Weight Loss Success Story: “My Family Lost 111 Pounds on the Digest Diet!”

The Tisher family was stuck in a cycle of fat creep that it couldn’t break. Mom Shannon, 35, gained 40

Image courtesy of the Tisher FamilyThe Tisher family was stuck in a cycle of fat creep that it couldn’t break. Mom Shannon, 35, gained 40 pounds after a fibromyalgia flare; dad Erik, 40, says his weight climbed steadily throughout his 30s. They also worried about their kids: Cayenne, 16, Micah, 13, and Kara, 11, all became overweight after puberty. (Lucky Caleb, 15, didn’t have to worry about his weight.)When Shannon came across the principles from The Digest Diet in our April 2012 issue, she was eager to see if the plan—which emphasizes a diet of whole foods with unique fat releasing qualities—would help her family slim down. “I was skeptical at first, but I can’t believe what a difference this diet has made for us,” she says. Here’s how the Rapid City, South Dakota, family turned things around.

A Focus on Real Food
“If I had said, ‘We’re all going on a diet!’ the kids would have balked,” Shannon says. She never wanted to encourage them to follow the super-restrictive plans she had tried in the past. “But since the Digest Diet features wholesome meals, I’m comfortable with my kids eating them,” she says. The family loved filling up on the diet’s healthy staples: fiber-rich veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and healthy unsaturated fats.
More: What is the Digest Diet? »

A Team Effort
The kids would chop veggies while Erik would help cook. “Doing it together meant we were all eating better, not just following Mom’s latest health kick,” says Shannon. The group mentality made it easier to dodge land mines at get-togethers. “When we had a potluck at church, I would make a giant salad with Digest Diet vinaigrette and chicken breasts so we had a healthy option,” Shannon says.
More: Find out the 13 fat-releasing foods »

Celebrating Little Milestones
The Tishers cheered one another with simple activities. When Cayenne dropped five pounds, they had movie night; when they all lasted six weeks on the plan, they took a group hike. “Nothing lights up a kid more than hearing ‘I am proud of you!’ in front of the family!” Shannon says.
More: Find out the 13 fat-releasing foods »

A Lasting Lifestyle
The diet made the Tishers realize that some of their “healthy habits” really weren’t. They learned how to snack to stave off hunger pangs and ate fat releasing foods at every meal. Now when Micah is “starving,” he’ll fill up on more salad at dinner. Cayenne overcomes emotional eating by talking about what’s upsetting her instead of reaching for comfort food. “Before the Digest Diet, she was worried about a ballet recital and the tight leotard,” Shannon shares. “But by her performance, it ended up being baggy!” Shannon herself has less pain and fibromyalgia fog. “I’m involved with my family instead of being sidelined because I’m not feeling well. I am very, very grateful.”

Shannon’s Top Swaps

We stopped: Eating unhealthy food just because “everyone else is”

• We started: Bringing healthy snacks on the go—like oatmeal cakes or bags of pistachios, which the boys packed during a recent camping trip

We stopped:Picking a restaurant on the fly

• We started: Using chain restaurants’ online menus ahead of time to check for Digest Diet–friendly fare. Ruby Tuesday is a favorite for its great salad bar with healthy toppings.

We stopped: Wearing old clothes that were too big for us

We started: Treating ourselves to new outfits for an instant confidence booster

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Perri O. Blumberg
A former food editor at Reader's Digest, Perri Blumberg is a writer and editor based in New York City. After attending Columbia University, where she received a BA in psychology, she went on to study food at a health-supportive culinary school. Her work has appeared in O Magazine, Men's Journal, Country Living, and on Mind, Body, Green, among others.