Part One A NEW WAY OF LIFEDiets--The Ultimate Empty Promise
If you've ever had a problem with your weight, you've probably tried one diet after the next. At first you stick to it diligently. You're excited because you really think this is going to be the one to solve all your problems. You count and measure and deprive yourself of eating the foods you love, all in the quest to become thin. The pounds drop slowly . . . too slowly. Irritability increases because you're hungry and cranky. As the days pass you're upset because you feel surrounded by thin people who seem to be able to eat whatever they want while you hold the dressing on the salad and eat a boring chicken breast with no sauce. You watch those fat grams, keep those calories down. You're miserable because your whole life seems to revolve around what you can eat or, rather, what you can't eat. But you stick to it, because nothing would make you feel more attractive and healthier than a new slim figure.
After two solid weeks of dieting, you pass by the open cupboard and notice a bag of Pepperidge Farm cookies that has been left opened. You go to roll down the top of the bag to keep them fresh, but first you peek inside. Oh, the smell. There is one broken cookie left on the top row. You can't eat it. Well, you could, but you shouldn't. But it just looks so messy having that one broken cookie resting on the white ruffled piece of paper. You decide you really should clean up that bag and remove that top piece of paper. You bite your fingernail and rationalize that since you've been so good, it would be okay to treat yourself to one minuscule crumb. You go for it, and your mouth explodes. Oh, what you've been missing! One little cookie crumb instantly makes your willpower crumble. It's okay, you convince yourself. It's not gonna kill you to eat the rest of that one measly little broken cookie. You look to see if any family members are nearby. The coast is clear, so you pop the delectable treat into your mouth. It's crunchy and sweet. The chocolate is rich and delicious.
Since you've already blown your diet, before you know it you've removed the white paper and are digging into the second row for another cookie. After one and a half cookies you decide you might as well have another to completely satisfy your craving so you can get back on track tomorrow. You inhale cookie number two, licking your fingers to get every morsel. You go to close the bag and realize there's just one cookie left in the row, and it looks entirely too lonely sitting there by itself. You down it and remove the second piece of white paper. Now you're full, but there is only one row left in the entire bag--and having them around may tempt you to cheat again--so you polish off the rest of the bag and hide the evidence in the trash can.
Then comes the guilt. "I shouldn't have done it." Then comes the bloating. "I feel sick to my stomach." Then comes the despair. "I'll never lose this weight." Then comes the depression. "What difference does it make. I'm gonna be fat forever." So much for the diet. In a short time you gain back all the weight you lost and a few extra pounds on top of that. Then it's time to scour the fashion magazines and find the new diet that promises to help you lose the weight and keep it off for good.
Diets--the ultimate empty promise perpetuating the same cycle over and over again. We've all been victims of yo-yo dieting. We stick to some diets longer than others, but c'mon, just how much cabbage soup can a person eat? Let's face it . . . most diets fail because they are based on deprivation, and after depriving yourself for a period of time, you will eventually want to reward yourself. During the reward time, you will probably gain back all the weight, plus more. Staggering statistics show that 95 percent of us who go on diets gain back all the weight. Something is terribly wrong!
So how do we beat the statistics? I'm happy to say I have finally figured it out. If you read my first book, you heard about my battle with dieting and how a trip to France in 1992 and an introduction to food combining changed everything for me. I stopped dieting on plain, boring, unsatisfying food and started eating rich, delicious meals full of flavor and, yes . . . fat. I got skinny on fat and realized I would never have to diet again. By eating a balanced diet including fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, butter, cheese, eggs, meat, and even cream, I went from 130 pounds down to 116, the amount I weighed as a teenager. And because I give my body real foods, my hunger is satisfied and I am meeting my body's nutritional needs. In the last six years my weight has not fluctuated by more than five pounds. This is not another diet full of empty promises . . . it's a remarkable program that has helped over a million people to lose weight and gain energy--Somersizing.MESSING WITH YOUR METABOLISM
Why do diets fail time and time again? First of all, diets are about deprivation. We simply don't get to eat enough food, or enough of the right kinds of food, to satisfy our bodies' needs. Let's look at what happens when you restrict your calories from, for example, 1,500 to 1,000 calories a day. Since your body is used to running on 1,500 calories, it must make up for the missing fuel source by burning off first your glycogen and protein stores and then your fat reserves to provide you with enough energy to get through the day. This initial burning of fuel is why you will lose weight when you cut your calories. (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.) But the human body is a remarkably complicated and adaptable machine. As your glycogen and protein stores are being depleted, your metabolism will actually slow down to keep you from starving to death. It's a survival instinct. Your body adapts to survive on 1,000 calories, or less fuel than it needed before.
Excerpted from Suzanne Somers' Get Skinny on Fabulous Food by Suzanne Somers. Copyright © 2001 by Suzanne Somers. Excerpted by permission of Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.