Oprah features Buddha’s Diet!

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oprah buddha's diet
We were very excited to see today that Oprah.com has featured an excerpt from Buddha’s Diet!

We love Oprah’s message of wellness, something she has been championing for years, and we’re so happy to have a part of Buddha’s Diet featured for an audience of fellow wellness seekers. You can read the excerpt here. Of course, we’d still recommend you get the whole book, for the full guide, support and steps to make this new pattern of eating work for you. But the piece chosen by Oprah’s people, certainly does a great job of introducing what Buddha’s Diet’s all about.

Last week, we also checked in with Joe Yonan of Washington Post food. He’s still on Buddha’s Diet and down 9 pound, not bad for a diet he actually seems to enjoy. With today being Saint Patrick’s day, perhaps it’ll be his cheat day (something Buddha’s Diet encourages – it actually helps weight loss) but we trust he’ll be back enjoying the benefits tomorrow. You can read about his journey here.

If you’ve got questions about Buddha’s Diet, feel free to message us on our Facebook page, we would love to hear from fellow Buddha’s Diet(ers) and help with any questions you might have!


Study says paying kids to eat veggies works. But this works too.

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In the chapter Waste or Waist in Buddha’s Diet, we talk about the ingrained reasons we hate wasting food. Many of them trace back to childhood, those early experiences in your high chair, and later at the dinner table, or out at a restaurant with your parents. In a study of 122 American adults back in 2003, over 80% recalled being told to clean their plates after every meal.  Because we hate to waste food, we often eat more than we really want, or are hungry for. Children are actually pretty good at knowing when they are full and have had enough. Forcing them to eat because we don’t want to “waste” it, actually does more harm than good. But there are other gotchas when it comes to kids and the dinner table. How do we get our children to eat things that are good for them, like veggies?

veggies If you were ever bribed, praised, cajoled, threatened, encouraged, or manipulated into eating your veggies, you’re familiar with the go-to tactics of your childhood. Studies tell us though that all these things generally backfire and create complicated and unhealthy relationships around eating. A study was even done around paying children to eat their vegetables. Which seemed to work. Though it’s unclear how expensive this might get and sounds pretty drastic. You probably don’t have a line item in your budget for paying your children to eat kale. We don’t either.

So, how can you get your children to eat their veggies?

It’s actually pretty simple and comes down to three things: frequent exposure, modeling, and involvement

First: Introduce vegetables to children again and again. Don’t give up to early. Toddlers may need something like 15 exposures to a food to like it. Of course, if you’ve tried carrots more times than you care to count, and your child still says no, let it go. You can give it another try when they are older.

Second: Model what you’d like for them. If you want them to eat their veggies, they should see you eating vegetables regularly too. If they see you eating vegetables, ordering items from the restaurant with vegetables, buying and cooking vegetables, they will grow up to do that too. Modeling matters. Serve food in a positive environment but keep reactions netural. They shouldn’t get a gold star for eating green beans.

Third: Involve children in the process of buying (or growing) and preparing vegetables. Let them select the veggies they like from the store. Resist the urge to encourage them to get things you think they should try or like. Give them a bag and let them choose.

What should you not do?

Take a pass on these four tactics below. They rarely work and teach your children that veggies are something to be hated.

First: Don’t sneak vegetables into food you know they don’t like. No one likes to hear they were tricked into eating something.

Second: Don’t use the “clear your plate” method – i.e.: “You can’t have dessert until you’ve eaten all your vegetables.” It paints veggies as bad, which they are not.

Third: Don’t bribe or manipulate. Just let it go. Historically, children have still managed to thrive without carrots.

Fourth: Don’t let your own dislikes get in the way. You might hate mushrooms, but perhaps they will love them.

Have you had success getting your children to enjoy vegetables? Have you tried incentives, like the cash incentives offered by the study and did it work?

How Joe Yonan of the Washington Post got rid of pounds, cravings, and reflexive eating

For the month of January (in the spirit of new year’s resolutions) five Washington Post staff members each took on a different diet to change their eating habits, chronicling their results in 5 Diets, a single resolution to eat better in the new year: Which Will Work.

Washington Post Food takes on Buddha's Diet and gets rid of pounds and cravings

Joe Yonan, the Food and Dining Editor selected our very own Buddha’s Diet, what he called a “deceptively little book with a catchy title” for his journey.  He found (as we suspected he would) that Buddha’s Diet not only brought him weight loss, but wisdom as well. Though the 30-day experiment is over, Joe’s writes “I’m not changing a thing.” Joe has new habits and new discoveries as a result.

Joe’s Eating Discoveries:

  • It’s now second nature to finish dinner and stop eating for the day (and feel fine about it).
  • After a month on Buddha’s Diet, the reflexive cravings that happened after dinner are gone
  • Slowing down to eat comes more naturally. It takes 20 minutes (say studies) for the brain to register fullness. The slow down means Joe reduces the risk of overeating.
  • Mornings are less hectic. Instead of rushing to eat, he now as a few moments of stillness, tea drinking and reading.
  • Despite outside stressors (an IRS audit for one, to say nothing of current events) he managed to maintain his weight loss from previous weeks and even drop a bit more
  • And perhaps more importantly, he’s going to stay on it. When was the last time you heard someone say that about a diet?

