funded Diabetes Prevention Trial showed that people on the cusp of developing diabetes who lost only 7 percent of their body weight lowered their risk of developing diabetes by nearly 60 percent. For a 200-pound person, that is about 14 pounds. Same goes for exercise. It's never too late to reap the health benefits. Studies at Tufts University show that even 90-year-old nursing-home residents benefit from weight training by strengthening their muscles. Imagine what it can do for you.
 
You need to believe you can succeed. Thinking is as important as eating and exercise when it comes to weight loss. Research shows that the best predictor of success is something called self-efficacy--how confident you are that you can achieve your goals. Even if you've tried and failed numerous times before, you're going to discover proven ways to boost your belief that you can reach a healthier weight, as did a Lean Plate Club member from Sedona, Arizona, who also found a new calling as a volunteer firefighter in the process. "I just wanted to say thanks for your column. It, along with the many resources mentioned in the Web chat and motivation from some of my friends and Lean Plate Club members, has kept me on the path to healthy living these past couple of years. First I started by getting back into the sport I love: soccer. Then worked up to running a marathon. Now, I finally feel fit enough--and, most important, confident enough--to pursue something that I had put off for a long time: being a firefighter. I passed all the initial tests last week and start firefighter/emergency medical training classes next month, paid for by the local fire district. I just wanted to say thanks to you and the other members of the Lean Plate Club for the part they played in my progress!"
 
Keep it fresh. The trick for long-term weight-loss success is to find the right balance between healthy habits--which, by their very nature, are repetitive--and boredom that is likely to sabotage your efforts. The daily jogs that at first feel invigorating could seem monotonous in six months. The hearty soups that taste inviting and warm today may seem tired and unappealing a few months from now. Doing the same old thing can get routine very fast. You'll see how to keep your new healthy habits fresh and vital so that you don't become bored or burned out. Discovering water aerobics helped one Lean Plate Club member from Washington, D.C., turn a corner to healthy habits. "About a year and a half ago I was 100 pounds overweight. I was afraid to exercise. Finally, I started doing water aerobics one or two times a week. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was so simple to do and the stress was taken away from my joints. The thing that struck me most is that once I started moving, the weight started to come off. It was small at first, but with the combination of the Lean Plate Club and small amounts of regular exercise, I've shed most of the 100 pounds I needed to lose."
 
Practice, practice, practice. The eight-week Lean Plate Club Program puts you well on your way toward achieving a healthier weight. But that's just the beginning. Behavioral research shows that it takes at least weeks, often months and even years, for some new habits to take hold. So you'll learn how to use those initial eight weeks as a springboard for long-term success. "Three and a half years ago, I was in such bad shape physically that merely sweeping off my front porch left me breathless," said a Lean Plate Club member from Gaithersburg, Maryland, who has lost 80 pounds and kept it off for several years. "I started exercising slowly and graduated from a CardioGlide to a bicycle. I could bike only four miles at first and I got nauseated, but I stuck with it. Today, I can ride 50 to 60 miles at a time and am in as good a shape as when I was in my twenties."
 
Satisfaction leads to success. Unless you feel full and satisfied, odds are you won't stick with any new eating regimen for long. Few people can tolerate feeling chronically hungry and deprived. The Lean Plate Club shows you how to feel full on fewer calories, based on clinically proven findings from well-respected scientists at leading universities. You'll learn the importance of regular meals and portion control, and the value of consuming high-volume foods that fill you up with fewer calories. Plus, you'll discover the most effective ways to work out without fueling your appetite, as well as what to eat before and after exercising to optimize both endurance and fat burning.
 
Know how to recover from slips so that they don't become slides into failure. Everybody has a bad day. Or a bad week. Or even a bad month. Learning how to get back on track after nutritional mischief and bouts of inactivity is essential for long-term success. In the weeks ahead, you'll learn how to sidestep guilt trips and coach yourself back to healthy habits, as does this Lean Plate Club member who has successfully maintained a 20-pound weight loss for more than two years: "I find that when I look good, I take better care of myself. Also, I make it a hard-and-fast rule: no second trips to those killer buffets. And if I fall off the wagon, I'm sure to climb right back on. That has been the most important lesson for me. Even if I overindulge on a trip or at a party, I know that each day comes with an opportunity to begin anew."
 
Reward yourself. Most people never give themselves even a pat on the back for achieving a healthier weight. When you set a goal, whether small or large, you'll also learn the importance of rewarding yourself for meeting that goal. It can be as simple as soaking in a candlelit bubble bath or downloading a tune that you've wanted for your iPod, or as fancy as splurging on a facial, massage, or pedicure. Each week, you'll be reminded to provide a new reward to reinforce your efforts.
 
Arlington, Va.: Hi, Sally--Just wanted to report that I've lost five pounds in the month and a half that I've been following along with the LPC. I was in pretty good shape before, but I've cleaned up my diet (more whole grains, fruits, and veggies, less meat and cheese) and have increased my activity level so that I'm getting a solid workout at least five days a week. Now that the weather has gotten nice, I've been riding my bike to and from work one or two days a week (14 miles round-trip). Thanks for all the suggestions. Keep them coming.
 
Crave activity. Thirty-eight percent of American adults are so sedentary that they engage in no activity during leisure hours. None. Zip. Nada. That missed opportunity undermines efforts at weight loss. During the next eight weeks, you'll learn how to boost your daily physical activity level whether you're a couch potato, a dedicated gym rat, or something in between. Let's face it, modern conveniences are engineering activity out of our lives, so even if you do go to the gym for an hour daily, odds are that you're still inactive for the other 23 hours each day.
 
You don't need to limit yourself to jogging, weight training, or playing popular sports such as tennis or golf. A number of Lean Plate Club members are getting fit with less traditional methods, from the Japanese martial art aikido to the fast-moving Argentinean tango. "I started studying belly dancing a couple of years ago," one Lean Plate Club member reported, "and have been delighted with how well it's kept me interested and motivated after all those years that I hated exercise! I cannot recommend it highly enough. It's an excellent low-impact workout, great for flexibility and cardiovascular fitness, and works for women of all shapes and sizes. Even men!"
 
The only failure is in no longer trying. Studies show that it often takes at least a half-dozen attempts to succeed long term at weight loss, a fact that seems to be missing from most diet books and weight-loss programs. In a few pages, you'll have a chance to review your weight-loss history, gauge how ready you are to begin to instill healthy eating and physical activity habits, and take stock of where your body stands today. View this as an opportunity, since even if you're a veteran yo-yo dieter, behavioral research shows that each time you've shed weight--despite regaining it--you've still learned something important about what works and doesn't work for you. Now you're ready to put it all together. Turn the page and Secrets of the Lean Plate Club will begin to show you how.
 
Copyright 2006 by Sally Squires


Continues...




Excerpted from Secrets of the Lean Plate Club
by Squires, Sally
Copyright © 2006 by Squires, Sally.
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.


Meet the Author

Sally Squires has a master's degree in nutrition from Columbia University and is an award-winning, nationally syndicated columnist with The Washington Post. She is the co-author of The Stoplight Diet for Children. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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