Questions & Answers

Do you have a question you’d like answered? Go ahead, Ask Caryl Now!

Q. Would a vegetable/bean soup count as a protein? I like lentil soup or mixed with white beans. What about vegetarian chili? If I eat with a baked potato or a salad, is it also a protein?
A. When I talk about protein I mean flesh meat like poultry/fish/veal and occasionally beef and egg. If you only eat poultry or fish, try to choose a wide variety of types of fish and fowl as well as different types of seasonings and preparations.

When you try to combine non-protein foods to make a complete protein, you don’t always know if you’re absorbing all the components needed to convert correctly.

I like non-protein meals too, but I don’t rest easy unless I’ve had a flesh meat each day. If you eat vegetarian burgers and chili, that is fine, but don’t count it as a protein meal. Then if you get some protein out of it, consider it a bonus. But don’t count on it.

Q. I get lightheaded on the mornings I do exercise but don’t want to get in the habit of eating lunch at 10:30 a.m. What do you suggest?
A. Read about Fourth Meals in the book beginning on P. 88, number 5 and examples on other pages, see Index. Look for protein at breakfast, an egg, and then protein as a Fourth Meal. This should work but always check with your doctor if lightheadedness continues.

Q. Is gum ok to chew: I find that sugarless gum after a meal takes my mind off eating.
A. No. Gum is not okay to chew. I think it is just exchanging one bad habit for another. And a few weeks from now you’ll be a little more stressed out, there will be no gum available and you’ll say yes to that breath-mint someone offers.
Brush teeth. Take a deep breath. Do Neck rolls. Distract yourself but when the kitchen is closed, mouth is closed, except for water, of course.

Q. You say in the book to not discuss my program with others. How come?
A. It’s not a competition. Everyone is different with different experiences, likes and dislikes. When you compare your achievements with someone else you lose sight of your goal and what is considered success in your life and you end up trying to succeed with someone else’s version of success.

When I was at the beginning of my weight loss quest, there was an evening where I was able to throw away a cookie from the bottom of a bag of cookies I’d just eaten. I was so excited knowing that I’d never been able to throw anything away before, least of all a cookie that I enjoyed eating. I knew this little baby-step was an important one, a beginning. I called a friend to brag.

Since she was taught by a “diet society” that nothing counts except perfection, and rather than being happy about my accomplishment and cheering me on, she said: You shouldn’t have bought them in the first place.

All I could think was that if I could have “not bought them in the store” I would have. At that time, however, I most likely wasn’t ready for that step. So I did what I was capable of doing, at that time. I threw out the one cookie.

It was then that I decided to not look for any one to tell me whether “they thought” I was doing well or not. It was clear to me, that many others are secret saboteurs or jealous of your accomplishments. And still others are the arrogant people who do not have this problem with food and yet who continue to perpetuate the myth that if you really wanted to lose weight you would.

Q. Why can’t I have tea in unlimited quantities like water?
A. Because it fills you up but doesn’t nourish your body. If you consume too many foods with little or no nutrition, your new smaller stomach won’t have room for the nutrition you need and the ten glasses of water you need (and consume) each day.

Q. If I’m hungry, why can’t I just eat an apple and have a cup of coffee?
A. When you consume coffee, dessert (apple), or alcohol , there is no other food to help cushion the effect of the drug (caffeine and sugar). The burst of energy is immediate. As soon as you reach the high the “drug” provides, it loses its potency. You crash. You don’t go back to the ground floor but to the sub-basement.

When you eat nutrient-dense foods, it takes longer for the nutritents to be absorbed into the system but you stay satiated longer.

Q. Why no-finger foods?
A. Any bite on the run — even a raw carrot — is totally mindless. You’re not aware of what you’re eating. It doesn’t register. Food on a plate eaten with utensils is memorable. You need to look at it as you cut and spear and bring it to your mouth.

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