Hey, y’all.

So if you read my last article, chances are you’ll want some more DETAIL, right?

And I don’t blame you.

It can sound flat-out fruit-cakey that I’m here claiming to have lost forty pounds while eating foods like cheesecake, potato chips, sirloin steak, and lobster with lashings of real butter.

Nonetheless though, that is exactly what happened …  and yes, in case you were wondering, I’ve maintained the results for years now and there’s still no sign that it’s all going to – pardon the pun – go pear-shaped!

So let me fill you in on a bit more detail.

Is there a ‘catch’ to my method?

Am I suddenly going to pull the carpet from under you and demand that you run three miles a day, or cut your portions to child-size, or any of the other stupid ‘hidden rules’ that DIETS tend to favor?

Here’s a hint:

NO.

Matter of fact, I HATE that stuff.

I hate diets, I hate rules, and I hate other people trying to impose what’s worked ‘for them’ on me – people who have completely different metabolisms, appetites, cravings, temperaments, and lifestyles to what I’ve got.

It’s pure gibberish.

And chances are, YOU feel the same way!

So no, there’s no catch. You just have to pay attention to what makes your own body feel good and bad, and adjust accordingly.

(Even this can be scary for some people, because there’s no ‘safety net’ telling you exactly how many grams of cheese are ‘allowed’ or exactly how long you should wait between meals and so on. But don’t worry. I had a lot of fun figuring out what worked for me, and I bet you will, too!)

So anyway, here’s the details of what happened once I had my epiphany and decided to stop dieting, period:

I stopped reading diet books, diet programs, and weight-loss manifestos.

I stopped caring about what doctors, friends, celebrities, nutritionists, the government, or Oprah recommended.

Since I was sick of having my head poisoned by the media, I stopped reading magazines and I stopped watching TV. (I actually disconnected the television in my house!)

And I began to listen to MYSELF about ‘what to eat’.

Instead of consulting a pre-planned list, food budget, or calorie chart to make my decision about what to eat for dinner, I took a moment to look inward and consult with myself about what I felt like eating.

That was a scary feeling, let me tell you!

Because of course, I didn’t want to eat ‘safe’ or ‘healthy’ or ‘low-fat’ foods.

After years and years of battling my weight and dieting, I wanted to eat BAD foods.

I wanted cupcakes, potato chips, and bags and bags of CANDY.

I wanted pizza, burgers, Mexican food, and big gobs of melted cheese.

This was frightening stuff!

But: I’d made myself a promise. I’d PROMISED to eat what I wanted to eat, no matter how ‘weird’ or ‘unhealthy’ it sounded.

So that’s what I did.

I think my first dinner consisted of something like chocolate cake, hot tea with milk and sugar, and a couple of peanut-butter cookies.

And for some months afterwards, MOST OF MY MEALS were about the same in terms of nutritional benefits, fat and sugar content, and calories!

(You can only imagine the weird looks and comments I got from friends and family as I, the notorious diet-hound, started publicly tucking into burgers, cakes, and candy with total abandon and an absolute lack of guilt!)

And yeah, if I’m going to be completely honest, there were moments that I doubted what was going to happen to me.

Of course, I’m not the first person to recommend ‘eating what you want and the figure will follow’; other people have been down that road before me, like Paul McKenna and Geneen Roth and the people who wrote The Psychologists’ Eat-Anything Diet.

Long story short, this idea is NOT exactly ‘new’.

So, I had an idea that this could be a great thing for my health and body long-term.

But a burger in the hand is a lot heavier than a theory in the bush … and sometimes, yeah, I got scared.

After all, as a recovering compulsive overeater (more on this later), allowing myself free rein with food felt kind of similar to giving an alcoholic the keys, alarm code, and cellar access to the brewery.

So: things motored along for a few weeks. I hadn’t gained weight at all (a miracle in itself, I thought, considering what I was eating) … but I also hadn’t really LOST much weight.

But you know what?

Slowly but surely, my cravings started to drop off. I was getting rid of the ‘backlog’ of ignored, tamped-down, STAMPED-down cravings that had built up over years and years of self-denial.