For us, the best part of hearing about Joe’s success is not losing weight, but the other things he’s lost – the cravings, the rush to eat, the mindless stress eating. Joe writes “I was looking for a radical shift in perspective, a way to truly break some habits that weren’t doing me (or my waistline) any favors.” It sounds like he’s found it.



Obesity and your plate: How the size of your dinner plate is making you fat

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It’s not news that America has been getting fatter over time.

There are all kinds of reasons for the rise in obesity, but one of them is portion size and the calorie count of the average meal.

Since the 1960s, dinner plate sizes have gotten larger in diameter, and since 1960, we’ve seen a huge rise in the percentage of obese Americans. If you inherited your grandmother’s china, you might have noticed the plates are much smaller than today’s. In 1960, the average dinner plate was 8 1/2 inches. Today, it’s closer to a foot wide in diameter. Why does that matter? Well, because we eat more when there is more to eat. A study out of Cornell revealed that people serve themselves in proportion to the plate size they have been given. In other words: if you’ve got a big plate, you’ll put more food on it.

dinner plate sizes and obesity

We may not know definitively that grandma’s china caused her to eat less, but it’s not hard to see there may be a link between obesity and plate size.

So how can you use this to your advantage if you’d like to lose weight? Easy. Serve yourself dinner on a smaller plate.

Quite simply, choosing a large plate means you will instinctively fill it with more than you need.  With a smaller plate, you’ll naturally fill it with less. If you’re still hungry when you’ve cleared your smaller plate, by all means eat more. But more than likely you’ll find that the small plate gives you a moment to pause (it takes 20 minutes for the fullness signal to reach the brain) to decide if you are still hungry. The large plate doesn’t allow as much time for this to happen, because the visual cue of the food left on the plate makes us think we need to finish it. That’s for lots of reasons – we may have strong feelings about wasting food, we may not pause to slow down or (and this is something we are all prone to) we may eat simply because “it was in front of me.”

Intermittent Fasting: How changing your eating window will become your ‘forever’ diet!

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As we chronicled in our earlier post, we’re thrilled that Washington Post Food and Dining Editor, Joe Yonan has taken on the Buddha’s Diet as a 30-day program to change his eating habits! He’s giving weekly updates on his progress, weight loss and food logs, so follow along with us on his journey!

While following Buddha’s Diet may be challenging, Joe hopes this approach to eating and weight loss will be lasting and become part of his life habit and not have to try a new diet for every new year.

Everyone is trying it, how about you?

Joe is in his third week of the  Buddha’s Diet which he embarked on at the beginning of this year after learning about our book and the sure-fire way to lose weight without losing your mind… he has turned to Buddha to lose weight. And why wouldn’t he, Buddha knew a little something about how to treat food. He’s one of five Washington Post staff members who have each taken on a different diet, in their New Year’s quest to lose weight. The diets are all quite different, one is trying a soup only diet, another Weight Watchers, another the very trendy Whole30 and, our personal favorite, Buddha’s Diet.
Of course we’re biased, and crossing our fingers Joe finds something to love about the diet. He’s posted three updates on his progress so far: Week 1 and Week 2 and Week 3).  While he finds the diet challenging (mostly because of his travel and work schedule) he’s losing weight and sticking to the hours. Go, Joe!

Is there a ‘forever diet’?

Buddha's Diet

Whatever diet you choose, think about this before you start it: is this something I can do forever? Because if you are undertaking a diet, what you are actually agreeing to do is to eat differently for life. Because a temporary diet will help you lose weight, but the weight comes back.

So when you view diets through that lens, what can you do forever?

  • Can you give up sugar, forever?
  • Can you give up bread, forever?
  • Can you count points, forever?
  • Can you eat soup, forever?

We think the one you can do forever, the one you can fold into your life such that the daily pattern of eating becomes woven into a lifetime habit, is intermittent fasting, a prescribed break from food that you repeat everyday. Nothing extreme. Just a hard stop at a certain time, after your eating window has closed.  

Not sure you can do this diet forever? Check out the steps of Buddha’s Diet and get started! We think you’ll find it’s a way of eating you and your body will love.

Share your journey with us: Leave a comment!  

Let your friends know about Buddha’s Diet on Facebook, and how they too can find their forever diet. 

Lose weight forever: Can Washington Post’s Food Editor Ace Buddha’s Diet?

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We’re so excited to share this great news!

Washington Post Food and Dining editor Joe Yonan is giving Buddha’s Diet a shot as his New Year’s resolution!

Joe has embarked on a 30-day program to follow the steps outlined in Buddha’s Diet – a simple way to stop the endless cycle of traditional dieting and use a mindful way to lose weight and find peace and confidence in your eating habits. Joe writes, “The ultimate goal: to integrate a new way of healthful eating into my life, in a way that becomes second nature.”

