John: Isabel, can you tell the readers who are not familiar with your work, a little bit about what you do, your credentials, and so on just to get everyone on the same page?
Isabel: Well, I am a Certified Nutritionist. Before I wrote The Diet Solution, I actually would counsel people one-on-one on their nutrition plan. I would get a wide range of people from the healthiest people that just wanted to lose weight to maybe some people that would be struggling with health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol. I would even get parents who would come in with their children, so it was a good mix of a lot of people.
As far as my education, I studied Exercise Physiology in college at the university. It was the study of the human body, I was pre-med. I fulfilled all the requirements to go to medical school and then once I started working in the medical field doing different internships and involving myself a little more I realized that I actually wanted to help people a little more before they got sick. I wanted to see what they could do so that they didn’t get to a point where they had to go on cholesterol medication and things like that.
That’s really why I pursued the nutrition field and the exercise field because I really wanted to be able to help people before they got to that point and I’ve just loved my career ever since.
John: That’s actually one of the questions that I wanted to ask because I noticed that The Diet Solution Program, one of the things that differentiated from other diets is that other diets seemed to be focused only on weight loss, while The Diet Solution Program seems more like a wellness program or sort of a health program.
What do you feel about the connection of eating just for health and losing weight?
Isabel: That’s a great question. They are actually linked and if you get your body to a healthy point, it will actually naturally drop off the excess fat that you have on your body because it’s then functioning at optimum. So what I say to people is, as much as they don’t like the fat that’s on their body, their body actually hates that fat more because it’s causing disease in the body and it is causing these conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Your body would like to release that fat and it actually wants to do that. If you feed it the right foods and get your body to a point where it’s healthy, your body then has the ability to burn the fat off and you’re happy, your body is happy, your organs are happy, and people get both things.
There are a lot of diets out there that focus to lose weight, but they use all kinds of unhealthy measures in order to get there and then people end up feeling fatigued. They end up having more medical conditions than they did when they started and if you don’t feel good, it doesn’t matter how thin you are.
Basically, what I teach people is a way that is easy to live with. You can eat the way The Diet Solution teaches for the rest of your life and feel satisfied with the foods you’re eating, feel good everyday, and energized everyday. It’s a realistic way of life and it’s a healthy way of life.
John: So it’s sort of a lifetime program?
Isabel: It really is. I lost my weight over 10 years ago and it’s still how I eat every single day. I most definitely am not on a diet; it’s just real good nutritious food and that’s how we eat every single day and I enjoy everything that I eat.
John: That’s great. In the beginning of your program you talk about a person’s metabolism type and you provide a test to determine each person’s metabolism type. Why is that important and how does that work into the process?
Isabel: That’s actually vital for someone to be able to lose weight, and it’s the exact reason why someone can go on a specific type of diet and have a lot of success and than someone else does the exact same diet with the exact same food and they lose no weight or maybe even gain weight because each one of our metabolism types is so unique and needs different types of foods. We all need the same category or food, but the specifics; that’s what metabolism types helps people determine, really the specifics.
For example, some people’s metabolism functions better on a higher protein, higher fat type meal plan. I’m not talking about an Atkins Diet where you’re just eating creams and cheeses in the first week; I’m just talking about the focus is a little bit more on things like chicken drumsticks instead of chicken legs. That’s a little higher in protein than other foods, but it’s still a very healthy food and some peoples’ body will respond to those foods better than others.
Then there are other people, who are not protein types, but they’re carb types, or they’re mixed types and they need more carbohydrates. By carbohydrates, I don’t mean white bagels, donuts, and things like that; I’m talking about fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains like oatmeal and rice.
The steps in the book are so great because it’s easy. In fact, there are only 10 fast questions. It’s easy and it’s really eye opening for a lot of people. They’re like, “Wow, this is why the last diet I did didn’t work because I wasn’t eating for my metabolism type.”
John: Would you say that’s one of the reasons why the formal statistics state that, “Over 90 percent of people fail to lose weight permanently with diets?” Is that one of the main reasons, because people don’t know about that?
Isabel: I would say that’s definitely one of the main reasons because everyone is trying to do the same thing and everyone is trying to eat the same “diet things” and follow the same diet plan, but it can’t realistically work for everyone.
Also what happens is if you’re eating foods that are not right for your metabolism type you’re not going to feel good during the day. Not only are you not going to lose weight, you’re just not going to feel energized and anyone who has been on a diet before knows if you don’t feel good you’re not going to stick to it. It’s just too hard.
Life is hard enough that the last thing you need is to not feel well during the workday or whatever you have to do. That’s why most either fail on a diet or are not able to stick with them for a long term.
John: I see. But there are foods that, let’s say, all of us or nearly all of us should avoid eating while on a diet. Can you give us an example of, let’s say, three foods that people should not eat while on a diet?
