Monday, April 13, 2009

Brentwood Diet Phase Two

What's the second phase of the Brentwood Diet? After you achieve your goal weight, you're in Phase Two. Basically, Phase Two is Phase One 90% of the time. Now, that seems like it'd be easy to figure out: you can go hog wild every 10th breakfast, lunch and dinner. Make every tenth day a vacation day from dieting. Or stay on course for 90% of each meal. 

In reality, phase two is bit harder to figure out. Unlike the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet and even Weight Watchers, the Brentwood Diet gives you no clear-cut instructions on transitioning into the diet's second phase (there is no phase three on the Brentwood Diet). And there is no manual for maintaining your new lifestyle, after reaching your goal weight. Now, this can be both freeing and crazy making at the same time. 

Because as most dieters know, taking weight off is easier than keeping it off. Anyone who's gained and lost the same 20 or 50 pounds over and over again can attest to this. Even worse, some yo-yo dieters can screw with their bodies, going into a famine-feast mode that makes the pounds ever easier to gain and harder to lose as the cycle persists. 

And after being so strict, you're scared to eat--you don't want to gain all the weight back. But, not eating enough means losing more weight than you should. Is that possible? Yes, contrary to the adage, "You can never be too rich or too thin." Ribs sticking out is a sure sign you've gone too far. Heroine chic went out a long time ago, if it was ever really in. 

So, how is it done? Trial and error. Mostly, we stick to "cheats" when eating out or if invited to someone's home. And then, the cheat is only a partial one. It may mean saying yes to a rack of BBQ ribs and no to the beer, chips and chocolate cake that might normally accompany it. David drinks a glass of red wine at dinner, rationalizing that the wine's heart healthiness compensates for some of the added carbs and sugars. Also, yogurt and blueberries make the menu. But, the doctor said no to sweet potatoes. That's right. This super food, crammed full of antioxidants remains on the forbidden list. 

Basically, managing your weight and phase two is about keeping your numbers looking good. Weight creeping up? Back to phase one. Bad cholesterol too high? Stick with the white-meat chicken and fish. High blood pressure? Too many prepared foods sneaking in. And don't even think about ordering dessert. Also, remember to keep up with the massive amounts of vegetables. 

Anyhow, more tips on phase two to come. Bottom line: phase two isn't about surviving the Brentwood Diet, it's about thriving on it.