Registered dietitian and certified life coach Karie Cassell offers readers a new perspective on weight loss in her new book The Domino Diet: How to Heal from the Inside Out. She advocates for a more informed perspective on weight loss and overall health that is less focused on calories and dieting and more focused on the big picture of healing yourself on several levels. Rather than succumbing to the effects of yo-yo dieting where you lose a few pounds, then gain it back, then try again, Cassell recommends using her Domino Diet Formula, which helps you adjust several areas of your life. When all those areas are cared for, they will fall into place like a domino effect.
As Karie explains, the reason dieting often doesn’t work is that when we release weight, the subconscious may try to find it again, leading to inevitable plateaus and little success from yo-yo diets. When we trade the yo-yos for dominos, however, we will be far more successful. We will begin healing from the inside out, releasing conditions and diagnoses to enjoy improved health. As Karie reminds us, in as little as 120 days, we can renew at an optimal cellular level. The Domino Diet Formula will allow you to release what ails you to create a newer, healthier you.
The Domino Diet is divided into six sections, each on a specific domino or area that needs adjusting for us to obtain and maintain our body’s proper weight and stay healthy. Those dominos include our thoughts, feelings, and hormones. Karie walks us through exploring all six of the dominos with the end result that when we have them lined up properly, we will achieve freedom-not just freedom from extra pounds, but freedom from many of the distresses that afflict other areas of our lives.
The Domino Diet is far more than just a book about dieting. In fact, Karie is quick to point out the problem with most diets. As a dietitian, she knows it is more reasonable to suggest a range for calorie intake depending on active versus non-active days over a fixed calorie approach. After all, as she points out, we don’t live in a fixed world. Furthermore, we need to reinterpret what the bathroom scale is telling us. Overall, as Karie states, restricted diets are counterproductive to true healing, and “It is time to lose your diet thinking and start your healing thinking.”
One major way to heal is to look at why we eat. If we’re not eating because we’re hungry, chances are we’re engaging in emotional eating. We need to explore the failures, guilt, chaos, and stuck feelings that form our emotional eating patterns. We also need to change how we feel about our bodies. Research shows that 80 percent of women and nearly as many men are unhappy with their bodies. Karie wants us to change our relationship with our bodies by changing our thoughts. She offers positive affirmations throughout the book that we can use to come to appreciate all our bodies do for us while also up leveling the mind where it all begins.
Some of the ways we can achieve weight loss that Karie illustrates really surprised me. One example is her discussion of the importance of breathing. She states “with the combination of deep breathing (for more O2 in and CO2 out) and proper sleep, releasing weight can literally happen in your dreams.” She also recommends we take a look at how and where we eat. Many of us eat while watching the news, which is usually bad news versus “good chews.” That results in a stressful eating environment, and stress adds to weight gain. With action steps guiding you through the book with examples like The Power of the Pause before eating, you will “Rest and Digest” and enjoy food again.
We also need to consider the psychological reasons behind our food choices. We live in a society of abundance, but just a generation or two ago, that was not the case. Our grandparents lived through the Great Depression and World War II food rationing. They didn’t always have enough food, and that led them to easily succumbing to marketing strategies that taught them to buy two for the price of one, basically hoard food, and pass those behaviors on to us. We need to adjust to modern times, letting go of beliefs that we must eat everything on our plate or stock up on food when it’s on sale because there might not be enough later. Perhaps my favorite point in the whole book is when Karie said we need to quit acting like every meal is the “last supper.” It is time to rid yourself of scarcity thinking and embrace abundance, guilt-free!
Another issue I never considered is the effects of menopause and “manopause” on our eating habits. Karie suggests we retrain ourselves not to think of this period as a midlife crisis but a midlife awakening. She says it would be abnormal not to have an awakening at midlife, so we need to celebrate this time, not just eat our way through it.
Other factors that affect our weight include holding grudges. As Karie states, “Forgiveness is like vegetables-like it or not, it is good for you.” Furthermore, we may fear what being the weight we want will be like-in short, we fear success. We create fearful scenarios like thinking we’ll never have fun again if we commit to a health program, and we’ll have to spend a bunch of money we don’t have on new clothes if we lose weight. Karie clarifies that we can still have fun; we just need a little moderation: “It’s not all or nothing. It’s not about Christmas. It’s about Christmas being a month long, camping being a season long, and Fridays for a lifetime.”
Those are just a few highlights from The Domino Diet. Karie writes in a down-to-earth, honest, and fun style that is heavily sprinkled with insight, plus reflections, affirmations, and great quotes that will motivate you to make the changes necessary to experience the full joy of feeling healthy mentally and physically. I hope you will read this book and get your dominos in a row to create results you will love.