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362 of 379 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time Will Tell....
I started this program a week ago in an effort to lose the remaining 15 pounds on a 30 pound weightloss goal (after 3 kids in 5 years). I lost the first 15 on a coordinated weight loss program (one of the big ones) that was basically 100% carbs and all processed foods. Losing the first 15 was difficult, but doable. At 15 pounds, I plateaued and haven't been able to...
Published on January 17, 2012 by oaklandish

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163 of 203 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Additional Info would be Helpful
I purchased this book last weekend and started the diet on 3/12/12. Today is 3/17/12 and I lost 5 lbs. this week. My husband lost 8.5 lbs. I weigh 160 lbs. and he weighs 219 lbs. today. This is the only diet I have ever stuck to for more than three days and the only one I have been successful on EVER! I'm thrilled so far, and I'm not hungry at all. My husband has...
Published on March 17, 2012 by Megan


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362 of 379 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time Will Tell...., January 17, 2012
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This review is from: Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution (Hardcover)
I started this program a week ago in an effort to lose the remaining 15 pounds on a 30 pound weightloss goal (after 3 kids in 5 years). I lost the first 15 on a coordinated weight loss program (one of the big ones) that was basically 100% carbs and all processed foods. Losing the first 15 was difficult, but doable. At 15 pounds, I plateaued and haven't been able to lose more. Given the expense of the other program, I decided to try my hand at doing it myself and also wanted a program that incorporated more whole foods. I'm impressed with Chris Powell's book so far. Unlike another reviewer's comments, I didn't find it a chore to read at all. It's very straightforward and easy to read and makes a lot of sense. I agree with the other reviewer that it's nothing you don't already know. The program consists of 7 days cycling on and off low and high carb days. For those who have done Atkins and the like, low carb days don't mean all you can eat avocado, sour cream, cheese, etc... Fats are limited on low carb days and prohibited on high carb days. High carb days allow for complex carbs only. The plan is also very vegetarian-friendly (for people like me). It's not often that you come across a diet book that mentions almond milk, textured vegetable protein and tempeh. Whereas other low carb Atkins-like programs are virtually impossible for vegetarians to follow, this plan is not at all.

Unlike others, I've not lost 6 lbs in 7 days (how does ANYONE do that???). But, I will say, that after spending 2 months at the same weight on the other diet plan I was following, I lost .6 lbs the first week of following the Choose to Lose plan. I am someone who eats healthy anyway and works out 4-5 days a week for 45 minutes each time. I would expect that people who were largely inactive and eating poorly prior to following this plan would see greater weight loss the first few weeks. I view any movement downward as being in the right direction. Plus, this plan has such great variety in what you can eat and the fact that it alternates daily helps to keep you out of the dreaded dieters' eating rut where you eat the same things over and over. Whether the claim of carb-cycling revving up your metabolism has any scientific merit is irrelevant if the plan helps people achieve their weight loss goals. Mr. Powell presents himself as a likable guy whose results with hugely overweight people cannot be denied.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking to adopt a weight loss program that focuses on healthy eating. It does require you to shop for your own food and prepare it yourself. So, if you want to drink a pre-mixed shake full of chemicals 3x a day, this program isn't for you. However, if you're looking to get a well-rounded plan that focuses on whole, non-processed foods, this is a great place to start.
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286 of 330 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Easiest, Most Sensible Plan I Have Ever Tried, January 6, 2012
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This review is from: Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution (Hardcover)
My husband and I started this program on Sunday, 1/1/12. I have been struggling with weight for some time and have yet to find a program that made sense to me until now. The exercise regimen is quite simple despite the fact that I am currently unable to walk without the assistance of crutches and have to use a wheelchair for long distances. I am still, however, able to do the exercises--albeit modified a bit to suit my present condition. The eating plan is wonderful. It took us about 2 days to really get an understanding of it and that was it (note: it helped to write out planned meals to get a sense of how much we should be consuming). We eat well-rounded nutritious meals every day! We totally have been enjoying our cheat meals to the fullest--with no negative effects. When I diet, I always feel anxious about being hungry and missing my delicious junk food (pizza junkie), we both, however, feel completely full through the day--so much so that we struggle to get through our last meal of the day.