Isabel: Well, instead of giving you specific foods, I’ll give a couple of chemicals that if you can just remember these, that will give you the answer to whether a food is something you should eat or not.
Number one is artificial sweeteners and things like saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose.
Here in the US, we know that Sweet’N Low, Equal, and Splenda; those should definitely be avoided. Those are toxic to the body and actually will cause people to gain more weight than not lose weight. That’s a very big misconception. People think that they’re Diet Coke is better for them than the regular Coke. I’m not saying regular Coke is better, or I should say soda in general, but these artificial sweeteners overwhelm the body with toxic chemicals and then the body is not able to lose weight.
Another one that’s very similar is high fructose syrup and all of these processed corn syrup products. You will really find it in a lot of sugary type foods, and unfortunately, in a lot of foods that are promoted for children, which is very unfortunate that we’re giving that to our children.
Then, third, hydrogenated oil. Again, it’s not a healthy fat for the body. The body just looks at it and just stores it right as fat in the body, so if you’re trying to get rid of a lot of excess fat off your body stay away from artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils.
John: You talk about artificial sweeteners and it can prove to be quite a shocker to some people because this is what people believe is healthier for them and will help them to actually lose weight, so they’re replacing sugar with things that you say are even worse. Is that the case?
Isabel: Yes, that is definitely the case and then they wonder why they’ve done this transition and they’re still not able to lose weight. I’ve had people come into my office and the only thing I change in their eating is take away their diet soft drinks and replace it with water and they’ve lost 10 pounds in 2-3 weeks just doing that alone and not changing anything else, which is really a true testament to the affects of artificial sweeteners on the body.
John: I see. Well, you say that these foods are toxic and it brings me to my next question because as we talk, The Diet Solution Program is more than just a fat loss program, it’s sort of a health program.
So what are some of the benefits that a person can have by using your program?
Isabel: Well, one of the best benefits is the stabilization in their blood sugar levels. Now when people hear blood sugar, they automatically think diabetes, but really your blood sugar affects more than whether or not you’re going to get Type 2 diabetes. I affects whether or not you’re making yourself more susceptible to heart disease, to higher cholesterol because regulating your blood sugar is so vital for the body in its everyday function.
Now the other thing that it does is it helps you to feel satisfied with your food during the day and not spending the whole day hungry. There’s nothing worse than being hungry, and not having that fatigue that most people feel all day long. Now I know a lot of people maybe they work too much or they don’t sleep enough, so that really contributes to fatigue, but what you eat can definitely help.
I think about, for me, as a new mom. New moms really we kind of survive on lack of sleep and I think the way that I eat has really helped me to continue to feel good, sleep or no sleep. What The Diet Solution Program teaches people to do is to eat food in a certain way so that they are able to keep their blood sugars stable all throughout the day.
That’s another thing is they’re like, “If I would have just made the combinations of food this way, this works,” as opposed to before eating foods not in their combination. That’s where you get the hunger, the diabetes, and the fatigue. That’s really what I strive to teach people about blood sugar controls.
John: How does exercise fit in with your program?
Isabel: Well, I encourage everyone to move their body; to find an activity that they enjoy and engage. I call it ‘activity’ because sometimes when I use the word ‘exercise’ or ‘workout’ people think I’m sending them to the gym. Although, the gym is absolutely great, there are so many things that people can do to move their body.
You can go swimming, you can go walking. Your body was designed to move and if you think about our ancestors who worked on the farm all day, they walked to work… Our bodies were designed to move, and unfortunately, people sit in their chairs all day. That is a crucial part of being healthy, keep your muscles healthy, and keeping your heart healthy. Your heart is a muscle.
What I will say is that you cannot exercise away bad nutrition, you just can’t do it. If you’re not eating well it doesn’t matter how much you’re exercising, you’re not going to get the results that you’re looking for. Really, the number one priority needs to be the nutrition and then second, whatever you choose to do for your exercise.
John: Okay, this brings me to my last question: Over the past year The Diet Solution Program has become an international success; I’ve been reading more and more about it.
How does it feel to have helped so many thousands of people around the world to improve their life?
Isabel: This is a nice question, thank you. You know what, I wake up each morning and I am so thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to do this.
The only reason why I wrote the Diet Solution Program and did it was because this information saved my mother’s life. If anyone reasons my story they will know that my mother was a Type 2 diabetic and her kidneys failed. She was able to get a kidney since and only literally saved her life.
I made it my goal to get this information out to as many people as I could all over the world because I don’t want anyone else to have to suffer what she went through. I also had my own weight challenges; I was 30 pounds overweight for a really long time. Until I got my hands on this information, put it together and changed my life – life is so different now. I’m more confident. Each day I think it helps me to be a better more, a better wife because I feel good. It’s just been an amazing experience since the beginning.
John: Thank you Isabel for taking the time for this interview.