Sharing my conversation with Ali Vincent (season 5 Biggest Loser). Hear what she has to say, it’s infectious!

Nadia Giordana, left; Ali Vincent, right

On my latest venture, an Internet radio show titled Interviews with extraordinary Women, I recently had a terrific conversation with Ali Vincent, the first female Biggest Loser. Click on the image to listen to what Ali has to say about how her life has changed since losing 112 pounds and winning the title, what she does to maintain her new healthier body, and what tips she has for the rest of us.

Harvard validates my point

By Nadia Giordana

A few months ago I published an excerpt from Thinking Skinny and made it widely available. The article drew questions and even some criticism from naysayers and doubters. It is titled “The 2,000 Calorie Per Day Misconception: How it Messes Up Your Diet, and How To Calculate What Your True Calorie Intake Should Be.” You can follow the link (or scroll down this page) to read it in its entirety.

Today I read the following from Harvard Health Publications (Harvard Medical School):

“…Weight management. Prevention is the best policy. Many of us could avoid weight gain in the first place by shaving 50–100 calories from our diets. The guidelines note that although the 2,000-calorie-per-day diet remains the reference diet, it’s not the recommended one. Many Americans should be eating far fewer calories than that...”  Click Here to read the complete article. It is excellent and illustrates my point perfectly.

So NOW will you belive me? This is essential information if you want your diet to succeed. If you are serious about losing weight, go back and read my article and the more recent, Harvard Publications piece.

Going commando In the kitchen

Nadia Giordana, Basic PLUS Author
Going commando: the practice of going without underwear under one’s outer clothing.” –Wikipedia definition

While the phrase, “going commando” sweeps American culture today, its origins remain uncertain. Nevertheless, it consistently elicits a knee-jerk, “heads up” reaction whenever it is used. As you can see, it works—right now I have your full attention, but if you think I am writing today about cooking or eating food while not wearing underwear, I’m sorry to disappoint you—I am not. That would be gross.

What I’m suggesting you do, is eliminate the habit of dressing your foods with sauces and condiments. They are high in fats and/or sugars, add nothing other than unnecessary calories and they “cover up the good stuff” on your plate or in a sandwich. One tablespoon of butter will add an extra 100 calories and the average salad dressing comes close to that number. A tablespoon is small and one is never enough. Two is better, right?  By making these simple changes over the course of an average day, you can save 500 to 800 calories without affecting the volume of real food you can eat. 500 fewer calories per day means 3500 per week = one pound lost. Walking at a pace of 3 mph, it will take an average person a little over 9 hours on a treadmill to burn that same 3500 calories. Which would you rather do?

Fruits are complete foods just as they are, so eat them like that, and eat your vegetables lightly steamed. If you must season your vegetables, use a sprinkling of herbs. Once you become accustomed to the true tastes of your foods, and train your mind to like those tastes—and you can train your mind to do that, you will look forward to eating them in their natural state. Peel a banana or an orange and eat it. Grab an apple. But don’t mess with cutting, chopping, slicing, dicing, tossing and overdressing until you’ve turned your fresh produce into a high calorie dish. I agree that it’s tough to eat a salad without some dressing, but you can cut it (half water, half dressing) and serve it on the side.

Few people can make such sweeping changes overnight, so I suggest you start out easy. Dedicate two days a week to eating in this manner. If that’s all you ever do, and you do it consistently, over time you will lose weight.

So think about going au naturale with your fruits and vegetables, forgo the butter on your morning whole grain toast, don’t sprinkle sugar on your breakfast granola, drink your coffee black, and drink water instead of carbonated beverages. It’s easier than you THINK.

Nadia Giordana

Laurie Beebe writes foreword to Thinking Skinny

Foreword to Thinking Skinny by nationally known speaker and registered dietician, Laurie Beebe:

“Anyone who has ever tried losing weight knows how difficult and frustrating it can be. Anyone who has successfully lost weight and kept if off knows what it really takes. In Thinking Skinny, Nadia takes us through her personal journey and shows us what worked for her.

This is not another diet book—it is a perspective on weight loss from a person who has accomplished what she set out to do, and more! Within these pages you will find the keys to long-term weight loss. Nadia goes beyond healthy eating and physical activity to the deeper aspects that work to achieve success in any area of life—goal setting, self-monitoring, and most of all, faith and belief in one’s self.