Another benefit of the program I have noticed is improvement in sleep quality. I use to have difficulty sleeping and would wake up feeling exhausted, but by day 4, that started to change. I had the best sleep I have ever had in some time yesterday. I actually woke up feeling refreshed. I already feel my clothing loosening and my stomach has flattened considerably. My husband, who hates the idea of dieting, who loves his coffee (6 cups a day for about 10 years) and who can't live without dessert, is doing wonderfully on it. He actually managed to stop relying on caffeine. He has stopped drinking coffee; stopped taking "no-doz" and hasn't touched an energy shot all week. He went into the program sure that he would need his caffeine and although the first day he craved it, he realized by day two that he didn't feel like he needed it.

I intended to wait a bit before posting a review, but this has been the best week I've had in a long time while trying to lose weight, and I just wanted to give credit where credit is due. When I have reached my goal weight, I will provide an update. I am scheduled to weigh myself tomorrow and based on how I feel and how loose my clothes are, I am sure the numbers are great.

Thank you, Chris Powell!!
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163 of 203 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Additional Info would be Helpful, March 17, 2012
This review is from: Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution (Hardcover)
I purchased this book last weekend and started the diet on 3/12/12. Today is 3/17/12 and I lost 5 lbs. this week. My husband lost 8.5 lbs. I weigh 160 lbs. and he weighs 219 lbs. today. This is the only diet I have ever stuck to for more than three days and the only one I have been successful on EVER! I'm thrilled so far, and I'm not hungry at all. My husband has been hungry, so I a bumping up his portions a bit. There are a few reasons that I didn't rate this book with 5 stars. First, it was a little difficult to follow at first and it jumped aroung a lot. I agree with the other reviews regarding the lack of chapter numbers and an index. Second, I wish Mr. Powell would tell us how many carbs we can have on low carb days and how many carbs on high carb days. I've reviewed other carb cycling diets and they give you specific info for carbs, fats, and protein. That would help so much! Third, the recipes that Mr. Powell offers are bland, and don't offer a nutritional breakdown. I also think his list of approved foods is a bit lacking. For example,why isn't Kale on it, or Coconut Oil? Lastly, I was hoping the website would provide this missing information as well as a forum for us dieters to support one another, ask questions, and offer ideas that have worked. Ultimately, I would recommend the book, but supplement the information with further research for best results.
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154 of 193 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Feel Deprived!, January 9, 2012
This review is from: Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution (Hardcover)
I first became aware of Chris Powell as the fitness trainer on ABC's primetime show Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and think he is awesome. So when I saw Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution, I snapped it up.

I love carbs...whenever I go on a diet that prohibits them. I lose weight quickly; but I also get moody ans sad...and then I "cheat" by eating carbs and the diet is over. I have been a yo-yo dieter for years. As of 1/1/12, I have 35 pounds to lose.

So I started this diet and exercise program on 1/1/12 and as of today, I have lost 6 pounds! Best of all, I feel GOOD. No moodiness or sadness....!

The 7 day carb cycle goes like this: every other day you are allowed carbs. This tricks our bodies into losing weight. The program works because it doesn't allow the body to adapt to one type of diet or exercise. On low carb days, you do strength and body shaping exercises "shapes" because protein is a body builder. Then, 6 days a week, you do cardiovascular exercise "shredders" to lose weight.

Powell shares with the reader secrets to permanent weight loss. For many of us, it's a whole new lifestyle; and much of this requires a change in the way we think.

Throughout the book, Powell shares weight loss success stories, beginning with a man who asked for his help when he was 26 and weighed over 600 pounds! Powell helped him to lose over 400 pounds....And with each person he helped, Powell has learned about the ways we lose weight--and what changes we need to make in our psyches to keep the weight off.

