Read an Excerpt
Sample Recipes from Suzanne Somers' Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away.
Grilled Onion Frittata
Pro/Fats and Veggies Level One
I love frittatas; they’re like omelettes, but lighter and fluffier. This one is made with grilled onions and Parmesan cheese.
1 red onion, cut into 8 equal-size wedges
1 yellow onion, cut into 8 equal-size wedges
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine onions and olive oil and toss to coat well.
Preheat a grill pan over high heat. Arrange onion wedges on grill pan and cook until browned and tender underneath, about 5 minutes. Turn onions over and cook until very tender, 5-7 minutes more. Brush with more oil as needed.
In a large bowl beat eggs and cream until blended. Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper until smooth.
In a 10-inch braiser or ovenproof frying pan over medium low heat, melt butter. Add rosemary and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Pour egg mixture into pan and fold gently to combine rosemary and eggs. Arrange grilled onions over top of eggs.
Transfer pan to oven and bake until frittata is golden brown and puffy, about 12-15 minutes.
If you do not have an ovenproof frying pan, transfer egg mixture into an 8-inch non-stick cake pan and bake as directed.
Veggies Level One
My friend Tuvia was born in Israel and loves all the good things in life. One summer weekend, while he and his wife, Kristi, were visiting our beach home, he made this salad and now it is a favorite. Kirby or Persian cucumbers are the small little pickling cucumbers. They have a great favor but if you can’t find them, you can substitute regular cucumbers. For a Carbos and Veggies meal, serve with grilled crusty multigrain bread. For a Pro/Fats and Veggies meal, add a great-quality extra-virgin olive oil. If you have the oil and the bread, it becomes Level Two.
6-7 Kirby or Persian cucumbers (or 1 regular cucumber)
4-5 tomatoes, seeded
1 green bell pepper, seeded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Finely dice all the vegetables into a uniform size. Toss with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Calorie Counting: Count Your Way Down, Then Back Up the Scale
How many times have you stood in front of your closet and completely ignored an entire section of clothing? Before I discovered the Somersize solution, I would stand in front of my crammed closet and think to myself, "Someday I'll fit into my skinny clothes again." My clothes spanned three to four sizes, my super-skinny clothes, my normal clothes, my need-to-lose-5-pounds clothes, and my fat clothes. When an important event was pending, I would muster up the willpower to go on a strict diet to get down to that "skinny" outfit.
My diets always consisted of severely cutting down on calories adhering to minuscule portions of tasteless food. Or I'd eat diet food supplements like shakes or prepackaged food with the consistency of cardboard. I got results, but I suffered! I would lose the weight, but how I missed my dear friend, delicious food! How I missed preparing wonderful meals for myself and my family. (Well, c'mon, if I was going to suffer you don't think I could watch my husband, Alan, indulge around every corner!)
I would get down to my "skinny" clothes for the date I needed to look my best, and then I would go home and reward myself with a feast of all the glorious treats I'd been missing. I'd make roast chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes loaded with butter and cream, and vegetables tossed in butter and Parmesan cheese. And since I hadn't eaten sweets for soooooo long, I'd bake a sinful chocolate cake and devour two large pieces (plus a few extra forkfuls as I was cleaning the kitchen).
Of course, I would vow to get right back to a "healthy" way of eating so that I would not destroy all the progress I had made. I wouldn't stay on the strict diet, but I would try to eat balanced meals like a "normal" person. Before too long I'd find myself creeping from the skinny clothes into the normal clothes. I wasn't eating that much! Why was the weight coming back so fast? When I could no longer squeeze my way into my normal clothes I'd graduate to my need-to-lose-5-pounds clothes. Then I'd either start another diet, or move on into my fat clothes.
The cycle continued, year after passing year. I was never obese, but once I hit forty, I seemed to have a constant battle with my weight, a battle that spanned about 15 pounds. I knew I was to blame. I had no willpower. If only I had the appetite of a bird, then I could always be thin. If only I could resist delectable butter sauces and chocolate brownies. If only I could survive on a starvation diet. If only I could devote three hours a day to exercising. But, no. I was lazy and without conviction, and my fat clothes and I would have to live with the consequences.
