As a Registered Dietitian who has specialized in weight loss solutions for the past 17 years, I have always steered my clients away from "diets". They always seem to be overly restrictive and short-term plans. Unfortunately, most people who want to lose weight are drawn to diets because they want to see results quickly.

The word diet is defined by Webster's dictionary as "what a person or animal usually eats and drinks; daily fare." The majority of people, however, hear the word diet and think of the more common meaning "to deprive oneself of food to lose weight." Why not combine these two definitions, and add a few words to create the perfect definition to meet our weight loss goals?

We can say weight loss diet means, "What a person usually eats and drinks to lose weight permanently without deprivation." This definition describes a weight loss plan that most Nutritionists and Registered Dietitians would be happy to endorse. The diet will be something you can follow for the rest of your life as well as satisfying.

I have always told my clients that they should never start a diet that they didn't think they could follow for the rest of their lives. This will eliminate all diets that are overly restrictive or take away entire food groups. Your diet needs to have the flexibility to allow for the addition of your favorite foods and occasional (not so healthy) treats.

After spending over 10,000 hours researching the lifestyle choices of THIN PEOPLE, I discovered that most of them made similar choices in their eating habits. I wrote the book Thin People Don't Clean Their Plates to share the results of these findings. After analyzing the dietary pattern most successful individuals were following, I created the "my SOS diet" plan. This is the new weight loss diet plan you can follow for the rest of your life.

The "my SOS diet" plan is based on the habits of THIN PEOPLE and what they all have in common, yet is simplified. You will be able to follow this diet for the rest of your life. You will not feel deprived, because you get to eat your favorite foods daily.

Here is the foundation for the "my SOS diet" plan:
S - Smoothie for breakfast
O - Outside time & Other food choices for lunch & snacks
S - Salad or Soup for supper

S - Smoothie for Breakfast. Your smoothie should be individualized according to your preferences, but will have the basic recipe that follows.

Basic Smoothie Recipe
8 oz skim milk, soy milk, yogurt or water
1 scoop protein powder (whey, soy, hemp or pea-based)
½ - ¾-cup berries of choice (fresh or frozen)
½ - ¾ -cup other frozen fruit (banana, melon, pineapple, etc...)
½ - ¾-cup vegetables (raw carrots/cabbage or frozen spinach, etc...)
1-3 tsp ground flax seeds or 1 tsp flax oil

O - Outside Time Daily. You need to take a 7 ½ minute walk before eating lunch. Walk away from your house or work. Walk at a pace that indicates you are about 5-minutes late for a meeting, which is a good brisk clip. Of course after you walk 7 ½ minutes away from your home or office, you will then have to turn around and walk back. This will give you 15-minutes of fresh air, deep breathing, increased metabolism and blood flow. If you have a history of depression or anxiety, you may want to walk even more.

O - Other Food Choices for Lunch. Lunch will be your biggest meal of the day. This gives your body plenty of time for digestion of the meal and you will not be starving at suppertime. You should feel very satisfied at the end of this meal, but not stuffed. Be sure to include your favorite foods at this meal. If you really want a cheeseburger and French fries, this would be the time to have them. You do not have to include fruit or vegetables at this meal.

O - Other Food Choices for Snacks. If you notice you are hungry between meals, you will want to include a snack. If you are not hungry, you do not have to eat a snack. Ideally, your snack should contain protein and fiber. Both protein and fiber will help you feel satisfied or full longer. Think dairy plus a whole grain, such as a bowl of cereal with milk or some sting cheese with a handful of Triscuits or some yogurt with a small amount of grape nuts. Your snack should be no bigger than the size of your fist.

S - Salad or Soup for Supper. You will want to be sure to consume a total of at least 2 cups of vegetables at this meal. Most people find it easiest to think of a large salad or a bowl of soup with many vegetables. You could also eat a large bowl of steamed vegetables instead of a salad or soup. These should be non-starchy vegetables, so try to eat vegetables other than potatoes, corn and peas. You can use olive or flax oil to make your own salad dressing or as a flavor-enhancer for your vegetables.

Additional recipes and suggestions for Smoothies, Salads, ,Soups and Snacks are available to

Beverages are a place many individuals consume too many calories. The main beverages you will want to consume during the weight loss phase of your diet are water, tea or Teeccino (a healthy alternative to coffee). Avoid all sweetened beverages, even if they are sweetened with artificial sweeteners. If you want a good alternative to soda pop, try seltzer or mineral water such as Perrier. You can always add some lemon or a splash of 100% fruit juice to it to sweeten it.

Alcohol is not a weight loss beverage, as it contains a lot of calories, but can be included in your weight loss plan in moderation. Moderation is considered one beverage per day for a woman and two beverages per day for a man. If you choose to drink beverages that contain alcohol, you will want to be sure to drink a full glass of water after each beverage to prevent dehydration, which is the cause of most hang-overs.

The good news is that the fewer processed and sugar-laden foods you eat, the less you crave them. You will be amazed to notice that once you add your smoothie and salad to your diet, your body is less hungry, because it is now experiencing true nourishment. You were previously hungry all of the time because the cells in your body were still hungry for good nutrition.

Author's Bio: 

Jill Fleming is an award-winning speaker, registered dietitian and author of the book "Thin People Don't Clean Their Plates". She motivates audiences to make a few simple lifestyle choices to improve their health, energy level and bodies. You can find more information about having Jill Fleming speak to your company at

For additional smoothie, salad, soup and snack recipes and ideas, go to

Download your free copy of the THIN CHOICES lifestyle diary at