So, I have been on this diet for 9 days, so I am certainly not an expert. But, I can say I feel great; I have energy and am motivated as all get out!
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well-written but hard to follow diet, September 13, 2012
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This review is from: Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution (Hardcover)
I bought this book because I liked the logically way that Chris Powell approaches everything. I have read the reviews that say the book was hard to understand and that it wasn't clear. I didn't find this to be the case. You have high carb days and low carb days. Each of those days, you eat five meals. There are certain things you MUST have in each meal and you are on a strict portion control plan. It is not a free-for-all even when you're eating the allowed foods.

Now my review of the diet: I found the diet itself to be nearly impossible to follow to the letter. On your high carb days, you can't have any fat. So even though you get salad, and potatoes, and pasta, you don't get to use things like cheese and olive oil. I actually found these days to be the hardest. You are pretty much relegated to protein, fruits, vegetables, and plain carbs like rice.

The low carb days were easier but still tough. Absolutely no carbs such as rice, pasta, fruit, etc. You got to have good fats like avocados and olive oil with your proteins though, which made my salad at least more enjoyable.

The bottom line is that this is a very healthy diet and it probably will work for those who have the tenacity to stick to it, but for me it was just so much planning and food obsessing and taking the joy out of my meals that I dropped it after two weeks. Will it work for you? Maybe. Maybe not. Are you willing to spend a large portion of your time, planning your meals, prepping your food, and packing your lunches and snacks? My life just didn't work with all that and I had to stop the insanity.

I do believe this is a healthy diet, but it is one of the most restrictive I've ever been on and was not something I could do for the long term.
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75 of 95 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Negative reviews need not apply ..., January 16, 2012
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This review is from: Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution (Hardcover)
This is my second review of this book. I took down my original review because it apparently was not helpful ... to anyone. However, it was apparently unhelpful to 13 readers! I want my reviews to be helpful, so I decided to give the book another chance.

My original review was correct. The book was cumbersome to read and I found no new information in this book. The author spends a great deal of time "tooting his own horn," rather than just getting to the point. I think it's great that he has helped so many people and he should be proud of that fact. However, when writing a diet book, it would seem prudent to make it less about yourself and more about your new audience. We only need basic, simple information. If you must share your victories, great, but please, limit it to a couple, don't fill half a book with them. If you are successful at what you do, then let your accomplishments speak for themselves.

I suppose if you've never read a diet book before, this one might be helpful and I say, "go ahead and buy it." But, if you are like most and have read far too many, then skip this one. A far more helpful book is The Fast Metabolism Diet.

I realized that negative reviews are not really appreciated here. I noticed that the negative reviews receive a lot of "un-helpful" votes as opposed to the "helpful" votes received by positive reviews. Can't a review be negative and helpful at the same time? Isn't that what an author and a reader really want - the truth? Regardless, I stick by my assessment. It's my review and I gave an honest, well-thought out opinion. I truly hope it helps.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book...study it, know the plan, and it works, June 19, 2013
This review is from: Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution (Hardcover)
I got this book after losing 15 pounds and hitting a plateau. It felt like my body wanted to hold onto those last few pounds of fat. I've studied his plan thoroughly, read the book, studied some more and began 2 weeks ago. For the people saying it's too complicated, they haven't put as much time into getting familiar with the plan. It's actually a really simple concept, but it can seem foreign to many of us who haven't ever tried it. I only need to lose 10 more pounds to be at my goal weight, and this book is slowly getting me there. I've already lost 3 solid pounds in 2 weeks.

Here are a few tips that have helped me:
1. You don't necessarily have to work out intensely for this plan to work. Yes, it is extremely important to be active during the day, but as I've been losing weight, I've found it's much more important for me to watch what I eat. If I get the chance to do something that makes me sweat, great. If not, I am not seeing a huge difference. I didn't work out for an entire week and still lost 2 pounds based on what I was eating alone. The key is to get that metabolism working hard for you. My goal is to lose some more weight and then start toning the muscles that I am beginning to be able to see without the fat on top of them. Don't beat yourself up if you can't be super active the first few weeks. You can still lose weight without it.

2. I printed out a list of approved carbs, proteins, and fats plus the amount I can have at each meal. I taped it to my refrigerator. This has been super helpful, as I've forgotten how much greek yogurt I can have at times or how many eggs. Vegetables (except potatoes and starchy ones) are unlimited.

