Body Confidence - Are You Too Tired
to Have Confidence?

by Catherine Pratt


Do you find that you’re tired all the time and you just don’t have the energy to be confident? Ever wonder if something is wrong with you that you feel so drained all the time?

Maybe it’s what you're eating. What's right, what's wrong though? We’re bombarded every day by fad diets, low fat diets, the Atkins diet all telling us what to eat. It’s hard to know what the truth really is. What is a good diet anyway? I’ve been following a book called, "The Schwarzbein Principle" for about the past four years and it has provided a lot of answers for me.

It's written by an endocrinologist (endocrinology is the study of the glands and hormones of the body and their related disorders) named Diana Schwarzbein and as she explains it, this isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle in order to be healthy, have energy, and be at your ideal weight.

The basic premise behind this book is that she wants you to be able to avoid eating processed sugar and caffeine. Something, we know we should do anyway. The cool thing is she explains why it can be so hard to accomplish something so simple. It has nothing to do with the amount of willpower we have or don’t have. She helps you through the process of weaning yourself off sugar and to understand what your body is going through. She also explains why sometimes you can actually gain a little weight when you start on the road to being healthy. It’s normal, it’s expected, and once you get over the first part, the weight will come off.

I found that I lost a lot of weight really easily without even exercising once I got to the point where I could completely avoid sugar. It took me about 6 months to get to that point though and I never thought of myself as addicted to sugar. I did discover that I was eating a lot of hidden sugar.

I’ve been off and on this plan for over 4 years now. I know I feel a lot better when I’m following it and it has also been a huge help in handling my SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which used to almost stop me completely in the winter.

Of course there’s pros and cons to everything and here’s what I’ve found:

Good Things About The Schwarzbein Principle

  • You just feel better on it
    You’ll find you’re calmer, you sleep better, you have more energy, and you think more clearly.

  • You start to feel better right away
    Even if you just change parts of your diet like your breakfast. Once I started eating her recommended breakfast, I didn't run into the situation of being unbearably hungry within a couple of hours of eating breakfast.

  • Previous “bad foods” are now good
    Avocados, butter, eggs, nuts, sour cream are all recommended foods.  She explains why “low fat” diets don’t work and why you need healthy fats in your diet.

  • “Too few carbs are as bad as too many carbs”
    Unlike diets like the Atkins Diet, she explains why it's actually dangerous not to eat enough carbs.  

  • No calorie counting
    The plan here is to make wise choices about what you put in your mouth not track how much you eat.

  • Easy to follow
    It makes sense and it’s easy to follow once you get the hang of knowing what has sugar in it and what doesn’t.  

  • Never hungry
    I find that I’m less hungry now that I eat properly.  I used to feel like I was starving all the time.

Bad Things About The Schwarzbein Principle

  • Not a quick fix
    If you’re looking to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, this book is not for you.  Her key idea here is that you need to get healthy first before you can lose the weight.  She also says, you didn’t get in the shape you’re in overnight so why do you think you can fix it in one day.  It's a slow process to get yourself off sugar but also to heal your adrenals and your insulin resistance if that's an issue for you.

  • No Pasta
    Pasta causes your insulin levels to rise too fast and then crash which is why she does not recommend that you eat pasta.

    This one was hard for me to give up because I LOVE pasta.  I used to basically live on it.  Almost every meal included pasta.  I think giving up this one food made one of the biggest differences for me though.  Not only did it help a lot with dealing with SAD, I found I could think better.  Before I was always struggling to think.  There was "noise" in my head all the time.  Hard to explain what I mean by that but it was hard to think and I would get a lot of headaches.  Once I gave up pasta, I found I was calmer and could think much easier.  I wasn't fighting myself just to make a complete thought.  That in itself was life altering for me.

    an alternative to regular pasta can be organic, rice pasta like Tinyada Pasta. It's good.  It tastes just like regular pasta and it's not mushy. Although, I will limit my intake of it and not go overboard with eating just one food like I used to.

  • Can be very technical
    She can get rather technical in areas.  Especially if you decide to read her second book.  She divides people in to four groups depending on whether they’re insulin sensitive or not.  Difficult to know what you really are unless you're able to be tested which wasn't something I was able to get done.

  • Society
    Our society is completely centered around sugar.  Rewards, treats, celebrations, holidays all revolve around sugar.  So, if you want to still be a part of society, it’s not practical to follow this plan to the “T” every day.  But, the good thing is it’s easy to get back on the plan if you do have the occasional treat or take some time off from following the plan.

  • Reading ingredients
    You need to read the ingredients of everything before you buy it.  You’ll be amazed at what has sugar in it that you would never expect (soup, salsa, bread, crackers, pickles)  Once you figure out what products don’t have sugar, it becomes much easier to follow.

Final Thoughts About The Schwarzbein Principle

If you want to check this out, I’d recommend starting with "The Schwarzbein Principle". Her three main books are:

  • The Schwarzbein Principle
  • the Schwarzbein Principle II 
  • the Schwarzbein Principle, the Program: Losing Weight the Healthy Way

I'd recommend leaving Schwarzbein Principle II and the Program until you’ve read the first one. It will make more sense to you if you do it that way.

She also has two cookbooks available:

  • the Schwarzbein Principle Cookbook
  • the Schwarzbein Principle Vegetarian Cookbook

Her books are all easily available from the internet so just type the word “Schwarzbein Principle” into the Search box below to find which online bookstore has the best deal right now. Also, if you choose the "book results" option, you'll be able to read some excerpts and see sample chapters from the book.

And of course, Amazon would always have a copy for you to look at: The Schwarzbein Principle: The Truth about Losing Weight, Being Healthy and Feeling Younger (#ad)
tomatoes on The Schwarzbein Principle

Once I was on the plan, I really liked it because it made sense. You don’t have to do crazy things like just eat grapefruit or cut out entire food groups. You’re just eating sensibly and this book helps you to get beyond the hype of the latest craze and really figure out what is proper nutrition. I’d highly recommend it.

The official Schwarzbein web site is located at:

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