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This book is intended as a reference volume only, not as a medical manual. The information given here is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. The dietary programs in this book are not intended as a substitute for any dietary regimen that may have been prescribed by your doctor. You should discuss all new dietary programs with your doctor before beginning. Copyright © 2012 by Heather Bauer. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

BREAD IS THE DEV IL.

www.stmartins.com Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Bauer, Heather. Bread is the devil : win the weight loss battle by taking control of your diet demons / Heather Bauer and Kathy Matthews. p. cm. ISBN 978-1-250- 00022-4 1. Weight loss. 2. Food habits. I. Matthews, Kathy, 1949– II. Title. RM222.2.B38575 2012 613.2'5—dc23 2011035844 First Edition: January 2012 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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Introduction

Y

ou picked up this book because you want to lose weight. But if I asked you to jot down a healthy, low-calorie daily diet for yourself, you probably could do it. So why

do you (and your best friend and your neighbor and your mother) still struggle with those stubborn pounds? I have the answer because I’ve been studying diet behavior for eleven years and working with clients who have successfully and permanently reached their weight loss goals. I’ve come up with a program that works. It’s a combination of healthy foods and—here’s the difference—behavioral strategies that help you contend with the foods and situations and emotions that prompt you to eat more than you should and more than you even want. I call these triggers Devils. If you’ve struggled to lose weight, you have at least one Devil, and maybe many more, sitting on your shoulder, making it challenging if not impossible for you to make good decisions when it comes to food. “I’m good all day, but the moment I walk in the door at five I can’t stop eating until I fall into bed.” “I pick, pick, pick all afternoon long: cookies, brownies, crackers, you name it.” “I’m great all week, but the weekends are killer. I just inhale food all weekend.” “I’m almost never hungry, but I eat when I’m tired, when I’m stressed and when I’m bored.”


4 Bread is the Devil

“I eat well at home, but when I eat out I’m a lost cause. And I eat out a lot.” Do any of these people sound like you? If so, you have a Diet Devil on your shoulder and I’m going to help you get rid of it. The Devils that ruin our diets have this in common: they’re situations—foods, people, occasions—that prompt indulgences. These indulgences are never fruits or veggies or protein; they’re bagels, muffins, pasta, chips, pizza, cakes, candies and all those poppable, pickable foods that keep me in business and keep you struggling with your skinny jeans. Take the Devil I like to call the Late Night Shuffle—that mindless munching we do in the evening. And then there’s travel, or RoadHogging, which blasts our schedules to hell and makes overeating seem like an essential reward. And, oh Lord, for many of us it’s children—those small creatures who insist on cookies and waffles and peanut butter, which is in constant supply in your very own kitchen. We all have a Dev il or two that keeps us from losing weight successfully. It’s in our heads or in our fridges or sometimes it’s waiting for us at the airport café when we’re delayed and tired and irritable. Almost all popular diets ignore these Devils under the mistaken belief that telling you what to eat will solve your weight problems. But with your Diet Devils on your shoulder, you’ll find—you’ve probably already found—that no diet is going to work for long. For most people, trying to stick to a typical diet is like trying to learn to ski without an instructor. You can do your best, but chances are you’re going to fall down so many times that eventually you’ll get discouraged and quit. Yes, diets are hard. And what makes it worse is that we are sick and tired of them. But when you identify your particular Devils, the whole game changes. Now, it’s like having an angel on your shoulder to get you through the rough patches. Banish your Diet Devils


Unmasking Your Diet Devils

17

Are you still holding on to your pregnancy weight even though your child is taking his SATs?

Yes

No

(5)

Do you eat well during the week and blow it on weekends?

Yes

No

(6)

Is nighttime snack time for you?

Yes

No

(3)

Do you think a trip to the supermarket is exercise?

Yes

No

(7)

Do you like airline food?

Yes

No

(9)

Do you find competitive moms drive you right to the ice cream for comfort?

Yes

No

(5, 4)

Do you regularly indulge in Mish-Mosh dinners (a bowl of cereal, a cup of yogurt and a spoonful of peanut butter)?

Yes

No

(6, 1, 5)

Do you find that one diet “mistake” or binge will throw you completely off track?

Yes

No

(2)

Do you eat out more than twice a week?

Yes

No

(10)

Do you eat healthier when you exercise?

Yes

No

(4, 7)

Are you capable of stealing a child’s Halloween candy?

Yes

No

(5)

Do you find it hard to eat well on weekends?

Yes

No

(6)

Does drinking (alcohol) trigger you to make worse food choices at that meal or the day after you drink?

Yes

No

(8, 10)

Is your mood affected by how well you eat?

Yes

No

(4)

Have you ever eaten a french fry from your kid’s car seat?

Yes

No

(5)

Can you stop at just twelve almonds?

