On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat, burning fat 24-7. Insulin levels become very low, and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy, keeping you alert and focused.
Processed, packaged foods are often loaded with more salt, sugar, and refined carbs than you’d put in the foods you cook for yourself. When you’re looking to drop weight fast, avoid foods that come in packages and stick to whole, unprocessed foods. (Here are the four most harmful ingredients in processed food.) Build your plates with non-starchy veggies, unprocessed whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, and season with spices, not salt.
Men tend to have more lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories than body fat, even during rest. And when men and women cut the same number of calories, men usually do lose more weight -- but it’s short-term. “Over the long-term, the playing field is more equal,” says dietician David Grotto, RDN, self-proclaimed “guyatician” and author of The Best Things You Can Eat. “It’s not a race to see who can lose weight the fastest. The important thing is that you’re both going in the same direction.”
It’s funny how the puzzle pieces of your life drop into place; during that same stint in New York, I went to Candle Caf. (one of my favorite restaurants), and I noticed Temple, a waitress who I hadn’t seen in years. She was absolutely on fire. Her hair, her skin, and her body just looked amazing. She told me she’d seen a macrobiotic counselor, and now she was the healthiest she’d ever been in her life. I decided I would give Christopher a consultation with her counselor for his birthday. If she looked so fantastic, there had to be something to this macro business, right?
“You can’t just say, ‘I want to lose weight…someday.’ It’s that kind of loose talk, without a fence or guideline, that discourages you from getting started and prevents you from succeeding. The way I did it was by tying it to an upcoming event in my life. I never focused on a number and I didn’t set out to lose a certain number of pounds per week or overall. I merely found a target date a year away and I proclaimed to myself that I’d be in better shape by then. — Maria Menounos, author of  The Everygirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness, on how she lost 40 pounds
Even listening to music while you eat can lead to weight gain, according to a study published in the journal Appetite. Research showed that people who listened to music ate more food, and it didn’t matter the pace or volume of the music playing. It’s best to focus on the food you’re eating while you’re chowing down, which help you tune in to signals of feeling full.
One afternoon, a few years later, Christopher came home and announced that he wanted to try a macrobiotic diet. He’d read interviews with people who claimed that this diet made them feel balanced and happy and he was intrigued. I’d heard (incorrectly, as it turns out) that macrobiotics was only for sick people and that fish was a requisite part of the diet. No way was that for me! He looked at me with that sweet face of his and said, “Alright, baby. I’m going to do macrobiotics, but you don’t have to.”
But what do I mean by “kind”? Well, let’s start with you. This is about being really, really good to yourself. The Kind Diet will give you tons of energy, mental clarity, gorgeous skin, and a zest for life you won’t want to miss. Plus, it’s powerful; doctors like Dean Ornish and John MacDougall have discovered that plant-based diets have the power to reverse heart disease, diabetes, even cancer.
Digested carbohydrates convert to glucose (sugar), which is transported in your bloodstream. This glucose triggers the release of a hormone called insulin. Glucose can’t be stored in the body so the body uses it for energy first, rather than using fat, which incidentally can be stored in unlimited quantities in the body (mostly on my hips and backside it would seem!).
“The best thing you can do for your belly is to give up processed foods. A study in the journal Food Nutrition Research found that our bodies burn only 50 percent as many calories digesting processed foods as they do real foods. So it’s like eating twice as much, even if the calories are the same!” — Mark Langowski, celebrity trainer and author of  Eat This, Not That! for Abs
The plan is based on the theory that eating carbohydrates creates a production of insulin, a hormone secreted from the pancreas, leading to increased weight gain and hunger. When converting to this approach, the plan holds that dieters will experience a reduced appetite, and their bodies will use stored fat for energy versus burning glucose from carbohydrate digestion. Burning fat for energy will supposedly lead to weight loss.
So here’s your end of the bargain: Prioritize food. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “I already prioritize food—I’m always on a diet! I think about food all the time!” But that’s not what I mean. It’s time to really reacquaint yourself with actual food , the stuff that comes out of the ground, the stuff that’s designed to go in our bodies, supporting not only our physical functions but our hearts and even our souls.
“Nuts are a superior weight loss food in my book. They offer plenty of protein, healthy fat, and fiber that can really take the edge off hunger at any meal or snack. Nuts are also so versatile and convenient. They can be mixed into oatmeal or yogurt at breakfast, paired with fruit as a snack, or tossed into a hearty salad for a little satisfying crunch at lunch. — Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, CSSD, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and owner of Go Wellness in Orange County, California
“To lose weight you should primarily eat whole foods, but don’t eliminate your favorites. Consistently eating nutrient-dense food on a day-to-day basis will improve the chances of upregulating metabolism and of eliminating nutritional deficiencies. That may mean tracking what you eat in some way at first, but it doesn’t mean ruling out entire food groups or foods you love. Consistent quality nutrition while learning to enjoy treats in moderation will set you up for long-term sustainable success. — Victoria Viola, PN Certified Nutrition Coach, NSCA CPT, Co-Founder, Excelerate Wellness, LLC

Our publisher, Thieme, has made a large investment in the book, fittingly as it is the flagship of their new “Edition Health Science” line of books for medical and health care professionals. Among their efforts was a re-design of the PHD apple. Forgoing the yin yang design that was inspired in part by Shou-Ching’s Chinese heritage, they came up with a clever design:
Shaping is a behavioral technique in which you select a series of short-term goals that get closer and closer to the ultimate goal (e.g., an initial reduction of fat intake from 40 percent of calories to 35 percent of calories, and later to 30 percent). It is based on the concept that "nothing succeeds like success." Shaping uses two important behavioral principles: (1) consecutive goals that move you ahead in small steps are the best way to reach a distant point; and (2) consecutive rewards keep the overall effort invigorated.
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