I had a chance to interview Dr. Rovenia M. Block — better known as Dr. Ro. She’s a nationally recognized nutritionist who has helped more than a half-million Americans lose over 5 million pounds on The Dr. Oz Show. Her new book, Lose Your Final 15: Dr. Ro’s Plan to Eat 15 Servings a Day & Lose 15 Pounds at a Time, is more than a diet; it’s a sustainable wellness plan for life.
Why should people who want to lose weight focus only on 15 pounds at a time?
Studies show that people who lose weight in small increments not only do it more successfully, but keep the weight off for longer periods of time when compared to those who don’t. Also my coaching clients have done it successfully and found that after losing the first few pounds, they were motivated to keep going because they had proven to themselves they could do it.
Describe how it’s possible to eat 15 servings a day and lose weight.
Most people eat 15 (or more) servings of food a day but don’t realize it because they don’t control portions. On the Final 15 Diet, you eat 15 servings of right-sized portions in 3 meals and up to 2 snacks per day, of real food. You’re not restricted to drinking your meals, which makes you hungry. What’s more, because practically everyone is time-starved in today’s high-tech world, many of your meals can even be made in 15 minutes.
Explain the three phases of food choices in the Final 15 Plan.
In Phase 1: You choose Intense, fat-burning foods. Think power-packed lean protein, nutrient-rich vegetables, low-fat dairy, and heart-protecting fats. Each day you’ll eat 15 total servings of food from those categories to kick-start your weight-loss for a leaner body.
In Phase 2: In the Assimilation Phase, you’ll continue to stoke your body’s fat-burning power with the foods of Phase 1 and you’ll add more variety of choice. Phase 2 includes fruit as well as some vegetables that were not included in phase 1.
In Phase 3: You gain still more tasty and delicious foods to choose. If you love bread, no problem. This phase includes the whole enchilada, with all of the foods from phases 1 and 2, plus whole grains! This is the phase you can maintain for a lifetime.
Throughout each phase there are 15 days of meal plans, shopping lists and tasty recipes to eat to your heart’s (and body’s) content.
You emphasize the need to shift your thinking in order for weight loss to happen. Can you give an example?
Yes. Shifting your thinking from fat to thin thinking is important because if you think as you used to think (at your highest weight) you start to look like you used to look because your thoughts lead to the choices you make. So shifting your thinking — to asking yourself if you really do want that piece of chocolate cake simply because someone offered it — is a gut-check that I have my clients do to become more mindful of their choices.
Exercise is a part of the Final 15 Plan. How can people work exercise into their daily schedules?
In just 15 minutes a day, anyone can make a new exercise habit. If you’ve never exercised, start with a 15 -minute walk. I have three different types of exercise modules that can be done in 15 minutes, from moderate to high-intensity. If you can devote 15 minutes, you can achieve your goal of losing weight and building a healthier, more fit body.
Describe the importance of the 15 minutes of prayerful meditation in your plan.
Losing weight can be stressful. Often, people make food choices thoughtlessly—out of boredom, frustration, anger, sadness or just hurriedly. I’ve found — in my patients and those whom I coach — that when they’re focused on the choices they make in that moment, they have a much better chance of making healthier choices. The mindful meditations help them to become centered and fortify them to make better choices in a more mindful, rather than mindless way.
What’s the best way to maintain an optimal weight once you’ve lost your extra pounds?
- Stay focused on your “Why” (the reason you want or need to maintain a healthy weight)
- Have a plan and stick to it
- Plan your meals for the week
- Shop with a list
- Get an accountability partner
- Check the mirror and the way your clothes fit. If you don’t like what you see, cycle back to Phase 1
- Don’t allow yourself to go beyond 5 pounds over your goal weight
In the end, losing weight is really about getting to a healthy body. Love yourself, all of yourself, even as you work on improvements.
Learn more about Dr. Ro and her book, Lose the Final 15, at EverythingRo.com.