This is a diet that is very sensible and do-able!
Earlier this month, That’s Fit talked with three working moms from Detroit who’d been challenged by “The Dr. Oz Show” host Dr. Mehmet Oz to get “beach body ready” using his B.E.A.C.H. diet and fitness plan. Four months later, when the ladies returned to “The Dr. Oz Show” on May 18, they’d lost between 30 and 60 pounds apiece. Impressive, huh? Here’s a more detailed look at how the B.E.A.C.H plan can help you get ready to make some waves.
The “B” in B.E.A.C.H. stands for breakfast, which you should ideally have shortly after you wake up each day. “In study after study, people who eat a healthy breakfast lose more weight than those who don’t,” said Dr. Oz. “Eating soon after you wake up in the morning gives you the calories and energy you need for the day and kicks your metabolism into gear.” Choose breakfast foods that contain protein and fiber, like scrambled eggs on whole wheat toast or a bowl of whole grain cereal. “Whole grain cereal is one of your best weight loss allies because the fiber in the cereal helps fight hunger all day long,” said Dr. Oz. This yummy oatmeal recipe from Dr. Oz’s “YOU: On A Diet” (co-authored by Dr. Michael Roizen) kick starts your day with four grams of fiber!
Banana Steel-Cut Oatmeal With Cinnamon
Makes 3 servings, 200 calories per serving
2 1/3 cups fat-free milk
2/3 cup steel-cut oats
1/8 tsp salt
1 large banana, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
In a medium saucepan, over high heat, bring 2 cups of the milk to a gentle simmer. Stir in the oats and salt. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring frequently until most of the milk is absorbed and the oats are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in banana and cinnamon. Pour into two cereal bowls and serve with remaining 1/3 cup milk.
Eliminate the Simple Carbs
The “E” in B.E.A.C.H. stands for eliminating foods that contain simple carbohydrates — white rice, white potatoes and any breads, pastas, cereals cookies, cakes, crackers, pastries, muffins and so forth that are made with refined white flour and sugar. And don’t overlook cutting out these liquid sources of simple carbs (often called wet carbs): Soda, fruit drinks, juices sports/energy drinks and alcohol. The simple carbs in these kinds of foods and drinks are dieting Kryptonite. They’re digested very quickly, causing wide swings in blood sugar that make you feel hungry again not long after you’ve eaten. To keep your appetite in check, opt for foods with complex carbohydrates, like fruits, vegetables and breads, cereals and pastas made with 100 percent whole grains. It takes longer to digest complex carbohydrates, so your blood sugar stays steady and you can go longer without feeling hungry.
Exercise (Almost) Every Day
The “E” also stands for exercise — something the three healthy housewives of Detroit did six days a week. Cardio exercise (biking, treadmill, kick boxing, dance) will burn off calories, while strength-training with weights or core workouts like yoga and Pilates build and tone muscle, which will help you burn more calories overall, even when you’re not exercising. “Muscle burns several times more calories than fat,” explained Dr. Oz. “More importantly, you burn more calories between muscle-burning workouts than the actual workout, which is the opposite of what happens when you just walk or run.” Still, burning even a few more calories than you eat each day will add up, so when you don’t have time for a full workout, look for opportunities to organically work exercise into your daily activities. On your break, go for a walk instead of sitting and reading a magazine. Park at the far end of the lot, and then walk to the mall or market. Take the dog for a hike. Play tag or Frisbee or kick the ball around with your children on the playground. Use the restroom that’s two floors down from your office and take the stairs to get there instead of the elevator or escalator. Track your progress with a pedometer and work up to 10,000 steps a day. Every two pounds you lose trims an inch off your waistline, Dr. Oz said.
Add Antioxidants to Your Plate
Fresh summer produce is one of the go-to sources for the “good” carbohydrates that control hunger, and, provided that you don’t drown them in rich sauces and dressings, are also so low in calories you can go back for seconds and thirds without feeling like you’re “cheating.” But the fruits and vegetables in season now (and throughout the year) have one more thing going for them: They’re chock-full of antioxidants — the “A” in B.E.A.C.H. The compounds that give fruits and vegetables their bright colors also help reduce inflammation in the body, which indirectly helps with weight loss. “Inflammation contributes to chronic stress in the body, which activates certain receptors in the brain that lead us to overeat — the same receptors that give people the ‘munchies’ after smoking pot,” said Dr. Oz. Less stress equals less rampant snacking, which equals more weight loss.
Indulge in Dark Chocolate
Yes you can! Every diet needs a little splurge, and the B.E.A.C.H. plan builds it right in with dark chocolate — the “C” in B.E.A.C.H. — so it’s not cheating! (As long as you don’t have too much, said Dr. Oz.) A nibble of dark chocolate (look for brands with 70 percent cacoa) will satisfy a sweets craving when you’re in the mood to excavate a gallon of ice cream. And savor this morsel: Dark chocolate is another gold mine of the same kinds of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables that work behind the scenes to help you lose weight by reducing inflammation. And, yes, it has to be dark — milk chocolate contains far fewer antioxidants than dark, and white chocolate none at all.
The “H” in B.E.A.C.H. stands for hydration, which is especially important in summertime because you can lose a lot of fluids through sweat. But staying hydrated also plays a big role in your weight loss efforts, said Dr. Oz, because we often mistake thirst for hunger and grab a snack when what we really need is something to drink. “You can really shed pounds by taking a drink when you feel hungry because chances are, some of the time, you’ll really be thirsty,” he said. But, again, skip the soda, beer, juice or sports drinks because those things are loaded with calories and sugar. Your best bet on a warm summer day? Water. Drink it unadorned, or, if that’s just too blah, try a no-calorie flavored water or mix seltzer with a splash of fruit juice.