Valerie Bertinelli’s ’21-Gram Diet’ Has Nothing to Do With Food

In her recently published memoir Enough Already, actor Valerie Bertinelli unveiled what she’s calling her 21-Gram Diet.

The former One Day at a Time star, who famously shed pounds through weight-loss company Jenny Craig as their 2007 spokesperson, says this diet doesn’t have anything to do with food.

Actor Valerie Bertinelli in an appearance on 'Today'
Actor Valerie Bertinelli in a 2020 appearance on ‘Today’ | Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Bertinelli opened up about body image issues

The actor shared in her new memoir Enough Already that in the past, she had opened up about her “efforts to lose weight and encouraged many of you to do the same. I set certain goals, believing that I would be happier once I lost those 10, 20, or 30 pounds – or whatever the number was at the time.”

She revealed that in 2020, she “hit a wall” in regard to her physical goals, no longer finding purpose or joy in them. For the former Hot in Cleveland star, her journey for joy and gratitude has led her to the understanding that “there is no magic number” on a scale. … the thing I have been looking for can’t be quantified.

“I was about to begin 2020 resolved to lose 10 pounds – the same 10 or so pounds I had been trying to lose for more than 40 years – and one day, as I embarked on the same morning path from bed to bathroom to scale, I stopped, looked at myself in the mirror, and in a ‘before coffee’ moment of sanity, I said, ‘No. Stop, I can’t be doing this again.’ And I didn’t.”

Valerie Bertinelli’s 21-Gram Diet

As noted, the Food Network star’s “diet” isn’t about food. It’s born she writes, from the question: “How do we eat to feel good rather than eat so we don’t feel? … what I’m hungry for can’t be found in the refrigerator or pantry.”

Bertinelli admits that, after so many years of thinking she would be happy because of a number on a scale, she’s now realizing that what she wants “is for my soul to be fed with compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, kindness, and love.”

Enter the 21-Gram Diet, her seven-day program designed to feed the soul. It’s so-called because, she notes, “at the moment we die, we supposedly weigh 21 grams less than we did when our heart was still pumping blood to our extremities and our bodies were still drawing breaths. The 21 grams is said to be the weight of our soul.”

Bertinelli’s ‘diet’ points

Check out Bertinelli’s book for the author’s full program, but here’s a one-weeek overview:

1: Give yourself permission to not focus on your faults but instead “expand rather than contract.”

2: Compassion is the key word for the second day. “Take time to treat everyone the way you want to be treated: with compassion. And treat yourself that way, too.”

3: Allow the gift of forgiveness, “the grace of space.”

4: Embrace gratitude. Bertinelli recalled her former Hot in Cleveland co-star Betty White’s example. The late actor, she recalled, greeted “each day with an appreciation of everything she has been through and an enthusiasm for the day.”

5: Kindness is an opportunity, the actor writes, to do something that puts a “smile on someone else.”

6: Step outside of yourself and “experience other people, the world, the universe.”

7: Bertinelli notes that if an effort is made on the previous six days, “love enters an open heart.”

“I am learning that by intentionally practicing these values,” the actor shared, “one per day, I am usually able to treat myself better and love others more.”

‘Enough Already’ is available wherever books are sold.

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