|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
How Adam Lost 35 Lbs. and Got Healthy
Many things cause people to make a radical change--a new job, marriage or moving to a new city just to name a few. But for O's creative director Adam Glassman it was a yearly physical with his doctor and the discovery of high blood pressure that caused him to re-evaluate his relationship with food. A self-described skinny kid, he says, "I never had to diet in my entire life."
After doing a search online, he found one major cause of high blood pressure was salt. He didn't often add it to meals, but he found it was in everything--especially processed and canned foods. (And the heavy, rich business dinners and fast food he ate during late nights at the office didn't help either). In addition to eliminating sodium from his diet, he put his gym membership to use, doing 45-minute cardio sessions every morning while he caught up on the news. "The first 45 days are the toughest, but it took me that long to break bad habits," says Adam. He quickly noticed that he didn't just lose weight and lower his blood pressure, but he had more energy, his mood and skin improved, and he slept better. Compliments didn't hurt either. "Every person told me I looked younger," he says, "I never realized that I had gotten big or looked like a hag."
It wasn't until a visit to dermatologist David Colbert, M.D., that Adam found a more detailed regimen for him to follow in the doctor's book, The High School Reunion Diet. He cut out red meat, coffee, white foods (like bread and pasta), alcohol, and soda and replaced with healthier options, reminding him that dieting doesn't mean you have to feel deprived or unsatisfied. After sticking to Colbert's plan for three months, he started to slowly integrate things back into his life--like the occasional glass of champagne at a party--but found he no longer had the same cravings. "My palate had completely changed," he says.
6 Things He's Learned:
Start cooking. Instead of ordering in, take control of what you put in your body. You don't have to be a chef or have loads of time, he says. Keep meals simple: grill chicken or fish, increase your veggie and fruit intake, and be aware of your portions. "Nothing on your plate should be bigger than your fist," he says.
Set a grocery shopping schedule. Adam goes twice a week so that his pantry is stocked and he's not tempted to run to the nearest fast food joint.
Snack often. He likes almonds, cashews, blueberries and apples to curb feelings of hunger and prevent overeating. And while testing cupcakes and sweets for the magazine can be tempting, he resists the urge to indulge every time food lands on his desk. Plus, he passes on hors d'oeuvres served at parties.
Invest in simple appliances. Adam bought a garlic press, a microplane grater, good knives, a set of pots and pans, and a George Foremean Electric Grill. "Four minutes and dinner is done," he says, "And it's easy to clean."
Be creative. Adam loves sushi, but soy sauce is loaded with sodium. Instead of skipping one of his favorite meals, he squeezes fresh lemon juice over top and adds wasabi instead. He also found a great recipe for healthy guacamole and salt-free Bearitos Tortilla Chips for dipping. For dessert, he chooses frozen grapes over ice cream.
Keep a journal. To monitor his blood pressure, he bought an at-home blood pressure cuff from the drugstore and jots down his reading once a week to keep himself on track.
The One Thing He Misses Most:
Tequila. Before he went cold turkey, Adam says, "I would have it on the rocks with fresh lime juice every night after work, but I don't even think about it anymore."
Adam's Must-Have Shopping List
Adam's "Bible," The High School Reunion Diet:
7 rules for wearing white right
What to put on if you've gained or lost weight
The new summer shapewear
Before photo, photographer: George Burns
After photo, photographer: Greg Kessler
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.