The Skinny

The Skinny: On Losing Weight without Being Hungry-the Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss Success by Dr. Louis J. Aronne and Alisa Bowman.



The Skinny. Another book with skinny in the title. It practically leapt off the shelf and into my hands at the library while perusing the New Books section. I actually picked this one up a few weeks ago but was thinking about it on my run this morning and wanted to write about it.

This is a weight loss/diet book. After briefly thumbing through the pages while I kept my children from running through the adult portion of library like wildebeasts, I decided it was likely to still have some value. I checked it out, practically guaranteeing the library at least $.25 in late fines.

The author talks about 2 phases to his diet approach. Phase 1, which lasts about 3 – 4 months, consists of getting all your carbs from complex carbohydrate sources, namely, green vegetables. You get one serving of starch at dinner, and it still has to be a complex carb, like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, etc.

Meh. Not for me.

On to Phase 2. The duration? The rest of your life. He says you can still have bread, fats, sweets, etc, but to eat them LAST. The first part of your meal should be a large serving of green veggies. Jillian Michaels talks about this too on her radio show, calling it volumetrics. Basically, you fill your stomach with foods that are less calorie dense, like green vegetables. THEN you can eat fats, starches or something sweet at the end of your meal. The idea is that you stretch your stomach sooner on less calories, which releases leptin, the satiety hormone, and ideally eat less of the foods that are more calorie dense.

With any advice I get, whether on nutrition, exercise or parenting, from a book, a blog, a magazine or a face to face conversation, I tend to treat it like a buffet: Take what you like and leave the rest.

So while I don’t follow this plan exactly, I have definitely increased the amount of green vegetables I eat, replacing grains and starchy vegetables for more green vegetables. I’m not one to put a lot of rules on the order in which I eat things, but I like the idea of stretching my stomach, releasing leptin and feeling fuller sooner with less calories. Basically, I just make sure plate is chocked full of vegetables.

I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now and I’ve noticed two dramatic changes.

1. I have A LOT more energy on my runs. It is AMAZING. It actually took me a while to put two and two together. I thought it was just a fluke until I looked back at what I had been doing differently. In the past I’ve always had good runs and not so good runs, feeling tired and just wanting it to be over. Lately, every run is a good run! I feel fabulous the whole time and feel like I could just go forever. (Thus why I started thinking about this today on my morning run.) I’m sure my days of not-so-great-runs and workouts are not gone forever, but I’m impressed with what this has done for me so far.

2. Cravings for sweets and starchy carbohydrates are practically non-existent. I’ve struggled with this on and off these last few months, especially over the winter. But since I’ve upped my non-starchy vegetable intake, I can’t believe how much I’m NOT fighting the urge to dive head first into the cereal box at night, and thinking less about food between meals and snacks.

Think: adding spinach to smoothies, replacing sweet potato fries with large piles of steamed veggies, salads as big as my head. Eating vegetables is most definitely not a new concept, but consciously choosing the right vegetables and the general order that I eat them is doable. And completely worth it! I’m still eating starches and grains (I’m not giving up my oatmeal, corn, carrots, wheat bread, chocolate!) but just eating less of it, mainly because I fill up on vegetables first.

So that brings me to my morning run. It wasn’t raining when I got up, just overcast. I scrapped my treadmill plans almost immediately and opted to run outside instead.

6.24 miles in 49:32, with an average pace of 7:56.

Skinny Bitch suggests eating only fruit for breakfast. Jillian says to always eat something before you work out, which I don’t always do. While the idea of eating ONLY fruit for breakfast makes me want to run screaming into the night, as I would rip right through that and be hungry again in 5 minutes, I decided to combine these two ideas this morning and ate some watermelon while catching up on emails and sitting at my desk for a half hour before heading out on my run.

Once home and cooled down, it was cereal all around for breakfast this morning.


Into my bowl:

Half a small container of 2% Fage
3/4 c (or so) of Kashi’s Heart to Heart
1/2 a sliced banana
A few spoonfuls of sliced strawberries
A sprinkle of homemade granola
A pour of unsweetened vanilla hemp milk

Into Maxine’s bowl:


Yes, YOU!

Heart to Heart and vanilla soy milk.

And to my right:


Ava’s bowl? Wegmans brand cheerios and vanilla rice milk, a dish of strawberries.

That’s right, I have at least 4 different kinds of milk in my fridge at any given moment. Hemp milk? Almond milk? Rice milk? Soy milk? Cow’s milk? I’ve got them all!

Sorry green veggies, I’m still eating grains for breakfast. At least for now. πŸ˜‰


3 Responses

  1. hehe….love Maxine’s morning hair. πŸ™‚

    I read about having a salad before dinner, too. I’ve tried that a few times, myself. Like I’ll make a salad and then start making dinner so as I’m cooking I’m staying out of the dinner and eating my salad. πŸ™‚

    With all the veggies you eat are there any you don’t like? Do you find that you sort of stick with the same ones each week?

  2. I can’t think of any veggies I don’t like. I suppose there are some I’m reluctant to buy, mainly due to the fact that I don’t know how to cook them or what to do with them. Like…. beets? Rutabaga? I’m not even sure I’d recognize a rutabega if someone heaved one in my general direction. I honestly can’t think of a single fruit or vegetable that I would say “I don’t like that” to!

  3. Have you read Joel Fuhrman’s book “Eat to Live”? He covers things you mention in the above post, ie. breakfast of fruit only, big salad first for lunch and dinner. It’s vegan and a six week plan for part one. Off limits is dairy, animal products, between meal snacks, fruit juice & dried fruit. Unlimited foods are raw vegs, cooked green vegs, legumes and eggplant/mushrooms/peppers/onions/tomatoes.
    Limited foods are cooked starchy vegs, raw nuts and seeds, avacado, ground flaxseed. After six weeks everything is okay but with limits (excepting the big salad, fruit breakfast). For me going vegan was VERY hard and I didn’t stick with it. I now consider myself to be a part time vegetarian (i know, nuts, right?)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: