Excerpt: Bethenny Frankel's 'Naturally Thin'

Author Bethenny Frankel shares how to stay healthy, eating any food you want.

ByABC News via logo
April 12, 2009, 5:43 PM

April 24, 2009 — -- Bethenny Frankel may have made her name on the hit television show "The Real Housewives of New York City," but she has stayed in the limelight for her gifts as a natural food chef.

In her book "Naturally Thin," Frankel shares her rules that allow readers to get thin the natural way, without completely changing their favorite foods, and simply realizing that you are, in fact, "naturally thin."

Read an excerpt of her book below and then visit the "GMA" library for some more good reads.

"I look fat. I hate my body." "My thighs are huge." "Why did I just eat that? I can't believe I just ate that." "I can't lose weight. I have a slow metabolism." "I can't eat that. I really want to eat that, but I shouldn't." "I hate myself." "I pigged out." "I'm definitely going on a diet tomorrow." "I can't stay on a diet. I'm hopeless." "I have no willpower. I'm pathetic." "What is wrong with me?" "She can eat anything she wants. I hate her." "I was so good today. I skipped dinner. I can't wait to weigh myself tomorrow and see how much weight I lost." "Tomorrow I'm not eating anything." "I'm never eating again." "I'm not going to that party. I'll just eat too much." "Why did I eat so much? I want a doâ€'over. I feel so guilty." "I can just feel myself getting fatter right now. I'm disgusting." "I would be happy if I could just get skinny."

Sound familiar?

These are not the words or thoughts of a naturally thin person, but they might be the words or thoughts you say to yourself. I used to talk to myself like this, but I don't do it anymore. Do you wish you could stop, too?

You can stop. You can stop it all: the negative talk, the hatred of yourself and your body, the fear of food, the obsession with food, and, most important, the dieting. Best of all, when you stop doing all these things to yourself, you will become naturally thin.

If you are so used to thinking about yourself and about food in this negative way, if you feel shackled to diets and you think that this will never change, take heart. Life doesn't have to be this way. You are about to break the vicious circle and escape from a lifetime of self-destructive dieting. You can break free from the oppression of food obsession. And you can become naturally thin, without ever dieting again. I did it, and you can do it, too.

You Are Naturally Thin

Here's the simple truth: millions of Americans have become enslaved by dieting. We torture ourselves constantly, just because we ate a cookie (or five cookies), or didn't go to the gym, or ordered french fries, or had a second helping, or ate carbs or sugar or meat, or can't fit into our skinny jeans, or aren't as skinny as the next person. We insult ourselves and hate ourselves because we don't look the way we think we are supposed to look. We don't feel good or happy or satisfied with our lives, and we blame it all on a number on the scale. We spend thousands of dollars on diet programs, food delivery services, diet Web sites, diet magazines, and diet books. And yet we keep getting fatter. We despair, we wonder what is wrong with us, but we keep on dieting, we keep on trying, and we keep on failing.

If you wish desperately that you were one of those naturally thin people, but you don't really believe, deep down, that you are, guess what.

It's all a misconception. Being naturally thin isn't some state of being beyond your grasp. You are naturally thin. You just have to make a few simple changes to let your natural thinness emerge. You will be one of those people you wished you could be in high school. You will be one of those people that others look at and wonder, "How does she stay so thin?" This book will grant you access to that world because deep down, I know that's who you are. I found the secrets, I got naturally thin for life, and I want to share those secrets with you.

Who am I? Why am I writing this book? And, perhaps most important, why should you listen to anything I have to say about what you should eat?

My name is Bethenny Frankel. By trade, I'm a natural foods chef. You might know me from my role on Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City, or from my appearance as a contestant on Martha Stewart: Apprentice. You might have read one of my health blogs, seen one of my YouTube videos about healthy cooking, or read my column in Health magazine. Maybe you've even tasted some of my healthy treats in my line of baked goods, BethennyBakes™. But what you don't know about me is what I want to share with you: why I'm naturally thin, and why so many of the celebrity clients I cook for are naturally thin, too.

It's no state secret, but somehow, the key to being naturally thin has eluded many American women. I want to change all that.

Everybody should be able to know and practice what I and so many celebrities know and practice. My goal is to democratize health: to make health accessible to everyone, no matter who. Whether you live in New York, Nebraska, or Nevada; no matter how much money you make; no matter what your natural build is or your genetic predispositions are; no matter what your social status, job, race, nationality, or sexual preference may be; no matter what foods you love or hate; no matter how much you like or don't like to exercise; no matter whether your appearance is important for your career or not; no matter how you feel today when you look in the mirror -- if you are sick of obsessing and beating yourself up about food and weight, this book is for you.

I am a "health foodie" because I love good, high-quality, natural foods that makes me feel better, stronger, and more energized. However, when I cook, taste is just as important to me as nutritional content. Regardless of how healthful a food is, nobody will want to eat it if it doesn't taste good, and I believe food is meant to be enjoyed, not just tolerated. For me, "good enough" is never good enough when it comes to food (or anything, for that matter!). If you don't enjoy food, why bother? I don't believe in eating mediocre food just because it will supposedly make you thinner. It won't. We should all know that by now.

To me, food that doesn't taste delicious is worthless. On the other hand, I'm not interested in eating high-fat, high-sugar foods with no fiber, vitamins, or minerals. Sometimes I do eat processed food, but this is more the exception than the rule. I'm not interested in highly processed food or food that might taste good for a minute but doesn't do anything for my health. It's a balance. I consider my daily diet my bank account, with calories I have to manage -- and I'll tell you more about that in Chapter 1.

Before we get to the ten rules I've created for becoming naturally thin, you might want to know something about me. A lot of what I know about food comes from a natural passion for both food and health. I grew up eating every meal in a restaurant, and my proclivity toward healthy living has grown out of an unstable upbringing that inspired me to take control of my own life and make something good out of it. This has been a long progression for me: to rise up out of a difficult childhood that set me up for a lot of unhealthy attitudes about food; to embrace a more real, natural, balanced way of cooking, eating, and looking at the world. Today, I eat and live as a naturally thin person, but it has been a journey.

That journey, fueled by my passion for food and health, led me to the National Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in 2000. I spent a year at this school, and although I originally went there for fun, I was soon hooked on the chef's life and on new ideas for making the most out of good food. But what I did with my education is a little different from what most of my classmates did. I didn't go on to work in a restaurant. I wanted to do something bigger, something that would reach more people.

One thing I did was to start my own line of low-fat, low-calorie, dairy-free, wheat-free, egg-free baked goods, called BethennyBakes™, in 2001. I was a contestant on Martha Stewart: Apprentice and people referred to me as the breakout star on that show. (I'll tell you more about that experience later.) I have cooked for celebrities such as Alicia Silverstone, Denis Leary, and Mariska Hargitay. I've been featured on morning shows, including the Today show, CBS's The Early Show, and Good Day New York, talking about healthy cooking and eating; and I've appeared on other shows, too, such as Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and Extra. I write a regular column for Health magazine, and I've written for or been written about in the New York Times, People, InStyle, Family Circle, Hamptons, OK! magazine, Ladies Home Journal, USA Today, US Weekly, TV Guide, and the Wall Street Journal, among many others. My cooking videos get thousands of hits on YouTube.com, and I have been a spokesperson for brands including Pepperidge Farms Baked Naturals Snacks, Cascade, and Tupperware. I recently finished filming the second season of The Real Housewives of New York City. And now, I've written this book.