Week 1: You're a Sugar Addict!

The biggest reason people get fat is sugar.


Choose foods with five grams of sugar per serving or less.

Sugar hides in foods under clever names like beet sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose, maltodextrin, malitol (a sugar alcohol), mannitol (a sugar alcohol) sorbitol (a sugar alcohol), sucrose, and turbinado sugar. These sugars are in everything from protein bars and shakes to breads and diary.

Sugar is found not only in things that are sweet but in processed food like ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and BBQ sauce.


Go to the fridge and pantry and rid your life of simple sugar items.

Buy apples, pears, berries, and citrus foods instead.

Exercise regularly.

Graze on healthy snacks throughout the day.

Drink lots of water.

Cut back on caffeine.



Eggs (2 daily)

Oatmeal (1 cup daily)

Hormone-Balancing, Detox Vegetables (2-3 cups daily)

Fresh Fruit (2 servings is 2 whole fruits)

Water and Lemon Juice

Whey Protein Shake (8-ounce serving daily)

Herbal Teas



Eat a salad the size of both hands put together. This equals a little more than a cup of greens.  

Eat fish, poultry, and lean meats the size and thickness of the center of your palm.  This equates to four ounces of meat.  

Eat a serving of hard cheese, salad dressing, oil, nut butter, nuts, or seeds the size of two thumbs.  This measurement equals two tablespoons or, in the case of cheese, one ounce.  

Eat a serving or veggies, chopped fresh fruit, milk, low-fat cottage cheese, or Greek-yogurt the size of your fist.  The same goes for cereal, rice, pasta, cooked grains, and cooked beans or legumes.  A fist-size portion is the same as one cup. 



This sample menu gives you the right complement of foods for the day: four protein, three veggies, two grains, two fruits, and one fat.


Protein (2 eggs, for example)

Grain (1 cup of oatmeal, for example)

Fruit  (1 cup of fresh berries, for example)


Protein shake (scoop of whey mixed with water and fresh fruit, for example)


4 ounces of protein (baked chicken breast, for example)

1 cup of a vegetable or 1 baked sweet potato


¼ avocado or 1 cup of chopped fresh veggies, for example


4 ounces of protein (sirloin steak, for example)

Grain (1 cup of brown rice, for example)

Vegetable (1 cup of steamed broccoli, for example)


Begin my 5 + 2 Plan only after you’ve completed the two-week jump start.

Each day, eat five meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus a midmorning and mid-afternoon snack.

Choose four proteins, three vegetables, two fruits, two grains, and one fat from the hormone/balancer/detox list of foods.

Eat a serving of protein at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one snack.  Add a slow-digesting carb, such as a vegetable, oatmeal, beans, or legumes, whole-grain bread, or brown rice, at lunch and dinner.

Limit your intake of whole grains to no more than twice a day. 

Add veggies to two of your meals and one snack or to a protein shake.

Eat low-fat dairy foods (including hard cheeses) sparingly- no more than two servings a day.  But remember: no milk.

Eat two servings of fresh fruit daily.  Enjoy them with meals, as desserts, or as snacks and try to combine them with protein.

Eat a variety of foods each week.  Rotate your fruits, veggies, and protein selections frequently. 

Drink three liters of water daily. 


Read more in Jackie Warner's "This is Why You're Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever)" from Grand Central Publishing.


Goodbye and Good Luck!

Dr. Ramani shares her final wishes for the group.


It's time to say goodbye, or as we call it in therapy, "termination." 

As a psychologist, this has been therapy fantasy camp. All psychologists are voyeurs. Under normal circumstances, when you do therapy, you see the world through the client's eyes. You construct images of their partners, homes, parents, friends on the basis of their descriptions, and you almost never get a chance to see the reality. For me to have conducted group therapy, and then after we were done to go back via television and see their husbands, families, and homes has been a sort of secret dream come true –- to see if my "construction" matched the reality.  Thanks, Bravo! This is and will remain one of the most compelling clinical experiences of my career. 

I was on the fence about whether I would be able to do clinical work of any depth under lights and with cameras rolling. Time limits meant you didn't see most of the therapy, which is where these clients did heavy lifting and sweating of a different sort. They learned about why they eat what they eat, when they eat, how they eat, and where they eat. They unearthed old demons, and learned about respecting others and themselves. They learned how to talk about their feelings instead of numbing them. They were called on their BS and made to take ownership. If they sustain these weight changes, it will be because they were willing to do it from the inside out.

Shay revealed that her struggles with weight were more complex than initially thought. There is a frequently held misassumption that ethnic minority women don't get eating disorders. That is patently wrong, and the rates of eating disorders in African American, Latina, and Asian American women are on the rise. Laxative abuse can be done secretly, and many who do it report that the feeling of "emptiness," the "flat stomach," and the sense of "clearing out" following laxative use is gratifying despite being dangerous. They erroneously believe they can eat what they want and then get rid of it. Shay showed us that the psychology of weight goes well beyond ab crunches and protein shakes. These are VERY difficult and complex issues. Her revelation was courageous, and it will take time for her to make these changes.

As we sign off, let's review what we learned about weight loss. It's about respecting your body with healthy food instead of punishing it with junk. It's about pushing your body to new limits, and then finding out you can push your life to new limits. It's about realizing that your history may tell you why you eat what you do, but it doesn't own you, and everyone has the capacity to make these changes. It's about realizing that food is not a substitute for love. It's about accepting yourself, and engaging in the process of weight loss authentically. 

When I end with a client, as they leave the room, I wish a silent wish for them. They have done the ultimate bravery by allowing me into the most private rooms in their hearts and minds, and I am always grateful to have been part of their journeys. 

Here are my wishes for them:

Mandy –- May you stay healthy and be an active part of your family's life. Mothering is about taking care of yourself. I can already see you hiking with the grandchildren that will grace your life someday.

Bryan –- May you stay on the authentic loving path you have been following all your life, despite stumbling a few times. You brought breathtaking commitment to the program, and I hope that you see yourself in the loving and beautiful mirrors offered by the husband, friends, and family around you.

Joe –- Now that you are respecting yourself and others, I hope it leads you to a respectful relationship with a woman. Keep taking care of yourself and learn that a vocabulary of respect, not abs or bad bar banter, will indeed get you the best chick in the bar.

Shay –- You saved your most courageous song for the end, and I wish for you to keep dancing and enjoying your youth and your body. You are stronger than you think, and when you reflect on being there for your mom, and now being there for yourself, realize that you can do this on your own.

Jeana -– I want you to stay in touch with your feelings. Your vulnerability sits right under the surface, and as you trust your feelings and learn to express them, I hope they are met with respect and warmth from those around you. 

Nikki –- You get it even when you pretend you don't. I wish for you to stay "fabulous" without the snarkiness and the cocktails, you don't need them. Dig deeper and see what you find. 

Stacy -– I hope you keep laughing and keep others laughing and stop laughing at yourself. You had the biggest odds against you, and you never said die. I wish for you to persist, no matter what is put in front of you. 

So as we say goodbye, I thank Bravo and Jackie Warner for the opportunity to sit alongside you and for your recognition that psychotherapy is as integral to weight loss as diet or exercise. 

We all have inside of us a warrior, a leader, and a vulnerable child. Nurture them all.