Lisa turns 50 next year, and to celebrate she’s planning a trip to Europe. She wants to slim down before her trip of a lifetime and says previous diets she has tried have been confusing.
“You don’t know what you can eat, what you can’t,” Lisa says. "Everything you love to eat, you can’t eat. It’s hard to keep track of sodium and calories and fat content.”
Dietician and celebrity nutritionist Cynthia Sass says Lisa can simplify her diet and put together meals that are slimming, balanced and delicious by thinking about meal planning the same way she would think about putting an outfit together.
“You wouldn’t put on two tops and two pants and leave your house, right?” Cynthia explains. "And you also wouldn’t walk out the door without your shoes on. So in the same way, you shouldn’t put two starches and no protein, or leave out an essential component of your meal.”
Cynthia says to think of lean proteins, such as poultry, seafood, low-fat dairy products and beans and lentils, as your "shirt." Veggies are the “pants.” Plant-based fats, which include avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds and dark chocolate, are the “shoes.”
Cynthia says you should have one food from each category at every meal. Then, she says, you should add an “accessory,” or one serving of starch, such as fruit, whole grains or potatoes.
In addition, Cynthia recommends choosing what she calls a “pulse,” which includes beans, peas and lentils, as your starch or lean protein once a day. She says the foods are important because they have been shown to help curb hunger, increase calorie burning and reduce belly fat.
Cynthia shares some meal ideas that create a “complete outfit.”
For breakfast, Cynthia suggests, a California omelet made with eggs and vegetables, topped with avocado and served with a side of whole grain toast.
“You’ve got structure and flexibility,” she says.
For dinner, Cynthia suggests a chicken cashew stir-fry with broccoli served over brown rice.
“I think it’s proof-positive that healthy food, Lisa, doesn’t have to be boring, right?” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says.
“That really is delicious,” Lisa says, “and I wouldn’t lie, because if it didn't taste good, I'd call you out, Cynthia.”
The Doctors surprise Lisa with $500 to help her stock up on healthy food.
Web Exclusive: A woman who says she's had success on Cynthia's Slim Down Now nutrition and weight loss plan shares her story.
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