Dieting is hard enough, but when your whole job and public persona is built around high-calorie comfort food, it can feel almost impossible! Yet when Paula Deen was confronted with the stark reality that she had type 2 diabetes — often the result of an unhealthy diet — she knew deep down she had to make a change.
And yet…”Honey, I was in denial — for a couple of years,” confesses the foodie, explaining that her half-hearted effort to revamp her eating didn’t make any real progress — and her doctor was not happy. It was her physician’s no-nonsense colding that finally snapped her into reality.
“I went into my kitchen and I threw every white food out…except for cauliflower,” she says, “Cauliflower became my very good friend.”
Eat Well, Feel Good
Determined to get her health back on track, Paula, 71, spent just four months focusing on sticking to a keto-type diet, which focuses on high-protein, low-carb meals. Think: bacon cheeseburgers without the bun and fiber-rich veggie like kale, spinach and — yep, her favorite — cauliflower. And not only did she cut out the obvious culprits, like her beloved butter-laden desserts, she also took a hard look at other sneak sugar traps.
“I was drinking smoothies for breakfast; but one that’s all fruit will immediately turn to sugar, so I’ve backed off those.” The result? A whopping 40 pounds weight loss in only four months!
“Putting my fork down and having a conversation has been a huge help,” she says, “because it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you’re full.”
But oftentimes, Paula’s sweet tooth just can’t be ignored! So rather than slicing up a piece of cake, she reaches a See’s Lollypop.
“They’re incredible,” she says. “Having that sweet for 10 minutes in your mouth will take care of your craving. Butterscotch is the best.”
Now the TV star and famed restaurateur is filled with energy and wants to lose another 15 pounds, though she isn’t going to extremes.
“It’s about moderation. I just needed to learn to eat a normal portion sizes and not overindulge,” says Paula.
“I want to be here for my grandchildren. I think about them every day. My daddy was dead at 40. My mother was dead at 44. And look — I’m still here! Waking up every morning is very exciting for me to see what the day is going to bring.”