by Chef Dawn Ludwig
AH is a lifestyle that allows you to cook and eat food that you love and feel good about eating. It encourages you to find what works for YOUR body and your life. It does not restrict any major macronutrient. Following “to the letter” will look different for everyone. Feel free to swap, repeat, eat smaller portions, calculate or completely let go of ever calculating again, eat meat, vegetarian, dairy-free, vegan or any way that serves you. These steps to success will guide you on your journey.
5 Essential Steps to Success
1. Use your Trackers to guide you as you learn to listen to your body.
The Daily Tracker allows you to gain a better understanding of your hunger control, craving control, satiety, energy level, and well being by correlating these symptoms with your level of processed carbohydrate intake. The more you learn about what your body needs the easier it will be to make choices that support it.
2. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Let your time in the kitchen be fun! Remember that when you work with your body, it will be easier to sustain the weight loss on a long-term basis. We hope that the Always Hungry? Book Program with help you find not just a diet, but a way of eating that supports you, no matter what your dietary preferences include.
If you find some of the ingredients or meals don’t suit your needs, feel free to substitute them for others that are more appealing to you. For example, if you don’t like smoked salmon or it’s beyond your food budget, swap those breakfasts for any others that you like. If you don’t handle soy well, use eggs in the Black Bean Tofu Scramble. If chicken thighs are too expensive, buy drumsticks instead.
If someone in the family is sensitive to or prefers not to eat a certain type of protein, use another protein in its place. Just make sure to sub fatty protein for fatty protein and the same for lean protein (see Making a Phase 1 Meal on page 152 or Phase 2 Meal on page 184 for guidance). Empowering you to put together your own meals is the ultimate goal of the program.
3. Prep ahead to make life easier.
This will also allow you to quickly put together meals on days when you just don’t feel like cooking. The key to long-term success is the prep. We developed the menus using quick, easy sauces that are all made on prep day. This way, delicious, high-quality dinners can be made during the week in about 30 minutes or less—and breakfasts or lunch in 15 minutes or less.
The pilot participants found that during the first couple of weeks, it sometimes took a bit longer as they got used to the recipes and cooking methods—but after those first few weeks, the new practices became second nature and much easier. On top of that, the pilot testers soon found that they also had the energy to do more of the things they loved (including preparing fresh food!) because they felt so much better.
4. Honor your NSVs (Non-Scale Victories)
Non Scale Victories (NSVs) include mood improvements, inches lost, increased mental clarity, energy, and decreased cravings and hunger. These are great ways to measure success even before the scale shows a change.
When you hit a weight loss plateau, look at any new foods you might have added to your diet or foods that you are consuming in larger quantities. Do some elimination experiments to see if they affect your results. You might find that these are “trigger foods” that throw you off or that you tend to eat more from emotional/habitual hunger. For example, for some people, it is chocolate, nuts, or dairy. Find out what it is for you. I would also play with portion sizes. Remember, this is not about restriction; it is about learning to listen to what your body needs.
5. Keep asking questions, sharing your story, and coming here or to the AH Book Community for support!
You have thousands of community members at your fingertips! It’s fun and informative for all of us when we share our successes and struggles with others on the AH program! We really want to hear from you!
Welcome to the AH journey!