Excerpt from Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect Weight Loss by Howard M. Shapiro, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect Weight Loss

The Visual Program for Permanent Weight Loss

By Howard M. Shapiro

Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect Weight Loss
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2000,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: May 2001,
    352 pages.

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The Key to Weight Loss
When I was beginning my practice, I prescribed many different approaches to losing weight that were tailored to individual needs. I discovered that calorie reduction is the key.

On a long-term basis, there is only one safe, effective, foolproof way to get yourself down to a lower weight and keep off the extra pounds. That is to eat a healthy, reduced-calorie diet and get enough exercise.

But the really good news is that eating fewer calories does not necessarily mean eating less food. And it definitely doesn't mean that you have to walk around in a constant state of deprivation. After all, a feeling of deprivation is the surest way to make your weight-loss plan fail. Instead, you may be eating even more food. You will certainly feel satisfied.

I also found that most people don't enjoy counting calories. First-time dieters quickly discover that it's a time-consuming and complicated chore. Calorie counting almost always goes hand in hand with the feeling of being deprived that spells doom to a diet.

And that led to the next important step in my program: developing food demonstrations.


The Look of Knowledge
You've already seen one food demonstration on page 4. Coming up in this book are scores of others.

These are exactly the kinds of food demonstrations I use in my practice. The "demos" are a powerful, effective tool for teaching people to look at food in a different way.

We see so much information about fat and calories that this information may seem like first-grade stuff to most of us. But it's not always easy to judge the information given to you.

For instance, if you read a package label, you may register the fact that a food is "high in fat" or "low in fat," but you're less likely to pay much attention to serving size.

Just for fun, you might want to test some of the assumptions you have about different types of food. The food quiz on page 12 will help you do that.

One thing is certain about taking this quiz: Once you've seen the answers, you're unlikely to forget them. Seeing the actual food—and understanding how many calories are in that food—is a far more powerful message than reading a list of words and numbers.

These demonstrations—like the many in chapter 6 of this book—are likely to challenge many of your assumptions. Looking at their choices, people often say, "That can't be true! How can one little fat-free muffin have as many calories as all that fruit?"

But there's no trick to these demonstrations. Before preparing any visual display of food, my staff nutritionist checks food values with statistical tables provided by the USDA. If we're using packaged foods, we use the nutritional information on the packages, paying special attention to the serving sizes. And for some of the prepared dishes in the food demonstrations, we calculated the calories for the recipes using the USDA handbooks.

Each food demonstration has been carefully checked, using all the information that we have about calorie counts, nutritional values, and serving sizes, to make sure that the portions and amounts are accurate. Since you're always making choices about what foods you eat and don't eat, I want to make sure that what you see is what you get.


Help from the Demos
The food demonstrations not only help you choose wisely but also help you interpret nutritional information correctly. Here, too, the advice of dietitians and nutritionists is extremely valuable. We find, for example, that many people have mistaken beliefs about what they should and should not eat.

Take the term fat-free. Thinking that fats should be avoided, many people believe that they can lose weight if they simply eliminate butter and oil from their diets.

Reprinted from Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect Weight Loss: The Visual Program for Permanent Weight Loss by Dr. Howard M. Shapiro, Copyright 2000. Permission granted by Rodale, Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or directly from the publisher by calling (800)848-4735 or visit Rodale's website at www.rodalestore.com.

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