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3.9 out of 5 stars
Curves
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287 of 288 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
When reviewing this book, I was curious to see if it differed much from the Member Guide that can be purchased at any Curves For Women gym. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it did: thorough and simplified explanations of metabolism and biochemical aspects of dieting, information on different herbs and vitamins that enhance health in a variety of areas, a Curves workout for home, a stretching chart, success stories, and more.

Chapter 1 gives a brief history of the Curves For Women franchise, why Curves For Women differs from other weight-loss plans (it's the only plan where you don't have to diet forever to maintain weight-loss), the missing link in weight-loss (metabolism), and an overview of the rest of the book. At the end of every chapter is a Curves success story.

Chapter 2 addresses "metabolic magic", and how to escape the diet trap of a slow metabolism. This chapter explains how hormones work against us, how to control starvation hormones, why dieters plateau, how dieting chews up muscle, how to make muscle and why it's so important for metabolism, and one of the secret ingredients of the Curves eating plan: you eat more to increase metabolism and retain weight-loss! Chapter Two also addressed how to do a "Metabolic Tune-Up", what to do if you fall off the diet, and a descripion of the three Phases of a Curves eating plan.

Chapter 3 explains the symptoms of carbohydrate sensitivity, and has two tests to determine if you need to be counting calories or carbs. It is explained why carbohydrates can be so bad for you, and how there is a new epidemic of insulin resistance that is causing an alarming increase in Type II diabetes. In order to be liberated from fat-storage mode, it's important to eat an adequate amount of protein, so there's a great deal of information about protein, how it aids muscle, and why drinking lots of water is important for preventing ketosis.

Chapter 4 contains a list of "free foods" that you can eat in any amount, and a 7 page chart that shows you the carbohydrate grams and calories of many common foods.

Chapter 5 outlines the carbohydrate-sensitive eating plan, and includes a 25 page meal plan for every day of the week, for 5 weeks. The meal plan also provides a calculation for carbs and calories for each and every portion.

Chapter 6 outlines the calorie-sensitive eating plan, and also includes a 25 meal plan lasting 5 weeks, including carb and calorie counts.

Chapter 7 discusses general nutrition for healthy body, including protein, fats, butter vs. margarine, essential fatty acids, fiber, carbohydrates, water, salt, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and phytochemicals.

Chapter 8 shows you how to buy good cuts of meat and tell the difference between fresh fish and not-so-fresh fish, and gives cooking tips and general information on foods such as legumes, vegetables, seeds and nuts, dairy and eggs, and condiments. There is also a section on how to read a food label, tips for eating out, and eating on the job.

Chapter 9 features the Curves-At-Home workout that lasts 30 minutes. The purpose of the home workout is to strengthen every major muscle group, give your heart and lungs a good aerobic workout, and increase the flexibility of your joints. So even those who are not a member of a Curves For Women gym can benefit from the Curves workout by doing exercises at home. All you have to do is buy an exercise tube (stretch cord) that is four feet long. There are pictures showing each exercise of the at-home workout along with detailed instructions. Also included is the exact same target heart rate chart and Curves Flexibility Exercises (after work-out stretching) that is found in the Curves For Women fitness centers.

Chapter 10 deals with enhancing your workout at Curves, for those women who are already members. It also features pictures of each of the machines used in the gym and how they are used. For example, you'll see 2 pictures of a woman using the squat machine--one standing, and the other squatting. The same is illustrated for every machine/exercise, as well as detailed informaiton on how to use the machines correctly and maximize benefit--including tips for Curves pros.

Chapter 11 discusses total health supplements for enhancing the Curves program, such as daily supplements, minerals, antioxidats, phytonutrients, amino acids, and more.

Chapter 12 addresses special health concerns such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, preganancy and menopause. There are numerous medical studies that are cited, as well as advice and information on how to maximize your health when dealing with these conditions. This chapter even discusses herbs such as black cohosh, licorice, don quai, and red raspberry and how they can help menopause. This section is 31 pages long so there is a lot of helpful information on understanding these conditions which will empower you to make informed choices about your health.

