Excerpt: 'The Diet Code' by Stephen Lanzalotta

Even my own daughter, tall and slim but, in the unfortunate way of teenage girls everywhere, conscious of her weight, lost 7 pounds in three weeks when she started eating "The Diet Code" way. Since she wasn't overweight to begin with, her weight then stabilized. On both counts (the loss and the stabilization), proportion was the key. My daughter had been eating a typical American diet at her mom's-- coffee cake for breakfast, mac and cheese for dinner -- heavy on the starch, without the fresh vegetables and the balanced fat and protein to complement the carbs.

Even people who don't need or want to lose weight can reap the benefits of following "The Diet Code." My son, who has that beanpole build many teenage boys specialize in, noticed a difference when he moved back in with me. Over dinner one night, he said, "Dad, have you noticed I haven't been sick in about a year and a half ? I haven't even had a cold. That's never happened before!" One of my employees recently told me I saved his life -- he no longer craved junk food once he started eating from my shop. Getting better nutrition as well as better taste, he said his body was just not happy when he ate anywhere else.

Now this book reveals a plan anyone can use to reap the same benefits my family, my customers and I have. As many times and as many ways as the Golden Ratio has been used through the ages, never before has it been applied to taking in foods and nutrients in proportion with the inherent design of the human body -- and the universe. When your food is correctly selected, combined, portioned and proportioned to be directly in sync with your natural metabolic needs, the inevitable result is optimal health and ideal weight.

"The Diet Code" unlocks all that for you. This is age-old math, but revealed here for the first time is how it works with food, nutrition and weight loss. The Golden Ratio has kept artists and scholars busy exploring its complexities for millennia, yet in the end "The Diet Code" is as simple as one, two, three, as you'll discover in Chapter 2. The basic weight loss formula is accessible to anyone and everyone. "The Diet Code" program consists of three stages, which I'll walk you through in Chapter 7: a gentle initiation for beginners, including the specific formula for creating Diet Code meals; more details in a somewhat more intense period in the middle of the learning curve; and a final phase in which you relax into a lifetime of eating this way, having internalized the principles.

As I developed meals according to the Golden Ratio, I saw that not only was I using the numbers Leonardo did, I was using his foods, too. Not in the strictest sense, of course -- tomatoes are a staple of mine, for example, but they weren't even introduced in Italy from the New World until near the end of Leonardo's lifetime, and I do eat meat, while he was a vegetarian for most of his adult life. Leonardo lived during a prosperous time in Italian history, in a financial and cultural capital of the world. Food was generally plentiful -- certainly for tradesmen and the upper classes -- and varied, thanks to a moderate climate, extensive agriculture and bustling worldwide trade.

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