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338 of 353 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2009
I love reading the Amazon reviews & always look at the negative ones to see the shortfalls. After two weeks on the diet, this 60 yr old, who spent 2 weeks without cheating on South Beach without dropping a single pound, has lost 13 lbs even though I have been on a plateau for 5 of those days. I'll try to remember to update this at the end of 30 days.

A few responses to "Disappointed and Impractical"'s review, who felt the diet didn't work for a single person because some of the recipes are for a large number of servings:

As a single, I've been been adjusting recipes for years and had zero problems doing so with this book. What recipe book only shows recipes for single portions? Most are for a family of 4. Yes buying for a single can be a problem, but no more for this book than any other one. So I'm doing the same thing I've been doing for years, keeping a soup pot in the fridge and freezing items I don't use.

I did adjust the recipe for some of the soups, and the chili for the number of months I thought I would be on the diet and freezed them. I LIKED the idea, since after the first 30 days, I'll still be eating healthily but with greatly reduced meal preparation time.

And if you don't like something, common sense tells you what to replace it with. One dark leafy green for another, etc, just as they recommend substituting when they talk about the exercising. If you don't like to walk, substitute something you do like, such as an exercise bike or swimming. If you like it, you'll do it.

More importantly first of all, this diet WORKS for me, and the older I get the harder it is to lose weight. Food wise it certainly is well balanced and nutritious. The variety seems to address each craving I have. . Just when I want something crunchy, there are the almonds, or tacos. Just when I want something sweet, there is a peanut butter and sugarless jelly snack. The meals are, in my view, delicious for the most part, and the snacks are timed to keep your blood levels stable so you metabolism doesn't shut down. And I ADORE the way the exercising increases each day. And the daily thoughts are great. Just when I hit my plateau, there was the talk about plateaus. And if I want more insight, I go to the NBC Biggest Loser Website and look in the nutrition blog in the Exclusive section for more information. (the NBC site has lots of helpful hints that are not on the other Biggest Loser websites.

I work out in the early morning to get it out of the way and raise my metabolism for the day. The breakfasts in this book are huge, so if you eat first, you'll have loads of energy to work out. The dinners are on the light side, sort of the way the Europeans eat. I thought that would be hard, but I've had no problems with it so far.

To date this is the best diet book I've ever tried. The one recipe I thought I would not like was the fish tacos and actually they were just great (I used Orange Roughy as a substitute fish).

After 40 years of dieting, I think I've finally faced the fact that diet and exercise is intrinsically intertwined, and that getting in shape MUST involve both. For me this book is the best vehicle I've found to address both factors.

I can't wait until the new Biggest Loser season starts on the 15th. I plan to be right there with them: my and my 30 day jumpstart diet book.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2011
Last year I bought this book in March. By April I had lost 25 pounds.
I stuck with the diet tips & went to more advanced, intense workouts and lost another 35 pounds by July.
The diet works. The exercise program is excellent for people COMPLETELY out of shape.

You CANNOT follow this book exactly, nor can you any diet. You will have to adjust. The book gets 4-stars for not showing you how to adjust or be flexible.

This is what I did.

Don't like a recipe? Find something else from another day and substitute.
Don't have an ingredient? Improvise. If you add calories just skip calories elsewhere.

Follow the exercise plan. You can do that.
If you miss a day just move on. Don't try to catch-up. That's a recipe for frustration.
DO NOT MISS TWO DAYS in a row. If you do skip a rest day and insert a workout there.

Read each day's entries completely. This will keep you on track. Reading & learning about nutrition will help most. Most diets give you it all up front, then just follow with a long list of recipes or exercises. Having a slow progression to read each day helps you absorb more info. This is the book's real secret.
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116 of 134 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 18, 2009
This book is 308 pages of pure inspiration. I defy you to look at it and not be moved to live healthier. Basically you'll learn what to eat -- and what NOT to eat -- and how to exercise. If you are familiar with The Biggest Loser reality show on NBC, this book uses the same knowledge and guidelines from the same experts. It is "a 30-day blueprint for improved health, weight loss and a whole new life."

