Talking to the Experts: Joy Bauer

To kick off our new interview series, I chatted it up with super star registered dietitian and nutrition expert for the TODAY show, Joy Bauer. Find out her tips for realistic New Year’s Resolutions and the inside scoop on her hot new book!

To kick off our new interview series, I chatted with the superstar registered dietitian and TODAY Show contributor, Joy Bauer. She shared her top tips for realistic New Year’s resolutions and some info from her new book, Your Inner Skinny: 4 Steps to Thin Forever.

Q: It’s the time of year for all those healthy resolutions. What advice do you have for those struggling to lose weight and get back on track in 2010?

This is one of my favorite times of year because people are genuinely motivated to improve their health. Three things you can do are:

  1. Get your head in the game because weight loss is 50% attitude!
  2. Set realistic short and long-term goals. It’s great to have a long-term goal of significant weight loss of 50 pounds but set fun and encouraging weekly goals to keep that carrot dangling in front of you. Freshen them up regularly to keep motivated.
  3. Organize yourself. Use a computer spreadsheet or hang up notes on the fridge to keep track of what you're doing.
Q: You’re the nutrition expert for the TODAY show. It’s so wonderful to see a registered dietitian giving real-life advice. As a nutrition pro, how do you feel about all the crash diets and quick fix programs out there?

This makes me crazy -- but there’s just as much good advice out there as bad. Find credible and evidence-based information and stick with that.

Q: Your new book, Your Inner Skinny: 4 Steps to Thin Forever just came out this month. What are some highlights of the four steps?

Step 1 is an intensive seven-day jump-start. No added or artificial sweeteners are allowed to cleanse your palate of sugary foods. The meals and recipes are designed to help dieters drop bloat and jump-start weight loss.

Step 2 starts on day eight. Here some of the foods that aren't included in Step 1 are added back -- "Healthy Extras" like pudding with calcium or a serving of alcohol for its potential heart-health benefits are allowed.

Step 3 starts on day 21. Dieters build on what they’ve accomplished while learning to take realistic liberties with their daily eating habits. Those "Healthy Extras" are converted into "Everyday Extras" and means you can have 150 calories of anything you want each day. This phase lasts until dieters reach their weight loss goal.

Step 4 is the maintenance phase for healthy habits long-term.

Q: Is there an exercise component to the plan?

The exercise plan is simple and manageable. The first step includes 30 to 60 minutes of daily walking; you can even break that up into small bouts throughout your day. In Step 2, some light stretching and strength training is worked in. Like the rest of the plan, the exercise component is extremely flexible -- you can even stick with your own routine.

Q: I saw on the TODAY show that you mentioned your TV workout, Where can we learn more about that?

Yes, it's available on the TODAY Show website (here's the direct link to the TV workout.)

Q: In my opinion, you have some fabulous meal plans and recipes in your book. Do you have a favorite?

The meal plans and recipes are designed to work for anybody. You can repeat your favorites or trade weeks. Some of my favorites are Grilled Chicken Parmesan, Vanilla Pumpkin Pudding made with non-fat yogurt and pumpkin puree (it's soo good!), and Sautéed Turkey Sausage with Peppers and Onions. The plan also includes restaurant and takeout options because it’s not where you eat, it’s what you eat.

For more information on Joy Bauer, visit her website, Joy Bauer Nutrition.

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Talking to the Experts: Weight Loss Guru Joy Bauer

Joy Bauer has helped folks lose hundreds of pounds on her Today Show series Joy Fit Club, and she shares many of their success stories in her new book.