I recently read The No-S Diet book, written by Reinhard Engles-a librarian turned software engineer-and Ben Kallen-a health and nutrition writer. It was published in 2008 and subscribes to Einstein’s advice, “…as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Engles wanted to lose weight, but he knew any program he adopted would have to be uncomplicated. He dropped 40 pounds by following his own, simple plan, which he dubbed “The No-S Diet.” Even though he has no professional background in weight loss management or nutrition, others encouraged him to share what had worked for him…thus, the No-S Diet book.
If you’re old enough, this diet will remind you of how we ate pre-1970s, before snacks and processed foods entered the scene in a big way. Our parents gave us 3 square meals, and we generally didn’t eat in between. I remember our big treat being a bowl of popcorn on Friday nights. Similarly, the No-S Diet centers on getting calories strictly from meals. Its focus is losing weight by cutting excess food out of daily diet. Engles recommends a steady dose of exercise, as well. If you’re looking for information on nutrition, you won’t find it in this book. However, most of us are aware of what constitutes healthy food choices anyway.
Simple Rules of the No-S Diet Plan
Except on “S” days.
“S” Days: Your Days Off the Diet
You won’t need to follow the diet rules on days that begin with the letter S…Saturdays, Sundays, “Special” days-such as family birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays-and “Sick” days. On sick days, eat what you need to get healthy. Engles and Kallen certainly don’t recommend gorging yourself on the S-days. They believe that, when you develop the habits of the No-S Diet during the week, they will carry over to the “S-days.
A snack on the No-S Diet is identified as anything consumed between meals. Weight gain in the United States hit all time highs once processed snacks landed on grocery store shelves. Snacking is now touted as a necessary part of daily food consumption. The trouble is, the majority of snacks that we consume are unhealthy. “Pro-snack” talk often gives overeaters a false sense of entitlement. Many people weigh too much simply because of excess snacking between meals. If you want fruit or pretzels, the No-S Diet requires you to eat them as part of a meal. Drink plenty of water in between meals, as thirst is often confused with hunger.
A No-S Diet “sweet” is any item whose main source of calories is sugar: cakes, cookies, pastries, sugary soda, and so on. There’s no need to check labels, as we all know the major culprits. If you’re not sure, then it’s probably okay. Fruit is not considered a sweet on the No-S Diet, and putting sugar in your coffee or tea is fine. When you don’t allow yourself daily carte-blanche on desserts, you will savor them more on Saturdays and Sundays. If you feel you can’t pass up a sweet item, wrap it up and put it away until the weekend. “Fake” sugars are not recommended, but they don’t break the No-S Diet rules.
Fill your plate once at each meal and then call it quits. Note that food cannot be piled vertically on the plate.
Other than sugary sodas, no beverage is off-limits on the No-S Diet. Once again, moderation is key.
Is the No-S Diet for You?
Check with your doctor before starting any diet plan. You might think that the problem with this diet would be sticking to it during the week and then totally blowing it on the weekend. The authors of the No-S Diet book say that’s not the case. The main reason a person fails on this diet is lack of willpower during the week. If at first you don’t succeed, they advise giving it repeated tries. There is no magic. As with any plan, the No-S Diet requires discipline and patience. It generally takes about 3 weeks for new habits to take hold. For more information or to read testimonials, visit the No-S Diet’s free website.
Dance Off the Inches and Pounds
Weight Loss: Commitment Is Key
Quick Ways to Exercise: The Firm