3. If you have to cheat every once in a while to get through, no big deal! He was smart to throw in 3 "cheat meals". Stick to it as best as you can, but for many people, eating these types of foods is not normal for them at all. I never ate plain, fat free Greek yogurt before this diet. To get me used to the idea for the first few days, I put a TINY amount of honey in my yogurt just to get me started. Now I can handle eating it plain, without the sugary addition of honey. But adding the honey got me started. Don't kill yourself sticking to it perfectly, but do try to eat as many pure, clean (sugar free) meals as possible.

4. Lastly, for the first few days, you may not feel so great. For me, I had so much sugar in my diet before starting Carb Cycling that my body was going through withdrawal until it realized I wasn't going to feed it that amount of sugar anymore. The 1st day, I was running off adrenaline of being excited about the diet. The 2nd day was the worst for me. I was dizzy, light-headed, and really wanted a sugary Starbucks drink. I didn't give in, and by day 4, I felt great. You feel cleaner, more clear headed, and so much better.

All that to say, I've tried 10 different diets and eating plans. This one is healthy, delicious, and gives you room for some freebies and cheat meals. It is working for me better than any other diet I've ever tried. Huge thanks to Chris Powell!
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76 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 day Carb Cycle Solution, February 7, 2012
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This review is from: Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution (Hardcover)
I purchased this book and started on the program 1 week ago. If you are like me and have no idea where to start this is a great book. You are armed with all the info needed to succeed instead of trying to research it on your own. You will alternate Low carb and High carb days every other day. You will start on Sunday and alternate daily. Saturday morning you will weigh in.

The book has recipes, portion sizes measured out into 100 calorie portions, weekly schedules of nutrition, simple at home exercises (with photos) and so much more. You follow the carb alternation days for 3 weeks then on the 4th week you switch it up and have a week of high carbs, then start all over the 2nd month. You can cheat every other day, or not cheat all week and have Sunday all day as a rest day. The book has a list of the healthy proteins, carbs, fats, vegies, and so on. This will help you to purchase the food needed to get started. It has some info on substitutes for unhealthy snacks. Also has info on the 7 supplements to take for different reasons such as producing digestive enzymes to assist in food break down, healthy bacteria needed by our colon to work properly, multivitamin to boost energy on low carb days, fish oil, and the 3 supplements known as the trifecta of joint healing when taken together. There is a menu and schedule for Male and Female individuals so anyone in your home can take advantage of this program.

He basically takes all the work of figuring out what is healthy to eat, portion sizes (calories per portion), creating a schedule, figuring out what are the best at home exercises, what vitamins to take, and how to get past the dreaded weight loss plateau for you so that all you have to do is buy the food and stick to his schedule. You have a nutritionist, and a physical trainer you can carry anywhere with you.

This book is quite detailed, although it is not user friendly as other reviewers have posted. It is very frustrating that there are no chapter #'s listed on the pages. A solution I found are the post it colored tabs to help me quickly find what I'm looking for. That being said, if you are going to use that as an excuse not to follow this program than you probably don't really want to follow it at any rate. If you are looking to transform you heath, appearance, self-esteem and overall lifestyle then I hope you find this book as exciting as I do

I have been on this program for a week and have only had one weigh in. At the end of the week I lost 5.6 lbs, and my partner lost 6.4. I have struggled with hunger the entire time where she has not. The portions are small and not filling, but don't leave me hungry after I eat them, however, within an hour I'm starving and I still have to wait 2 more hours to eat. The book states you are not allowed to eat more than your 5 meals and I have found no way to contact anyone to verify if this is normal or if I should have bigger portions or some veggies in between meals to keep me sustained. I am bigger than my partner by about 60 lbs so I'm not sure if that is why I feel this way and she doesn't, and I have no way to make sure I'm not harming myself.

