intro: Bethenny Frankel just opened up in an interview with ABC News about how she's still dealing with the aftermath of her painful divorce and custody battle. But the reality-TV star-turned talk show host, Skinnygirl mogul and mom also reveals how she keeps everything all together in her life.
Frankel, a four-time New York Times best-selling writer, is out with her fifth book, "Skinnygirl Solutions," a guide of practical and healthy living advice.
"It's solutions to make women's everyday lives a little easier, a little more balanced," she told ABC News. "Just from ... on a micro-level, when you walk into your bathroom cabinet and you look at that drawer with all the brushes and the nonsense, just how to organize that one moment of your life."
Some of the most-asked questions Frankel still gets from her fans are about dieting -- how she stays so thin. In the book, Frankel shares her essential tips on how to stay naturally thin for the long haul. "These are simple strategies that can get you where you want to be with your body and with the way you think about food," Frankel writes. "When you internalize these principles, you won't have to think about them anymore. You'll just do them. You'll eat like a naturally thin person, and you'll be free.
Read on to see Frankel's tips, excerpted from "Skinnygirl Solutions."
quicklist:1 title: 1. Balance Your Diet text: This is the guiding rule, and if it's the only one you remember, you'll be ahead of the game. You can eat anything you want in moderation, as long as you keep it in balance. In Naturally Thin, I say, "Your diet is your bank account." This is the same principle. When you invest in something decadent, you balance that with something healthy, now or later. Balance big meals with small meals, sugary meals with protein and vegetables, rich choices with lean choices. If you eat cheesecake, you know you indulged. Pull back at the next meal. If you ate a giant muffin the size of your ass, you know you just ate a ton of sugar and carbs. Don't fool yourself. Instead of pretending it didn't happen or using it as an excuse to keep going with sugar and carbs, balance it at the next meal with a salad and lean protein. Check yourself.
You don't need to measure. You don't need to eat fat-free fake food. Eat what you want, and be calm and okay with it when you indulge. It's just like money. You make a big purchase when it's worth it, but then you've got to skimp a little to balance that indulgence. You might get upset with yourself if you spend too much on something stupid, but that doesn't let you off the hook. Balance is everything. Know it, face it, and live it every time you make a food choice. Pretty soon, you won't even have to think about it anymore. url: media:
quicklist:2 title: 2. Listen to Your Food Voice (Not Your Food Noise) text: Food noise is what I call that anxiety-fueled noise in your head that tells you that some foods are "bad" and some are "good," or that you are "bad" or "good" for eating particular things in a particular way. Please remember: Nothing is fattening in small portions. Nothing! Recognize food noise for what it is: useless. It makes you think you're not the one in control, and that's not true. If life is a party, food noise is not invited, because it spoils all the fun. Your food voice, on the other hand, is the part of you that knows what you really want and what your body really needs. It comes from a calm place where you call the shots. We all have a food voice. My food noise might encourage me to keep eating cookies, but my food voice tells me when I've had enough to enjoy the food but not overdo it or regret it. It's just hard to hear until we learn to tone down the food noise. url: media:
quicklist:3 title: 3. Pick Your Spot text: If you really want something, you should have it, in a reasonable amount. If you don't care as much about it, skip it. In Naturally Thin, I say, "You can have it all, just not all at once." It's the same thing, but now I tend to say, "Pick your spot." For example, if you really want dessert, skip the cocktail. If you really want the cocktail, skip the dessert. If you really want the pasta, skip the bread. If you really want the steak, have a vegetarian lunch that day. In other words, you can and should indulge, as long as you pick the spot where indulgence means the most to you. The rest of it is just calories without a cause. url: media:
quicklist:4 title: 4. Make Food Moments Meaningful url: text: When you eat, pay attention. Don't just shove it in. When you make food moments meaningful, you can appreciate and enjoy eating. If you're having sushi at home, use chopsticks. Put your sushi rolls on a nice platter. Put the soy sauce in a little dish. If you're having pizza, make a nice salad to go with it and put it on a good plate. Notice each bite. I just ate half of a hot-fudge sundae, but I enjoyed every spoonful, so it was worth it. I wanted it and I made it count because it meant something. Because of that, I didn't have to finish it. If you don't pay attention to your food, what's the point of eating something really good? You might as well eat the steamed-vegetable plate. If you're going to indulge, make it count.
