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Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Solution


Phil McGraw, PhD, the plain-talking, self-improvement guru and psychologist, spent eight years counseling people who were up to 300 pounds overweight. "The approaches I used with them are precisely the very same get-real strategies for weight loss you will learn about and apply here," he writes in his book, The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom.

Dr. Phil outlines seven key points to understanding and facing your "personal truth" - how you view yourself and your weight. Then you must replace these toxic messages with positive thoughts, says Dr. Phil.

"It's about changing yourself from the inside out, so that being fit and healthy for you is as natural and as normal as breathing," he writes. "By changing yourself from the inside out, you will be able to attain and permanently maintain what I call your get-real weight --- the weight that is healthy and realistic for your age and your physical and genetic makeup, a weight at which you are happy and truly at peace with your size, and a weight that is stable because you have taken control of every factor in your life that keeps it there."

You learn how to counter emotional and impulse eating. He writes about substituting a new habit (like taking a shower) for an old, bad habit (eating leftover cheesecake). You remove junk food from your pantry - and begin stocking it foods with high nutritional yield and fewer calories, foods that cannot be eaten quickly (generally because they're high in fiber), so you're less likely to overeat.

Exercise must become a priority: "There is absolutely no way you can control your weight for a lifetime without it," he writes. Forming a support circle is critical. "It is a psychological truth that behavioral change is more successful if it is supported by a caring, loyal, and encouraging network of like-minded people who want you to win people who lift you up, rather than hold you down," he explains.

The book includes lots of case studies, self-tests, and charts to help readers put words into action. He encourages writing in a journal to help you regain emotional control.


Diet Keys

Dr. Phil outlines what he calls High-Response Cost, High-Yield Foods - those that require a great deal of work and effort to prepare, cannot be eaten quickly, and are not convenience foods.


High-yield foods are those that supply a lot of nutrients - in the form of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, fiber - relative to the calories they contain. They are not processed foods, and are not laced with sugar, fat, or additives.

High-yield foods include colorful fruits and vegetables - red, purple, orange, yellow, green; whole grains; eggs, fish, lean meats, legumes, tofu, non-fat milk products, soy products, water, herbal teas. Soup is another high-yield food, as research shows, because it's filling and takes a long time to eat, he writes.

He advocates meal replacement beverages and bars as "grab and go" food - those that are formulated with a balance of nutrients, including protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients. They can keep you from straying when you are tired, busy, or overcommitted. Just make sure you don't rely on these -- they don't substitute for a balanced meal.
For greater fat loss, reduce intake of starchy vegetables, says Dr. Phil. Keep fats and oils to just two tablespoons a day. For snacks, choose fruits or vegetables or low-fat milk products -- and meal replacement bars or beverages occasionally. Two or three fruits a day and two milk products a day.

He emphasizes planning your meals and controlling portion sizes. Eat slowly, leisurely, he advises. "Not by accident, the most heavily advertised foods are the ones most responsible for the obesity epidemic: fast foods snacks, candy, prepared convenience foods, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages," writes Dr. Phil.

On his "Hit List of Weight-Gaining Behaviors," drinking three beers at Happy Hour once a week adds about 438 extra calories to your diet - with a potential 6.5 pound weight gain in one year's time. Alcoholic beverages interfere with the body's use of various B complex vitamins, he writes.

Instead of drinking with your buddies, consider a completely different alternative - like lifting weights at the gym instead. This plan of attack works so powerfully because it takes your mind off the habit you want to weaken, he explains.
Also, he advises ridding your home environment of alcoholic beverages. Away from home, ask for a diet soda or club soda in lieu of an alcoholic drink.

"You no longer have to rely on willpower," writes Dr. Phil. "It simply doesn't work. Willpower is unreliable emotional fuel that drives you when you are excited, motivated, or energized. But you know as well as I do that no one stays fired up continuously. The seven keys to permanent weight loss do not depend on willpower for success."

Programming yourself for success is the key. "Programming involves making small, deliberate modifications in the way you live your life, and it has everything to do with developing a lifestyle that creates healthier behavior," he explains.

The seven steps to weight loss freedom:

  • Right Thinking: Get rid of self-defeating thought patterns, believe that you will succeed, and you will have mastered the first key necessary to overcoming your struggles with your weight.
  • Healing Feelings: Make choices that stop the cycle of emotional eating that has perpetuated your weight problem. Don't let stress, anxiety, or depression lead you to self-medicate with food. Change your emotional response to life's problems, and the unwanted eating behaviors that flow from it, and you can change. He instructs readers in how to identify the "payoff" you get from overeating and addressing those negative feelings -- getting emotional closure, so you stop self-defeating habits, says Dr. Phil.
  • A No-Fail Environment: You must program your environment in every possible way to avoid binge foods and reminders to eat.
  • Mastery Over Food and Impulse Eating: "Did you binge or overeat for one reason, such as a betrayal, a job loss, an illness, some personal tragedy, and you've kept on doing it as a matter of habit? Your pounds came on quickly, but the trouble is, they stayed because you are overeating habitually, whether you are hungry or not," writes Dr. Phil.
  • High-Response Cost, High-Yield Foods: This is Dr. Phil's way of saying, "eat high-fiber and other nutritious and filling foods - whole grains, lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, dried beans." It also implies eating foods that take time and effort to fix, require lots of chewing, and aren't fast food or other convenience foods.
  • Intentional Exercise: "Regular, intentional exercise is a big deal, a huge deal," writes Dr. Phil. "It unlocks the door to body control - a state of fitness in which your body is metabolically geared for losing weight and keeping it off, and is flowing with energy and vitality People who successfully manage their weight and stay fit exercise as a matter of habit."
  • Your Circle of Support: "Weight loss is not a do-it-yourself deal," he writes. "If you expect to lose weight and keep it off, you must build and nurture relationships that affirm and uplift you in life-changing ways. There is strength and power in support."


He also encourages getting a medical checkup if you're having trouble losing weight. You may have biochemistry, metabolism, or thyroid problems that require medical treatment before your body will shed pounds.



The cost of the book The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom.



  • Dr. Phil offers 7 steps to change your environment to promote weight loss
  • Interactive fill-in charts and self-tests help guide readers through each step


  • Nothing new, you just have to do it.


Diet Summary

Dr. Phil asks people to look inward, to uncover the thoughts, attitudes, and emotional issues that keep them overweight. He asks that you unmask your personal truth about eating -- an introspective approach.

If your goal is getting into that wedding dress in six weeks, forget it. But if you want to change yourself and how you view dieting, food, and health, this is a good place to start.

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Disclaimer: Information on this web site was gathered from many sources in public domain such as published books, articles, studies and web sites. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Please discuss your health conditions and treatments with your personal physician.


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