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With the abundance of conflicting advice out there, it's easy to see why people struggle with dieting. Dieters want clarity, they want to be told what to do. Women's Health contributing editor and author of The O2 Diet and The Slim Calm Sexy Diet Keri Glassman gives readers the be-all-end-all: 8 simple rules to lose the weight for good.
While what we eat is very important (and The New You and Improved Diet includes a step-by-step, 8-week meal plan, full of real foods that are nutrient dense and antioxidant rich) —that's just one part of a successful weight-loss strategy. Keri walks readers through the other all-important rules to get stronger, calmer, healthier, more balanced and yes, thinner.
Each rule is connected to and supports the others. The more you sleep, the more energy you have at the gym, the more weight you lose. The more you choose nutrient-dense food, the more focused your workouts become, the deeper you sleep. Using common-sense wisdom and easy, practical application, The New You and Improved Diet shows you how to make connections between these rules to totally reset your body's compass. Including a cleanse to jumpstart the diet, detailed menus, recipes, and tons of simple tips to stay on track, Keri walks readers through the only 8 rules they'll ever need to know to find their best body ever.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
How the NEW YOU (and improved!) DIET RULES WORK TOGETHER
While I know you're going to love what you'll be eating on the New You and Improved Diet, food alone isn't enough to change your weight. Shedding pounds requires more than a menu change--you need to change behavior in other areas of your life, or else you won't succeed. I understand that sounds negative at first, but really it's the best news you've ever heard about ending your battle with the scale.
The eight New You and Improved Diet rules, which form the core of this plan, are the foundation of my practice at Nutritious Life in New York City. They truly are the pillars of a healthy lifestyle: It's not that if any one pillar is broken they all crumble. In fact, practically no one I know is firing exactly the same on all pistons. Most of us struggle to keep our lives in balance, even if we spend a whole weekend eating poorly, skip a month of workouts, or go through superbusy times at work. The point is that the more attentive we can be to where we are with each of these eight rules, on any given day, the more balanced we'll be.
I've seen it thousands of times: Clients may follow a perfect eating plan for a week or so, but because they ignore their chronic stress or lack of sleep, for example, they can't help but fall off their plan, despite their best efforts and intentions. Their bodies are so desperate for energy that a whole box of crackers with a whipped cream-covered coffee-drink chaser seems like the answer.
But it works the other way, too. Let's say you have a day or two when you are struggling to stay with the plan, but you manage to get in a long walk and a brief meditation, and you clear some clutter out of your office. All of a sudden, eating that salmon and asparagus for dinner seems like something sumptuous and rewarding, not just something you should do.
I've seen firsthand how small changes in all eight of these areas will not only support your weight loss, but also power it and pave the way for, well, a whole new you. And as you learn to apply each of the rules to your life, you'll be amazed at how effortless weight loss can be, and you'll get a deeper understanding of why you may have failed to drop many pounds (or to keep them off) in the past. You won't feel deprived--you'll feel blessed.
And while each New You and Improved rule ultimately impacts all the other rules, some are more directly linked than others. For example, if you're not eating well, exercise is much more difficult. If you haven't been sleeping enough, it's a good bet your sex life is pretty lousy, too. Throughout this book, look for "How It Connects" boxes that explain some of the most important ways the eight rules feed off one another.
And if you find yourself off track with the plan? Just remember that every meal is "Monday morning"--an individual opportunity to eat well. So you messed up and had a slice of birthday cake at the office. Or had two extra mojitos. It happens, and all rules--even these!--are sometimes broken. That doesn't mean you have to keep eating like crazy. Every time you pick up a fork, you get another chance. Changing your relationship with food--really resetting your brain--means learning to be patient, even when you've been "bad." In fact, the essence of the New You and Improved Diet plan is that you get to start with a blank slate as many times as you need to!
RULE NO. 1
Eat More, Not Less
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
If you're like many of my clients, you often find yourself so pressured for time that you frequently take shortcuts that make you feel lousy--grabbing a slice of pizza for lunch, skipping the gym, or snacking on jellybeans midafternoon just to find the energy to make it through the day. Yet, at the same time, you're surrounded by more information than ever about what you should be doing.
And I don't just mean in terms of diet--although by now, everyone has gotten the message that their life should have much more salad and much less junk food. I mean the explosion of information about the whole world of nutrition--everything from agai berries to zinc--coming at you from friends, doctors, TV, YouTube, Twitter, and even as texts on your phone.
