#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • LOSE UP TO 20 POUNDS IN 21 DAYS!
In The Skinny Rules, celebrity trainer and coach of NBC’s The Biggest Loser Bob Harper delivers the ultimate strategy for healthy, long-term weight loss and “thin maintenance.” But what if you have a big event looming—a reunion, wedding, beach vacation, or other special occasion—and need a fast-acting plan to meet your short-term goals?
Jumpstart to Skinny features thirteen short-term Rules (no one gets thin on mere suggestions) that will supercharge your weight loss. Taking any confusion or decision making out of the equation, Harper also provides a day-by-day plan for success, including his body-toning “Jumpstart Moves” and deliciously slimming recipes specially designed for your get-skinny needs.
Jumpstart to Skinny lets you in on the secrets Bob shares with his red-carpet celebrity clients. This is not a marathon diet; it’s a quick sprint to the finish line. And the victory lap comes when you slip into that sexy dress or swimsuit and feel fantastic. Get started today!
THE FOUR-PART JUMPSTART PLAN TO A SKINNIER YOU
• Your Jumpstart Rules: Thirteen must-follow principles to get you ready for your own “big reveal,” including Rule #1, a precise breakdown of the proper protein/carbohydrate/fat proportions for every meal, and Rule #3, which explains why you need to just say no to complex carbs after breakfast during this three-week plan. These are the Rules that Bob Harper and his celebrity clients use to get ready for their big events—and now you’re in on the secrets, too.
• Your Jumpstart Day-by-Day: No decisions, no confusion! Here is the simple, three-week game plan: the food to buy and prepare ahead each week, when and how much to eat each day, and the when and how of your exercise schedule.
• Your Jumpstart Moves: Bob’s unique, twenty-minute, at-home exercise routines. From sit-ups, push-ups, and squats to jumping rope, lateral jumps, and simple chair dips, choose one of the seven “packages” of body-toning moves when your day calls for Bob’s “metabolic conditioning.”
• Jumpstart Recipes: Cleansing or juice fasting? No way! You need to eat to lose weight, so here are twenty-one days of slimmingly delicious recipes—including “Peanut Butter and Jelly” Oatmeal, Sweet Potato Hash, Spaghetti Squash Bolognese, Buffalo Chicken Salad, and Bob’s signature Shrimp Skimpy—formulated with your Jumpstart protein/carb/fat proportions (see Rule #1!) and calorie maximums in mind.
About the Author
Greg Critser is a longtime science and medical journalist. The co-author of Bob Harper’s The Skinny Rules, Critser is also the author of the international bestseller Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World. He lives in Pasadena, California.
Read an Excerpt
The Jumpstart Rules
Take Control with Proper Proportions—40/40/20
It’s one thing to hand someone a tough battle plan and tell her to “just get going.”
It’s another to give her the tools to execute said plan and win the battle.
I want you to win.
That’s what this rule is about.
The 40/40/20 plan is the nutritional architecture of your Jumpstart eating regimen. And it is easy, especially since I’ve done all the work for you in my menus and recipes!
The 40/40/20 plan is my way of making sure you get the right amount of the three essential macronutrients in your diet: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Without them, you’d be in trouble. Without them in the right amounts, you’ll stay fat, and you’ll never get into that dress, tux, Speedo, or bikini. (Of course, you also need fiber, which is why I give you license to eat unlimited quantities of Jumpstart veggies.)
I’ve tinkered with this formula to get it right: I’ve tried different percentages, added, subtracted, split things up one week and then tried something new the next. In other words, I have been your guinea pig, and I know this is the formula that will work. Don’t make my effort for nothing—use what I’ve learned!
But I’ll back up a step and give you a macronutrient primer:
Protein is a dieter’s best friend. Not only does it help maintain muscle while you are losing fat, it can also prevent you from feeling hungry. Why? Because protein helps control blood sugar and insulin—two elements that, out of balance, can make you feel famished and craving all the wrong things. During your Jumpstart program, 40 percent of your calories will come from protein.
Carbohydrates—nature’s sugars—are the body’s fuel. We need them to keep our energy levels up, to keep our thinking sharp, and to replenish starved muscles. But carbohydrates come in two different forms: simple and complex. I’m oversimplifying, but think of it this way: simple carbohydrates are found in fruits and vegetables (which, again, also give us needed fiber) and are, generally, “good.” Complex carbohydrates are what we find in processed starchy food—breads, baked goods, pastas, crackers, and potatoes. It’s not that complex carbohydrates are evil or that you can never have them again (you can!), but most people rely too heavily on carbohydrates of the complex variety, and don’t get enough simple ones! When we overload on the complex carbs, we wreak havoc on our systems.