Now I realize I could not have been more wrong. I was not to blame. And neither are you. Ninety-five percent of us who go on diets gain back all the weight and often more. Why? Are we all just lazy slobs with no willpower? Conventional dieting in the past few decades has presumed that cutting calories and increasing activity level is the key to weight loss. We've all tried it and succeeded for limited periods of time, but cutting calories is only a temporary weight loss solution. It is also a potentially dangerous weight loss solution.
SENDING YOUR BODY INTO SURVIVAL INSTINCT
Here's what happens physiologically when you reduce your calorie intake. Let's say your body is used to 1,500 calories a day and you reduce your intake to 1,000 a day. Since your body is used to running on 1,500 calories a day, it must make up for the missing fuel source first by burning off your glycogen and protein stores. (Glycogen is stored with water, and therefore weighs more than fat. The scale may reflect a substantial weight loss due mostly to the loss of water, not fat. That's what the term water weight means.) After your glycogen and protein stores have been depleted, then your body will begin to burn off your fat reserves to provide you with enough energy to get you through the day. This initial burning of fuel is why you will lose weight when you cut your calories. After this initial weight loss, many of us reach that frustrating plateau. We're still counting every calorie, yet we've stopped losing weight. Why won't our damn bodies cooperate? It's survival instinct. As our glycogen and protein stores are being depleted, our metabolism will actually slow down to keep us from starving to death. Your body adapts to survive on less fuel than it needed before. Plus, your new lower metabolism means you have a slower-running machine-quite simply, less energy to get through the day, leaving you tired and listless!
Sound familiar? Tired, deprived, and a halt in weight loss. These are all the trappings of a low-calorie diet. But it gets even worse. Your body recognizes that it's not getting enough food, so it starts to store away a portion of the food. It may use, say, 800 calories for fuel and store 200 as fat for later use. So even though you're still living on poached chicken, rice cakes, and celery sticks, you may actually start to gain a couple pounds. That's when the deprivation outweighs the results and we feast on any and every morsel we can get our hands on. It gets worse still. By cutting our calories in the first place, we have forced our bodies to slow down our metabolism, so our body actually needs fewer calories to survive than it did before the diet. When you go back to eating your previously "normal" 1,500 calories a day, your body will have an excess of fuel, because it has adapted to survive on 800 calories a day. That leaves 700 calories that could be stored as fat for later use! That's why we gain all the weight back and then a little extra-it's our new lower metabolism, all thanks to cutting back on those calories.
Cutting calories lowers our metabolism and puts our bodies on an unhealthy diet roller coaster with physical and emotional ups and downs that all of us would like to eliminate. Somersizing will help you heal your ailing metabolism. I swear to you, you will never have to diet again. All you need to do is commit to this simple and delicious lifestyle and you will reprogram your metabolism. My closet is no longer stuffed with a spectrum of variously sized clothes. I have my skinny clothes and my skinny clothes and I have Somersizing to thank for it. And guess what? I still eat roast chicken (including the skin!) smothered with mouthwatering gravy. I still cover my vegetables with butter and Parmesan cheese. I still eat salad with real dressing. I just stay away from the potatoes. And occasionally I still treat myself to sinful chocolate cake.
THE SIMPLE WAY TO MELT AWAY
In this book, I'll show you how you can eat sinfully rich foods, in abundant portions, in a way that reprograms your metabolism to burn fat and give you a constant source of energy. Level One is the weight loss portion of the program. I'll explain the specifics later on in this book, but here's the basic overview. First I eliminate a small list of foods that wreak havoc on our systems, like sugar, white flour, and potatoes, and then I eat normal everyday foods in combinations that aid in digestion and weight control. In order to increase your metabolism, you must eat food! I eat whenever I am hungry. I do not skimp on portions. I eat until I am full and I never skip meals.
Here's how it works. I have taken readily available foods and categorized them into four Somersize groups:
Pro/Fats: Includes proteins like meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, and fats in their natural state like oil, butter, cream, and cheese.
Veggies: Includes a whole host of low-starch, fresh vegetables, from artichokes to peppers to zucchini and more.
Carbos: Includes whole-grain pastas, cereals, breads, beans, and nonfat dairy products.
Fruits: Includes a huge variety of fresh fruits, from apples to peaches to tangerines and more.
The group of foods I eliminate are called Funky Foods, because they don't fit into any of the four Somersize Food Groups.