Don't be fooled by the cheesy cover. Inside are nicely designed pages with photographs and lots of color. The food shots, in particular, are beautifully done, and make you want to try the recipes. Advice from TV-show contestants and trainers is sprinkled throughout.

One of the big tips to losing weight and getting fit is being organized; this book follows its own advice. The recipes are easy to follow and the exercises are also accompanied by photos of someone demonstrating the workout.

First you meet some of the Biggest Loser contestants, nine people who had to follow this 30-day plan at home. Each person has a photo, a bio, a quote about why they are ready to lose weight, and a week-by-week diary detailing their progress. Next are chapters introducing the basic tenets of healthy eating and exercising. The guts of the book come next: the "30 days of transformation." Each day tells you exactly what to eat, including recipes, and what your exercise should be, including diagrams.

Recipes include some real winners: Confetti Couscous, Frosty Pumpkin Smoothie, Vanilla Poached Pears and Fish Tacos.

The back of the book gets a little cheesy again, though, as a few pages are devoted to advertising the Biggest Loser product line of books, DVDs, equipment and protein powder.

Here's the chapter list:

1. Ready... Set... Jump!
2. There's No Place Like Home
3. The What, When, and How of Eating
4. Building a Fitness Foundation
5. 30 Days of Transformation
6. Now What?

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304 of 370 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2009
I bought this book and was extremely disappointed. While it does lay out a different menu for each of the 30 days, grocery shopping for these menus would be completely impractical. I sat down to write the list for the first week and by the time I got to day 3, it was two pages of ingredients in small quantities which is impossible to shop for. While the variety is enticing, it's not expected that you'd find one slice of reduced fat swiss cheese or two butter lettuce leaves for sale. You'd end up buying all this food to only use a small amount - the book doesn't reuse certain ingredients enough within a week's time that you'd actually benefit from buying the entire package of swiss or the entire head of butter lettuce. Also, some of the recipes are for WAY too many servings - for example there's a recipe for 24 mini blueberry bran muffins, but you only are instructed to eat four of them in the 30 day period. Similarly there's a recipe for 12 servings worth of chili but you only eat one. Unless you've got a freezer the size of a closet, I can't see this working out well. Variety is great, but when it becomes expensive and impractical it doesn't make sense. The Biggest Loser contestants didn't pay for the food and there was more than one of them on the diet at the same time, so buying the ingredients in bulk in a situation like that would make sense. For a single person, this plan doesn't make good sense at all. Overall, I was extremely disappointed.
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38 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2009
This book was just what I needed to help me commit to a regular exercise regime. I used the menus as a guide for what kinds of food to eat, and how much. The recipes are easy to follow,and most of the food is just ordinary healthy food. At 55, I found the exercises to be challenging, but have completed all 30 days, and am now going back and doing the second two weeks again, only increasing the number of reps and weights. I lost 12 lbs in those 30 days. I highly recommend this book to anyone needing a structured program for exercise. Commit to it, and you will lose!
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2010

This plan is easy to customize. Some reviewers gave this book low marks because the menu plan calls for something like 8 asparagus spears and the reviewer was throwing out the unused asparagus since it went bad before the next meal with asparagus come around on the plan. Unless you are so rigid that you have to follow the menu plan EXACTLY, why not swap the dinner menus around for another that uses asparagus again? Or buy your asparagus from a market where you don't have to get a whole pound.

Use part of a banana for the breakfast with Banana Nut Oats and the rest of the banana in your morning snack instead of the planned snack for that day. Oh, and for the reviewer who complained about the recipe for Blueberry muffins yielding too many muffins.... blueberry muffins do freeze well and there's probably nothing wrong with swapping breakfasts so you have the muffins twice in a week.