If we can control our carb intake—if we use them rather than abuse them—we can push our body during exercise, and the carbs we have eaten will replenish our starved muscles. As with protein, you’re going to be eating 40 percent mostly simple carbohydrates (see Rule 3 about when you can have some complex ones) for the next three weeks.
In addition to simple carbs and complex carbs, there’s one more vocabulary word I need to explain here, folks: net carbs. Net carbs refers to the amount of carbohydrates in the food after you have considered the way in which the fiber in that food offsets the carb number. A food like, say, blueberries, has 21 grams of carbs per cup, but 4 grams of fiber. So, to calculate the net carbs for a cup of blueberries, you subtract the grams of fiber from the carbs: that’s 17 net carbs! You’ll see in Part IV that I list the nutritional value of each recipe. When I list the carbs per serving, I’m talking about net carbs.
We also need fats—whether in the form of oils or solids. Fats help maintain the essential barriers around our cells, help keep our skin and various other tissues flexible, and provide a dense source of fuel—120 calories for every tablespoon! Fats are not “bad”—we just need to use the right ones the right way. If we do, we can reduce feelings of hunger and stay on the path to successful weight loss and an awesome big reveal body. Your Jumpstart diet will allow 20 percent fats.
In the daily menus in Part II (“The Jumpstart Day-by-Day Regimen”), I’ve already calculated your macronutrient diet as close to 40 percent protein, 40 percent carbs, and 20 percent fat as possible for each meal. (Remember that because the fiber in fruits and veggies brings their net carb number down, you may sometimes be getting far fewer than 40 percent carbs from my recipes. But I’m assuming you’ll be snacking on fruits and veggies all day long, so you’ll get your needed carbs over the course of the day.) Meaning: these proportions are already basically figured into each meal. All you have to do is fix the meal and eat it. No excuses.
So, this is easy math, right? Made easier because I’ve done the menu planning for you. These proportions—40/40/20—are the same ones I use when I’m getting ready for a cover shoot. Thwse are the proportions my celebrity clients use to get red-carpet ready. And they’re the proportions you’re going to use for your own cover shoot. You’ll have an amazing, for-the-ages wedding album, a jealousy-inducing reunion photo, a bathing-beauty shot that your spouse just can’t stop looking at!
Screw the Math
Last time I checked, 40 plus 40 plus 20 equals 100. And 100 percent of anything is all there is, right? But wait! There’s some good news here: I’m going to give you some free calories above and beyond your 40/40/20 allotment. See page 37 for a list of Bob-approved Jumpstart veggies. You’ll see in Part II that you’ll have many of these vegetables daily, but feel free to add as many you want—more than I have called for!—to your meals. In fact, you’d be crazy not to. These are freebie calories—no need to think about your 40/40/20 proportion when you are eating them.
In addition to possibly satisfying your urge to just munch on something, these veggies will ensure you are getting lots of fiber. And more of the right kind of fiber means greater—and healthier—weight loss.
Cut back on calories. Then cut back again.
Brace yourself for the truth: for this diet to work on time (three weeks!), you should eat 800 calories a day if you’re female and 1,200 calories a day if you’re male.
Why did I say brace yourself? Most diet experts and motivators prefer to keep people in the dark about calorie restriction, but they all know the truth. They dress it up in pretty prose but never tell you the truth about the number of calories it takes (or doesn’t take) to meet your goals. I think you deserve my honesty. You’re an adult: you can take the truth in plain terms.
Are you miffed at me for being so hard on you? That’s OK. I can take it. Remember: I spend most of my time convincing ravenously hungry obese people not to eat! And, believe me, they’ve said some choice things to me about that.
But here’s what they usually say about it later: thanks, Bob, I needed that!
They, like you, get it: special circumstances call for aggressive measures. Jumpstart to Skinny is not a permanent regimen. But it is safe, and it will get you into that dress, Speedo, or bikini.
And that, if I remember right, is what this is all about for you. Keep your eyes on the prize.
Now, where do those numbers—800 for women, 1,200 for men—come from? In short, they come from years of experience with clients in your shoes. They come from years of my trying to be accommodating, sensitive, and empathetic when folks said things like, “Can’t you just give me a little more food?” or “Bob, can’t you let me have a tablespoon of peanut butter or something before bed? After all, protein is good for weight loss. Right, Bob?”
Yes, I tried to be compassionate, I tried to be Mr. Sympathy—and my clients didn’t meet their weight-loss goals.
