Eat Pizza and STILL Lose Weight: A new philosophy for bathing suit season

Written by: on Friday, March 16th, 2012
Fit woman in string bikini for

Looking to look fab in a bikini (or bathing suit)? Try a no-diet approach to eating.

It’s almost bathing suit season. Like most people, you’re probably starting to panic because you’ll soon be shedding layers of winter clothing and exposing your body. Eeek!!!

When you have more flab than you want, fretting about excess body fat can easily lead to thoughts of dieting. And there are plenty of diets out there to choose from: Atkins, Paleo, Jenny Craig, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Banana Diet,… Unfortunately, none of these diets work in the long run. After all, if diets did work, then everyone who has ever been on a diet would be lean. Not the case. We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic.

Not only do fad diets not work, diets commonly backfire and contribute to weight gain in the long run. A study followed teens from middle school into high school and found that those students who were dieting at the time of the initial survey were worse off five years later. They were fatter, struggled with disordered eating or had an outright eating disorder, and achieved no benefits from their attempts to lose undesired body fat. Futile efforts.

girl on scale holding chocolate cake and an apple for

Sometimes, choosing the chocolate cake over the healthier food might help you reach your desired weight

Why eating is preferable to dieting

Overweight teens commonly become adults who continue to struggle with food for the rest of their lives. That’s why, starting at an early age, we need to discourage dieting and instead focus on eating healthfully and appropriately. If you don’t go on a diet, you won’t “blow your diet,” gorge on cookies, and gain weight. Eating normally —enjoying appropriate amounts of wholesome foods when your body needs fuel during the day—leads to an appropriate weight.

Normal eating includes enjoying a good balance of wholesome foods, but not limiting yourself to only “healthy foods.” That is, you don’t have to have a perfect diet to have a good diet. A healthy food plan can include 85% to 90% “quality calories” and 10% to 15% “whatever.” Some days “whatever” is an apple; other days “whatever” is a cookie (or two or three).

Striving to eat a perfect diet commonly results in deprivation of foods you truly like to eat. You’ll inevitably end up bingeing on those foods, sooner or later. Think about it this way: If you put a little boy in a roomful of toys and tell him he can play with all the toys except for the green truck, what is the first toy he’ll reach for? Yup, the green truck. Hence, if you like chocolate cake, but tell yourself you shouldn’t eat it, what will you relentlessly hanker for? Yup, chocolate cake.

stack of chocolate chip cookies for

Love chocolate chip cookies? Eat them...and you'll actually binge less.

How to take power away from food

The way to take power away from a “binge food” is to eat it more often, not stay away from it. For example, if you like chocolate cake, you should eat it every day until you get sick of it. Don’t believe me? Do this experiment: For one week, eat your binge food every day instead of your normal breakfast, lunch, snack, and/or dinner. (Don’t worry: you won’t die of malnutrition in a week.) Observe what happens. Chances are, after three days of chocolate cake, you’ll hanker for shredded wheat again. And even if you want to continue to eat cake, a recent study indicates you can still lose weight on the Chocolate Cake Diet. In this study, the subjects who enjoyed chocolate cake for breakfast had better dietary compliance and ended up losing more weight than the people who were instructed to eat  “diet foods.”

Ideally, you want to learn to enjoy a daily food plan that includes a variety of mostly wholesome foods that are satiating, health promoting, and tasty. You want to eat heartily at breakfast and lunch, to prevent energy lags and cravings for sweets. You want to plan an enjoyable afternoon “second lunch” that helps energize the end of your workday and curbs your appetite for dinner. Then, at night, you want to eat a little bit less—and lose undesired body fat when you are sleeping. The goal: To wake up ready for breakfast, and perpetuate the cycle of fueling by day, dieting by night.

While these suggestions to eat “normally” are seemingly simple, many dieters find the advice is hard to implement. They are afraid that once they start eating, they won’t stop. This over-compensation is “diet backlash,” strengthened by years of “last chance to eat cake so I’d better eat it all now before the diet starts again tomorrow.”

Believe me, there is definitely a more peaceful way to manage weight.

eat pizza and still lose weight for

Start eating more of what you love and less diet foods...

What is “normal eating”?

The following information offers tips for how to eat appropriately. Please trust that appropriate eating will lead you to an appropriate weight. Eating specialist Ellyn Satter RD (, author of Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family offers a great “definition” of normal eating.

NORMAL EATING is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it—not just stop eating because you think you should.

NORMAL EATING is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food.

NORMAL EATING is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad, or bored—or just because it feels good. Normal eating is three meals a day…or four or five—or it can be choosing to munch along the way.

NORMAL EATING is leaving some cookies on the plate now because you know you can have some again tomorrow—or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful.

NORMAL EATIG is overeating at times; feeling stuffed and uncomfortable—or it can be undereating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating.

NORMAL EATING takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one [not more than that] important area of your life.

NORMAL EATING is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food and your feelings.

Isn’t it time we all start learning how to eat normally? Put this new philosophy into effect—and you’ll find that your weight stabilizes on its own … and that you’re much happier around food … and that you are much happier overall about your body.

Copyright Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD March 2012


“My willpower failed me when I needed it most”: Weight Loss Diary

Written by: on Monday, March 5th, 2012
Breyers Rocky Road Ice Cream

Alas, what I comforted myself with today

I was so apprehensive about my weight and my pictures going live with my Weight Loss Diary blog that I decided to…..polish off the remants of a half-gallon of rocky road ice cream. Yeah for me and my wealth of self-control! Do we ever conquer this need to eat through it??? (Please share your tips and advice; I want to hear them! Write to me at

The pictures are so hard to look at.  Its so hard to share this with anyone, even myself.

And you would think I would have been able disrupt the spoon on its path to my mouth (I didn’t even bother with a bowl!) when earlier in the day I heard at least a dozen times about how good I looked and was asked how much weight I had lost. I had jury duty for the first time in my life. I live in a small rural county and knew a good number of people at the courthouse. Some I hadn’t seen in quite a while. But no matter how good those comments felt, for some reason it wasn’t enough. I still had to feed the dread of the whole wide world knowing how much I weigh. Counterproductive obviously, yet I still fed my feelings with ice cream.

On the other hand, I started thinking more positive: I don’t have to let an ice cream binge ruin my whole day. I can make the next mouthful of whatever a better choice. And I still have to exercise. I can put  some extra effort in that to offset the hundreds of rocky road calories I consumed. This mindset alone is progress for me.

I am focused on my goal even though things sometimes get a little blurry in the process.