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The Skinny Rules: The Simple, Nonnegotiable Principles for Getting to Thin [Kindle Edition]

Bob Harper , Greg Critser
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (448 customer reviews)

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Book Description

THE LAST DIET BOOK YOU’LL EVER NEED
 
With so much conflicting weight-loss advice out there to confuse your efforts, it’s no wonder you haven’t been successful losing weight and keeping it off. But with Bob Harper, superstar trainer and co-host of NBC’s hit show The Biggest Loser as your personal authority and coach, you can and will finally shed the pounds—whether you want to lose two or two hundred!
 
Distilling Bob’s vast knowledge of nutrition, weight-loss strategy, and human nature down to twenty simple, nonnegotiable principles, The Skinny Rules will help you step away from a reliance on processed foods and the need for so much sweet and salt and step into a newly thin lifestyle. And Bob’s methods couldn’t be more straightforward.
 
Taking the guesswork out of implementing the Skinny Rules, Bob offers a month’s worth of menu plans and more than 90 delicious, rule-abiding recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks to keep you cooking and eating skinny for life. You’ll be happily astounded to see the variety and volume of the tasty food on your plate! He also includes terrific tips for what to stock in your fridge and what to prepare every weekend in order to set yourself up for success during your too-busy-to-cook weekdays.
 
A virtual GPS to your weight-loss goals, The Skinny Rules takes the mystery out of the process, offering the fastest route to your skinny destination.
 
LOSING WEIGHT IS NOW AS SIMPLE AS 1-2-3 . . . AND 3-15-18-20 TOO!
 
Rule #3: Eat protein at every meal, making some kind of fish your go-to protein as often as you can. Take your weight and divide it by two—that’s more or less how much protein you should be eating in grams every day.
 
Rule #15: Eat at least ten meals a week at home (and cook them yourself). Restaurant portions are usually 40 to 50 percent bigger than what you’d serve at home—the more you eat out, the more you overeat. Set yourself up for success by preparing my turkey meatballs, hummus, and roasted vegetables on the weekend so that you will have go-to staples and no excuses!
 
Rule #18: Go to bed slightly hungry. Denied fuel for more than five hours, your body will start burning its own fat and sugar. Make a point not to eat after dinner and you’ll be burning fat while you’re sleeping.
 
Rule #20: Enjoy a splurge meal once a week. Unlike episodic bingeing, splurge meals are an ingredient in your diet. When you plan something, you are in control.




From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bob Harper is a world-renowned fitness trainer and star of the NBC reality series The Biggest Loser, which finished thirteenth season in 2012. With several bestselling fitness DVDs, his own line of supplements, an online fitness club, as well as the inspirational book Are You Ready? to his credit, Harper still teaches a local spin class where he resides in Los Angeles with his dog Karl.
 
Greg Critser is a longtime science and medical journalist. The author of the international bestseller Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World, he lives in Pasadena, California.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

RULE 1

DRINK A LARGE GLASS OF WATER BEFORE EVERY MEAL—­NO EXCUSES!

This has got to be the easiest rule there is. Which is a good place to start. But it’s also one of the most important rules there is. You simply must stay hydrated. At a minimum I want you to drink a large glass of water before every meal. But I’d prefer that you drink at least five glasses of water a day, the first one within fifteen minutes of waking.

Now, do I really need to harass you about this? I do. Because during the process of losing weight, nothing is so crucial to your success. Water keeps your organs healthy while you’re sweating, keeps food moving through the system, and makes you feel full.

Let me put this plainly: drinking water helps you lose weight. You can see this most vividly in very overweight children. Recently, a group of Israeli researchers examined the resting energy expenditure (REE) of twenty-­one obese children. REE refers to the rate at which you burn calories when you are sleeping, watching TV, or just simply sitting there and staring into space. The researchers gave the kids a large serving of cold water, then began measuring the REE every 10 minutes. The reaction was more robust than anticipated. Within 24 minutes, REE began increasing. By 57 minutes, REE had increased by 25 percent, and this effect lasted 40 minutes.

Did you get that? Just by drinking water, your body increases its burning of calories. The scientists estimated that, if you just do this, you’ll burn off an extra three pounds over the next year.

That doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’ll take it. Won’t you?

The contestants on The Biggest Loser are usually chronically dehydrated, and their collective experience shows another reason to drink lots of water. They are usually pretty big consumers of salt before they come on the show. They eat it unknowingly—­in the fried and highly processed foods that are their usual mealtime fare and that helped make them so overweight in the first place—­and knowingly; too many of them often add salt to whatever they are served. They are usually eating so much salt that they have begun to mess up the delicate mechanisms of chemical balance so vital to our bodies. When the kidneys are swamped with salt and without adequate liquids, you don’t get enough potassium. That and other minerals are absolutely key to weight loss.

And as my private fitness clients have shown me, drinking more water helps in other physical ways as well. When they start conscientiously drinking lots of water, their workouts improve. They get less muscle fatigue, they recuperate faster, and they don’t feel groggy in the afternoon.

Simple Hydration Tips

Make it your premeal policy: drink a large glass of water before every meal. No excuses.

End the day with preparation for a good start to the next: put a large, full glass of water on your bedstand every night and drink it when you wake up, every morning.

Get a little extra bang for your effort: mix a pitcher of water with a noncaloric vitamin and mineral supplement. I like ElectroMix (one little packet makes a quart), and having the pitcher all mixed and right in front of you will make it that much easier to pour yourself a glass when you open the fridge at every meal; I usually drink mine when I work out.

RULE 2

DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES

Caloric beverages steal your health and they steal great food from you. That’s right. They steal it because they are so heavily caloric themselves and will fill you up with all the wrong stuff. Think of the kinds of caloric beverages all around you.

Soft drinks: As you heft one of those cans or buckets of sugar water to your mouth, consider that you are actually eating the equivalent of what should be your entire lunch.

I came to this rule while working on TBL. When I reviewed their pre-­TBL meal plans I saw that most contestants were drinking Big Gulps or other massive jugs of soda that had 500 calories. Some people would nurse several of them during the day (that’s upwards of 1,500 calories of soda a day!). Think of it this way: all that corn syrup? It’s a bushel of corn! And remember, when factory farms want to fatten their cattle, what do they do? They feed them corn. So if you are drinking things with corn syrup, think about that. Are you a cow? No you are not.

Moreover, when you drink soda, you are ingesting what just about every legitimate medical authority in the world has named as suspect number one in today’s sprawling diabetes epidemic. A friend of mine tells me that his teenage kids really got the message a few years ago when their father was diagnosed. Now, when a family member asks for a soda, they cheerily reply: “Sure. What kind of diabetes do you want?”

Out of the mouths of babes.

If, like most Americans, you are used to drinking lots of liquid calories, cutting out soda might be a tough adjustment. But it’s essential that you kick your soda habit ASAP. If you’re a full-­calorie soda drinker, you’re guzzling empty and unsatisfying calories. If you’re a diet/zero-­calorie soda drinker, you haven’t dodged the problem. Hello?! You’re guzzling artificial sweeteners and, as you’ll hear again and again in this book, I don’t think highly of these at all. They only serve to whet your appetite for more sweet! Stop the madness. Kick the habit.

To help wean yourself from your soda habit, start experimenting with other flavored, noncaloric drinks that you can make yourself. Try seltzer water with lime or lemon juice. Stock up on unsweetened, naturally flavored herb teas. Make a quart or so at a time and keep it in the refrigerator to go with your afternoon snack. And there is my tried-­and-­true alternative—­the “soda eliminator” described in Rule 15. Check it out.

Juices and juice drinks: Most juices have exactly the same number of calories—­and the same amount of simple sugars—­as a cola. Oh, you’ll protest, but doesn’t the fiber in a “natural” juice obviate that problem? No. That’s just what you’ve been told. It is the same as drinking a soft drink. You want fruit? Eat fruit. The whole piece of fruit. Not the extracted and manipulated juice.

Yeah, well, juice smoothies are healthy, right? Maybe “healthy” if you order one with no preservatives or added sugar, but regardless, fruit smoothies that you haven’t made yourself (i.e., you have controlled the portions and know exactly what’s gone in it) will make you as fat as a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float—­just like a 32-ounce soda.

