Excerpt: 'The 3-Hour Diet'

"The 3-Hour Diet" emphasizes "when," not "what" you eat. According to author Jorge Cruise, eating at approximately three-hour intervals stimulates the body to lose weight, whereas spacing out meals beyond the three-hour mark sends the body into starvation mode and forces it to cling to stored fat. Cruise also emphasizes a lot of fruits, veggies and lean proteins in your diet, with just enough carbohydrates to liven up your meals.

Cruise started working with Linda McCreight and Tanya Pierre-Creer in mid-January, after they had gained back all the weight and then some after going off low-carb diets.

On Cruise's diet, Pierre-Creer has lost 24 pounds, 20 inches and six sizes, and said she and her husband have gained a romantic spark. McCreight lost 22 pounds. The women used two different techniques to obtain their goal.

McCreight is a 52-year-old grandmother and weighed 170 pounds at her heaviest. She lost the weight by planning her meals each night.

For breakfast she eats a Luna Bar (200 calories), a yogurt and a 100-calorie Nabisco Snack Pack. For lunch she eats a turkey sandwich on wheat with lettuce, tomato and mustard, an apple, a bottle of water and carrots. For dinner she eats any Healthy Choice-brand meal, a small side salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and fat-free dressing, a Diet Coke a and Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Pierre-Creer is a deputy sheriff working the graveyard shift and does not have time to plan her meals. She relies on Cruise "On the Go" guide to make healthier fast-food choices. Among the food she eats is a small cheeseburger and a side salad from McDonalds, the "Subway Club" from Subway and a small Jamba Juice.

Cruise emphasizes that the most important part of the diet is portion control and timing.

You can read a chapter from the "The 3-hour Diet" below.

The Key to A Slim Body

"Before I started Jorge's program, my weight was out of control. I looked in the mirror and saw a huge, short, fat person. I hated buying clothes. I was tired and had no energy. I started Jorge's plan and I have lost 56 pounds so far and dropped four sizes. This program has shown me that even with five kids and a busy schedule, I can succeed with weight loss. Best of all, I did not have to give up the foods that I like. This plan is simple to follow. Thanks, Jorge!"

    --Brenda Johnson -- Lost 56 Pounds

Today, 65 percent of all Americans are overweight. This isn't just an American problem. Half of the people who live in the U.K. are overweight, too. It's an epidemic. Despite the abundance of diet books, pills, and programs, people are getting fatter. Obviously, the current dieting regimens are not working. Consider these statistics:

According to the Centers of Disease Control, more than 300,000 Americans die each year from obesity-related illness. This means each day more than 800 Americans die from problems related to obesity. This means every five minutes, three people die.

Twenty years ago, only 4 percent of American children were overweight. Today, that number has swelled to 15 percent -- and it's growing larger by the day.

On average, research shows Americans are gaining one to two pounds a year. Nine out of 10 people who lose weight on a fad diet gain it all back within a year.

So here's the question: "Why are you unable to successfully lose and keep the weight off?" I wanted to know the answer to this question. So I studied the effects of many different diets and questioned thousands of my most successful online clients.

This is what I learned. Do you want to know why YOU can't lose weight and keep it off? Well, you won't find the answer in a low-carbohydrate diet, a grapefruit diet, a cabbage soup diet, or any other fad diet. Yep, it's not there. In fact, these diets actually make you fatter in the long term. (You'll learn more about why and how in chapters 2 and 3.) Starving yourself and cutting out your favorite foods never works. If you've ever tried such deprivation diets, you know this already. With every fad diet you tried, you may have lost weight, only to hit a plateau and then gain it all back and more too.

Indeed, the answer lies in something much simpler, much easier to implement in your life, and much more enjoyable to tackle. It lies in a dieting secret that has worked for many years for my most successful online clients -- and for many other people as well. When I studied my most successful clients, I learned that the secret to dieting success lies in a revolutionary concept: timing. Yes, timing. You see, the secret to losing weight and keeping it off has to do with much more than what you eat. It centers on when you eat.

Specifically, it's not allowing more than three hours to pass without eating. Not every five hours or every two hours, but rather ideally every three hours. Why every three hours? Research study after research study confirmed the power of three hours. You see, if you allow more than three hours to pass between meals, your body turns on its natural "starvation protection mechanism," what I call your SPM. When your body's SPM gets switched on, your body thinks that it's in a famine. When this happens, your body does everything it can to preserve the most calorie-rich tissue in the body to ensure your survival. That tissue is body fat. Yes, your body begins to store fat and consumes precious fat-burning muscle instead. So now you might be losing weight on the scale, but you're not losing the ideal kind of weight. You're losing muscle instead of fat.

Why is losing lean muscle bad? It burns fat. Lean muscle controls your resting metabolism. Yep, lean muscle controls how many calories you burn when doing nothing … when resting on the couch, driving your car, sitting at the computer, even when sleeping in your bed. Each pound of muscle burns approximately 50 calories every day just doing nothing. Lose just five pounds of muscle and your metabolism burns 250 calories less a day; in the course of just one year that will equal 26 pounds of new fat!

You see, the fat on your body is not the source of your problem. You may not like having the excess fat, but the fat is not to blame. It's only the symptom. The true problem is the loss of lean muscle tissue from years of poor meal timing (see chapter 5) and/or fad dieting (see chapters 2 and 3). And muscle loss equals a lowered resting metabolism and thus a life of chronic weight gain.

On the flip side, if you eat at the correct times, you "turn off" your body's SPM, which in turn encourages your body to burn fat without losing muscle. This preserves your resting metabolism and whamo … you get and stay slim more easily!

You may be wondering, "Is it just about eating every three hours? Is that all there is to this diet plan?" The answer is no. There is more. It's all about what I call Visual Timing(TM). What do I mean? Visual Timing(TM) has two secrets. It's all about creating an automatic eating schedule by being visually aware of: 1) when to eat, and 2) how to eat without restricting food options -- ever. Yep, you need to know how to easily eat without any restrictions on the food options you love. And my Visual Timing(TM) formula will ensure you eat automatically every three hours and not forget to eat. It will feel effortless. Depriving yourself of the foods you love leads to bingeing and failure in the long term. Chapters 5 and 6 will cover these two critical secrets. So get ready to stop thinking low-carb. Get ready to stop fad dieting. Get ready to start thinking about timing -- when you eat.

The foregoing is excerpted from "The 3-Hour Diet(TM)" by Jorge Cruise. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, April 2005.