'Fit into your favorite jeans' diet

July 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Losing weight and keeping it off can be a challenge, but Kami Gray, author of "The Denim Diet," says she has been able to do it for 19 years by following a few simple habits.

Buy the book on Amazon: The Denim Diet

FIVE THINGS EVERY HAPPY, HEALTHY EATER DOES

1) FPV--Food Planning and Visualization
Most of us eat out a couple of times a week. One of the biggest reasons it's hard to be successful when you're trying to lose weight is not knowing how to eat out at restaurants without overeating. There's a trick to doing this successfully that I call FPV-which stands for Food Planning and Visualization. You plan in advance what you are going to eat and you visualize yourself doing just that. Successful people visualize their success before it happens, whether it's perfecting a golf swing, delivering a great presentation, or not succumbing to food temptation. Now that so many restaurants have their menus online, FPV has become even easier. Go to the restaurant's website and select exactly what you are going to order when you get there. Picture yourself saying, "I am going to have the grilled chicken breast salad lightly dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil." See yourself eating it and enjoying it and not going home feeling overly-stuffed and needing to lie down on the couch wondering, "Why did I do that?" Make a plan and you are far more likely to execute it perfectly.

Know the Devil in The Details - High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is the ideal stuffing for your belly and your thighs. It bypasses the normal journey that real, unrefined food takes - the body doesn't know what to do with it - so it turns into fat storage! Forget about all the mixed messages and conflicting research about HFCS - Here's what you should trust?your ever expanding gut! Is all that fat-free, diet HFCS-laced food really working for you? Not so much huh? It's making a lot of people fat! Is it really in everything? Do we really need to read labels?

2) Embrace Dieting Failures and Move Forward With Baby Steps.
Every woman I know who has tried to lose weight has been unsuccessful at one time or another in her attempt, whether it was a daily setback or less frequent eating mishaps. I know many dieters get this idea in their head that when they've blown it, like say they ate a 200 calorie chocolate chip cookie, they figure well, I've gone and ruined my diet for today and I may as well really blow it and eat a few more cookies or maybe a half a pint of ice cream. Can you imagine what would happen to the shape of our financial health if we had that same attitude when we're out shopping for clothes? Just like you really can't afford a 200 calorie cookie, you splurge on a pair of $200 jeans and then figure you've blown it now so you may as well buy a $200 pair of shoes and a $400 handbag? No, we cut our losses, vow to stick to the budget next time, maybe put a few more hours in at the office and get back on track. Same goes with your diet. So you ate a cookie, forgive yourself, let it go, vow to be better the rest of the day, and move on. Successful weight loss is all about the baby steps?a lot of little baby steps in the right direction adds up to steady and permanent weight loss. But the opposite is also true so don't beat yourself up over one cookie - that only makes matters worse..ust get back on track.

3) Have The Big O: An Organic-ism that is!
Put your money where your mouth is. Organic food costs more and you're worth it. A study through The Organic Center () recently proved that organic food is, on average, 25 percent more nutritious, so you're definitely getting more for your money and any good chef will tell you it also tastes better. Organic food also takes a lot of the guesswork out of reading labels. The USDA does not allow nasty, fat-making ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and partionally hydrogenated oils (aka, trans fats) in certified organic food. Instead of being a member of the Clean Your Plate Club, drop your membership effective immediately and join the Clean Eaters Club where eating local and seasonal food that has been minimally processed is all the rage and for good reason. Go to eatwellguide.org to locate farmers' markets, food co-ops, restaurants, and bakeries that provide local, sustainable, and organic food in your zip code.

4) Eat Well With Others
Understand where Friends, Family, and Favorite Food Enablers our coming from. Recognize that your plateful may look slightly different than your children's or your spouse's or your roommate's. You may even get hassled a bit or questioned by your loved ones. Prepare yourself for comments and concerns from family members and well-meaning food enablers who want to tell you how "you're missing out" and "limiting yourself". Some may try to guilt you into eating something that you shouldn't by saying it's your favorite and they made it (or bought it) especially for you. Be gracious, and politely but firmly decline. Your best defense is not to be defensive - you'll get hassled more! Be indifferent. Indifference is a powerful tool. Do what dogs do - quietly tilt your head in a semi-puzzled, but trusting look and go back to what you were doing.

5) Jeans vs. Junk Food: Be A Master of Your Denim.
Every time you want to eat junk food, Ask yourself?What is more important, the momentary pleasure of eating this, or fitting into that dream pair of jeans? I say, Behind every successful dieter is a supportive pair of jeans! Buy the size you are realistically going to fit into when you've shed your unwanted pounds and keep them visible in your bathroom, or hanging at the front of your closet and try them on once a week. This is such an excellent motivator and one that has worked for me for over two decades. And here's what you do if you're home and you're being summoned into the kitchen by a bag of potato chips, go try on that pair of jeans! That'll stop you dead in your tracks - especially if you notice your jeans are actually feeling a little looser. Such good motivation!

About Kami Gray:
Kami is a TV costume and set designer whose work has appeared in commercials for Toyota, Nike, and Discover Card, and on television shows such as "House", "Veronica Mars", and "Hell's Kitchen."

For more information on Kami and to see her on TV, go to thedenimdiet.com


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