Friday, January 14, 2011

My thoughts on Skinneygirl Bethanny Frankel and her book, Naturally Thin

Naturally Thin is authored by Bethenny Frankel, one of Bravo television's "Real Housewives of New York", and she is, of course, a skinny girl. She's also a professional natural foods chef. Her humor is vulgar at times, but her message when it comes to food is right on. Here's a bit from the book:

The 10 golden rules for being naturally thin: (her rules are in thoughts aren't)

  1. Your diet is a bank account - balance your daily calories like you balance your checkbook. - I love this example. If you went to work every day and made $100 from 9-5, but on the way home you stopped at the outlets, shopped and spent $150, how far is that going to get you? Nowhere, fast. If you workout and burn 500 calories, but consume 3000 over the course of the day, you will get nowhere fast. No matter how hard you train, if you are overspending in your calorie account, you won't change your body.
  2. You can have it all - just not all at once.- Enjoy little treats. Have one bite of the chocolate cake that your husband ordered for dessert, since you skipped the bread basket before dinner came!
  3. Taste everything, eat nothing - meaning share food, eat small bites.- Little tastes of the rich foods can be enough if you savor each bite, and slow it down a bit.
  4. Pay attention - say no to mindless eating. - Don't shove it in just because it's there. Ask yourself before each food decision you make in the day: Is this going to help get me to my fitness goals?
  5. Downsize your portions.- No more supersize anything.
  6. Cancel your membership in the Clean Plate Club.- It's really ok!
  7. Check yourself before you wreck yourself - stop emotional and binge eating. - Substitute the bag of chips for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or a jog. Runners high can cut stress a LOT!
  8. Know thyself - know your trigger foods. - Don't bring them into the house. Have your willpower begin at the grocery store.
  9. Get real - eat more whole foods, fewer processed ones.- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. That's where the fresh stuff is.
  10. Food is not the enemy - make peace with food. Amen Bethanny! Well said.
Her philosophy is freedom from obsessing and deprivation when it comes to food - and affirmation that you can enjoy food and drink while still keeping your weight down.
In the book you'll find guidance on recognizing real hunger (as opposed to boredom hunger, stress hunger, etc.), on recognizing when you should indulge your cravings, and the importance of never finishing everything on your plate. She also grants the permission slip to break the rules every once in a while - so long as you get right back on the bus the next day. Bethenny uses her professional platform to instruct on choosing high fiber (filling) foods, on the importance of low calorie veggies as the key component of your diet, along with smaller amounts of fruits, whole grains, meats, and proteins.Cut back your portion. Bethenny's trick for having it all is tapas-style small plates, tastes and bites, as opposed to full-on meals, so when indulging in a decadent Alfredo, rather than having a bowl - you have a few bites, filling up a ramekin.

It's freeing to know that nothing is off limits with her suggestions, and really makes you become a more "conscious eater". That mindless eating in front of a football game or a movie, can pack on the pounds. Even mindlessly eating chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant until your food comes. One basket of chips is enough calories for your day. I like Bethannys' suggestions and she's a great example of eating clean but still indulging occasionally.

Make workout a daily routine for yourself. Take at least 30-45 mins for cardio on your non-bootcamp days and keep a food journal if eating well is new to you. It's amazing how once you've been eating well for a while, the junk food doesn't even appeal to you anymore, and when you do eat it, you feel sick. That WILL happen - I promise - if you stick with it!

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