See Part one of this review.

In part I of her book, Frankel outlines her ten rules about being ‘naturally thin.’ I will list them in order of importance (this is just my opinion).

  1. Know thyself

This rule really struck a cord with me because I think you must know yourself before you can conquer any of the other rules. When do you get hungry? Why are you hungry? Are you truly hungry or is it just because you were watching Man vs Food? What foods do you love? What foods do you not love? What are your unhealthy triggers? What do you have a hard time controlling?

For example: Every time I eat cereal, I overeat. It’s sweet, it’s easy, it’s readily accessible. Even if I pour myself a small bowl and close up the box, I always end up re-opening it and pouring some more. Solution? I stopped having it in the house. I can live without cereal, and most brands are junk; full of processed carbs and sugar, anyway.

  1. Your diet is your bank account

This rule is really about picking your battles and finding balance. She compares diet to your bank account; you have to balance your spending and your saving. When you invest in a dietary “splurge” make sure that it’s worth it, and balance your splurge with a save. You wouldn’t buy a 70 inch flatscreen if you don’t watch TV that much right? Why would you eat that week-old-left-over cake if it’s not that good?

For example: It’s Sunday morning you and your friends have plans to go out to breakfast. You know they make bomb banana pancakes which are your absolute favorite. This is your splurge and you indulge (with the short stack that you split with someone) Now, since we seek balance, lunch is going to be a big helping of veggies and some lean protein. Balance. Boom.

  1. Get real

Real food, we mean. Were talkin’ stuff that grows or lives on mother earth; not man made chemically injected junk. I must be honest with you- this rule I only started implementing within the last couple of years. Thinking back to my childhood, my mom almost always cooked at home and it was usually meat, potatoes, and some sort of veggie (she was irish- you can imagine). Then high school and college rolled around when I had more power over what I ate and I can tell you I did not give a damn about having organic fruits and veggies, cage free eggs or grass-fed, hormone free protein. You wouldn’t believe how much walmart brand mac and cheese I would crush when I was a poor college student. Now however, I know how important it is nourish my body with good quality food. The more natural and real… the better. That being said however, don’t stress yourself out. There’s going to be times when you’re going to eat man made and processed stuff. You’re not going to die- just try to keep it to a minimum. The last thing she mentions is about soda; it is the one thing that she does put off limits. And I completely agree- there’s just no need for it. Stop buying it for your house, and stop ordering it at restaurants. It’s a waste.

Pay attention

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard someone tell you to not watch TV and eat at the same time. Well Frankel tells you too. These are some of her simple tips:

a)      Tune into your food prep- appreciate the process

b)      Taste your food- don’t just shovel it in

c)      Chew your food slowly and well

d)      Take a seat, slow down, pause between bites, and calm yourself

  1. Good for you

This rule is all about being proactive, taking control, and changing your life for the better. Frankel uses the ‘no excuses’ mantra; she urges your to get out of your comfort zone and make a change. Finally, the topic of exercise arises. She simply tells you to move more and find something you like doing. You don’t need to be a gym rat or a triathlete to be healthy. She also talks about getting better sleep, actively participating in your social life, and having a positive self image.

  1. You can have it all, just not all at once

Do you know what you really want? This chapter relates with ‘know thyself’ very well. Everything is easier when you know what you want. This rule is helpful when you’re faced with a lot of choices (ie a buffet or cocktail hour with lots of appetizers). Take some time to glance around, decide what investment you want to make (your diet is your bank account) and make sure you truly enjoy your choice. You can have it all (your favorite cheese, or antipasto item, or chocolate cupcake), just not all at once (pick one- and balance it with a save).

  1.  Downsize now!

Pretty obvious rule here. This is all about reducing your calorie intake. Frankel gives some great tips on how to start this so you don’t feel deprived. Think about where you can give up some calories. For example, do you always eat two pieces of toast for breakfast just out of habit? Could you deal with just having one? Can you split an entrée with your dinner date? Can you down size your plates and bowls? Frankel also talks about a concept called “the point of diminishing returns.” When you’re eating something, it’s the point at which (because you’re paying attention) your enjoyment is not as high as the first few bites. Think about it and try it… it actually happens. Stop eating when you’ve reached this point. This leads nicely intro rule number 8:

  1. Cancel your membership in the clean plate club

Sorry Mom, America is different now, you’re doing more harm than good by polishing off your plate at every meal. This can mostly be applied to ordering at restaurants, but works at home too. Share it, save it, or leave it… in that order. Share it- involves other people, and it can make meal times more fun or intimate. Save it- use your leftover dinner for tomorrow’s lunch (this sometimes requires a little creativity). Leave it- what happens when your food just really isn’t that good? Or you’re at a restaurant and you’re not in the situation where you can take it home? Leave it.

  1. Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Ever gone on a binge before? We’ve all been there. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Say it. Repeat it. Since our previous 8 rules allow us to not be deprived, binging should diminish and eventually not be in your vocabulary at all. Be kind to yourself, break the habit, and realize that you are always in control of what you choose to eat. Stop binging.

  1. Taste everything, eat nothing

I don’t necessarily love the title of this rule, and Frankel acknowledges that it’s misleading. But hopefully by now you realize that this isn’t literal, because people who are naturally thin don’t deprive themselves. Frankel talks a lot about her time in Italy, and how Italians do not obsess, but appreciate food, eat whatever they want, and manage to stay thin. If you decide to have a meal that is considered indulgent, choose a variety of foods, pay attention, taste and appreciate everything, and don’t feel compelled to clean your plate (share it, save it, or leave it).

Conclusion:

Obviously my abbreviated version is just a glimpse of what this book has to offer. It has a ton of easy and delicious recipes, specific strategies for each rule, and even blurbs and personal stories called “Naturally Thin Thoughts” and “Heavy Habits.” Part II entails putting these principles into practice, and each chapter is a day in the life of a ‘naturally thin’ person.

I don’t know if you can tell, but this book got me pumped up. It was more than I expected it would be. I can promise you I’ll be reading and referencing this book way more in hopes to conquer every rule. But for now, I’m going to tell you that I’m going to work on the 1 rule that I deemed most important, which was the first one on my list. Your number 1 may be different from my number 1; pick 1 rule that resonates with you most, and work on conquering it. And if you didn’t notice, most of the rules all intertwine and relate to each other. Although I can’t speak from experience quite yet, I can imagine that the further you go down the list of conquering each rule… the easier they get to conquer.

I look forward to Reading Bethenny’s sequel, “The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy recipes for your naturally thin life” Hopefully I can write about it soon.

Take control!

-L

To read more on Bethenny, find her website at www.bethenny.com

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