Excerpt: 'The Diet Code' by Stephen Lanzalotta

But it's not meant to be a quick fix. Rather, "The Diet Code" is a lifetime plan that honors both the art and the science of eating well. It provides exacting information for maximizing metabolic power and nutritional impact while you luxuriate in the pure, sensual pleasure of eating truly good food -- foods that are easily acquired and prepared to suit people living today's hectic lifestyles. Drawing on traditional Italian foods -- and, as important, traditional Italian ways of cooking and eating -- "The Diet Code" guides you toward freedom from food fads and fears with an Old World perspective that requires you to eat for pleasure.

"The Diet Code" allows you to lose weight at nutritionists' recommended rate for healthy, stable and permanent weight loss: 1--2 pounds a week; 4--8 pounds a month. You'll be eating so well that the weight loss will seem almost effortless. Over time, eating this way will restructure your metabolism and alkalize your system, creating vibrant good health as well as maintaining your natural, healthy weight.

I've experienced the changes that eating this way has brought about in my own body and have witnessed it working for others as they discovered it at my shop, Sophia's. When I made the transition to eating essentially this way (years before I fine-tuned it exactly to the Golden Ratio), the extra pounds I'd been carrying around fell away. Once I refined my personal practices precisely to match the Golden Ratio, I grew leaner still and more muscular. The numbers on the scale didn't really change, since muscle weighs more than fat, but I looked somehow less fleshy, and my clothes fit differently. Equally important, meals proportioned according to the Golden Ratio gave me the energy I needed -- the baker's life is a physically demanding one.

As soon as I realized the power of combining foods this way in my own life, I designed a menu along the same lines to serve in my bakery café. My customers responded as enthusiastically as they always had to my bread and began asking how they could eat like this at home, too. And many reported losing weight.

One woman, for example, told me she had started on the South Beach Diet before switching over to "The Diet Code" approach. She then ate bread every day and still reached her original target weight on time, dropping 25 pounds in four months. She's now the perfect fit for one of the (size small) T-shirts I sell in my shop, the ones that brag "Body by Bread"!

Another woman in her 40s ate "The Diet Code" way during and after her recent pregnancy. Just recently she was in the store for a pizza with her family (including her 3-month-old) -- and back at her usual size 4, with no trace left of the 50 pounds she'd put on while pregnant. A woman in her 60s came into the shop excited about her early success with the plan. "You might not be able to tell, since I'm still stout," she said to me, "but I've lost 7 pounds already!"

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