Fad diets or exercise products seem to come and go every year. However, there are a few names that have lasted the test of time. Denise Austin is one of those names. She has been in the fitness business for decades. This decade is no exception as she recently released a new book titled, “Side Effect: Skinny.”
Her new book deals with what she calls a “fat blast diet,” and seven “Skinny Strategies.” Since Austin provides seven strategies, we asked her seven questions about her new book.
One step instructs dieters to change up their caloric intake on various days to create calorie confusion and trick the metabolism. While many diets refer to cycling or varying intake on certain days of the week, is this how Austin has seen such long-term success? She said she’s eaten this way for the last 20 years and her work with professionals has convinced her to promote it. As she says, “variety is key.”
A second strategy is the “Fat-Blast Workout.” We were curious if it was necessary to follow Austin’s unique workout if one was already on an exercise routine. Would results still be felt without the “Fat-Blast Workout?”
“[It] is divided into two types of workouts: one is the fat-blast walk, which is an interval walking routine that can be very well integrated into any cardio workout that someone may already have established. Again, this interval program is all about changing up the routine and surprising your muscles,” said Austin.
One day a week, Austin’s plan calls for a “Super Splurge,” a day where the dieter can go out to eat, or simply splurge. She’s laid out a day where one can have a few nutritious items for breakfast and lunch, then have a hefty amount of calories to play with for dinner. Some splurges may be harder to count calories with, so how does Austin advise?
“…it’s all about controlling your portion. While someone can still have success on the program if they perhaps go over a bit here and there, the success you see will mainly depend on how closely you try to follow the program,” said Austin.
Watch the Clock
7 to 7 is an important theme in the Austin’s steps to losing weight faster. She advises that all eating cease between the hours of 7 PM and 7 AM. We asked why late night eating is related to unhealthiness, and she explained, “Our culture simply doesn’t move enough in the evening anymore, so the 7 to 7 rule in my books helps to train people into a different lifestyle.”
The strategy about eating “Skinny Foods” is fun. Austin recommends people refer to the shape of the food to recall how it helps a similar shaped body part. Red tomatoes for heart health or almonds for healthy nails are just a few examples. If you slice a carrot, it looks like an eye with a pupil and she attributes the orange root to her eye health.
She said, “…at fifty-five, I’m the only one out of my sisters and closest friends who doesn’t need to pull out reading glasses to read menus and such. I attribute much of this to the fact that I’m always munching on carrots.”
Double Your Metabolism
Another strategy involving specific foods focuses on doubling your metabolism. Austin practices what she preaches as she tries to get many metabolism boosting foods in her diet everyday, which includes fiber for fullness and managing insulin. However, one of her favorites may not be as common for many people.
“The other metabolism boosting food that I try to fit in daily is green tea, which is filled with a phytochemical called catechins that appears to briefly increase the rate at which calories are burned and raises the metabolic rate,” she said.
And finally, if it hasn’t been clear, Austin promotes movement. Movement of all sorts is good for the body and for weight maintenance. Austin calls her final strategy, “Daily Body Blitz,” a combination of 20 movements meant to be done anywhere you spend the day. While the “Blitzes” are effective, Austin was clear that they can’t replace cardio workouts.
“Honestly, every move helps in the big picture, but cardio can’t be underestimated. Cardio workouts, even a 20 minute walk, condition the heart, “ said Austin.
The book is a great, fresh look at diet and fitness concepts. Austin has broken down some theories that may seem daunting but are actually too easy to skip. That’s probably why she’s been so successful – making fitness and health too easy to leave out of your life.
January 11th, 2013