She addresses these important components that are missing from all the typical “quick weight loss” diet plans, as she tells her story of struggle and triumph. The reactions of friends and relatives; the discovery of a new, thinner person within: these are all parts of the episode we become privy to that are seldom shared.

In this book you will find accurate nutritional facts, tips to become more active, delicious recipes, and the personal story of a woman who lost weight by “thinking skinny.” Additionally you will discover inspiration to follow the path that worked for Nadia, or perhaps choose among her strategies to design your own blueprint for weight loss success.”

Laurie Beebe, MS, RD, LD Laurie is a practicing diet coach, a registered dietitian certified in adult weight management, a former university nutrition professor, a mentor, and a nationally known speaker on the topic of weight loss. Please visit her website:

The 2,000 calorie per day misconception for women and how it messes up your diet

THE 2,000 CALORIE PER DAY MISCONCEPTION FOR WOMEN: How It Messes Up Your Diet, And How To Calculate What Your True Calorie Intake Should Be

For the purpose of this argument, I’m referring to women and the USDA recommended calorie guidelines. We tend to forget that they are simply guidelines. Other factors that can affect your daily calorie needs are age, gender, and activity level. You can find dozens of websites that will help you zero in on your specific calorie needs but I’ve included a workable outline here for women using myself as an example.

I am a petite, mature woman, 5′ 2” tall with small bones. My calorie requirements are lower than those of a younger, taller woman with, let’s say a medium to large frame, yet we seem to focus on that nebulous number, 2,000 calories across the board for  all women (2,500 for men).

Question: I know I’ve been eating around 2,000 calories a day so why is it that I’ve gained so much weight?

Answer: If you continue to eat 2,000 calories per day with your sedentary lifestyle, you will soon weigh 200 pounds, I can guarantee it. You are taking in more calories than you are burning each day.

Here is a formula to calculate what your calorie intake should be:

  • If you are sedentary: you work a desk job and get little or no additional exercise—multiply your desired weight (the weight you want to be) times the number 10. This will give you the number of calories you need each day to maintain that goal weight once it is achieved. Since you currently weigh more than that, eating only the number of calories needed to maintain a lower weight will, steadfastly result in a loss of weight, until balance is achieved.
  • If you are lightly active: you get some exercise only 1-3 days per week and it’s not strenuous—multiply your desired weight by 13.
  • If you are moderately active: you get some exercise on weekends or about 10-15 (up to 30) minutes 3-5 days a week—multiply your desired weight times the number 15.
  • If you get vigorous exercise regularly: you have a physically demanding job or you exercise 60 minutes 5-7 days a week—multiply your desired weight times 17.
  • The highest level of fitness activity, that of an experienced athlete, uses a multiplication of your desired weight times 19.

The preceding information is a guideline only, and for general purposes, one of the first four levels will apply to almost anyone reading this book.

The formula works like this:

Desired weight, 150 pounds

Sedentary: 150 x 10 = 1,500 cal/day

Light activity: 150 x 13 = 1,950 cal/day

Moderately active: 150 x 15 = 2,250 cal/day

Vigorous exercise: 150 x 17 = 2,550 cal/day

Athlete: 150 x 19 = 2,850 cal/day

Desired weight, 125 pounds

Sedentary: 125 x 10 = 1,250 cal/day

Light Activity: 125 x 13 = 1,625 cal/day

Moderately active: 125 x 15 = 1,875 cal/day

Vigorous exercise: 125 x 17 = 2,125 cal/day

Athlete: 125 x 19 = 2,375 cal/day

As you can see, a woman of my size cannot eat at a 2,000 calorie per day level without inevitably gaining weight, unless I were to significantly and consistently increase my level of physical activity (something I have done in recent months).

About 1,200 calories is the minimum number per day for the average person to fulfill necessary nutritional needs. True, you can eat less than that for short periods of time and lose weight without harm, but it is also likely to lead to bingeing and other harmful habits. A better way is to find a natural balance you can live with. I have become accustomed to eating a 1,300 to 1,500-calorie-a-day diet, making sure I include foods that satisfy me nutritionally, physically and emotionally. I never feel like I am on a diet.