There is just no way around it. You’ve got to ratchet your intake way down if you want a skinnier you.
All that said, it’s not just calories in, calories out that makes for weight loss. It’s also what’s in those calories that counts. That’s why—as you’ll see—I’m so specific about what you should eat and when you should eat it. The 800/1,200 model works. Trust my process, OK?
Or you could trust the science:
What you’ll be embarking on for the next three weeks is known as a very low-calorie diet, or VLCD in nutritionist terms. One conventional whack against very low-calorie diets concerns weight regain—what happens when you go off the aggressive regimen. A nation of diet relapsers tells us there’s no doubt that regain happens. We are not entirely sure why. But we do now know that regain is not an inevitable outcome of VLCDs.
As early as 1995, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine concluded that “just 7 days of caloric restriction can produce dramatic improvements in glycemic control; moreover, VLCDs produce greater improvements in glycemic control than more moderate diets, even if weight losses are the same.” With my added emphasis in italics, that means that better glycemic control means better weight control.
More recently, a giant and ongoing study in the European Union has been trying to connect the dots between success in losing weight and success in maintaining that loss. One of its interim findings, just published as I was writing this, concludes that “LCD (low calorie diet)-induced changes in BMI [and] fasting insulin . . . are inversely associated with weight regain in the 6-month period following weight loss.” In other words: the positive metabolic changes that the low-calorie diet induced made weight regain much less likely.
And another study, from Maastricht University in the Netherlands: “VLCD with active follow-up treatment seems to be one of the better treatment modalities related to long-term weight-maintenance success” (italics mine).
In other words, short-term very low-calorie dieting can produce a whole bunch of positive changes that will keep you from getting fat again. The trial is not over, and the jury is certainly not out. It’s still hearing evidence. But, again, the more I observe my own clients and the more I study, the more convinced I’ve become: in the short run, it’s the way to go. And right this moment, you’re in the short run. Eight hundred calories for women. Twelve hundred for men. Got it?
All of which means: at nine o’clock at night, when you’re dreaming about food and ruminating over this Jumpstart Rule, you’ll hate my guts!
But trust me: when you’re walking down the aisle, you’ll want to kiss me.
Oh yes, brothers and sisters, you will!
Table of Contents
Part I The Jumpstart Rules
Rule 1 Take Control with Proper Proportions-40/40/20 3
Rule 2 Cut Back on Calories. Then Cut Back Again 7
Rule 3 Eat No Complex Carbs After Breakfast 10
Rule 4 Get Rid of Water Weight by Drinking More Water 13
Rule 5 Get Your Electrolytes 17
Rule 6 Do 45 Minutes a Day of Low-Intensity Cardio, Preferably Before Breakfast 21
Rule 7 Five Times a Week, at Any Time of Day, Do 15 to 20 Minutes of My Jumpstart Moves 25
Rule 8 Cut the Salt 29
Rule 9 Take Advantage of the Restorative Power of Daily Fish Oil 32
Rule 10 Fall Back on Veggies! 36
Rule 11 No Fruit During Week 3 39
Rule 12 Lay Off All Booze 42
Rule 13 An Espresso a Day … or Two or Three 45
Part II The Jumpstart Day-By-Day Regimen
Week 1 Menus and Exercise Plan 54
Week 2 Menus and Exercise Plan 61
Week 3 Menus and Exercise Plan 68
Part III The Jumpstart Moves
1 The Basic AMRAP 79
2 The Ball Buster 83
3 The Classic Met-Con 87
4 The Medicine Man 91
5 Fleet Feet 98
6 The Band of Death 98
7 The Body Lift 102
Part IV The Jumpstart Recipes
Week 1 Prepare Ahead and Store 112
Power Breakfasts 119
Lean Lunches 126
Thinner Dinners 133
Week 2 Prepare Ahead and Store 140
Power Breakfasts 148
Lean Lunches 155
Thinner Dinners 162
Week 3 Prepare Ahead and Store 170
Power Breakfasts 175
Lean Lunches 182
Thinner Dinners 189
The End? Transitioning to the Skinny Rules 197
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a short read and a little too simple. I like his stance on quick weight loss and have adopted his eating plan and some of his routines into my own - hopefully I will be successful. But, it's way too 'prescribed' for me and some of the exercise moves require more fitness advancement. There is a diet plan but the diet is made up of HIS recipes; of course, one can change up the menu for another one of HIS dishes if needed. For me, aside from the calorie requirements, I would have liked to see the amount of carbs and protein grams required - not just percentages with a caveat: don't worry just follow MY meal plan (yuck).
