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09.12.07
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HG,

I am going to be seeing an ex-boyfriend soon who I haven't seen in YEARS, and I need to drop about 30 lbs. to get back into the size 6 jeans he used to love me in. Do you think it's possible for me to lose that much weight in one month?

Tess in Tight Jeans
Dear Tess,

I get questions like this all the time, and usually I don't answer them, but I decided that since I am emailed Qs like this so often, I should probably address the issue. I don't think you should even THINK about trying to lose 30 lbs. in a month. It's unrealistic and not a smart or healthy way to go about losing weight. I'm obviously not a doctor or dietitian, but I know that crash dieting is a BAD idea. EXTREME dieting tactics -- skipping meals, taking in insanely few calories per day, fad diets, taking appetite suppressants -- are scary to me; I'm against all of those things. If I were in your shoes, here's what I would do. I'd spend the next month filling up on lean protein, fruits and veggies, and steering clear of processed foods. I'd also avoid eating lots of starchy carbs like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. Focusing on eating salads, lean meats and fruits, while consuming fewer calories than you burn (click here for more info on how to know what that number is), will help you lose weight at a comfortable pace. Drink lots of water, and try to get some exercise in several times per week, too (every little bit helps). If, at the end of the month, you're down 5 - 10 lbs., you'll feel FANTASTIC and a lot more self-confident than you do today. And who cares if your size 6 jeans don't fit -- reward yourself with a NEW pair (whatever the size!) that look great on your NEW body. Keep me posted on how things go... And by the way, you should be losing weight for YOU, not for an EX (just my opinion).


Hungry Girl,

How can I stop myself from overeating during meals? I have such a hard time controlling portions -- especially at buffets. And I go to brunch buffets several times a month. HELP!

Portion-Challenged in Peoria
Dear Portion-Challenged,

Everyone wants to know how to control portions -- it's the secret to losing and/or maintaining weight. And there are many theories about why we overeat and how to control our food intake. But I feel your pain -- how on EARTH can a person go to a brunch buffet and NOT overeat?! (I dream of climbing into the chafing dish of pancakes and snuggling up with them!) I contacted HG pal Dr. David L. Katz, author of Dr. David Katz's Flavor-Full Diet, for help with this one. He says the more flavors and flavor categories you combine in a given meal or mouthful, the more food you'll need to eat to feel full. His "thing" is teaching people how to "harmonize" flavors, and here's what he told me -- "By knowing how to choose the ingredients used in a meal or snack so that they don't add in unnecessary flavors, you can always fill up to complete satisfaction on fewer calories, while eating more delicious, more wholesome food." So basically, when at the buffet, you should probably avoid the cheesy, salty, creamy mac 'n cheese casserole with the sweet 'n savory crumbly topping -- too many flavors in one dish can make portion control more difficult. Interesting stuff. To learn all about Dr. Katz's flavor harmonizing and his other theories on food, flavors and filling up, check out his new book. In the meantime, if you want to start filling up faster during meals, drink a couple of glasses of water before you eat, and eat small meals throughout the day so you never sit down to a meal when you're STARVING. So even if you're hitting the brunch buffet in the early afternoon, don't hesitate to eat some b-fast in the morning. Thanks for emailing!

 
CHEW ON THIS:
Today, September 12th, is National Chocolate Milkshake Day. In case you missed yesterday's email, we debuted our new recipe for a super-awesome chocolate shake. Click here to view it!
 
 
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