There are some recipes in the plan that I know I wouldn't like. I'm certainly not going to eat that anyway just because it's on the plan. I'm going to swap that meal out for one I like. I took the time to write out on index cards the separate breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners that I like. I mix and match the cards for each day to get the appropriate number of meals. I can use this system to better plan my meals to use up ingredients before they spoil.

Yes, it's not following the book's menu plan to the letter. But you know what? It's sure better than the way I've been eating! And I'm sticking to the plan since I'm mixing it up to suit my tastes and use up ingredients I buy. If I'm a little over or under my calorie count for the day, no big deal for me. I figure it all balances out in the end.

****UPDATE****: I've been doing this diet plan for about 3 months and I have lost an entire dress size. I don't weigh myself, so I don't know how many pounds that translates to. But I went from a size 10 to a size 8. And some of my size 6 stuff almost fits. This plan, even with my modifications, is really working for me! Oh, and I have to be honest and admit that I did cheat a little on the plan. I allowed myself one cheat meal each week. That way, if I wanted to go out for dinner or have pizza, it wasn't making me feel guilty. And it made it easier to stick to the plan the rest of the time, since I knew I had a treat coming.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2012
Like a lot of overweight people, I had my doubts about this book. While in saudi arabia it caught my eye and I thought i'd keep an eye out for it in amazon. Turns out there is more to this book than meets the eye. I didnt read most of it to be fair as our cuisine defers from western ones but I decided i'd folliw the guidelines.

Within a week, and with no real exercise (I take the stairs and walk instead of driving short distances), I lost a total of 3 kgs which is about 7 lbs or so. All I did was control what goes into my mouth and follow the general advices of the book. As a person who gets hungry a lot, I didn't feel that hungry with the diet I derived from the book. I eat 5 meals (2 snacks and 3 main meals) a day with plenty of water in between so it fills me up and I still feel energetic. The days I don't feel so energetic, I eat 2-3 dates to boost my blood pressure (I have low blood pressure so I have to take that into consideration). Not too much but gives you enough sugar in your blood to keep you running like a machine. Again, without any of the book's recipes. Its simply amazing how easy it was once you finish your first week. I know for sure I'm going to stick to whatever I'm doing and I'll add some cardio to it. I'll edit this review every week or so and update you on my progress.

Tip: make a food journal so you can assess how you're doing so far. Never give up and you'll get results

-------- UPDATE 18th April 2012: Three weeks in and I lost so far 13ish lb (6 kg) with almost no real exercise yet. This is just incredible. Going to add those exercises and hopefully it'll speed the already amazing results

Note: If you'd like to know what I ate, post a comment. Probably not your style of food though.
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34 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2009
I have read some of the negative reviews and do agree that the diet has you buy food for one of the days and then you don't get to eat that food for the rest of the week, which results in a lot of wasted food. I am a very picky eater also and do not like a lot of the food that is listed in the book. The solution to both the issues, however, is that I choose two or three menus that are listed from the week and just eat that menu the entire week, so there is no wasted food. The food is also very expensive at the grocery store and I have to go to a local health food store for some of the items. So it takes a lot of energy and an extreme amount of planning. All of the negative doesn't matter though because this diet works. I am NEVER hungry, I love the food and recipes from the menus that I do like, and have lost a major amount of weight in four weeks so far. I am trying food I would have never dreamed about eating before and am learning how to eat healthy after I have finished losing all the weight. So if you are serious about doing a diet and taking the time to buy the food and prepare it, then I highly recommend this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2009
I really enjoy this whole series! I don't know if I would actually follow this day by day, but there is some great information in here with interesting recipes and solid work outs. I would recommend any of the Biggest Loser books for people looking for healthy lifestyle change!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2009
This show has literally changed so many peoples lives that there is not enough to be said. I know of a couple of my clients that I have trained who have really been inspired to make a change in their life and do whats good for the mind and the body. This book is basically a guide on how to get your goals in the direction you need to especially if you are intimidated of gyms or do not know where to begin. I personally just have a bias to any programs that can empower someone because sometimes there is just not enough empowerment going on in the world.[...]
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