–Nadia Giordana

Why the Law of Attraction falls short for so many people and why I talk about that in THINKING SKINNY

The Law of Attraction has been making headlines in popular culture recently and it has captured the imaginations of hundreds of thousands of people. You may even have heard some people claim how well it works and others say that for them, it didn’t work very well. A number of reports now say that using the Law of Attraction produces inconsistent results. I’ve heard the same thing from women I’ve met recently, especially when we talked about weight-loss. They tried it and it didn’t work very well. Most said they lost some weight, but nothing significant or permanent.

The LOA is often described this way: All your thoughts, all images in your mind, and all the feelings connected to your thoughts can become part of your living, conscious reality. In other words, everything you have in your life now, has been attracted to you through your mind. Even things you don’t want will manifest themselves if that is how your attention is directed. If you worry about, or fear something in such a way that you place a great deal of mental energy onto it, you may unwittingly bring it into your life.

It’s my personal conviction that the reason for this inconsistency, failure if you will, isn’t because the premise is flawed, but because practitioners of the Law of Attraction are acting as their own agent. That’s not the best way to go about getting what you want.

Taking the statements I just made about the Law of Attraction one step farther for example, if you had legal issues, you wouldn’t try to be your own lawyer would you? Or better, doctor? I can talk about this with a certain authority having been a devotee of new thought pursuits for 25+ years before I eventually read the Bible, found real Truth, and became a Christian. Those early endeavors gave me a point of view not usually found in the average person. I’ve seen it from both sides.

When I decided to use positive thinking techniques in conjunction with my healthy lifestyle changes, I involved the Holy Spirit every step of the way, giving complete control to Him. I wholeheartedly believe this is what made my weight-loss efforts pay off so well, and so consistently. (I lost 88 pounds and nine dress sizes in 14 months.) My success came when I gave up the power to its true source instead of attempting to be my own “mini-god.” I didn’t just lose some weight, in my case the Holy Spirit took it to miracle status.

Excerpted from Chapter Two of  THINKING SKINNY by Nadia Giordana

New England Journal of Medicine releases new study

I could kick myself for falling prey to the ’90’s way of thinking that persons who restricted calorie consumption to lose weight were in a word, anorexic–or on the way to becoming anorexic.  Twenty years after the “diet wars” gained momentum, many medical experts now agree that any diet that is low in calories and saturated fats, focuses on vegetables, fruits and whole grains (complex carbohydrates), and encourages a healthy protein intake is a reasonable choice for individuals planning to lose weight and get healthy. Such a diet, if tailored to an individual’s personal preferences, can become a permanent and easily sustainable lifestyle change.

The February 2009 report from the NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine) titled, Comparison of Weight-loss Diets with Different Compositions of Fat, Protein and Carbohydrates, challenges the notion that calorie counting is superfluous and goes on to reveal that after studying four popular dieting concepts, the amount of weight lost per person studied over two years was about the same regardless of the diet used. It didn’t matter what they ate, it boiled down to calorie consumption. In the study, doctors calculated each participant’s energy needs, and structured a diet for him/her that allowed 750 fewer calories than needed to fuel their daily activities and maintain their current weight. The assigned calorie requirements ranged from 1400 to 2000, with women being on the lower end of this range. (I personally do well on 1200 to 1400 calories per day.) Jennifer Levitz at the Wall Street Journal said this about the newly released study: Calorie Counters Have It Right, Diet Study Says.  To read the full report by the NEJM and decide for yourself,  CLICK HERE.

This study is one of the most important in recent years on the subject and it validates an important component of the method I myself used to lose nearly half my body weight. When you take this knowledge a step farther and factor in the mental and spiritual pieces of the quotient, you will have a cocktail for success that gives you a workable range of diet choices, the “glue” to hold it all together, and the power to supercharge your overall weight loss results. (My personal average was consistently around 2 lbs. per week, which is a lot higher than the individuals noted in the study mentioned above.)

–Nadia Giordana

Is it a binge, a slip, an indulgence, or a treat?

The following definitions should help you determine how your between meal eating habits hold up under scrutiny:

1. A binge can be identified by its trademark consumption of large quantities of food (to the point of feeling over full) in a short period of time. A binge is usually accompanied by a feeling of being out of control and followed by intense guilt.