And as this logjam began to dissolve, other, different cravings began to surface.

Believe it or not, after a few months, I started to want broccoli.

Apples started to look kind of enticing every now and then.

Then I started wanting about a gallon of fresh-squeezed fruit juice most mornings.

Salads began to show up on my dinner table – and not because I felt I ‘should’ be eating them. Not because they were low-calorie or ‘good for me’ or any of that boring stuff.

But because my body was craving them.

This was exciting news!

Clearly, something major was taking place on a subterranean level. Once I’d stopped pressuring myself to follow other people’s advice, and stopped frantically forcing myself to think about weight, calories, weight, fat grams, and weight …

… Mother Nature took over and everything magically started to drop into place.

Yep, you guessed it: I was starting to LOSE WEIGHT.

Even though I hadn’t made any changes to my method at all – I was still eating exactly what I most wanted to eat, every single meal, no holds barred – my weight was dropping.

At the rate of about a pound or two a week, as a matter of fact.

(This happens to be the exact rate recommended by weight-loss experts and doctors for permanent results, by the way.)

Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? Slow but steady weight loss, a TRULY satisfying meal plan, no more ‘rules’ or ‘regulations’, no more guilt or ambivalence about food…

… and no more cravings or weird self-denial, either.

So is it a lie? Am I exaggerating?

Well, let me tell you: the proof’s in the pudding. I’m as fit as a fiddle these days, I’m back to my pre-college size and shape, and I eat WHATEVER the heck I feel like.

Of course, it’s not like I’m sitting down and force-feeding myself food 24 hours a day. There are some ‘natural rules’ that I followed in order to get in touch quickly and effectively with my own core of natural instincts about food.

I believe, truly, that if I hadn’t followed these common-sense ideas, I would probably still be pigging out and gaining weight and definitely NOT feeling good about myself!

But look, I’m not going to go rabbiting on about all this. (You can find all the details in my book anyway.)

Instead, I’ll just condense the main concepts into a few solid bullet-points for you, to give you an idea of what I’m all about.

So here we go:

  • Dieting is out. Any kind of rules, recommendations, ‘must-have foods’, or ‘forbidden foods’ are no longer relevant. Stop reading diet books and stop worrying about nutrition requirements, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. All that stuff will balance itself out once you give your body a chance to spring-clean its eating habits.
  • Calorie-counting, food weighing, and portion control is also out. For this to work, you have to eat what FEELS RIGHT, not what some person with a clipboard or idiotic author thinks is right.
  • From now on, it’s all about YOU and what FEELS RIGHT for YOU.  That means you have to eat what you most feel like eating, not just what you think would be ‘smart’ or ‘slimming’ or ‘healthiest’. Note: the degree of self-trust involved here can be scary for some people!
  • Just as you have to pay attention to know what you want to eat, you also have to pay attention to know when you’ve had enough. If you feel full, you’ve gotta stop eating! The whole point of my method is to get back ‘in touch’ with your own instincts and natural knowledge about food and health; forcing yourself to keep eating despite your body’s physical protests is just plain stoopid. (Don’t worry, you can pick up where you left off when you next get hungry. The food will still be there – or you can always buy something else delicious!)
  • Eat when you’re HUNGRY, not just when you ‘want to eat’ – for the exact same reasons as above. If you eat when your body doesn’t need it and you’re not hungry, you’ll be backpedaling. It’s pointless. Food tastes so much sweeter when you’re actually hungry for it – and as an added bonus, you’ll be able to figure out what sounds ‘satisfying’ much more easily!
  • And finally … expect to screw up for awhile, expect this to take awhile to feel ‘normal’, and expect your tastes to change. A lot. These days I actually eat pretty ‘healthily’, for the most part – but it took me awhile to get here, and it won’t work if you force it. The only way ‘out’ is ‘through’ … so you should enjoy the process, because most people are way too scared of ‘what might happen’ to permit themselves to have even HALF as much fun with food as you’re about to have!