Energy replacement drinks: Well, yeah—­if you’re training for a marathon. Otherwise, look at the label! A 20-­ounce sports drink—­let’s face it, that’s how much you’ll “need” to quench that big thirst—­weighs in at 130 calories. Like a 12-­ounce cola, but without the nifty zing of bubbles and caffeine. I’ve always seen drinks like these as particularly insidious, because they are, in our heads at least, deeply associated with sports, which are deeply associated with health and fitness. You have to break that connection.

Artificial Sweeteners

Though the scientific jury is still out on whether there is a direct relationship between consuming artificial sweeteners and the urge to eat more sweet-­tasting things, I know this from experience with clients, with The Biggest Loser contestants, and with myself: the more “sweet” you eat, the more you want it. Another way to put it: when you taste sweet (even the tiny-­calorie, artificial kind), you are conditioning yourself to continue wanting and even craving that same sweetness. That continued craving isn’t going to help you lose weight—­ever. The biggest favor you can do yourself is to leave your sweet consumption to your splurge meal and learn to keep sweet indulgences in perspective: they are treats, not everyday affairs.

A latte on the way to the gym? Sorry. Milk also has a tanker-­full of calories. True, coffee itself—­which most of the world drinks without milk, by the way—­is turning out to be a positive dietary element, although it’s still unclear why and how much. I’ll get back to that later, but for now, no lattes or chais, frappes, or mochas. If you must get something Euro, get a cappuccino, which contains very little milk (if made the right way), or even an Americano, in which you can better control the amount of milk. And if you must add milk, opt for the low-­ or no-­fat varieties. No cream. No half and half. Whole milk? No again.

Alcohol: Although it might sound odd, if there’s one source of liquid calories that warrants some leeway in my no-­sweetened-­beverage world, it’s booze. Wine, particularly red wine, deserves a place on your shelf—­and on your table. But not when you are trying to lose weight! Until you are at your goal weight, it’s best to view alcohol the same way you would a Big Gulp. When you get to your goal, red wine is the thing. When you’ve kept to your goal, we’ll talk beer.

In the same way I want you to step down from soda, I want you to immediately lay off the cream or half-­and-­half in your coffee. Don’t even go for the whole milk. Step down, step away! Start putting 2% milk or nonfat (skim) milk in your coffee and ordering any coffee-­based drink that way too. Today.

Now, why am I so down on liquid calories? Most of us know the basics: sugary drinks contain, uh, sugar, and sugar is made up of molecules that encourage the formation of new fat cells, as well as keeping existing ones filled. This applies to all sugars, from “natural” ones like honey and juices, to the twin demon spawn of ...

Product Details

  • File Size: 2201 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (May 15, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005OCYQR2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,159 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
382 of 392 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skinny Rules That Work June 10, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read that being overweight is the greatest mortality factor--more than smoking, drinking excessively and not enough exercise. I went to a nutritionist some years ago to learn about eating healthy foods--and that was a worthwhile investment. She taught how to eat healthy foods that have a low glycemic index: foods that don't elevate your blood sugar. These skinny rules are similar to what she taught--eat primarily vegetables, low-fat protein 5x a day to deter hunger (protein carries the fat out of your body she said), and one serving of whole grains, lowfat dairy and fruit a day. Using that diet I reversed diabetes and dropped 30 pounds in the past 3 years. However, it's helpful to have continual reminders to focus on healthy eating. Felt I wanted a tune-up on healthy eating as I need to lose another 20-30 pounds as I'd put 10 back on, so bought this book to see what rules the author emphasizes. What should the focus be if you want to focus on only 20 primary rules?