2. A slip is much less encompassing because it doesn’t involve food in large quantities and is not as out of control. It still fosters a certain amount of guilt and might even be considered an averted or partial binge.

3. With an indulgence, you are in control and have given yourself permission to eat the item in question, thereby nullifying any guilt.

4. A treat or a snack on the other hand, is either planned or anticipated as part of your regular diet.

The diet debates are over

Today, the diet debates are over. We have moved beyond the confusion of the low-fat versus low-carb battles to an expert consensus on what constitutes a healthy diet. Health-care professionals now agree that our focus should be on nutrient-dense, fiber-rich carbohydrates, healthy sources of unsaturated fats, low-fat dairy, and lean sources of protein, and this is reflected in the new USDA food pyramid. More:

Your dreams can make you fat, or skinny


Your dreams can make you fat-or skinny. I’m serious. The manner in which you dream can significantly affect how you feel about yourself and ultimately, your body weight. I’ve been having lucid dreams since the age of seven. (To be a lucid dreamer means to have the ability to be aware of the fact that you are dreaming while the dream is taking place.) Those childhood dreams continued into adulthood and it was in 1986 that I became curious and read several books on the subject. My favorite at the time was “Lucid Dreaming” by Stephen Laberge. I eventually developed a fair amount of control over my dreams, exploring and touching my surroundings, developing a sense of self-awareness in the dream environment and when necessary, changing the tone of a disturbing dream. I discovered that I could with some success, choose the kind of dream I would have on a given night. Sometimes I was completely aware that I was dreaming and at other times it was more of an awareness that I was not helpless-not at the mercy of my dream.

When I was younger, I was always slim in my dreams (the same as I was in real life) but when I began to gain weight, my dream body fluctuated. There was a period of time when I was thin in my nightly dreams, waking in the morning to a heavier reality. From that point on, my dreams were as conflicted as I was. I knew I had a weight problem, and it worried me. I desperately wanted to find a solution but didn’t know where to start. Over time, I lost confidence in myself and my ability to lose the weight. That was when the subconscious belief that I really was fat and that it wasn’t just a temporary condition, won the battle. My dream body was now consistently overweight and my skinny dreams had faded away altogether. After that happened, I rarely had a dream that wasn’t accompanied by a deep sense of self-consciousness, and inadequacy. I didn’t want other dream characters to look at me. Even in my dreaming state, my thoughts would go something like this: “What must they think of me?” Or sometimes, “Do they even see me?” It was as though the fat had shrouded and encapsulated me, obliterating my sense of self. Those feelings of self-consciousness, insecurity, inadequacy and even invisibility, followed me into my waking hours and affected every aspect of my life, keeping me emotionally anchored in an unnecessary body image.

One of the things I did once I made up my mind to lose weight, was to spend a few minutes each night immediately before falling asleep, thinking about the dreams I would have during the night in order to predispose myself to having what I called a “skinny” dream. It didn’t always work, but each time I was successful, and had a dream in which I was thin, that slimmer mental image of myself was reinforced. I focused on how that made me feel, added it to my arsenal of self-images, and gave thanks to God for the dream. Getting my dreaming mind to believe an image of myself that had not yet materialized, was a bit of an effort, but it helped and it is something nearly anyone can master with a little practice.

–Nadia Giordana

It’s not the diet you choose, it’s the method you use

THINKING SKINNY shows you how you can take any healthy weight-loss program and transform it into a supercharged success. If you take your favorite diet plan and add this methodology to your routine, you  will see results more quickly than with diet alone. Pounds will come off, and keeping them off will be “a piece of cake.” (pun intended).

Never let It go again

“I was thin and healthy once and I lost it, let it go without a fight. I fought hard to get it back, and this time I value it more, and I will never let it go again.” –Nadia Giordana

Embody Your Vision

“If you can envision the body you want, you can embody that vision.” –Nadia Giordana

New ways of coping without abusing food

Guest Article by Joanna Painton

When an individual turns to food for comfort and to find a quick fix or sense of relief it begins the cycle of addiction over time. Many people find it offensive to think of food as addiction most individuals equate addiction with drugs and alcohol. This maybe a news flash for many people however, relying on food for the quick instant relief one gets then the guilt and remorse they feel after he or she has finished eating is the same feelings and motivation as an alcoholic and addict. This maybe hard to swallow pardon the pun, yet the truth nevertheless!