Eat More, Not Less:
HOW IT CONNECTS
"Eat empowered," I always tell my clients. "The right foods make everything else in your life possible." And it's true: Healthful, nutritious, satisfying, and luscious foods (Rule No. 1) won't just help you get back into your best pair of jeans. They'll also calm you down (Rule No. 2), improve your workouts (Rule No. 4), help you sleep better (Rule No. 7), and stoke your sex life (Rule No. 5).
Why, my clients wonder, when they know so many of the right things to do to lose weight, stay healthy, and have all the energy they need, do they wind up doing so many wrong things? I know the answer, and to me, it's simple. But that's because I've spent years watching Americans start diets and then fail. Until we start to make healthier, calmer choices in other areas, sustaining the behavioral changes around food to achieve any kind of weight loss is just too difficult.
Remember, losing weight is hard. That's why the latest research predicts that 42 percent of Americans will be obese--not just overweight, but obese-- by 2030. The New You and Improved Diet explains many of the things that can derail your efforts and teaches you simple ways to rearrange your life in a manner that supports a healthy weight.
Of course, it all starts with the food. When people begin to understand that eating well isn't about avoiding bad foods but is instead about eating healthy foods--and not just any healthy foods, but the particular ones your body is screaming for right now--something happens. Honestly, it's like switching from regular TV to high-def: Your entire approach to eating comes into a wonderful new focus. And even though eating is a very physical thing, the shift is almost entirely mental. You develop a new attitude about food, and instead of feeling tempted (or even terrorized!) by "bad" foods, the whole moral dilemma slips away. The New You starts to feel powerful, more in control, more in charge.
It's an approach that works for me personally, too. I've learned to give real food, healthy food, truly nourishing food a starring role in my life. And I don't mean that I'm a perfect eater or that I don't know what it feels like to be pulled in a dozen different directions--believe me, I've got a job that can be hectic, two small (and wonderful!) children, family, friends, and my own exercise program to keep up with. Sometimes it does feel overwhelming. And yes, I'm as vulnerable as the next woman to the smell of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, especially when I'm tired.
But because I've identified some superbasic ways to keep deliciously healthy foods in my life, I feel good. Most days, these foods give me everything I need to stay strong, slim, and energetic. I can swing my kids around at the playground, counsel my clients, and cook a simple meal--and still have energy left to squeeze in a drink with a girlfriend. Because of the food choices I make, I'm able to ride out the extra-stressful times and the everyday ups and downs and to handle all the good things in my life.
I want you to have that, too. You may not know it yet, but you're about to change your relationship with oxygen--that invisible stuff swirling around you right now, even as it's making its way to every cell in your body. Like so many great relationships, it's got a little Jekyll-and-Hyde action. Yes, we need oxygen to live. It's a component of the air we breathe and the water we drink. Without it, we'd be toast.
But oxygen--and a process it causes called oxidative stress--also causes us to age too quickly. It makes us sick, tired, and overweight. Oxidative stress and the damage it causes have been linked to many illnesses, including heart disease--the number-one killer of men and women in America-- a variety of cancers, dementia and other cognitive problems, poor eyesight, premature aging, and even arthritis. And anything that slows that process of oxidation--the same thing that causes an apple to turn brown after it's cut and a nail to rust--doesn't just boost our health; it also makes us feel better.
On an almost daily basis, I hear new evidence--from epidemiologists, cardiologists, cancer specialists, and even dentists--about the benefits of consuming a diet rich in antioxidants. And it has been quite a rush for me, as a registered dietitian helping people learn to eat healthier foods, to discover that fending off some of these problems is as simple as picking up a fork! You heard me: It's not just nutritionists like me who know how powerful a plant-based, antioxidant-rich diet can be in keeping you healthy. Now the whole world knows how powerful simple foods, from walnuts to kale to peaches to cloves, can be.
The New You and Improved Diet teaches you to harness the power of foods rich in antioxidants in a way that makes the most sense for you. Yes, I know you want to lose weight, and you will. But you'll also be eating the most nutritious foods available. (Seriously, this plan is the Fort Knox of nutrition!)
Anyone following this plan will lose weight, if they want to. By starting with the Eight-Foods Cleanse (which begins on page 26), you can expect to lose up to 20 pounds in 8 weeks. Heavier people often lose weight faster, while those with less to lose usually do so at a slower rate. (Sorry--I didn't write the rules of metabolism, and I would change them if I could.)
