Women Lose Holiday Pounds

March 5, 2004 -- After New Year's, many of us found ourselves tipping the scale a little bit heavier, thanks to all the holiday goodies.

Jim Karas, a weight-loss expert who wrote "The Business Plan for the Body" and "Flip the Switch," joined "GMA" to help three viewers, in their 20s, 30s and 40s, shed 10 holiday pounds each.

To lose weight, you must follow a plan and mentally believe that you can do it, Karas said.

"If you tell your mind you are going to lose weight, your body will follow," he said. "Remember, body and mind work in tandem."

Samantha Angrand, 24, of Bronx, N.Y., is a single receptionist at a health club who has been struggling with weight gain since graduating college. In eight weeks, she lost 15pounds.

Stasia Harris, a 35-year-old stay-at-home mother from Bedford, N.Y., gained about 60 pounds after pregnancy that she had a hard time shaking off. She has lost 20 pounds in eight weeks and gotten out of her maternity clothes, thanks to finding a gym with a day care, throwing herself into a diet, strength training and cardiovascular exercise.

Beverly Delandro, a 44-year-old nurse and single mother of a 17-year-old daughter, has a busy schedule and doesn't find time for exercise. Sweets are her downfall, and her holidays were filled with traditional Caribbean foods, including favorites like fruitcakes, pork and ham. She lost 13 pounds in eight weeks, thanks to a four-day-a-week exercise program. It helped her increase her energy level, and lose weight.

Trainer Jim Karas had each of the women keep food diaries, which he had them e-mail or fax to him daily. Harris, who lost the most weight, also did the best at e-mailing him her daily food diary, and following his plan, Karas said.

One of the most important things you can do is count your calories, Karas said. "Researchers analyzed 107 studies published on diets, high-carb, low-carb, you name it. What they found is that all that mattered was the calories," Karas said. "What was the magic caloric number? 1,100. So start counting. I recommend that you eat 200 calories for breakfast, 300 for lunch and 400 calories for dinner. That leaves you with 200 free calories to eat as snacks (a piece of fruit would be perfect) or to add to one of your meals."

Here is Karas' advice for those trying to lose post-holiday weight at home.

Diet Dos and Don’ts

1. Eat three medium-sized apples a day, one before each meal. Apples are packed with fiber, and they also have a high water content, meaning they are ideal in making you feel full.

2. Consume at least one full cup of broccoli each day. Research indicates that consuming 600 milligrams or more of calcium — roughly the amount in a cup of broccoli, or a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese suppresses calcitrol, a hormone that signals fat cells to make more fat and burn less fat. Suppress the hormone and you make less fat, and burn more. Plus, the first fat will come off of your midsection.

3. Include two servings of either cottage cheese or yogurt in your diet each day. A serving is 1/2 cup of cottage cheese or one small 100-120 calorie yogurt. Don't go for fat-free versions. A little fat will help keep you feeling full.

4. You must record everything that you eat and the caloric value of each item. Record all foods consumed, the portion size, plus the caloric value of each item. The key is to read labels. Begin by looking at the number of calories per serving and the servings per container. Use a food scale, measuring cup and spoons if necessary to determine how many servings you are consuming.

Totally avoid the following foods:

1. All pasta — most people overeat pasta and therefore, it should be avoided.

2. Big retail bagels (200-calorie Lender's bagels are fine) and all bread in restaurants.

3. All soup, except the Heartland Stew in Flip The Switch (see page 158) or a low-calorie/low-sodium canned option.

4. All salad dressing — Instead, use balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon, which tastes great. Beware, even low-fat salad dressing contains many, many calories per small serving.

5. All liquid calories such as juice, soda (you may have diet soda), sports drinks and alcohol — this includes wine.

6. Avocado — Did you know that avocado is 90 percent fat and loaded with calories? Yes, it contains the good fat, but it is still too many calories for our plan.

7. Olive oil (which is 120 calories per tablespoon), butter (which is 108 calories a tablespoon) and any other added fat, such as mayonnaise.

8. Fast food: The only exception is when you know the caloric value (e.g., a McDonald's regular hamburger is approximately 280 calories or some of the new salads, minus the dressing and croutons would be fine).

1,100 Calories a Day

Here is what you should be eating:

1. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruits and vegetables are also fine.