Only the individuals truly afflicted with an eating disorder of bingeing or compulsive overeating will relate to this analogy and he or she needs to hear this as a reminder. Food is meant to be an energy source used to fuel the body. The misuse of food is what is being addressed in this article. An individual who is overweight and wants to lose weight can in fact, lose weight by strenuously changing the behavior of foods eaten and exercise, however, how often has that individual gained and lost and repeated this process?

Unfortunately, no one has found another way out of the addiction cycle of food. Many individuals choose to go to an inpatient eating disorder treatment program to deal with the behaviors that have them caught in the addictive cycle. Food is but a symptom the root cause is what is addressed in treatment. The safety and commitment of the individuals on the clinical team allow the individual to bring to the surface what is blocking them from living a successful happy life free from food. 

Learning new ways of finding comfort instead of turning to food is essential to recovery. Some ideas to implement go for a walk, read a book, take a bath, exercise, and journal, listen to music, and take a class. These are just a few ideas to discovering who he or she is and who he or she wants to be is a process. Many individuals find out later in life that the life they had been living was someone else’s and they were able to recreate his or her life.

Joanna works for the Women’s Behavioral Program. She has overcome adversities and shares her hope with anyone she comes in contact with. Joanna is a known published author in the Bariatric and Weight Loss Community, she has spent the last 13 years helping to inspire and motivate people on the value of the body, mind and spirit connection.

Please feel free to contact Joanna at or by e-mail

Slim down, take pictures of your food

I thought this page at THAT’S FIT good enough to provide a link so you can read it too:

Body Mass Index can be an unreliable measurement

Guest article by Laurie Beebe

Simply put, the body mass index measures the mass of your body. It does this with a calculation using your height and your weight; period. This means it does not take into account whether you are old or young, male or female, fit or fat, or whether you have a hormone imbalance. The number calculated after entering your height and weight is used to fit you into a category such as “normal weight”, “overweight”, “underweight”, or obese. But what if you are just “big-boned”? Should you pay attention to what the number says? Should you try to lose weight because your physician recommended you try to get yourself down to the more desirable category on the BMI chart?

Well, here’s the deal: Most of the time, people have a weight they’ve grown comfortable with and they don’t feel the need to fit into someone else’s ideal for their own body weight. But the suggested BMI values are based on health risks. Over years, health professionals and researchers repeatedly find that people who fall within “normal” BMI range (18.5 to 24.9) have fewer health problems. (This would be, as an example, someone who is 5 feet four inches tall and weighs 140 pounds). On the other hand, those who have a BMI below this level or above this level–particularly those who fall in the “obese range” (having a BMI of 30 or greater)–have exponentially more health problems. Health risks include chronic heart disease, hypertension, elevated cholesterol levels, high blood sugar, and joint problems. Even some forms of cancer have been linked to being overweight.

So, if you now trust that the ideal BMI range is truly the healthiest place to be, what about extenuating circumstances that falsely predict an increase in health risk for, say, body builders. People who lift weights and have extra muscle tissue weigh more, but that does not, in fact, put them at the same risk for chronic diseases. This is where BMI can be unreliable–it does not take into account someone who is healthy, but has a bit of excess weight because of more muscle tissue.

If you believe you are “falsely” placed into the “overweight” category and you aren’t really overfat, ask yourself this: “Are you a body builder?” No? How about a football player, wrestler, gymnast or someone who works doing very heavy manual labor and has extremely developed muscles? If the answer to all of these is “no” then you are really kidding yourself by trying to rationalize how overweight you aren’t! If you don’t make a habit of exercising five days a week, or are extremely active for work, then there’s a 95% chance you really are overfat and that’s why your BMI shows on the “overweight” range on the chart. If you show up with a BMI over 30, there’s little to save you except for admitting that you need to lose some weight. An example of someone in this range would be 5 feet 6 inches tall and weigh 190 pounds. There aren’t many healthcare professionals who could say you don’t have a few pounds to lose, no matter how much you believe you’re in “pretty good shape”!

Check out the free plug-in chart below to enter your height and weight and instantly see what your BMI is. Then, if the result is “overweight”, you’ll have to be the judge as to whether you are in fantastic shape (really?) or you actually need to seriously consider losing a few pounds to improve your long-term health.

