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Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting Paperback – March 10, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Best known from reality TV (The Real Housewives of New York City), "natural foods chef" and entrepreneur Frankel wants unhappy dieters to know that everyone is "naturally thin," they've simply got to change some habits and learn "to think like a naturally thin person." The bulk of this self-help is devoted to ten rules, each outlined in a friendly but no-nonsense chapter. Rooted in Frankel's own struggles ("twenty years suffering through diet hell"), her rules include some familiar ideas smartly recast ("Your diet is a bank account" is a personal-finance gloss on "you are what you eat") and each has a couple recipes attached (Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms). Much of her advice, however, boils down to eating less: other chapters look at moderation, mindful eating and portion size, with some helpful guides to measuring and eyeballing (though it's hard to see why "Downsize Now!" and "Cancel Your Membership in the Clean Plate Club" require separate chapters). A detailed 7-day starter plan fills out the volume. Fans of Frankel's televised adventures will likely be charmed by her strong, direct voice, and her brassy self-regard is nicely tempered by a we're-in-this-together camaraderie.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Bethenny Frankel's new book promises -- and delivers -- the ultimate dream of every overweight American: that you can be 'naturally thin' without starvation dieting, exercising like a maniac, taking drugs, or feeling hungry all the time." -- Ellen Kunes, Editor-in-Chief, Health magazine
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By that I mean you can either choose to eat lots/large quantities of food, but it has to be low-cal healthy stuff [veggies, air-popped popcorn, fat free dairy, lean protein, nothing fried/sweetened/fatty, etc.]. In this case, you're sacrificing quality - meaning you're limiting (or eliminating) richer, tastier foods in favor of getting to eat more. This plan is great for those who like to consume in bulk.
The other option is to sacrifice quantity [this is the route Bethanny seems to advocate], meaning you can eat whatever you want, but must stick to small portions. I've observed that this is actually how most of my thin friends eat/drink. I used be jealous because they appeared to be able to eat whatever they want (and they do), but the difference is they stop when they're full (what a CRAZY concept, right?) and they're never the ones to have that second piece of pizza/cake/fried chicken.
All that to say, you can moan and complain all you want about Bethanny's portion-minded way of indulging but I guarantee that you will never find a weight loss book that's going to tell you that you can eat whatever you want, as much as you want because it simply can't be done.
Getting back to the book itself . . .
-Encourages you to indulge in the foods you want (in moderation). This is key. Deprevation almost ALWAYS backfires when it comes to weight loss/dieting. As I always say "Woman shall not live on rice cakes alone".
- Requires you to eat mindfully. Years of dieting can cause people to forget how to listen to their bodies. Getting re-familiar with hunger and fullness is important and can help you eat the proper amount of calories for YOUR body, as opposed to how much your friends/husband/kid/neighbor eats.
- Bethanny shows you a sample of what she eats in a given week/weeks. It's a good example of a balance of healthy foods and less healthy ones.
- There is freedom is not being on a "diet" and not having to cut out any food altogether.
- For those of us who have struggled with our weight for years, and especially people like me who battle binge eating, the concept of having say, 3 bites of a brownie is almost laughable. After all, if we had the restraint and discipline to stop at a half a bagel, we probably woulnd't be heavy to begin with. I imagine leaving some (or most!) of your food on the plate is something that would require LOTS of practice.
- She oversimplfies the impact of emotional eating and throws out only one brief sentence about getting professional help if you binge eat. This is CRUCIAL because if you are not in a sound place emotionally and psychologcially, all the other advice in the book becomes a moot point. It's almost impossible to take a balanced approach to eating if you're a wreck on the inside.
- This was the biggie for me, and the main reason [I think] why people cry anorexia over this book: Bethanny's food journal. While it's a good mix of healthier foods and treat foods, she doesn't eat anywhere CLOSE to a healthy amount of calories for a grown woman. My three year old neice quite likely consumes more calories than Bethanny does. Now I'm sure being in the public eye means that Bethanny is under pressure to be a few sizes smaller than the average [healthy] woman because well, thin is in, and the camera adds ten pounds. But the average woman reading this book is likely not an aspiring reality star, model or actress and doesn't need to subsist on merely the amount of food that falls off the table at a small dinner party.
My advice/verdict/summary? Fill up on healthy food, top it off with a few bites of the more indulgent stuff, be active as much as your schedule allows, and seek help if your emotions are getting in the way of making better choices for your body.
I began immediately practicing what I read and I'm losing weight! And teaching my children how to eat proper. Warning: As her book teaches you to eat and really, to eat good food, making dull boring food taste fantastic you will start to understand why eating processed foods will eventually become a food of the past for you. I finally practiced the technique eating a frozen fried fish I was craving and had no enjoyment eating it like I used to, because before like she mentions, I used to just gobble it down without even knowing I ate it before I realized I finished it....finally I ate it slow, I savored the flavors, only to realize it's just plain cardboard garbage! :D When you eat she encourages you to eat fantastic, eat deliciously and it's true! You'll never feel deprived or on a diet when you eat like this but be aware, balance out your meal, make your meal something important you pay attention to. This book gives plenty of advice on all of this.