Woman eating salad

Pile your plate to lose weight

Lucy Danziger, editor in chief of Self magazine, and her team of nutrition experts have created a flexible plan for melting off 10, 20 or more pounds at any age – by adding food to your plate! Eating more of 30 superfoods, such as eggs, yogurt, steak and cherries, you can shed pounds and reduce your dependence on those less healthy foods that like to call your name. Here’s our Q&A with Danziger about her new book, The Drop 10 Diet.

SheKnows: I like the premise: Add to your plate to lose weight. The Drop 10 Diet is not about deprivation!

Lucy Danziger: You get to eat healthy (most of the time) delicious foods that literally "pay you back" for the calories you spend, by making your body fight fat naturally and feel full and energetic. But we also allow you to have "happy calories" that are 200 calories of treats a day. If you want more, you can save your calories and spend them all the following day, when you go out with friends or have a special occasion. This means you literally never are hungry and you can still choose your favorite indulgences to add into the plan and lose two pounds a week.

KaleSheKnows: What are your personal top three superfoods?

Lucy Danziger: Blueberries, spinach or kale, and Parmesan cheese.

I call blueberries "nature's candy." I keep a container of them in my fridge at all times. They are high in antioxidants and help my body. I pop them in my mouth like other people eat Skittles or M&Ms.

Then comes spinach or kale. I love steamed spinach with my dinner. It makes me feel clean and healthy. Popeye was onto something with this leafy green. It builds a healthy body from the inside out. One cup of kale provides 134 percent of your daily vitamin C and also filling fiber. If you take in 34 grams of fiber a day, your body doesn't absorb 6 percent of your calories.

Parmesan cheese. As a total cheese lover I can eat chunks of this. It's a calcium champ, delivering as much in one ounce as a glass of skimmed milk. And it is high in protein, 10 grams per ounce, so that fills you up. Plus it’s super-tasty, and you can sprinkle it on salad or anything, it delivers a big powerful punch of flavor and makes salt redundant.

SheKnows: What about night eating -- mindless noshing in front of the TV. How do you turn that urge off?

Lucy Danziger: I hate myself when I do it, but I find that if I have protein at dinner I can avoid a big munch afterward. What's the point of a virtuous salad at 7 or 8 if you scarf cookies at 10? So eat some lean protein like chicken or steak, and when you do, you will feel fuller longer; if you have an urge to snack pre-bedtime, make it a glass of skim milk and one little thing like a cookie. If you eat protein, you will keep your blood sugar more stable and that helps your body not store fat.

jump ropeSheKnows: Best workout to zap fat fast?

Lucy Danziger: HIIT, meaning high-intensity interval training. It's basically the quickest way to zap calories and fat. You can do it with any cardio --running, jump rope, spin bike or swimming -- just so long as you get your heart rate up to a point where it's too hard to hold a conversation. Think of it as alternating between hard and easy intervals: two minutes on, three minutes off, 10 times through. When that feels easy, make the resting interval shorter, and eventually the "on" interval longer. You will see results fast!

SheKnows: What is the top sabotager when it comes to weight loss?

Lucy Danziger: People think that they can eat more when they work out. I fall prey to this, too. (I just scooped a handful of M&Ms into my mouth in the art department and rationalized it with: Hey, I biked this morning!) But the truth is that your hardest workout only burns about 10 calories a minute. So if you did 30 minutes today you can have 300 and stay even. But that's one treat -- more than that and you are in the hole. So do have a post-workout snack, but know that it should probably be small and not too sugary. For me, a little yogurt, some almonds, a piece of fruit is all it takes to get my energy back on track.

More weight loss tips

6 Tips for moving past a weight loss plateau
Nutrition matters: Skip calorie counting and burn fat instead
Tips to avoiding the newlywed 15

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