Visit to find your BMI Find out more about healthy weight loss under the guidance of a registered dietitian at

It happened again

040909nadialuchuckweb1This has happened a number of times over the last year, but each time it does, I can’t help smiling. My husband and I have been visiting my mother-in-law at a nursing home for nearly four years now, and the nurses there are familiar with who we are, but we don’t necessarily see the same gals each time we come. Well, time passed, and yesterday at Mom’s 99th birthday celebration in the TV room, I heard one nurse say, “It’s too bad Nadia isn’t here today”. I turned to her and said, “I’m standing right next to you.” She looked at me in wide-eyed disbelief until she regained her composure. Then we talked, not surprisingly, about how I lost the weight, and my book, THINKING SKINNY, which is close to completion. Photo is of me, my husband Chuck and Lu.

–Nadia Giordana

Low fat or low carb? It may not matter-just follow a reduced calorie diet.

Guest article by Carl Sirecky

Low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets have both sold a lot of diet books. But new research suggests it may not matter whether you reduce fat or carbohydrates.

The important thing may be just to follow a restricted calorie diet. So long as you maintain healthy levels of nutrients and eat heart-healthy foods, the proportions you take in of fat, carbohydrates or protein may matter little.

That was the conclusion suggested by a study announced in February 2009 by the National Institutes of Health. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found similar weight loss after six months and two years among participants following four different diets with different proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrates, but all with reduced calories.

On average, participants lost 13 pounds over six months and maintained a weight loss of nine pounds after two years.

The NIH study follows earlier research that suggests that the restricted calorie diet may also extend life. That’s at least the effect that a restricted calorie diet appears to have had in studies on some animals, according to an article published by the Mayo Clinic in 2007.

A restricted calorie diet that includes all necessary nutrients has been found in studies to extend the lives of flies, worms and rats, according to the report. Studies on animals with longer life spans and humans hadn’t been performed, however, because of the decades those studies would take.

But studies of the restricted calorie diet’s effects on humans for short durations have shown positive changes in blood pressure, blood sugar, body fat percentage, cholesterol, heart rate, and weight.

This all may be good news and bad news for those of us struggling to lose weight. The research about the restricted calorie diet suggests that chasing new diet fads and following complicated regimens may be a waste of effort. But there may be no way around the hard part: To lose weight, you have to eat less.

Carl Sirecky is a professional writer and researcher in Northern California. He struggles to reduce his own calories.

Pizza that won’t wreck your week

icaneatpizzaI’ve dropped 88 pounds, 9 dress sizes and worked too hard to blow it now. I love pizza and I like to have it once a week. Too many ‘diet’ recipes compromise taste for calories and I won’t accept that. Here is my low-fat, delicious, fast, fun and economical solution:



1 10-inch spinach & flour tortilla

½ c. marinara sauce (recipe below)
½ c. shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
½ c. 95% ground lean beef, pre-cooked
1 6 oz. can sliced mushrooms
Hot red pepper flakes (opt.)

Vegetarian? Use sautéed sliced vegetables instead of ground beef.

You will need a 12-inch Teflon frying pan. Make marinara sauce ahead (or use your favorite canned sauce). Have all ingredients chopped or sliced, pre-cooked and ready to go. If you plan to add vegetables like green pepper, broccoli or onion they should be sautéed in advance to al dente.

Stove temp: medium low (on my electric stove that means turning the dial to the #3 mark). Place pan on burner, set temperature and let warm. When your pan is hot, spray a little olive oil or non-stick spray on one side of a tortilla and place in the pan to cook until golden and lightly crisp (roughly 2-3 minutes). Then remove from pan, flip the tortilla, and spray more oil on the opposite side of the tortilla and return it to the skillet to lightly brown and crisp the other side as you immediately begin building your pizza. Spread sauce over the surface of the tortilla. Add mozzarella cheese, cooked ground beef or veggies, and mushrooms. Cover with a lid and cook approximately another 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the bottom is toasted and golden. If your crust is getting too dark, too fast, lift the pan from the burner, adjust the temperature down and resume cooking. When finished, slide your pizza out of the pan onto a cutting surface and cut into 8 skinny wedges, sprinkle with hot peppers (optional) and serve immediately. This pizza is wonderfully crispy and holds its shape—doesn’t droop or hang, making it perfect to use with a warm marinara dipping sauce. Recipe below makes enough sauce for two 10-inch pizzas (or one pizza with dipping sauce).

