Now that you’ve shed those extra pounds it’s time to discuss stabilization.
Stabilization is where things get interesting, but you must never forget that this diet is not a definitive diet.
Stabilization is a two-part process: the first part deals with your daily eating plan and the second, with managing diet slip-ups.
The notion of a balanced diet is the basis of stabilization. Balance is when things do not change. You neither lose nor regain weight when you eat a well-balanced diet.
During the maintenance phase, I recommend that you separate carbohydrates and fats, or sugars and fats, on a daily basis. Sugar makes you gain weight and so does fat, and that’s why you separate them. If I had two troublesome students in my class, I’d separate them. You initially excluded fats and carbohydrates from your diet and now you’re reintroducing them. As long as you separate fats and carbohydrates, you will not gain back the weight you lost.
The second part of the stabilization process focuses on managing diet slip-ups.
If you had to stabilize your weight for life by eating only three little green peas and a green bean, you’d be very depressed and would never manage to stabilize your weight.
The first notion that is reintroduced after you’ve completed this diet is the notion of pleasure. There can be no pleasure if there are no diet slip-ups. It’s impossible to achieve long-lasting balance in life without pleasure. You’d quit your job if you derived no pleasure from it. You’d wonder what was wrong with your relationship if you derived no pleasure from it.
There are two types of diet slip-ups: minor slip-ups that are inconsequential and major slip-ups that must be dealt with.
Weight gain is the result of bad habits and not a one-time slip.
You could have a minor diet slip-up when you go to a movie, a play or a concert and have only an hour to grab a bite to eat. You don’t have enough time to go to a fine restaurant, so you go to a regular restaurant. Which foods are unavoidable in restaurants? Fatty foods, because you’re not the one doing the cooking. Which are easily avoidable? Sugar, bread, pasta and dessert. It’s okay for you to have a small glass of wine. Since you did not load up on carbs and fats, this slip is a minor slip and you don’t need to make up for it.
Contrast that with going to a fine restaurant once every week or two and ordering everything you want. You have a first course – perhaps some foie gras – and a main dish served in a sauce. As a matter of fact, you have the works – starchy foods, dessert, cheese, wine and bread – because you have the right to! That’s a major diet slip-up and you can easily make up for it the next day by avoiding all sugar for that one day only. Your goal is not to lose weight, but to make up for your one-meal overindulgence because you want to prevent the fat from entering your fat cells.
Fat can only enter a fat cell and be stored in it if it has a little the key to open the cell’s door. That little key is insulin. Your pancreas secretes insulin only when you eat sugar. If you eat no sugar the day after your major diet slip-up, your pancreas will secrete very little insulin and there will be no little key to open up the fat cells to let in the fat.
You might still gain two pounds the day after you ate a big meal and that’s very maddening. You think to yourself, “I ate one meal and gained two pounds and it’ll take me a week to lose those two pounds”. You also think it’s so unfair that one meal made you gain two pounds. You conclude that the diet doesn’t work because your weight is yo-yoing!
Don’t worry. You didn’t gain two pounds of fat. Your body is unable to lose two pounds of fat in a day and it can’t gain two pounds of fat in a day either. Remember, two pounds of fat equal 9,000 calories, and women eat an average of 2,000 calories per day. How could you possibly eat the equivalent of four to five days of meals in just one meal? You can’t. And even if you could, your body would be unable to assimilate all those calories. What do those two pounds of fat represent then? They represent the weight of a big meal that you have not yet eliminated and the water your body has retained in order to digest it.
When you eat a slice of ham or an egg, you don’t drink a quart of water. However, when you eat a big meal, you drink a lot more liquid in order to digest it. Water is essential for digestion. Let’s break down the weight of a big meal: the first course weighs 5 ounces and the meat dish, 7 ounces. There’s 12 ounces right there. Add to that the weight of the vegetables and starchy foods, which is another 7 ounces, and your meal’s weight goes up to 19 ounces. You also have to include the weight of the bread, dessert, and liquids. When you add it all up, you see that it’s normal to gain two pounds after a major diet detour. It’s not the end of the world, because those two pounds are not two pounds of fat.
All you have to do is go back on the protein diet for one day and avoid all fast and slow sugars.
Eating is essential; it’s one of life’s most essential acts.
Eating must be a conscious act; it must never be unconscious or automatic. Never fill up on cold foods while standing in the kitchen, because you’ll never feel satisfied. Never eat while doing other things at the same time. Don’t get yourself some food and then sit down and eat it in front of the television. Don’t grab something to eat and then sit down at your computer. You’ll end up going back for more food, because you don’t know how much you’ve eaten or what you’ve eaten. You ate automatically and unconsciously.
If you’re at a party or a reception where there are all kinds of tasty finger foods, you could eat up to 15 or 20 canapés and petits fours. Afterwards, you wonder if you should have dinner because you feel like you haven’t eaten at all.
A meal is a very special moment.