2. Low-calorie bread (Did you know that English muffins are only 130 calories?)

3. Lean protein such as tuna, white meat chicken or turkey, fish, egg whites, cottage cheese and yogurt.

Each and every day, consume approximately 1,100 calories. I choose that number because case study indicates that regardless of which type of diet you are on, that is the number of calories that enables people to lose weight.

I urge people to start with the total daily allotment of 1,100 calories and subtract each meal or snack from that total.

So, to begin this process, look at what I have asked you to eat each day.

1,100 (calories) which includes three apples (300 calories) and two servings of dairy (200 calories), leaves 600 calories at your discretion.

For the first five days, here is an example of a 1,100-calorie weight-loss eating plan:

Day 1

1. Breakfast: one yogurt and an apple: 200 calories

2. Lunch: A salad with a can of tuna packed in water (6 ounces)

with balsamic vinegar/lemon dressing and an apple: 350 calories.

3. Dinner:One apple and 1/2 cup of cottage cheese: 200 calories,

4 ounces of fish or chicken or any lean protein, which is baked,

grilled or poached and two cups of steamed broccoli: 350 calories

TOTAL: 1,100 calories

Day 2:

1. Breakfast: 1/2 cup cottage cheese and your apple: 200 calories.

2. Lunch: A salad with six ounces of grilled chicken with balsamic vinegar or lemon and your apple: 400 calories.

3. Afternoon Snack: One yogurt: 100 calories

4. Dinner: One apple and 6 egg whites done in Pam with

lots of added steamed veggies such as broccoli, asparagus, onion

and mushrooms mixed in. It tastes great! 400 calories

TOTAL: 1,100 calories >

Day 3

1. Breakfast: 1/2 English Muffin, 1/2 cup cottage cheese and an apple: 265 calories.

2. Lunch: Medium-sized (approximately the size of a tennis ball) baked potato with two tablespoons of salsa and an apple, 325 calories.

3. Dinner: 2 Soy Burgers (such as the original Boca Burger), two slices of tomato, 1 cup of broccoli and an apple: 400 calories.

4. Late night snack: One yogurt: 110 calories

TOTAL: 1,100 calories

Day 4

1. Breakfast: 5 egg whites with steamed veggies prepared

in Pam and an apple. 200 calories.

2. Lunch: Open-face sandwich on 60-calorie bread with 2 oz. of turkey, lettuce, tomato and Dijon mustard, plus 2 cups of the Heartland Stew (see page 158 in Flip The Switch for the recipe) or low calorie/low sodium canned option, plus an apple: 300 calories.

3. Snack: One yogurt, 110 calories.

4. Dinner: 6 ounces of ground beef, 3 cups of steamed vegetables and an apple.490 calories

TOTAL: 1,100 calories

Day 5

1. Breakfast: One packet of Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal (using water) and your apple: 250 calories.

2. Snack: One yogurt, 110 calories.

3. Lunch: 1 cup of fruit salad (plus your one apple), with 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 300 calories.

4. Dinner: 6 ounces of grilled chicken, one cup broccoli and one cup of another steamed vegetable) and your apple: 440 calories

TOTAL: 1,100 calories

Just a few more eating and drinking rules:

1. You may include spice, especially hot/spicy sauces such as Tabasco, cayenne pepper or chili peppers. Case study indicates that spicy food boosts your metabolism. Why do you think it makes you sweat?

2. You may drink up to three cups of coffee or tea each day. For boosting your metabolism, go for green or black tea with will enable you to burn up to 70 additional calories per day.

3. Please be very clear when eating out. Poached items, such as salmon, are a great choice. When ordering an item, such as chicken, grilled, be very clear that you want it to be grilled without any oil. Simply ask for some lemon for flavor. Repeat after me, "Shine and Glimmer Won't Make You Slimmer."

4. Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. Don't wait to feel thirsty, which indicates that you are already down 32 ounces of water.

In addition to the diet, you will need to exercise for a total of three hours a week, Karas said. This can be done in three one-hour sessions, four 45-minute sessions or six 30-minute sessions. They all work just as well. You can break your 30-minute workout into two 15-minute workouts, or even three 10-minute sessions.

If you need Karas' help, e-mail him at info@jimkaras.com. Or go to his Web site, www.jimkaras.com.