If you have failed many times trying to lose weight because of extreme changes in your diet or lifestyle, Kathy Freston is going to share with you how to NOT suffer to lose weight. In this exclusive interview, she explains how you can enjoy your lives and good health by taking simple and easy actions to your lifestyle.
Kathy Freston, author of The Lean: A Revolutionary (and Simple!) 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss, is a bestselling author with a focus on healthy eating and conscious living. Her instant New York Times bestsellers include Veganist, Quantum Wellness, and The One. She has appeared frequently on national television, including The Dr. Oz Show, Ellen, Good Morning America, The View, Charlie Rose, Extra and Oprah. She lives in Los Angeles.
1. What motivated you to write your book “The Lean”? Can you tell us your story and what made you write this book?
I kept seeing really lovely people struggle mightily with their weight, and it broke my heart. People shouldn’t have to suffer like they do. They should be able to enjoy their lives AND enjoy good health and esteem. So I wanted to come up with a plan that would make weight loss easy and do-able, something effective and science based.
2. Your book discusses a revolutionary 30-day plan for healthy, lasting weight loss, can you share more about it?
The Lean is focused on “crowding out” which means you are going to ADD things in to your daily routine — one new (easy) habit every day, thus leaving little room for the bad stuff. You won’t have to white knuckle your way through it; you’ll just gradually not have the belly space to fit the old foods you are used to!
3. What are the worst trends/habits you currently see in the average American diet that cause obesity and how can they be corrected? Does this apply to people from all around the world with varied diets and lifestyle?
The worst trends that are causing obesity are that people have hugely increased their intake of 1. Sugar, and 2. Animal products, and this applies to everyone, unfortunately, in any major population center. These are highly addictive foods (and fattening), which is why I gradually swap them out for healthier and non-addictive foods in The Lean plan. It’s all about switching out the stuff you grew up loving to things that taste very similar, have great texture, and are super fulfilling. You barely notice that you are moving away from the foods that made you gain weight because you are satisfied, and you don’t feel deprived. This way, the weight comes off without the diet drudgery.
4. Could you share with us the similarities and differences in your vegan diet or way of life?
Instead of pasta Bolognese, I have pasta with meatless meat crumbles. Instead of a beef burrito, I have a black bean burrito with avocados and salsa. Instead of pepperoni pizza, I make a whole grain pizza (crusts are readily available at supermarkets) with nondairy cheese and veggie sausage. See, all the favorite foods, but without all the problems!
5. What makes “The Lean” different from the a number of weight loss diets in the market?
For the past few decades, the diet of choice has been the high protein, low carb Atkins-like plans. But science has shown that 1. The weight comes back and then some, and 2. These diets can be quite damaging to the kidneys and heart. So The Lean, with its gradual move toward plant-based food (whole grains, black beans, lentils, veggies, nuts, fruits, etc), is a big move away from the old school thinking.
6. Besides losing weight, what other benefits should a person expect to derive following “The Lean”? Is it for everyone?
Aside from losing weight, you will have SO much more energy, your skin will clear up and glow, and you will hugely decrease your likelihood of getting serious and chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer (you can even reverse them if you already have one of these illnesses!).
7. Could you share with us on average how much weight a person can expect to lose while following the lifestyle you advocate? And what is the ONE thing that helps them to lose weight with “The Lean”?
Although I’ve seen much greater weight loss, someone following The Lean plan can expect to see 1-3 pounds of loss per week. This is a very healthy and sustainable rate; when it drops off, it stays off.
The one thing that will ABSOLUTELY be the key to weight loss is fiber; it’s been proven over and over in all the studies to be essential. The Lean plan shows you how to get more natural fiber into your day with some really practical and easy tricks.
8. What are the most difficult “switches” you have to make on The Lean Diet? Could you share some of the experiences that your clients go through with the diet? (if it’s not confidential)
The only difficulty is willingness, but if you tell yourself that it’s about progress, not perfection, it becomes do-able. Most everyone featured in the book “leaned in” to this process, and thus found their way without all the hardcore rules and discipline.
9. Do you have any specific advice that you want to say to the readers who are struggling to lose weight that will help them shed weight?
Just take the first step — drink 8 oz of water, 8 times a day. Studies show that people who drink 2 cups of water before each main meal shed 5 pounds more fat in a 12 week period than people who don’t regularly drink water. Once you take that first step and see how easy it is, lean a little more and take the next step (there are 30 all together); a momentum will start and you will be carried easily into your weight loss!