Days dragged on. Debbie Hoffman ate healthier meals with no results. Browsing the internet for help, she saw only the same-old plans. They’ve all stopped working for me, she thought. In college, she’d gained and crashed off 50 pounds. The pattern then repeated over and over, with each ride on the diet roller coaster less effective than the last. All the while, her cravings for pizza, subs and sweets grew stronger. By Debbie’s third pregnancy, she gained 100 pounds and felt the first twinges in her joints. As the twinges became excruciating, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and a condition called scleroderma. Heavy-duty meds, cortisol shots, and surgeries had kept it mostly in check —until now thanks to a simple probiotic diet plan.
“Hi, Mom,” said Debbie’s daughter Sarah, who’d stopped by to check on her. Glancing at her mom’s computer, she asked, “Are you starting a diet?” Debbie shrugged.
“Well, I’m starting one,” said Sarah. “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” She began describing a challenge she’d heard about with healthy meals and probiotic supplements. It was endorsed by famous athletes. I hope she’s not wasting too much money, thought Debbie.
Fast-forward three months: Sarah had lost 50 pounds. “Do you want to try it, Mom?” Sarah asked. Debbie looked at her glowing daughter. She had never wanted to try a diet more…
A Little Something New
Reading the guidelines, Debbie learned she’d eat five times a day, mostly protein and veggies with some fruit and healthy fat. To boost the effect of probiotics on the regimen, she could add a fiber supplement or get a ‘prebiotic’ starch from options like beans or potatoes. Sarah gave her a sample menu. I’ ll follow it exactly so there’s less to figure out, she thought. “Prep as much in advance as you can. Then healthy meals are easy to throw together,” Sarah suggested. So Debbie got a week’s worth of veggies and chicken ready.
The next day, Debbie dug into simple fare: eggs, an apple with nut butter, chicken-topped salad, hummus, a stir-fry. She took her supplements, including vitamins and a probiotic. She’d eaten similar meals on other plans, but the probiotic was new. “I thought they were just for bloat,” she said to Sarah after several days. “But taking them makes me feel so good!” Debbie had more energy and less hunger than on any other diet. “Even my pain is better,” she marveled. Down a quick 11 pounds, she realized: It’s working!
Joyful Days Ahead
Debbie’s confidence grew with each meal she made, from trendy burrito bowls to old-fashioned roast dinners. Her husband and son-in-law started the program, and it put a huge smile on her face as they all got healthier together.
Down about 45 pounds, she went to buy a dress for a pal’s wedding, and found she was suddenly too small for plus sizes. “I wore a size 14 and got so many compliments,” she says. “It was a joyful day!”
Did Debbie face setbacks? Like many of us, she gained early in the pandemic. At first panicked, she shares, “I heard people talking about a new kind of probiotic that led to increased compounds to turbocharge them. She also began walking weight loss.” Debbie added “tri-biotics” to her regimen — a powder to mix into drinks or food. The powder contained probiotics and special daily. “I lost 16 pounds very quickly.” She turned her backslide around and continued toward her goal.
Today, Debbie is down 101 pounds from her all-time high. She still takes her special probiotic (more in box at right), and finds it a cinch to make healthy choices. “I eat ‘clean’ about 80 percent of the time, then give myself wiggle room for treats. My weight stays down and my joints are great. No more pain medication,” says Debbie, now 67, whose family lost a combined 447 pounds. “I’ve gone zip-lining and horseback riding. I’ve gotten my quality of life back. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
A Probiotic Diet Plan for Turbocharged Fat Burning
To get slim like Debbie, start with a daily dose of probiotics from yogurt or a supplement. Then go for lean protein and unlimited non-starchy veggies (especially prebiotic-rich asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, greens, and onions) at three meals and two small snacks a day; also add two servings of fiber-rich fruit, a little healthy fat and two optional servings of prebiotic-rich starch (beans, potatoes, and quinoa) daily.
BREAKFAST: Eggs, any style, with veggies (such as onions and peppers), plus an optional serving of plain yogurt with berries.
LUNCH: Top a large mixed veggie salad with cooked chicken, beans, or quinoa and healthy dressing.
DINNER: Enjoy baked salmon, a side of asparagus, and cauliflower or potato mashed with olive oil and coconut milk.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.