Did the 3 week plan and dropped 14 pounds!!! It is very strick, but well worth it and truely not that bad. The food is good and honestly I wasn't hungry until it was time for my next meal. But that is exactly the time I should be hungry right?? I have been off the diet for 3 weeks now but have kept up with the excerise and the 40/40/20. The weight is still coming off!!! Could not reccommend enough. It is a great way to learn how to eat properly and get on an excerise program.
I Have been trying to lose weight for years. I even was going to a "Diet Dr." and was on diet pills to drop the weight, but no luck. Then I happened upon Bob Harpers book. The plan looked strict but I figured I could do anything for 20 days so I tried it. All I can say is Bob Harper is a genius! I followed the plan for the prescribed amount of time and then transitioned into The Skinny Rules. In 3 months I have lost 31 pounds and feel great! It is not really a diet but a new better way of eating!
I love Bob, but I don't love this book. Sorry. I'd recommend the Hungry Chick Dieting Solution instead. I have already lost 11 pounds using it and I couldn't be more than happier with the results.
Mr. Harper is trying to give the dieter a balance of protein to obtain a fullness and keep from those snack attacks. His recipes are mostly tasty although I did find some not to my palate. I just substitutesd something I had a few days ago. I have only lost a few lbs as I have RA and am unable to do floor exercises. I do a lot of walking. The recipes are healthy with large amounts of kale, spinach and leafy greens. I do not like ground turkey and there are many warnings about samomella warnings by CR so I won't buy it again. Aside from healthier eating, I think the mediteranian diet is much bettter and just as healthy.
Fantastic read! Easy to follow step by step workouts and wonderful healthy recipes. I highly recommend this book. Bob Harper is truly gifted, he writes as if he knows me. Every muscle is sore and my weight is dropping and I'm only on week two!
This is really turning out to be a quick read, which helps when you want to execute his plan. I am almost done with the 13 rules and then that will allow me to get started on the three week plan. I can't wait. I recommend the book to anyone that needs motivation to get started on a healthier you.
Don't force yourself not to eat, Eat healthy foods or snacks If you eat alot one day just try to Exercise to burn the extra carbs and fat I hope helped- A nice person
I loved this plan...getting ready for a beach vacation on week 2 and lost 5 pounds already. The detailed menus are so helpful and yummy. Full all the time and no cravings! When I come back go to the Skinny rules diet!!
Be prepared to eat a LOT of spinach and a bajillion egg whites. There's spinach on the menu every day, and it seems like it's three times a day. I don't really like spinach, so this fact has really stood out for me. Egg whites are an almost every day item. There is a lot of cooking to be done. The recipes are all single-serving, which works for me, but might be hard for someone who has to cook for others, as well. I'm a vegetarian who will occasionally eat fish, but there are no vegetarian adaptations for the recipes, so I'm winging it in that regard and I have no idea how that may be affecting the pre-calculated nutrient balance. That being said, the recipes are not difficult to prepare; they just lack variety (chicken, anyone?). The peanut butter and jelly oatmeal and the fish with tropical salsa are delicious. This plan requires exercise first thing in the morning (before eating anything). Between that and the cooking, I'm having to get up before dawn to get in the walking and the hot breakfast and still get to work on time. You will need to plan ahead on several fronts if you follow this plan. I'm about 11 days into the 3-week plan, and so far, I've lost 7 pounds, but man, I am so tired. I lost five pounds in the first five days, gained two back immediately, and then lost nothing more until day 11, when another two pounds registered. I'm curious to see if I'll lose anything more before the end of the three weeks. The plan is OK, it seems to work, and it's important to keep in mind that this is not intended to be a lifelong plan, but a jumpstart for when you're in a hurry to drop a few pounds.
I am a huge fan of Bob Harper, but this book really disappointed me. In his attempt to give a basic understanding of simple and complex carbs to the readers, he gives some rather misleading information. He says that simple carbs are "good" because they are found in fruits in vegetables, however, simple carbs are also found in table sugar, candy, soda and gum. He also advises staying away from complex carbs, which he states are in processed starchy foods. That may be true but complex carbs are also found in whole grain foods, oats, and some vegetables. Bob also promotes drinking a lot of water, but too much water can be very dangerous, you can dilute your electrolytes. As far as electrolytes go, some electrolyte levels in your body are very sensitive and too much or too little of any electrolyte can cause very serious problems such as heart problems. Bob recommends electrolyte replacements, but I think that is something that should be determined by a doctor, especially if somebody is on any type of prescribed medication. Bob should just stick with the simple message of "eat less and exercise more."