It's not all about the jeans; flattening the tummy helps fight "Toxic Fat"--the disease-inducing weight Dr. Pamela Peeke teaches women how to conquer in Body-for-LIFE for Women. Her firm belief is, most women already know what they're supposed to do: eat a balanced diet, ditch junk food, exercise, think positively. Peeke strives to show her "girlfriends" how to accomplish these tasks, customizing plans for young and old. Clients' stories (including a 95-year-old who worked herself out of a wheelchair and into a martial arts class, and a 14-year old who replaced 90 lbs. of fat with a healthy load of self-confidence) lend credence to Peeke's 12-week weight reduction plan; so do the wowsie before-and-after pictures. Gender-specific scientific evidence supports Peeke's premise that women's bodies require different care than men's. But she doesn't stop there.
Peeke digs deeper for her audience, defining four hormonal milestones of a woman's life (menarche to beyond menopause) and customizing a physical and mental transformation plan to suit each. Easing off on strict calorie and weight guidelines, she focuses instead on serious fat reduction, muscle improvement, and practical suggestions for self-care. A handful of charts and formulae help readers assess their progress; sample exercises and fitness logs help, too. But for Peeke, weight reduction pales to bolstering a woman's self-worth through nurturing healthier habits. The only rough pill to swallow is Peeke's two-page list of smart foods: it lacks suggestions for turning acceptable proteins, carbohydrates and fats into palatable daily meals.--Liane Thomas
From Publishers Weekly
According to Peeke, the unique hormonal and life challenges that all women go through over the course of their lives dramatically affect their ability to "remove" or maintain weight. In this adaptation of the popular Body-for-Life Program, Peeke (Fight Fat After Forty) offers sound nutritional advice and discusses how physiology and genetics influence metabolism. Although she describes how daily stressors and destructive habits can have life-threatening consequences, Peeke primarily aims to remove what she identifies as the greatest obstacle to weight loss--a woman's reluctance to focus on her own needs. While Peeke stresses her program's holistic nature, exercise, she says, is paramount. Photographs and instructions for cardio and resistance training and flexibility exercises will help women develop fitness plans that suit their abilities. But the emphasis on weight training, which Peeke says is essential to weight loss and maintenance, could intimidate readers unaccustomed to much physical activity. Others may have difficulty with the limited food choices in the weight-loss segment of the program, or the amount of time required to make use of its copious tools (journals, checklists, progress reports, etc.). Despite her book's drawbacks, Peeke's style, a mix of cheeky humor and not-so-gentle cajoling, as well as individual success stories, will likely motivate many readers to take the Peeke Challenge and become "Peeke Performers." (Apr.)
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