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If you are very new to dieting and health, I suppose this book might be able to give you some ok basic information about how it's better to keep portions in control, move and exercise regularly, etc., not eat junk food, etc. But for anyone who's been struggling with weight for more than a year or two, and has tried a couple of different diets, this book offers very little.
After years of struggling with my weight, last year I lost 40 lbs and have kept that off for close to a year. I still would like to lose another 10 lbs, but most people consider me "normal" weight despite my being a lb or two in the "overweight" category according to BMI charts. What I've been trying to do recently is to approach food in a more mindful way. My whole life I've done the opposite at least in terms of how I eat, not necessarily what I eat. So I have always gulped food down so fast that it doesn't give my brain a chance to signal my body that it's full.
I've done some mindfulness meditation, but unlike the videos and audio I've used for that, this book tended to be filled with things to say as you breath in and breath out. It does take you somewhat through the idea of thinking about where your food came from, how it was made, etc., but in general I found the advice way to prescriptive. It's pretty anti-alcohol of any kind, regarding the risk of becoming alcoholic or overindulging over the benefits that have been show for longevity and cardiovascular health. And while there are certainly risks, it seems awfully draconian to recommend against it for everyone because a small subset might have an issue with it. Additionally, the book is pretty obviously pro-vegetarian or even pro-vegan, although they do make a point of including fish occasionally in examples of healthful meals, but mostly it's all about vegetarianism or veganism. I eat a mostly vegan diet, but do like to have sardines (probably the most sustainable kind of fish) and an occasional piece of free-range chicken, and there's no evidence these are harmful to either the environment or to my health when eaten in moderation.
Moreover, the entire tone of this book seemed to be that of the paternal doctor telling you what you should and shouldn't do. "These are the facts, now do as I say in order to rid yourself of your excess weight with the added dimension of mindfulness."
The dietary/medical advice listed seems a bit contradictory as well. On the one hand there's very standard calories in vs. calories out mantra, stay away from saturated fat, even dietary cholesterol (now accepted as unimportant even by the FDA), and promoting a vegetarian or vegan diet, but then on the other hand they suggest different weight loss plans all had similar effectiveness, so use whichever one works for you.
The narrator did not help the situation either, sounding like your typical old-style 1950's narrator that projects a sense that "I know best."
If you get this book to learn about mindful eating, you should skip all but that relatively small part of the book, and even then there might be a lot that is extraneous or not useful to you. At least that's what I felt. If you are just recognizing for the first time that you need to lose a lot of weight and have no idea how to, this might be a more useful book for you, but there are probably better, more informative books out there with a gentler and more constructive tone than this one.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful
I kept skipping most of the book because so much information in it was mediocre, repetitive and really not new! If you want to listen for the 100th time that it's bad to eat in front of the TV, then this book is for you.
The only reason I give this book 3 stars, not less is that I liked the 6th chapter (Audible count). It's never too much to be reminded of mindfulness, this chapter connects to the Buddhist philosophy.
Otherwise I'm quite disappointed. Those nutritional recommendations made me roll my eyes, honestly...
It would be so much better if the author concentrated more on mindfulness and less on nutritional info that you find everywhere now.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful