OK, so you may have packed on a few extra pounds over the past year, with the holidays providing an especially hard hit to your waistline. Now that January has rolled around, you, like millions of your fellow Americans, are looking to strip some of that off. New year, new you, right? Before you resign yourself to a frugal, flavorless diet and stock your refrigerator with carrots and celery sticks, listen up: Weight loss doesn’t have to be about boring diet foods and deprivation. In fact, eating smaller portions of great-tasting real food makes you less likely to cheat, helping you stick to your diet long term.
Our sample meal plan makes it easy, calling for slowly digested nutrients like protein and fiber that guarantee you’ll stay full and satisfied all day long. To help speed weight loss, you’ll also load up on fat-burning foods like fish oil, calcium, cayenne and green-tea extract. A daily dose of cinnamon extract keeps blood sugar levels on an even keel, helping you burn glucose more efficiently and cutting down on cravings.
Here’s how it works: The basic plan provides 1,500 calories, a reasonable slim-down goal for most women. Men, who are bigger and have more muscle mass, will need to eat slightly more: Simply doubling breakfast takes care of this, bumping the day’s total to 1,800 calories. Pair the diet with a program such as “Start the Year Strong” in this issue and, like 2009, your excess weight will soon be a distant memory.