quicklist:5 title: 5. Stop at the Point of Diminishing Returns url: text: The point of diminishing returns is the exact moment when a food doesn't taste as good as it did at the first bite. You can eat anything—truffle fries, nachos, cake. Take a bite and relish every part of how delicious it is. Then take another. Is it just as good? By the third bite, if the experience has peaked and it's not quite as good as the first bite, that's the point of diminishing returns and it's your signal to stop eating. (Pay attention or you'll miss it!)
quicklist:6 title: 6. Keep It Moving text: If you feel you're about to get derailed and you can't stop eating something, then move on to a different taste. When you switch the taste, it can interrupt the rampage and make you realize you've had enough food. If you can't stop eating cookies, then have some cheese or chips or something salty to interrupt the sugar bender, and you'll be more likely to realize you're actually full. Then you might stop, but just to be sure you don't drift back to the cookies, keep moving on to something else. Move on. Going back to those cookies ain't worth it, and you know it.
quicklist:7 title: 7. Don't Let "Good Enough" Be Good Enough text: Never settle when it comes to a food indulgence. Only go for the special things that are really worth it. "Mediocre" is no longer in your vocabulary. If you choose to eat it, it's only because it is totally worth it. It's not the last cookie you're ever going to see, so unless it's the best cookie, skip it. Period. The end.
quicklist:8 title: 8. Taste Everything, Eat Nothing url: text: When you just can't pick a spot to indulge because there are too many choices, then taste everything, eat nothing. This means taste just a little bit of everything you really want. Use this rule at a buffet, an indulgent restaurant, a party, or any place where you know there will be many fattening choices. Make yourself a perfect little plate with small bites of the most tempting foods. If you want to go back and have a few more bites of what was really worth it, fine. This rule allows you to participate in any event and not have to feel anxiety that you missed something. You didn't miss anything because you tasted everything.
quicklist:9 title: 9. Know the Differential url: text: What's the differential between a cheeseburger and a veggie burger with cheese? If both would taste roughly the same to you, especially if you dressed the veggie burger up with mushrooms, onions, ketchup, mustard, pickles, lettuce, and tomato for the whole burger experience, then the differential is small. That's when you go for the healthier choice—the veggie burger.
When the differential is great—for me, a fat-free brownie would never be as good as a regular piece of red velvet cake, and sugar-free frozen yogurt doesn't come close to the real thing—then go for the more indulgent choice. If you genuinely like the fat-free version, great. If not, have what you prefer. You don't have to go crazy. Have a handful of fries and walk away. Have one or two cookies or a small scoop of real ice cream or a small piece of fried chicken and enjoy it without guilt, then move on. If you truly allow, honestly and fully without guilt and food noise and beating yourself up, then you won't ever binge.
quicklist:10 title: 10. Spot the Knockoffs url: text: If it's artificially sweetened, fat-free, or some other "fake" version of a real food, beware. There is evidence that artificial sweetener actually makes you crave sweets because it confuses your body, and people tend to eat more of fat-free foods because they aren't getting that full feeling. If you really want something, a little bit of the real stuff—even soda sweetened with sugar—is better than gorging on the knockoff. (Full disclosure: I love veggie burgers, veggie nuggets, and all those "fake" meat products, because to me they are genuinely satisfying and definitely lower in fat and calories than hamburgers and chicken, and I think they taste just as good. I know that they are pretty much junk because they're so processed, but I also like that there are no animals in them.)
Excerpted from Skinnygirl Solutions: Your Straight-Up Guide to Home, Health, Family, Career, Style, and Sex. Copyright © 2013 by Bethenny Frankel. Excerpted with permission by Touchstone, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.