  • Week One: Joe loses over a pound, despite struggling with the socializing aspect of the diet and realizes there are times he wants to eat when he’s not actually hungry, just craving. Which is quite different.
  • Week Two: Joe takes a trip and despite the time difference, manages to make Buddha’s Diet work, even forgetting to build in the Buddha’s Diet cheat day.
  • Week Three: Week three still has some travel for Joe, but he’s now down 4 1/2 pounds. He’s now on the 9-hour window. The final phase of Buddha’s Diet. He quotes the book saying “You are now what the Buddha might call a sottapana, a ‘stream enterer.’ It is now only a matter of time before you reach your weight-loss goal.” Joe finishes the post with “Am I indeed entering the Buddha’s Diet stream. It feels like it. I might even be able to keep this up.”

We’ll be rooting for him. We knew we were on to something when it helped us both lose pounds and simplify our lives, and we know it’ll do the same for Joe. Joe will be updating his progress here in the food section of the Washington Post.

In the “Buddha’s Diet,” Food and Dining Editor Joe Yonan will be mindful of reducing the window of time he’s eating. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

One last note, we’ve had some great press lately in other outlets too. Health, Hollywood Life, and Fit Bottomed Zen all wrote about how Buddha’s Diet can help you drop pounds without making you crazy. And really, there’s just no reason to embark on a crazy-making diet.

The One Pancake Button

More is not always better

More is not always better

Recently I took my kids to Tennessee, to visit Dollywood. Maybe a strange vacation choice for someone living in California, but I’m sort of a Dolly Parton fan – my most favorite movie is 9 to 5. Side note: if you haven’t been to Dollywood and you’ve got kids, you should. Imagine a more manageable Disneyland, nestled in lush greenery.

As I always do on vacation, I eat too much and I eat badly. That’s just vacation: some allowances need to be made, perhaps even more so in the land of biscuits. The volume of food at the hotel breakfast buffet was dazzling, and confusing. Trays of pastries and bagels and muffins featured slices of cheesecake. The fruit table included a large bowl of maraschino cherries. If something could be made sweeter, it was. If something could be fried, buttered and slathered, it was. And it was delicious.

What struck me though wasn’t the differences in food from California to Tennessee, but an interaction we had at Denny’s, on one of the mornings we couldn’t rouse ourselves for the free cheesecake at the hotel. My sister wanted a single pancake along with her oatmeal and fried egg. This item was on the menu, one pancake for $2.49. When she ordered it though, the waiter said helpfully: “Oh you don’t want that, you want the two pancakes. It’s cheaper. Two pancakes is just $2.00.” My sister nodded. After all, this made more sense: more for less. “I’ll take two then.” He wrote this down, laughing a little, “I’ve worked here three years and I’ve never hit the one pancake button on the register. Guess these guys aren’t mathematicians.”

On the surface this may seem the logical choice. Especially if you’re very hungry or want to split it with someone. But she wasn’t. She knew she wanted just one. This is how we are so often lured into buying more food than we want or need. The buy-one get-one free offers, the super-sized this, the mega pack that. It’s cheaper. It’s a better value. But is it? If you didn’t want it, how much value is gained when you eat that pancake you didn’t want? We talked about this as she ate her pancake. “I’ll just eat this one,” she said. As we talked though, she absentmindedly began picking at the second pancake. Realizing this, she stopped. “I don’t know why I’m eating this. I’m full. It’s just here.” There’s the problem. Though she
technically saved .49 cents and gained a pancake, she could have (for .49 cents) left that pancake back in the kitchen and felt better about breakfast.

A number of things happened during and after this making of this pancake choice: First, it seemed foolish to get less for more money, despite knowing we wanted less and might regret the extra pancake. Second, once the pancake was on the table absentminded eating came into play (it’s there, and suddenly we were eating it without thinking about whether we wanted it.) Third, the ingrained aversion many of us have to wasting food caused her to eat more than she wanted. We failed at every step. We ordered an item we didn’t want, we absentmindedly ate it, and then (faced with the remainder of the pancake) finished it off, thereby becoming the garbage can – something we talk about in Waist vs. Waste in Buddha’s Diet. Maybe if we were about to go on a long hike and wouldn’t eat until dinner, it might make some sense to eat that pancake. But we weren’t. And chances are, when you are presented choices like these, you aren’t either. You don’t have to order two when you want one. You don’t have to order an entrée when you only have room for an appetizer. You don’t have to eat the bread on the table set down before you even know what you want to eat.

When you’re out at a restaurant, think about what you want to eat, really give it some thought. Maybe ask how big the plate is if you’re not sure. Remember that if it’s in front of you, you’ll probably eat it. Remember that portion sizes these days are often borderline absurd. And when something seems like a good deal on a menu, remind yourself that what may be a good deal money-wise, may not be such a good deal for your health and your weight. Sometimes it’s okay to be the one asking for the one pancake button.

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