"If I tell you 'Don't think about this,' that's all you can think about."
What if losing weight didn't have to be so negative?
As the editor-in-chief of SELF magazine for more than 10 years, Danziger has seen every fad diet known to woman come across her desk.
Then, five years ago, the triathlete decided to ditch dieting all together and focus on choosing foods that would "pay her back." She wanted to run, swim and bike faster, and she needed the proper fuel to do that.
Danziger started eating superfoods: foods like nuts, berries and whole grains that are full of fiber, protein and important nutrients. In less than six months, she dropped 25 pounds.
It's certainly not a new nutrition concept: Avoid processed foods; eat more vegetables and fruits; replace white bread with wheat. But the idea of focusing on what you should eat, instead of what you can't, could change the way we look at weight loss in America, Danziger says.
"We're going to give you so many choices of what you can eat, you're not thinking about starvation. ... You're thinking about feeding the engine."
Danziger is big on metaphors. As she noshes on almonds in her office, she compares superfoods to premium gas for a car. "They have to do more than supply you with calories."
So what makes a food "super"?
Dr. Steven Pratt coined the term in 2004 with his first book, "SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life."
According to Pratt, a superfood has three qualifications:
- It has to be readily available to the public,
- It has to contain nutrients that are known to enhance longevity,
- And its health benefits have to be backed by peer-reviewed, scientific studies.
What are the superfoods?
Pratt lists salmon, broccoli, spinach, berries and green tea as a few of his favorites. His website, SuperFoodsRx.com, gives more examples:
- Dark Chocolate
- Dried SuperFruits
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Low Fat Yogurt
- Wild Salmon
"These foods were chosen because they contain high concentrations of crucial nutrients, as well as the fact that many of them are low in calories," the website states. "Foods containing these nutrients have been proven to help prevent and, in some cases, reverse the well-known effects of aging, including cardiovascular disease, Type II Diabetes, hypertension and certain cancers."Read more on the next page.