Last updated: Oct 15, 2009
the-skinny-diet-guide
Many people who struggle with excess pounds have what weight-loss expert and researcher Louis Aronne, MD, terms “fullness resistance,” or an inability to properly sense when they are satisfied. On the skinny plan, you learn how to keep your appetite in check and get your biochemistry back in line to properly gauge your hunger levels.


Basic principles:
Your biology, not your willpower, plays the most significant role in weight gain. By adjusting your eating and exercise habits, you can re-calibrate your internal weight-regulating system to maintain weight loss.

How it works:
The diet is divided into an initial phase of three or more months and a lifetime maintenance phase. During phase 1, you give your meals, snacks, and beverages a makeover by consuming larger portions of “filling foods” (e.g., fiber and lean protein) and minimizing “fattening” or “hunger-promoting” foods (e.g., starches and sugars). Add daily activity to avoid weight-loss plateaus.

What you eat:
During phase 1: Unlimited non-starchy veggies plus lean proteins, fruits, high-fiber starch. It's limited to one daily serving of whole grain and minimal fat. No rapidly digested starch or sugars are allowed. In Phase 2, for lifetime maintenance, add one more serving of starch per day. Limit desserts, alcohol, and caffeine. The book also includes healthy restaurant and frozen-food options.

How much can you lose?
Skys the limit. In his program, Dr. Aronne typically works with patients who are 50 or more pounds overweight. Through his own weight-loss studies, he found the average dieter loses 10% to 20% of his or her initial weight.
For the most part. The menu plan is full of nutrient-dense foods—just watch the sodium if you have high blood pressure.

Is it healthy?
Sari Greaves, RD, CDN, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association says "Many people will lose weight on this diet through the restriction of starches which indirectly leads to a lower calorie intake. However, a low-glycemic diet has not been validated by sufficient scientific evidence to recommend it as a first-line approach to weight loss."

Expert opinion:
Sari Greaves, RD, CDN, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association says, “Although a generous amount of science is given to support the connection between biology, hormones, and waistline, there are many other components, both psychological and social that drive eating behavior and the book may sway consumers to mistakenly mislabel themselves with a hormonal problem. Many people will lose weight on this diet through the restriction of starches which indirectly leads to a lower calorie intake. However, a low-glycemic diet has not been validated by sufficient scientific evidence to recommend it as a first-line approach to weight loss.”

Try this diet if you:
• Have been unsuccessful with other plans
• Are considering weight-loss surgery
• Are ready to commit to a permanent lifestyle change to improve overall health and quality of life

1-day sample menus:
Phase 1:
Breakfast: Egg white omelet mixed with chopped vegetables

Lunch: Salad of mixed greens, chopped vegetables, and 1 tablespoon olive oil and vinegar, steamed asparagus and grilled chicken breast

Snack: 1 pear and 5 whole cashews
Dinner: Miso soup, sauteed zucchini and mushrooms, water-packed tuna, 1/2 cup long-grain brown rice