About the Author
Laurel Mellin, M.A., R.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of The Pathway. She is an associate clinical professor of family and community medicine and pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine, and the director of The Institute for Health Solutions. Dr. Mellin’s research and writing have received awards from the American Medical Association, the American Bariatric Society, and the U.S. Department of Consumer Education, and have been featured in Fortune magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Time, and on Oprah, Good Morning America, Today, and The Early Show. She lives in Marin County with her three children. Visit her website at www.thepathway.org.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Three Days That Will Change Your Life
Diets don’t work for one reason: we can’t stay on them.
We can’t stay on them because the drive to overeat is very powerful. When we really want that luscious dessert, that second plate of pasta, or that late night snack, we’re going to get it. The drive to overeat is that strong!
Sure, we can force ourselves to stick with a diet for a day, a week, or a year. In fact, we can be absolutely perfect at dieting, but sooner or later we’ll relent and go back to overeating. We gain all that weight back and more.
It’s so frustrating, so discouraging, and such a waste of energy!
The solution to weight problems is to stop dieting. The real solution is to start setting our sights on something more powerful. Diets never worked for me or for the people in our groups at the university. However, something else has worked, and that is focusing on one thing: turning off the drive to overeat.
In this book, I’ll guide you through a three-day plan so that you can experiment with turning off the drive to overeat. You can watch your appetite fade, your energy increase, and your body let go of fat rather than storing it. Better yet, by the third day you will experience a new sense of clarity and vibrancy, or what we call “life above the line.”
You can do this. You can do anything for three days! And these three days could just change your life.
The whole premise of traditional weight programs is that if we just knew what to do, we could do it! We could turn away from that candy bar when we hit a low in the late afternoon and resist those salty, crunchy chips while watching television. Traditional weight programs are based on knowledge, insight, planning, and decision-making—all of which are processed primarily by the thinking brain.
Unfortunately, there is no significant relationship between what is processed by the thinking brain and the most primitive human drives, including the drive to eat! The drive to overeat resides in the feeling brain. As long as our feeling brain is hardwired to trigger us to overeat, we’ll overeat! Our desire for food is not rational. It’s emotional! We eat when we’re very high, very low, or emotionally numb, that is, lost in our thoughts, analyzing everything, and cut off from our feelings.
This method, The Solution, equips us with the skills we need to rewire our feeling brain to turnoff the drive to overeat. It maps out a healthy lifestyle that satisfies us in ways that food never could. The combination of tools and lifestyle can bring lasting weight loss without rigid dieting or weight-loss drugs. It can offer us a true solution.
You can jump-start using the method with this 3-Day Solution Plan, and, if you’re anything like the people I’ve worked with, you’ll want to incorporate The Solution into your life. Also, if you prefer to move straight to using the plan, without knowing the particulars about why this method works, you can do that quite easily. Just read the series of brief chapters in part 1 of the book, Jump Start Lasting Weight Loss, then skip to part 3, The 3-Day Solution Plan, and begin experiencing three days that will change your life!
For Just Three Days . . .
Here’s how it works. For three days, you jump in and use this plan. It’s an adventure! During these three days, you will use the powerful mental tools of the method, and you will create a healthy, satisfying lifestyle. You will eat delicious food, exercise daily, and take time for love, work, play, and rest. There are step-by-step plans, and no guesswork is involved. The method is so powerful that you don’t have to do this plan perfectly for it to have an astonishing effect on your weight and your life. With these three days, you will:
•Acquire tools to turn off the drive to overeat. When you are in the kitchen, wondering whether you should reach for ice cream, cookies, or leftover spaghetti, you can reach instead for these tools and stop wanting any of them.
•Lose up to 6 pounds without dieting. In testing this plan, many people lost about 3 pounds in three days, but some lost more—all without dieting.
•Enjoy 3 days of personal vibrancy. Modern life makes us feel pulled in all directions. For three days, you will live in an especially rewarding way, and by the third day, you will have a renewed sense of clarity, vibrancy, and peace.
If you would like to, after three days, you can continue to use the plan in a less intensive form to complete two weeks of using the method. At that time, you may have what you want from the method, but if you want more, there is an active, warm Solution community online and a complete Solution course that takes you step-by-step to finding a Solution—that is, rewiring your feeling brain to the point that you have lasting weight loss, freedom from other common excesses, and an abundance of life’s richest rewards.
In many areas of the country, there are Solution providers who give coaching, lead groups, and conduct weekend retreats based on the method. In fact, this 3-Day Solution Plan was inspired by our Solution retreats, in which, in just three days of intensive Solution work, people see tremendous progress toward reaching their solution. This plan brings you many of those same experiences in the comfort of your own home.
The Three-Day Plan
One thing you will not do on this plan is diet. You will use our new 1-2-3 Eating system, in which no foods are forbidden. You can either use the preselected menus for the three days or select from many alternate menus. The foods are easy to prepare and very delicious.
You will also exercise, but you probably won’t go to the gym, unless you want to. Instead, you will exercise daily by doing something that you love, like walking with a friend, playing sports, rocking out to music, or going for a bike ride. You’ll also take time for love, work, play, and rest.
One thing you will not do on this plan is diet.
Most important, you’ll use the powerful tools of the method to begin to retrain your feeling brain so that your inner life spontaneously favors a state of clarity, vibrancy, and peace. Food will become . . . just food! You’ll enjoy it, but you’ll be perfectly capable of pushing away from the table. You’ll eat less because you’ll want less.
In our testing of the plan, some people said they were afraid they wouldn’t do it perfectly. You don’t have to do it perfectly. You simply need to jump in and do it. If you do your best to follow the plan, wonderful things will happen!
Others feared that the method would turn their lives upside down. Many people who have used the method over time say, “The Solution changed my life.” This method can transform your life in a spectacularly wonderful way. However, after these three days, you may decide to make no changes at all. Or you may prefer to take small steps, keeping your pace of change completely within your personal comfort zone.
On each of the three days, you will use the skills to begin both to retrain the feeling brain and to put into practice a satisfying and healthful lifestyle. Based on our testing of the plan, this is what you’re likely to experience on each of the three days:
Day 1: Detox
This is the first day of experiencing a new life. Most people feel a sense of adventure at the idea of using these skills and adopting a vibrant lifestyle to turn off the drive to overeat. It’s a time of detoxing from too much sugar, fat, salt, and calories. For some, it feels as if they are detoxing and cleansing. Others are emotionally attached to the food and find themselves grieving the loss of overeating for comfort and fear that they will not be able to stay on the plan. However, most people think that this is just what they most need to do and are proud that they have started the plan.
On this first day, you will use the skill of checking in, asking yourself how you feel and what you need, and begin to experience the power of the method. In a sense, this is the most challenging day of the plan, as you are setting into place both the lifestyle changes and the habit of checking in with yourself. Using the skills and squeezing in all the elements of the day will keep you busy, however, the overriding feelings you’re likely to have are hope and pride.
Day 2: Connection
You can do anything for one day, but for two days? That’s more challenging. So the plan for the second day is full of ways to gratify, satisfy, and please you. In fact, the goal in planning the day was for you to feel so satisfied and vibrant that you wouldn’t even notice that you are taking in less food. So the lifestyle part of the program emphasizes finding pleasure in your body, with physical activity and sensual activities on your own or with a partner.
After three days, you will feel so vibrant and alive that you will want more days like these.
In terms of the mental part of the plan, you will continue to use the skill of checking in but will also add a second skill, emotional housecleaning. This is an easy but extremely effective skill, one that flushes out our feelings, literally cleaning house inside. When you use it, within a few minutes, you will feel emotionally lighter and less likely to have an urge to eat. The overriding feeling of the day: happy!
This is a highly pleasurable day!
Day 3: Vibrancy
Day 3 is when all your effort and focus will pay off. By today, you may feel so vibrant and healthy and so free from the drive to overeat that you will amaze yourself. Even if your weight is very high or you have a long-standing attachment to overeating, your drive will begin to fade, and you will see that you have more power to push away from the— and get off the couch.
On this day, you will use the most powerful skill of the three basic tools: doi...