Right now, 51 percent of Americans want to lose weight, but only 25 percent of people are seriously working toward their goal, according to a recent Gallup poll.
One likely reason? Weight loss has become so darn complicated. Popular diets cut out favorite meals or entire categories of nutrients. That’s why I wanted to create a simple program that fits seamlessly into anyone’s tastes and lifestyle: the Stop & Drop Diet.
I’ve written several diet books over a number of years—why another one? Because I’ve seen that not every diet works for everyone. Some people have specific health concerns; some prefer general guidelines; others want exact rules. Some people have 100 pounds to lose; others, just a few. Some of my previous books required a certain amount of work, like scouting supermarkets for occasionally hard-to-find ingredients.
[pullquote] The Reader’s Digest health team went through the supermarket and analyzed restaurant menus and recipes, reviewing more than 40,000 products. [/pullquote]
The Stop & Drop Diet focuses on two things: fast results and maximum flexibility.
Achieving a healthy weight is vital to good health, and dropping pounds quickly is important for long-term success. When University of Florida researchers analyzed data on 262 middle-aged women struggling with obesity, those who had lost weight faster achieved greater overall weight loss and longer-term success keeping it off. When the number on your scale falls quickly, you stay motivated and lose more. And a successful diet isn’t about eating just healthy foods—but healthy foods you actually like, a paper in the Journal of Health Psychology recently concluded.
To develop the Stop & Drop Diet, the Reader’s Digest health team went through the supermarket and analyzed restaurant menus and recipes, reviewing more than 40,000 products with help from registered dietitian Mindy Hermann. We evaluated them according to a number of criteria: calories as well as whether they contained any slimming ingredients (fiber, healthy fats like MUFAs, or calcium) or any unhealthy ingredients (saturated fat, sodium, or sugar). Some of our choices may surprise you, as more and more companies offer healthier options.
We flagged the worst choices for each dish (to stop eating) and the best choices (to start eating) and created easy-to-follow meal plans.
Follow our 21-day program and discover small tweaks to drop up to five pounds in five days, as many people on our test team did. Every month in the pages of Reader’s Digest magazine and throughout our website, we’ll share our simple strategies. Even if you don’t want to “go on a diet,” they can help you take charge of your weight, health, and happiness.