Yes

No

(2)


18 Bread is the Devil

Do you tend to gain weight while traveling (even if your destination is just an outlet mall)?

Yes

No

(9)

Are there certain people in your life who trigger you to eat unhealthy foods?

Yes

No

(4)

Have you noticed that certain foods— perhaps sugar, salt or bread—are triggers for you?

Yes

No

(2)

Do you “wing it” when trying to lose weight, with no particular plan? Do you tend to say to yourself, “I really should lose some weight” without taking any action?

Yes

No

(1)

Do you tend to eat more when you are alone?

Yes

No

(6, 3)

Do you eat things you really don’t want to please others or to “fit in”?

Yes

No

(4)

Do you skip breakfast in the morning because you aren’t hungry?

Yes

No

(3)

Did you used to exercise while in college but no longer do?

Yes

No

(7)

Do you entertain a lot for work?

Yes

No

(10)

Do you gain weight at holiday time— November to January?

Yes

No

(8)

Do you find it hard to eat well when you go home to visit your parents or relatives?

Yes

No

(8)

Do you spend a lot of time in your car, commuting, doing errands or traveling to a weekend house?

Yes

No

(9)

Are you likely to eat when angry, frustrated or sad?

Yes

No

(4)


Unmasking Your Diet Devils

19

The Answer Key: Introducing the Ten Devils If the same number pops up for you multiple times, this is your main Devil that throws you off your diet track. If you wrote down more than one number, you have a few Devils troubling you. Here is a brief description of each Devil: 1. THE FREESTYLE DEV IL. This is the Devil that prompts you to try to lose weight on your own—no plan, no real strategy, no serious commitment, just the hope that cutting down on your food intake or eliminating a category of food or promising yourself “no more cookies” will have the desired effect. If you’ve tried this approach, you’re not alone and you no doubt know that it just doesn’t work. You typically find yourself right back where you started when life throws you a curve ball— or a giant meatball. After a FreeStyle failure, you’re typically more discouraged than ever. Well, banish your half-hearted stab at dieting. My FreeStyle strategies will convince you to commit to a plan and thus lose the weight once and for all. Once you’ve banished the FreeStyle Devil, your head will be in the right diet space and you’ll be empowered to adopt your new healthy-eating lifestyle. 2. THE PLUNGE. This is the Devil that prompts you to true despair. It’s the uncontrolled binge, often after a stretch of successful dieting. It’s a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or an entire sleeve of chocolate chip cookies or all of the above. It makes you feel hopeless and totally out of control. Almost all of my clients have suffered the Plunge, and it usually throws them completely off track. You may be surprised by my basic approach to a Plunge: I believe the most important strategy for Plungers is not trying


20 Bread is the Devil

to forever ban a Plunge. That may not be possible. Rather the strategies I outline for Plungers help them to navigate the dark waters of binge eating by not only learning to recognize and avoid temptations to the Plunge but also, more important, learning to recover from a Plunge and go on. It’s only partly about the actual eating: more critical is what goes on in your mind post-Plunge. My strategies will help you recover from a Plunge and move on to renewed efforts and ultimate success. 3. THE LATE NIGHT SHUFFLE. It could be a bag of popcorn, a box of crackers, a series of frozen treats but, really, what it’s about is a bad habit. It’s the routine of nighttime, after-dinner snacking that has perhaps become a part of your daily routine. You vow each morning that you’ll never do it again, but without the right strategies it’s a losing battle. Many people are unaware of how these evening calories can add up. They can eat well all day but somehow ignore the morsels they consume come sundown. Some people rely on “diet” snacks in the evening, but these can be as counterproductive as any other munchies. It’s not terribly difficult to banish the Late Night Shuffle. You just need to recognize the habit and use my strategies to substitute good behaviors for bad. Once you achieve this, you’ll be amazed at the effect it has on your weight loss progress. 4. EMOTIONAL EATING. This is the Devil that lodges snugly in your head. It’s not about hunger; it’s not about habit. It’s about how you feel and how that makes you eat. An overheard criticism of your parenting skills? A boss who’s piling on the work until you’re so stressed your hair is falling out? A relative who prods you to


