Top critical review
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Good info, if a bit extreme for the "average Joe"
on September 13, 2011
I'm rather skeptical when it comes to "Idiot's Guides" and diet books, but gave The Idiot's Guide To Hormone Weight Loss a chance on account of the science being of interest to me. If you've heard about the caveman diet, the Hormone Weight Loss Diet shares some philosophy, but with very specific attention paid to hormone balances.
The book is well-organized, with both punchy metaphors to aid understanding (I enjoyed Stanton's explanation of insulin resistance and diabetes, as related to pizza delivery men) and feel-good success stories of Stanton's patients. Stanton started out as an OB-GYN but gradually became interested in how hormone balances were effecting her patients, particularly with regards to their weight. She lays out the essential hormones that effect our weight, including insulin, cortisol (stress hormone), leptin, ghrelin, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and human growth hormone (and more). It's fascinating how each interplays with others, and how one being out of whack -- often due to poor, modern diet -- can mess up the others. Essentially, Stanton believes that the modern Western diet (she has some scathing words for the Food Pyramid) has wrecked havoc on our bodies' natural processes, and lead to both increased fat, and difficulty reducing that fat.
It is an Idiot's Guide, so the sections and information are laid out in a simple, easy-to-understand manner. Personally, I found several sections in the front end of the book repetitive and patronizing, but hidden throughout are gems of information, especially on environmental toxins, vitamins and tips for helping our bodies restore balance. The back-end of the book is essentially a diet plan, including a food guide and recipes. The book walks you through a detox phase to reset your hormones, and also features a quiz you can take to figure out what, if any, hormone balances you may have.
Anyone who is curious about diet, lifestyle, hormones and weight and wants a simple, quick-to-read primer, The Idiot's Guide To Hormone Weight Loss is a good choice. For a more in-depth, science-y look, however, I might look for a book that isn't simultaneously hawking a diet plan.