Here's the gist of what the book emphasizes regarding skinny rules in brief--recommend you buy the book for the explanations as to why these rules are the top 20 and how to apply them. The rationale and background information is instructive and motivating:

1. Drink large glass of water (16 oz.) before every meal and snacks--5 a day
2. Don't drink your calories--stay away from fruit juices and sodas that are high in sugar. 2 cups coffee okay
3. Eat lowfat protein at every meal--protein doesn't have to be animal based. Protein minimizes hunger
4. Slash intake of refined flour/grains--try brown rice, quinoa, barley, farro
5. Eat 30-50 grams of fiber--he lists fiber-rich foods: 1/2C sliced strawberries-9g;1C zucchini-8g;1C spinach-7g
6. Eat apples and berries each day
7.
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373 of 399 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Objective Review May 25, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My wife saw Bob Harper on morning television around the book launch and said she was ready to try it. She's lived the high carb, low protein, and low fat lifestyle and never struggled with her weight. But as we've gotten older, managing weight has gotten a little harder for her too, and she would like to drop a size or two. As an avid biggest loser fan (in the early seasons), I thought Bob would have a good plan for eating. Based on the few snippets my wife told me, I thought this might be a plan we could both use. It would increase my wife's protein (which I've always thought was not enough). So we decided to buy the book and give it a try.

I have struggled with my weight most of my adult life. Been 30-50 lbs overweight for most of it. I have been following a low carb Atkins-inspired diet for about 6 months. Not "no carbs", but carbs limited to veggies, nuts, low carb wraps, and recently select fruits. No bread or white potato. Almost no sugar or HFCS. Lots of protein and not worried about fat. I've lost 25 lbs, and 6 inches from my waist. I've been exercising and getting closer to my goals. But the hard part about Atkins is adding back more carbs. Its the point in the diet that people struggle the most, and the reason many regain the lost weight IMO. I have been trying to alter my diet into something "healthy" for the longer term, but with so many changes as to what healthy eating even means, I needed an expert to instruct me. With high hopes I bought the book. There are lots of positives but a few negatives too. I feel I am pretty objective, but you'll have to be the judge for yourself.

Here are my comments on the book and diet:

1 - This is very well researched book. Lots of good information.
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117 of 141 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, Simple Weight Loss Rules May 16, 2012
By Tina K
Format:Hardcover
The Skinny Rules presents a list of 20 straight forward rules that will help you lose weight. Some of the rules are far more important than others, and some are quite obvious and should be already familiar to anyone who has invested any time at all in researching how to lose weight. For example, "Don't drink calorie-laden beverages" is sort of a no-brainer (and yet overweight people still consume soda in vast amounts).

The best rules, aside from not drinking excess calories, are: Drink a glass of water before every meal, slash intake of refined flour and grains, eat fiber every day, no carbs after lunch, and stop eating fast and fried foods. The other rules seem as though they'll have less of an impact, and maybe 20 rules is too many (but fewer would make for a pretty short book.).

One other very important rule is to eat protein with every single meal. I a strong believer in a high protein, low carb diet. Protein (along with exercise) helps prevent muscle loss. The book recommends lots of fish, but you have to be careful because of mercury and other impurities when eating a high volume of fish. Fish can also be difficult if you don't have a lot of time for meal preparation.

I would also strongly suggest checking out The Protein Express Diet: Rapid Weight Loss with a Simplified Dukan/Atkins-Syle Low Carb, High Protein Diet, which offers easy to prepare high protein, low carb meals that suite a busy lifestyle, as well as a simple and easy to follow diet.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very clear and concise.
Published 2 days ago by Judith Kimmons
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
This book is great. A lot of different meals listed in this book. I lost a lot of weight following this book.
Published 4 days ago by Hector
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book!
Easy to follow and easy to understand! I would definitely recommend this book to any one who is wanting to be healthier.
Published 8 days ago by Joni S Shafer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book!
Published 10 days ago by Ron Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This book changed my habits.
Published 11 days ago by Lettie
3.0 out of 5 stars decent read
I always say if you get one thing out of every book you read you get a lot. I got my one thing reading this book!!
Published 15 days ago by Kt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
This is a great book. Easy to read, easy to understand. I would highly recommend. It is the basics that everyone should know, but it is nice to have it put in writing. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Heather N
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book
Published 23 days ago by Kathie Boss
4.0 out of 5 stars I love how easy to read the book is
I love how easy to read the book is. I was psyched to start it the very next day. It turns out that I was basically making the right choices, (organic, fruits, vegs, no white... Read more
Published 24 days ago by DianneB
5.0 out of 5 stars Good information on losing weight.
This is the second copy I have purchased. The first one I gave to my son hoping he would work on his health. The recipes are good and easy to make as well. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Tamara L. Goetz
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