As you’ve probably noticed by my recent recipe trials:
I’ve been reading Bethenny Frankel’s new book, Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting. Dori also reviewed this book recently, so check out her take on it as well.
Bethenny’s book is broken into two parts – Part One: The Rules, and Part Two: The Naturally Thin Program. She also includes what she ate over a period of 3 weeks.
The main idea of Naturally Thin is that everyone can be “naturally thin”. You eat what you want, in moderation, and stop obsessing about food all the time. Sounds familiar, right? It seems like this is the main idea of most of the newer diet books (like French Women Don’t Get Fat). The difference with Bethenny’s book is that she gives you a set of 10 rules that make this easier to figure out.
I’m feeling conflicted in my views on this book. I will admit: at first I loved it. I couldn’t stop raving about it. Bethenny had just about replaced Jillian Michaels as my idol. And she does offer some wonderful advice in the form of cute sayings: “you can have it all, just not all at once”, “pay attention”, “downsize now”, “check yourself before you wreck yourself” (this one’s about bingeing), and “know thyself”.
The chapter on binge eating (“check yourself before you wreck yourself”) was really meaningful and helpful for me. I struggle with eating a lot at night. Right now I’m trying to do Ashley’s after dinner challenge, so that’s helping too.
She also offers some solid advice for monitoring yourself – using small ramekins for snacks, only eating when you’re sitting down, eating slowly, etc… She also has some great recipes (see above) and a bunch of signature drinks. It’s a very good resource for healthy eating ideas.
Onto the bad. Bethenny clearly has food issues. Looking at her food journal, I would guess that she probably eats anywhere from 700-1100 calories per day. She also exercises (nothing too intense, but lots and lots of walking, yoga, and other random classes).
She encourages some disordered eating behavior – scooping not only bagels (which I think is fine), but even Ezekiel English muffins! You can also only ever have half of a bagel (scooped of course), you can only have 3 bites of steak, you have to pass off most of your food to other people, and you may never finish anything. Oh, and it’s perfectly fine to skip meals! Don’t eat if you’re “not hungry”.
To prove my point I want to talk a little bit about her food diary and give 2 examples.
Wednesday (week 1)
- breakfast: medium sized oatmeal with a little bit of cinnamon and brown sugar
- lunch: none
- snack: none
- dinner: Greek meze platter with hummus, red peppers, falafel, and Greek salad.
Monday (week 1):
- breakfast: 2/3 of an egg white omelett, 1/2 pita
- lunch: bowl of Japanese soup (but don’t eat the noodles!)
- snack: teeny bowl of ice cream (I would guess 1/4 cup)
- dinner: salad, 1/2 turkey burger (no bun!), 1/2 baked potato
- snack: teeny bowl of froyo.
- Remember – she never finishes any of these (that’s the “cancel your membership to the clean plate club” rule).
This is definitely not a healthy diet but she does admit that she isn’t perfect. I’ve been talking to Bobby a lot about it and he says, “she has a lot of good ideas and good points, but the way she executes them is pretty restricting.” I think that sums it up pretty well. It’s a good book, and she has great recipes… but please don’t follow her advice exactly and use your own discretion.
Have you read it? What did you think?