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

This is where you must stop the cycle. Don't reach for the doughnut. Don't have the soft drink. Don't berate yourself. Don't get demoralized. Instead, do the following.

Get on the scale. Doing so will help you recommit, but don't pay too much attention to the actual number. It's wildly exaggerated. I don't care how much overeating was involved. Even if you ate an entire cake along with a gallon of soda, it's physically impossible to gain 5 pounds of fat overnight. Each pound of fat adds up to more than 4,000 calories. You may have gained a fraction of a pound of fat, but you certainly did not gain 5.

Most of that 5- pound gain is from extra glycogen and water.You've gained liver weight, not fat weight.Your liver is the first reserve gas tank for your body. Whenever you overeat, your body stores most of the excess here, along with a lot of water. If you recommit to The Skinny, most of this liver weight will be gone within a few days.

The problem is that most people don't know this. So when they get on the scale and see the 5 extra pounds, they have a series of thoughts that do little to keep them motivated. They think things like "I really screwed up," "Now look what I've done," and "I worked so hard to get it off. How can it come back so quickly?" They are plagued with self- doubt. They question their judgment. They question their willpower. They question whether they have what it takes to keep the weight off.

You have what it takes.You won't gain anything if you recommit right now. It bears repeating: this is not fat weight. It's liver weight. If you get back on track now, it'll be gone in a few days.

Be prepared for withdrawal symptoms. You're going to feel as crummy as you did when you first started The Skinny. You're going to go through withdrawal, and this withdrawal will last longer because your hunger hormones will not drop as quickly now that you've reduced your body size. It may take as long as a week for you to completely recover.

Eat more protein for breakfast. Keep a meal-replacement shake in the fridge, just for these mornings. You'll want a doughnut, which is why it's so important to have easy access to a shake. If you really, really, really are craving starch and a shake or an omelet just won't do, then have high-?ber cereal. The breakfast that usually fills you up will probably leave you feeling hungry that morning after eating a big dessert.You may even feel hungrier all day long. Eat a larger- than- usual breakfast, if needed, to squelch hunger. If needed, have another shake midmorning. Increase your protein portions all day. If you usually eat 5 ounces, increase them to 8.

Continue to eat more protein for about a week. It may take as long as a week for the hunger to subside and the fullness to set back in. It may also take this long for the liver to shed the glycogen and water and for you to see that sudden 5- pound gain reverse itself into a sudden 5- pound drop.

Lose What You Gain This is another one of those dirty little secrets about dieting that no one will tell you. Nearly everyone who loses weight gains and reloses many times. They don't lose 60 pounds and keep that 60 pounds off for life. Rather, their weight maintenance resembles the up- and- down rhythm of an EKG readout. They gain 3 pounds, take steps to address it, and then lose 3 pounds. They gain 2 pounds, make another change, and then lose it.They gain 5, and then they lose 5.

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