Excerpt: 'The Skinny: On Losing Weight Without Being Hungry'

Be vigilant when life gets more stressful. When patients come to see me after regaining weight, I always ask,"What changed?" Inevitably, something has. They take on more responsibility at work, move, have a baby, have a sick family member, or twist an ankle and can't walk as much.Whenever something changes in your life, it's time to be more vigilant.That's when you're most likely to backslide.

Be consistent. Use The Skinny to guide your eating during the week, on the weekends, and during vacations and holidays. Don't use it on some days and not on others. For example, many dieters like to have cheat days and cheat meals. They follow an eating approach flawlessly during the week and then go hog wild on weekends.That may be okay for some people, but this type of eating could damage your fuel gauge, causing you to start each week feeling excessively hungry from your weekend dessert-and- starch binge. Research shows that the most successful maintainers eat consistently every day, no matter the occasion.

In particular, always: Eat protein for breakfast. Although some people can get away with cereals, oatmeal, toast, juice, or another starchy breakfast once or twice a week, most maintainers can't eat these foods every day without noticing an increase in hunger. Most maintainers find that they must consume protein foods (from their Phase 1 breakfast options) most days of the week. The protein controls hunger and cravings for the rest of the day, so they naturally eat less for lunch and dinner. If you feel you have to have a starch for breakfast, have it with protein. For example, have a whole- grain English muffin with peanut butter, an egg, or turkey sausage.

Eat starch and dessert last. Always consume starch or dessert at the end of the meal, after you've consumed your vegetables, salad, soup, and lean protein.This is when you'll have most control, so one reasonable serving of pasta does not turn into one gargantuan serving. For the same reason, never consume alcohol as an appetizer or just before your meal.Always have it with the main course or after dinner.

Use the three- bites rule. I'm a weight- loss doctor. Does that mean I never eat cake or cookies? No way. As long as most of what you eat is rich in lean protein, fiber, and nutrients, you can occasionally eat sweets in moderation. The two important keys here are occasionally and in moderation. A few bites of dessert once or twice a week is probably okay for most people. A large serving every day probably isn't. Once you fix your fullness resistance, you can eat the small serving.

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