I've never been a great fan of diets, but The Wall Street Diettaught me to make healthy choices without feeling deprived. The strategies in this book offer healthy and permanent lifestyle changes. I highly recommend it.
The Wall Street Diet provides a framework of simple but powerful strategies that will keep you on track, all the time. The first diet to address real-life obstacles, it gives specific, proactive ways to gain control over situations that can spell diet disaster. And because The Wall Street Diet understands that the real secret to losing unwanted pounds is making sound decisions every day about what you love to eat, it will become a seamless part of your lifestyle, not an add-on project to your already full schedule.
Bauer, a dietician, directs her flexible plan at people who would never go for prepackaged meals or calorie counting. Her clientele are workaholics who grab meals on the go, do business over expense-account lunches and are frequently confronted by unhealthy treats in the conference room or at office parties. Bauer claims her approach makes losing weight a seamless part of the corporate lifestyle rather than an add-on project to an already full schedule. First, readers are asked to decide if they are a Clean Plate Clubber or a Controlled Eater, as this will help determine the course of their diet in regards to snacking, purchasing food and meal portions. Next, they are allowed to choose a few non-negotiables, i.e., the things they feel they cannot live without. Once these guidelines are intact, Bauer offers strategies for dealing with the food choices most working people confront daily (for ordering in with co-workers, take note of the healthy menu options beforehand, and don't succumb to dishes like General Tso's Chicken). Though Bauer's diet consists of nothing earth-shattering (avoid flour and refined sugar, control portion sizes, etc.), the specificity of the situations and solutions presented should appeal to its target audience. (Apr.)
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I'm not a big fan of diet books. Research on dieting has shown that even popular diets that produce quick weight loss are tough to stick to over time. To really shed weight and maintain the loss, you've got to make practical changes in your own eating practices that you can keep up until they become a habit. But I am a big fan of tips that help people make those practical changes, and as much as I hate the book's title, The Wall Street Diet (Hyperion) is full of them.
The book is aimed at the busy, stressed-out professionals who constitute author and dietitian Heather Bauer's clients. (I'm busy and stressed out, but I'm no Wall Streeter—and I found plenty of tips for my own life.) Though there are a few menu plans in there, she readily admits that most of her clients don't follow them. Instead, she gives them strategies for dealing with meals in real-life settings: business meetings, airplane travel, commuting, office parties, and the like.
For example, when it comes to dining out, Bauer says to make a decision before you even walk into the restaurant that you'll have just one of three possible treats: a second alcoholic drink (she already allows one per business meal), a piece of bread, or a dessert that's a couple of notches more healthful than a chocolate torte, such as fruit, sorbet, biscotti, or ricotta cheesecake. She also offers suggestions for food choices (order two appetizers instead of an appetizer and an entree) and, very helpfully, a list of ways to be a "stealth dieter" so that your food choices don't become the center of attention among your dining partners. My favorite: If you order a wine spritzer, everyone knows you're dieting; instead have vodka with soda on the rocks, which tastes nasty enough to keep you sipping slowly all night.
She also offers lists of the better options at restaurants you're likely to come across while traveling, as well as at specific airports (when in Minneapolis, head for the 360 Gourmet Burrito in Concourse M and order a teriyaki steak salad) and when flying on specific airlines (if you're flying United, she advises buying the turkey wrap and skipping the snack packs, unless you're really good at leaving some items untouched). And there's a whole section on how to fit exercise into a hectic day.
You enter the restaurant and are ushered to a table of three business people, none of whom you’ve met. You want to make a good impression and you want to forward your business objectives. You’re eager to start networking. You’re in the midst of introductions, trying hard to remember names and titles when the waiter hands you a menu and asks if he can bring you a drink. This is the weakest point in a business meal for a dieter. Will you follow the crowd and order a drink, even though you don’t want one, because you’re distracted and everyone else is ordering wine and cocktails? Will you feel pressured into ordering an appetizer because everyone else is and you don’t want to sit there calling attention to yourself while the others tuck into their Frisee Aux Lardons or Crispy Calamari with Yellow String Fries.
Hold on! In the world of Wall Street Dieting, rushed, reflex decisions are too often bad decisions. The solution to these and many other dilemmas is, as always, to be prepared! A little time spent beforehand, recognizing the hurdles you may have to jump, will save you countless calories and pounds no matter what any business entertaining situation does to thwart you. Let’s look at some strategies that will transform your restaurant experience from a potential minefield into an opportunity.
- Minimize your appetite
- Limit alcohol
- Master the menu
- Avoid over ordering
- Seize the nutrition opportunity
- Mask your motives (calorie counting)
- Slow down
You’re going to learn how achieve each of these objectives. My Three-Step Restaurant Action Plan will be your blueprint to successful entertaining. When you’ve thought about these issues in advance, you’ll find it extremely easy to implement my suggestions. My clients tell me that once they absorb these pointers, they feel in control. In this respect, business lunches and dinners become ‘automatic’. They no longer agonize about choices, they no longer have to ‘write off’ an evening because of a dining blow-out; they actually feel more confident and effective in reaching their business goals and, perhaps most satisfying, they find that the pounds melt away.
Snacks constitute a clear and present danger when you spend time at home. Clean Plate Clubbers, in particular, often struggle with time on their hands and all the food that’s available to them in their own kitchens. The solution? You need a snack plan. You can slot in your afternoon Fun Snack but many people find that on weekends they need filler snacks. The key strategy is to have a plethora of healthy snacks on hand and plan to eat them when they’ll do you the most good. So, say at 2 pm, you could have a fruit and then an hour and a half later, enjoy your protein bar. At 5 pm you might have some cut up pepper and cucumber and then an hour later, munch on six almonds. Yes, this is more calories than you’d normally consume but it will keep you satisfied, keep your blood sugar up and it’s ten times better than ripping open a bag of Doritos. So plan your snacks to keep you busy and full. Clean Plate Clubbers should always make a point of having their ¼ pound bags of sliced turkey on hand for the weekends. If they find that the cut vegetables, Fiber Rich, fruit, etc., aren’t satisfying them, they can settle down with a bag or two of sliced turkey.