One pizza equals 4 servings. Serving size, 2 slices, 33 calories per slice. If you eat the whole thing yourself (don’t), you are still at only 524 calories compared to 1100+ in an average 10-inch commercial pizza.


1 15-oz. can tomato puree
1/4 cup water
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
Salt, pepper
Italian seasoning to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)

In a saucepan, bring tomato puree and water to a simmer. Add garlic, shake in Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, all to your own taste. Simmer about 20 minutes on low heat. Use as a pizza sauce, Optional: serve extra sauce on the side and dip you crispy pizza slices. 40 calories per 1/2 cup serving.

Nadia Giordana

Meeting Ali Vincent, the first female Biggest Loser

I am holding a copy of Ali’s book, “Believe It, Be It” as she hold a copy of “Thinking Skinny.”

Ali Vincent, season 5 winner of the Biggest Loser TV program and my “secret buddy” throughout my own weight loss success story, was at the Mall of America today to talk about her new book, Believe it, Be it. I was delighted to talk with her and get a signed copy of her book. I was also pleased to be able to present her with a copy of my book, Thinking Skinny (Ali was surprised and pleased to learn that she played a role in keeping me on track with my weight program in 2007-8 and that I wrote about her in Thinking Skinny.)

While I was there, I was taken aside by the Prevention magazine film crew to talk briefly on camera about how I tracked along with Ali while watching the program, the weight I lost, and how I came to write Thinking Skinny.

Lose an extra pound or more per week

A pedometer is small and easy to wear. It will measure your steps (and open your eyes). Get one and wear it for a week to determine the number of steps you actually take in any given work day. For the average person, about 2,000 steps equal a mile and burns between 100 to 120 calories. Then dust off that treadmill you’ve been hanging laundry on (I know–that’s how mine was used for several years) and start walking an extra 2-3 miles per day; or if weather permits, go for a real walk outdoors. We hear a lot about the recommended 10,000 steps per day and that’s a good rule of thumb to follow. For me, walking a comfortable 2.8 to 3 mph burns 120 calories per mile and I can cover three treadmill miles in the time it takes to watch “The Dr’s” on afternoon TV. Burning off this extra 360 calories per day will help you drop a pound every 10 days. Bump this up to 4 or 5 miles per day and you will be losing an additional pound per week. Combined with the elimination of 500 excess food calories per day (eliminate one unnecessary indulgence, like designer coffee, or a frozen smoothie) and you’re at 2 pounds per week. One pound = 3,500 calories. In order to lose that one pound, You must burn it off through exercise or eat fewer calories each day than your body needs to maintain its present weight. (See “The 2,000 Calorie per Day Misconception” post in this blog).

IMPORTANT: Don’t ignore your mental, spiritual and emotional well-being. Your state of mind must be in the right place if you hope to maintain your focus and make good progress. I was not able to use the treadmill until I had lost 60 pounds because of a leg injury. That’s why I began to use nightly visualization techniques along with a dialogue with the Holy Spirit to speed up my progress and get me to the point where I could add weight-bearing exercise. It made a huge difference in my success. This is what I’m talking about when I say you can supercharge your weight loss program. I cover those techniques, step-by-step in the book, THINKING SKINNY.

 Nadia Giordana

Healthy weight goal

Having a healthy weight goal: I did it and I can’t stop smiling! It’s easier than you THINK. –Nadia Giordana

Determine a healthy weight goal. Women: calculate 100 lbs for your first 5 ft. and 5 lbs for every inch after. Add 10% to this weight to find your maximum (Dr. GJ Hamwi’s commonly used formula).

10 casseroles under 300 calories

 10 casseroles under 300 calories per serving (from I’ve tried several of these, all good. This is the link I use when I’m bringing a hot dish to a Minnesota-style, pot luck occasion. Casserole dishes are always delicious, but notoriously high in fat and calories. This casserole link helps me keep my waistline in check. No, I probably won’t indulge in the luxury of sampling my favorite aunt’s to-die-for specialty when I’m going through the line–I’m on a mission here!