Funky Foods: Includes sugars, highly starchy foods, caffeine, and alcohol. (You will find complete lists of all of these food groups in the following chapters.)
Here are the basic guidelines of Level One, the weight loss portion of my program.
SEVEN EASY STEPS TO SOMERSIZING
1. Eliminate all Funky Foods.
2. Eat Fruits alone, on an empty stomach.
3. Eat Pro/Fats with Veggies.
4. Eat Carbos with Veggies.
5. Keep Pro/Fats separate from Carbos.
6. Wait three hours between meals if switching from a Pro/Fats meal to a Carbos meal, or vice versa.
7. Do not skip meals. Eat at least three meals a day, and eat until you feel satisfied and comfortably full.
Seven easy steps. These seven easy steps are your ticket to freedom. Freedom from the diet roller coaster, and freedom from the extra weight that surrounds the skinny person inside you. As long as you follow all of the Level One guidelines, you may eat until you are full and still lose weight. That's the honest truth. Nowhere in this book will you read that you have to mix powders or take pills or count calories and fat grams, or fast for the first week. Just follow these seven easy steps, enjoy delicious flavorful foods without ever going hungry, and you will reprogram your metabolism to help you lose weight and gain energy.
I know this sounds too good to be true, but millions of Somersizers can't be wrong. They have lost weight and still get to eat all they want every day. Take a look at what you might eat in a sample day if you are Somersizing. You could start your morning with a piece of fruit, then have a shower and follow up with a bowl of whole-grain cereal with nonfat milk. For lunch you might choose a large Caesar salad with chicken and a side of sautéed vegetables sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. In the afternoon you could decide to snack on fresh fruit or a hard-boiled egg. For dinner, try a green salad with blue cheese dressing, a big juicy steak, a side of broccoli . . . covered with cheese sauce if you like and even a bowl of my sugar-free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream made with my miraculous new SomerSweet. No deprivation here.
The magic to losing weight while eating such rich food is correctly combining the foods you eat at every meal. Your perfectly combined steak dinner could be instantly destroyed by eating a potato and a white roll with it, or having a plate of fruit for dessert. Fruit should not be combined with other foods because it causes gas and bloating and may upset the digestive process of other foods. We keep proteins and fats separate from the carbos. But you do enjoy whole-grain carbos on the Somersize plan when eaten at the right times-they are especially great in the morning, with nonfat dairy products. What a perfect energy boost for the beginning of the day!
Overall, look at the balance of foods-we eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals; we get whole-grain carbohydrates for energy and additional fiber; and we supply our bodies with the protein and fat from meat and dairy products that is so essential to our good health. By eating real foods instead of processed and refined foods, we are supplying our bodies with the building materials they need to keep us healthy and youthful-not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. There is nothing healthy about replacing real food with fat-free products that look like real food, except for the absence of any nutritional benefit!
When Somersizing, you are eating delicious foods, in combinations that make your digestive system run like clockwork. Food is digested smoothly and efficiently. Your body extracts what it needs and discards the remainder while you melt away pounds and have more energy than ever before. And because it's so easy to eat this way, you can easily dine in just about any restaurant, and you can prepare meals for yourself by using any of my Somersize recipes or creating Somersize favorites of your own. Simple. Effective. Incredible!
Later on, when you reach your goal weight, you will graduate to Level Two, the maintenance portion of the program. We loosen the reins a bit and show you how to Somersize for the rest of your life, without your weight fluctuating more than a couple of pounds.
That's the basic overview of the program. For those of you who did not read my first two books, Eat Great, Lose Weight, and Get Skinny on Fabulous Food, you are probably still skeptical. I understand. We have been so brainwashed into thinking a low-fat, low-calorie diet is the only way to safely lose weight that any program contrary to that notion sounds like quackery. I promise I will not lead you astray. I have always believed that my program is safe and effective because I gathered information from many doctors and nutritionists while creating it. But this information is on the cutting edge and not universally accepted. Now, because of Dr. Schwarzbein's additional clinical research on sugar and fat, I have more medical research to back it up. Not only is Somersizing safe and effective, it is essential to our health. Please don't confuse my program with other high-protein diets that severely restrict certain food groups, like fruit and carbohydrates. Somersizing is a balanced plan that ensures you get all the necessary nutrients and building blocks your body needs in order to thrive. Your body will love it from the inside out.