Unmasking Your Diet Devils

21

overeat at each holiday meal? Emotions are powerful, and if you don’t recognize how they can sabotage your diet it’s almost impossible to win the battle with this Devil. I’ll outline the issues that could prompt you to be an Emotional Eater and, more important, the simple strategies that will help you recognize Emotional Eating and avoid it in the future. 5. LITTLE DEV ILS. We all adore our children, but they can make it hard to lose weight in so many little devilish ways, from the time they steal from our exercise routines to the tempting foods they eat like peanut butter and Halloween treats. It’s challenging to eat lean and clean when you’re trying to satisfy their growing bodies. But it’s not impossible. I’ll show you how to eat well whether you’re dealing with the common “double dinner” dilemma of parenting (one with daddy; one with the kids) or the post–soccer practice, fast-food challenge. I even have strategies for dealing with picky eaters and the challenge of feeding the “skinny kid” as well as the delicate issue of little girls who are watching mommy diet. 6. BOREDOM BINGEING. Eating is fun. It’s pleasurable. It’s a tempting way to fill an empty afternoon. But there’s a big price to pay. Many of us don’t recognize that Boredom Bingeing can add hundreds of calories to our daily intake and can make permanent weight loss near impossible. Boredom Bingeing is all about mindless eating. Snacking, munching, noshing, nibbling. . . . Not because you’re hungry or because you’re sitting at an actual meal but because you’re faced with a bowl of candy or someone left muffins in the office kitchen or you are simply trying to fill an empty niche in your day by checking the fridge one more time. Boredom


22 Bread is the Devil

Bingeing is distracted eating. It’s not really pleasurable or satisfying. Why do we eat when we’re not really hungry? Same reason people climb mountains: because they’re there. You can break yourself of Boredom Bingeing and get a real boost in your weight loss progress, as well as a real boost to your self-esteem, by using my Boredom Bingeing strategies and getting better control of your time as well as your eating. I’ll teach you how to regulate your meals so you’ll stay satisfied and thus better control your food intake and banish Boredom Bingeing forever. 7. SLOTH. This Devil is about exercising, or rather, not exercising. It’s the “don’t get out of your chair, your favorite program is coming on” Devil. But moving more is important to weight loss. It’s not the most important factor, as you’ll see, but it definitely plays a role, and I’ll show you how you can tame the Sloth Devil and turbocharge your weight loss. Some clients are nervous when they come to see me because they don’t exercise and they feel guilty about it. If this is you, relax. As you’ll see when you deal with your Sloth Devil, I firmly believe that managing your food intake is the first and most important step you can take to lose weight. You’re going to work on that goal first. And then, when you’re ready, I’ll show you some very simple strategies that will help you work exercise into your schedule. You may surprise yourself and become a marathoner. But even if you simply add some regular activity to your life, I’ll show you how getting off the sofa is going to make a big difference to your long-term health and weight. 8. CELEBRATIONS! VACATIONS! Nothing’s more fun than a party or a trip, but too often these events totally derail our best diet intentions. Whether it’s an office


Unmasking Your Diet Devils

23

holiday party, a cousin’s wedding or your long-awaited week at the beach, this Dev il prompts us to throw caution to the wind and indulge, indulge, indulge! So many people begin a diet and then something comes up: an anniversary, a trip, a wedding. . . . All their progress and resolutions go to hell as they slip back into old habits following a major celebratory indulgence. Life doesn’t have to be like this. It really is possible to manage special events—and may you have many of them—without losing control. Whether you’re heading out of the country on a dream trip to Paris or simply trying to cope with an upcoming dinner party, I have the techniques that will help you eat well. Sometimes it’s a matter of knowing how to think about eating while on vacation. Other times it’s navigating an office birthday party. No matter: if this is your Devil, I’ll show you how to eat well and have fun at the same time. 9. ROADHOGGING. This is the devil that sits on your dashboard. Or in your carry-on bag. Or anywhere you travel. It knocks you off your schedule and lures you into making excuses for poor food choices and erratic eating. It’s really a challenge to eat well while traveling, whether you’re doing your daily commute or flying around the world on business. It’s difficult to deal with delayed meals, canceled meals and food that you’d never choose if you had a choice. If RoadHogging bedevils you, I can help. I have solutions to the road-food blues and tips that can help you navigate every conveyance from a plane to a minivan. You can manage a healthy, satisfying airport breakfast as well as an easy posttrip reentry dinner with the RoadHogging strategies. 10. DINE OUT DEV IL. Dine Out Devils are one of the most common dilemmas faced by my clients. Do you eat out


24 Bread is the Devil

frequently? Eating well at restaurants is a special challenge. If you dine out regularly for business or pleasure, you need help in navigating restaurant menus—and alcohol choices— so that you can reach your weight loss goals. The simple fact is that eating out can be fraught with diet pitfalls—beginning with the bread that lands on the table the minute you sit down. But there’s good news on the restaurant scene these days: chefs are working hard to satisfy the desire many people have to eat well and to limit their calorie intake. Of course you do need some tricks and strategies if you’re going to enjoy restaurant food and lose weight at the same time. I will help you with everything from how to navigate a fast-food restaurant to how to manage alcohol while sticking to your weight loss goals. I have simple “restaurant rules” that will make eating out and losing weight mutually compatible. Now that you have identified your Diet Devils, let’s see how we can conquer them!

Bread is the Devil: The Devil Detective Quiz  

An excerpt from the book "Bread is the Devil". Copyright © 2012 by Heather Bauer