Saturday, November 7, 2015

Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off! by Lisa Tillinger Johansen

Dieting is a $60 billion annual industry in America. Johansen wants readers to know the truth about fad diets. She presents some tried and true strategies with easy to follow guidelines based on scientific fact.

I had no idea how big the diet industry had become. But then, two-thirds of Americans are overweight. The American Medical Association labeled obesity a disease in 2013.

She takes us through a history of dieting and then popular ones in the last years, including fad diets (ones that predict rapid weight loss). I was surprised in her report on food allergies and the current gluten-free craze. Only three percent of people have a true food allergy. She reminds us of some of the possible damage some of these diets can do to our bodies.

Her strategy is really common sense. The calorie intake must be less than the calorie outgo to lose weight, although we are not to go under 1,200 calories a day without medical supervision. We need to cut 500 calories a day to lose about a pound a week. She suggests 15-20% protein, 45-50% carbohydrates, 30% fat. Her plate is a nine inch one with half full of non-starchy vegetable, a quarter full of starchy vegetables, and a quarter of lean protein. Fruit and non-fat or low-fat dairy are outside the plate. She suggests as a resource. The USDA also has a food tracker:

I really liked her graphics for portion sizes. A golf or ping pong ball is the size of a two tablespoon serving of peanut butter. A CD is the serving size for a pancake. Those illustrations have inspired me to check the serving sizes on labels a bit more closely.

She has good information on fiber, including her suggestion of eating unprocessed carbohydrates, and hydration. She also walks us through understanding the current food nutrition labels. She doesn't let us forget the necessity of exercise either.

I appreciated her “why we eat” section. That was enlightening, as was her goal setting suggestions. She has included an Appendix of trusted resources too.

There is no amazingly new or revolutionary material in this book. I do recommend it to those who are thinking of beginning a fad diet, something promising quick weight loss. I really appreciate the tried and true method that Johansen suggests. The book is a good reminder of what really works for weight loss and good health in the long term.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Lisa Tillinger Johansen is a Registered Dietitian with a masters degree in nutritional science. She teaches nutrition classes and counsels patients on a wide range of health issues. Her nonfiction debut book, Fast Food Vindication, received the Discovery Award in the Health/Nutrition category. She lives in Southern California.

J. Murray Press, 350 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher fort he purpose of an independent and honest review.

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