Top Trainer's Plan For Healthy Weight Loss

The author of The Abs Diet for Women shares his top 10 eat-your-way-slender secrets

What's the best way to lose weight fast? David Zinczenko, author of The Abs Diet For Women, says it's to get engaged. "There's nothing like an impending deadline—and a formfitting gown—to inspire someone to take her diet seriously," he says. Problem is, too many women try to shed the pounds by starving themselves or by trying fad diets. There's a better way—you can actually eat your way slim. By concentrating on the right foods, you can reduce your calorie intake while inspiring your body to burn only fat, not muscle. The result: a lean wedding-day physique that can look as toned and fine on your 5th, 10th, or even 20th anniversary as it does on your honeymoon.


1. Focus on the good, not the bad. One of the problems with traditional diets is that they are all about deprivation. You can't stick to them for very long because they make you feel bad—it's all about "can't, can't, can't." A smart nutrition plan is about finding more foods that you can and should eat, and eating as many of them as possible every day.


2. Never let yourself get hungry. Two bad things happen when you get hungry. First, you start craving fast, easy energy—and the fastest, easiest energy comes from junk like chips, cookies, and candy. Second, when you're hungry, your body starts breaking down muscle (not fat)—leading to the rebound weight gain so common with fad diets. Try to eat six times a day. Huh? Really? Yes! Three square meals and three smart, nutritious snacks will keep your body constantly fueled and constantly burning fat. And the real bonus: Since you're not depriving yourself, there's no temptation to ever go "off your diet."


3. Pay attention to the 12 food groups. In researching The Abs Diet for Women, I discovered that healthy eating can be as simple as remembering this phrase: ABS DIET POWER. The letters represent the 12 foods that should be the staples of your daily eating plan. Every meal and every snack should have at least two of the following: Almonds and other nuts; Beans and legumes; Spinach and other green veggies; Dairy; Instant oatmeal; Eggs; Turkey and other lean meats; Peanut butter; Olive oil; Whole grain breads and cereals; Extra protein (whey) powder; Raspberries and other berries.


4. Cut back the baddies. In a dramatic rush to slim down? Cut them out entirely. Just looking to maintain your figure for a lifetime of lean living? Then give them the hairy eyeball as much as possible, but don't worry about the occasional incursion into your diet. Here are the baddies:

TRANS FATS: Some fats, like those found in nuts, avocados, and other natural sources, are good for your heart and actually help you burn away flab. But there's nothing natural about trans fats, which your body uses to build its spare tire factory—and which will gum up your arteries down the road. On ingredient lists they are called "partially hydrogenated oil" and can be found in packaged baked goods like cookies and cakes, as well as fried and battered foods.

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