It is expensive to eat this way and you will be purchasing a lot of healthy raw food, protein powders, supplements, and containers. You will have to spend time to prepare your meals because you will prepare 5 diff meals a day. We make ours in advance for 4 days, it is easier to make meals on one day so you can grab and go. This takes at least 2 hrs to prepare. When you are done you will have at least 16 containers you will need to have room for (this is for one person,) in your refrigerator, or purchase a 2nd one to fit your prepared meals. I found having the food prepared already helps me to keep from reaching for quick unhealthy snacks

This program really isn't easy due to the prep work, but as our routine sets in it is becoming easier. The results so far are great and it's worth it if you can be committed to doing all the prep work. This book seems geared more towards those of us whom are not educated on proper nutrition or portions, and for those like me whom have no clue what kind of food to make. In a week time I have learned which foods to combine, which foods to avoid, what a healthy portion size is and how to make really tasty, healthy food. The hardest part has been done by the Author as he has already put all the information in your hands.

I have not started the workout part yet because I wanted to see what the results were with and without it. I do think this would be a hard program for someone with a family unless the entire family was on the same program, but if it something you want bad enough, I believe that you can find a way to achieve it.

This is a lifestyle not a diet, a lifestyle many of us like myself have never embraced because we lack the understanding of how to. What you are purchasing is a lifestyle manual, and you will not succeed unless you have a strong desire to shed the lifestyle you now live and leap into a new one. If you are ready than you will find this book to be your new lifestyle bible, and you won't miss all of the bad foods you will give up, and the prep work won't feel like work, but more like a reward. As you make your meals you will feel good about yourself for eating so healthy. I hope this info is helpful and doesn't scare anyone away from it. Good luck in your lifestyle makeover, and if you would like to keep in touch for support feel free to email me by replying to this review. It is easier to succeed with support.

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. --Chauncey Depew
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, February 17, 2014
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Let me start by saying that I've only just finished reading this book and today is my first day on the program. When dieting, I tend to under eat which in turn hinders my weight loss. Thinking of my metabolism and body as a furnace that needs to be constantly fed in order to burn hotter was an eye opener for me. I also like the idea of cycling my carbs and calories to maximize weight loss. The exercise program seems like it will be something I can stick with and add on to as I become more fit in the weeks to come.

There are a few food suggestions that I found surprising in this book such as fat free mayonnaise. Fat free mayonnaise usually contains high fructose corn syrup! Yes, it's fat free but it's also, in my opinion, nutritional GMO junk! How about mixing chopped chicken with greek yogurt instead? Tastes great! The second food, if you can call it that, was spray butter. You might as well just spray some chemicals on your broccoli! Have you read the ingredients in that stuff? A more natural approach would be to use a mister bottle and add your own EVOO. He also recommends only egg whites. By using only the whites you're are missing all the vitamins, nutrients and digestive enzymes such as A, B12, D and omega-3's. I understand he is trying to keep it low in fat but mixing one egg yolk with additional whites gives you all the vitamins and nutrients and is generally more satisfying. Once again, this is just my opinion and I have my own pastured, organically fed chickens so maybe I'm just an egg snob LOL. He also recommends protein powder but doesn't give many details on this. Many protein powders contain artificial sweeteners so beware! I found one at GNC that is is a whole food based protein called Puredge Complete Protein. It is non GMO, gluten free and has no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. Trader Joe's also has an organic hemp protein powder that is very good mixed in a morning smoothie. I'm sure there are many more out there as well.

In general, I would recommend this book. It is very easy to read and understand....not tons of nutritional breakdowns that require a chemistry degree to understand. Something you could follow for a lifetime. I'll try to update my review after a few weeks on the program. Well, I'm off to do my shredders!!
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME easy to follow REALISTIC diet!!!!, June 22, 2013
This review is from: Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution (Hardcover)
I started this diet weighing 230 lbs this March...It is almost July and I am now 170!! I have 4 kids. A 4 year old, 3 year old, and 1 year old twins. I also am a full time student. If you don't have a lot if time for excerising get his workout DVD...his shredders are on there! If you are faithful with the diet and exercise and DON'T skip a meal you should lose the pounds!!!
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Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution
Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution by Chris Powell (Hardcover - December 27, 2011)
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