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Lipstick on the Rim: How to Eat Carbs and Lose Weight with Ilana Muhlstein

By Sarah Jio

In this episode of Lipstick on the Rim, Molly Sims and her best friend, Emese Gormley, chat with nutritionist and weight loss expert extraordinaire, Ilana Muhlstein, about how to deal with the most common diet pitfalls (here’s looking at you, carbs) and all the game-changing ways to optimize health and happiness post-Covid!

Episode Highlights:

Molly’s new mantra (learned from Illana):

“If you bite it, you write it. If you nibble it, scribble it. If you drink it, ink it. If you snack it, track it. If you sneak it, leak it.”

[Ilana] On her lifelong struggle with weight, beginning as a child:

“First and foremost I was miserable being overweight. Everyone wants to say it’s good, it’s fine. And bless everyone for being happy in their body at every size. I was not that way.”



[Molly and Eseme] On their personal weight loss journeys:

Molly: “I had a thyroid problem after my pregnancy and it took me 13, 14, 15 months [to lose the weight], right before I got pregnant again. So fun!” Emese: “I gained 36 pounds with my first baby, and then I lost 15 of it. And then I got pregnant again.” Ilana on her best advice for big or small weight loss goals: “Two pounds at a time,” she tells her clients.

[Ilana] What is “volume eating”:

Molly and Emese drill down on what Ilana calls “volume eating.” Ilana: “I always knew I was a volume eater, and that trying to cut how much I was eating wouldn’t work for me. Knowing that I am a volume eater has helped me with the scale. I would say, you’re volume eating carbs now. You need to be volume eating veggies.”

Ilana’s take on carbs for the weight-loss-minded:

“You can have some carbs! I just remind people that carbs are the food group for energy, so we want to be consuming carbs when we are burning off energy. There’s a lot more wiggle room to eat carbs when it’s during the day and you’re active and burning it off. Late at night, carbs are super tricky.” Another tip Ilana shares is, “always pair carbs with a protein.” She goes on to explain how she loves to incorporate fiber-filled carbs (FFCs). She lists FFCs like strawberries, raspberries, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, & baked potatoes. Listen to the full episode for even more details.

[Ilana] on water intake:

“Start your day with an obscene amount of water. 16oz before your morning cup of coffee. Water helps you lose weight. It helps calm hunger, hormones—everything. I always recommend at the very least to drink half your weight in water ounces a day (and this for people wanting to maintain their weight, not lose). More water more weight loss.”

“I always say, water first, veggies most,”

Ilana explains. “All day our stomach is contracting. If there is no food or water in your system it could feel hollow. And that’s when you feel those contractions and we hear it as grumbling or growling. That makes us think ‘oh my stomach is growling. It feels so empty. I need food’. And if you drink a lot of water it actually starts to fill your stomach up with a lot of fluid and absorbs the sound. You don’t even feel that hungry.”

[Molly] on her “healthy” carb obsession:

Molly: “Do you know what Nut Thins are?” Ilana: “Yeah.” Molly: “I just had a whole box! I can’t stop!” Ilana weighs in: “So, you can’t start. I have a principle with healthy carbs, ask yourself but can you control yourself? I think I’m the only dietician in America that has that principle just because I couldn’t control myself. So I can say that. If you get a healthy product and end up eating half the bag or the whole thing, then it’s probably not the best thing for you and your weight loss. You want it to be about 150 or so calories per serving. You also want it to have at least one gram of fiber for every 10 grams of carbs.”

Ilana shares her recipe for the dreamiest breakfast ever:

(hint: it’s called “Peanut Butter Wonder” and it tastes like cheesecake.) Find out more on the episode.

[Ilana] On portion size:

“Do you follow the hand rule? Like your protein should be the size of your palm?” Ilana’s take: “When you look at a lunch plate, you always want to make an imaginary line down the center of the plate. It has to be at least half vegetables. It has to be, it can’t be like fettuccine Alfredo with like a little spinach mixed in, it has to be like a salad or sautéed broccolini or something, or maybe carrots.”

Booze & Weight-loss:

Molly asks Ilana her advice on the do’s and dont’s of booze when it comes to weight loss: She shares her love of lower-sugar wines, and one surprising tip that will maximize your cocktail-hour routine with bikini season in mind.


Listen to the full episode here:

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