But my hope is that The New You and Improved Diet will spark an even more meaningful change than weight loss and will open your eyes to the big picture of nutrition. It's not so much about what you're going to have for dinner or even the best cleanse for you. It's about nutritional matchmaking. I'm going to hook you up with the healthiest foods on the planet, so that most of the time, they're what you want on your plate. (I mean it: You'll start saying things like "Black raspberries, where have you been all my life?")
I'm betting that an internal switch will flip on inside you. No matter what your eating history, you will understand the cause and effect of eating well. Your brain--and your waistline--will really get that these fresh and luscious foods are the reason you look and feel so good. They're not just the secret of your newly visible collarbones (yep, they're there!), your glowing skin, and your softening laugh lines. These foods are also why you feel so great, with plenty of energy to get through the day, a new calm, and a greater focus. You'll be less grouchy, and when you fall asleep, your body will be better able to recharge. Even your sex life will get a boost! (Honest, my clients' spouses send me thank-you notes--a lot!)
I don't mean to belittle your weight loss goals. Overweight and obesity are major problems and cause lots of emotional distress. Many people are constantly upset over how their bodies look and their seeming inability to change, and as a dietitian, I know the heartache it causes. So it's fine with me that you picked up this book to lose weight--and I promise, I'll support you every step of the way. But it's my pleasure to tell you that if all you expect from this plan is weight loss, you're selling yourself way too short. Following this plan will dramatically improve your life--even reduce your risk of the diseases crippling so many people today, including heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, and Alzheimer's. You will eat your way toward a lifetime of lasting, feel-good, and looking-great benefits--a new and improved you! And you deserve it!
Eat Real to Lose Weight
We are learning more every day about how eating real food--often straight from the farmers' market--boosts health and weight loss. Plant-based diets are generating some of the biggest headlines, as researchers learn more about the specific functions of phytonutrients. In fact, I'm thrilled to see the kinds of diet books flying out of the bookstore--The Paleo Diet, The Mediterranean Diet, French Women Don't Get Fat (and its counterpart, Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat). There's one common denominator among these plans: real food.
That's because so much of the current obesity and overweight crisis is a product of fake food--not only foods with chemicals and additives and preservatives and sweeteners, but also overly complicated recipes that pile unhealthy sugars and carbs and fats on top of each other in a way that nature just never intended. Until the 1800s, most people lived on simple foods, grown near their home and without chemicals. Local and organic was the only choice they had! And they very likely worked on farms or in factories, which meant they got plenty of exercise.
As more people moved into cities, their diets changed, and an increasing number of processed foods came into our lives. Some innovations--like frozen foods--were great and led people to really improve the way they ate, with vegetables available all year instead of seasonally. But some have been disasters, as Americans have become increasingly tolerant of--and even enamored with--purely synthetic foods. Seriously, can most of us identify a single real-food component of the weird concoctions that made America famous in the post-World War II era: Lucky Charms, Cheez Whiz, or Tang? Does anyone know what's in Marshmallow Fluff (which I grew up eating on white bread--really. Mom?)?
By 1971, American eating habits had taken an even scarier turn: We fell head over heels in love with fast food and washed down all those burgers with ever-increasing servings of soft drinks. From 1971 to 2004, a period when the obesity rate went from 14.5 to 30.9 percent, the average woman added 355 calories a day to her diet, while the average man added 168, almost all of those in the form of sweetened beverages.
It's no surprise, when you think about it, that we've become a country with an exploding diabetes epidemic and a landscape dotted with restaurants that have elevated basic fast-food fare to even more damaging levels. It's almost comical to picture what a 19th-century farm family would think if they had to watch anyone eat a Bloomin' Onion, a Chunky Loaded Pizza, a Never Ending Pasta Bowl, or a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Blast Sundae.
Table of Contents
Part 1 How the New You and Improved Diet Rules Work Together
Rule No. 1 Eat More, Not Less 5
Rule No. 2 Breathe Your Way Thin 35
Rule No. 3 Sip Your Way Slim 53
Rule No. 4 Don't Get Stuck at the Gym 69
Rule No. 5 Feel Sexy to Slim Down 97
Rule No. 6 Put Yourself First 111
Rule No. 7 Always Sleep Alone 125
Rule No. 8 Clean Out Your Closet 139
Part 2 The New You and Improved Diet Plan
The New You and Improved Diet Recipes 161
The New You and Improved Meal Plan 196
Grocery Lists 231
Making Good Food Choices 244
More Options to Personalize Your Plan 245
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