The last part of the book is the Curves Daily Planner which includes shopping lists for both the carbohydrate-sensitive and calorie-sensitive eating plans, recipes, multivitamin/mineral supplement shopping list, daily meal planner, Phase 3 re-training your metabolism chart, and a weekly progress report.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants or needs a change in lifestyle in order to become more fit and healthy. There is much here that will inspire, encourage, and motivate--as well as empower you to take responsibility for your health and your happiness.
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
I swear that I have at LEAST 50 "diet books" on my shelf. I have literally bought some of these books and eaten candy bars while reading them! I am here to tell you that "Curves - Permanent Results Without Permanent Dieting" is different from all the rest.
This is a book that FINALLY makes sense. It does not offer glib promises and it is EXCELLENT for both individuals who work out at Curves and those who don't as well as for individuals who have a lot of weight to lose and those of us who have 10-20 lbs. to lose. It is geared for women (and men) who are both middle-aged as well as those who are younger.
It offers basically three nutrition plans: Calorie-Sensitive Individuals; Carbohydrate-Sensitive Individuals (so followers of Atkins will do well on this); and a combination Calorie-Carbo.
It truly will show you HOW to incorporate a combination of strength training and aerobics exercise into your life without overtaking your life.
The book is great in that it includes shopping lists, meal plans, food guides, and charts to track your progress. There are also questionnaires to help you discover if you are calorie- or carbohydrate-sensitive (or a combination) so that you can choose the meal plan that is best for you.
It is well written and easy to follow and definitely worth buying!
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128 of 138 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Thank you CURVES and Gary Heavin for showing us a " fool proof" way to get off the cycle of perpetual dieting! Who wants to be on a DIET the rest of their life? Not me ! With traditional diet programs we have been taught to just tough it out through those plateaus or lower our caloric intake. The question is what happens each time we do that? The answer is lower our metabolism and therefore require fewer calories to maintain our weightloss or to be able to continue to lose, really sabotaging our success in the future! WOW ! Everytime I did that I lowered my metabolism because I cosumed less and my body just adjusted! So when I tried to go back to eating somewhat normally I just gained all the weight back and even MORE! I can definitely get used to just dieting 2 to 3 days a month innstead of for the rest of my life. Thanks also for helping us to understand the importance of strength training so that I don't lose any more muscle by dieting alone. I don't want to lose 40% of my weightloss im muscle again sabotaging myself for success down the road. What a terrific breakthrough in sensible weightloss and health! Cheers to the CURVES people for bringing this to all of us gals who really need this kind of information.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I gained a lot of weight taking prescribed steroids. None of the diets worked, though I stuck to them hard and fast. I joined Curves in July, 2003, working out 2-3 times a week, and have lost 22 inches!!! The pounds are just starting to come off now,as well. When you have a lot to lose, it takes time, patience, and hard work. CURVES IS NOT A SCAM! It's a well thought out, well controlled weight loss/strength gaining program. If you are weight loss resistant, as I am, do yourself a favor and check out your local Curves. I thank God that I did. By the way, my best friend, in a similar situation, lost 100 pounds in 9 months by going to Curves.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am one of the few people that actually enjoys exercise. I am in the final stages of recovering from a bad tib/fib break in my right leg. I really only have about 10lbs. to lose and have been working out at home on my treadmill and with 5lb. weights. I'm in pretty good shape and have excellent cardiovascular health, however, I find myself exhausted and sore after these home workouts, but not in a good way. My co-worker told me about Curves so I went and checked it out. I made up my mind to join after one time around the circuit. What a fantastic idea!!! The workouts leave me engergetic and satisfied. It's a wonderful way to rehabilitate. AND I find that the machines work you as hard as you're willing to work so they're perfect for anyone in any level of fitness.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've had firsthand success with the metabolism-raising last phase of this diet and think that, if nothing else, everyone should do Phase 3. It's really amazing how, slowly but surely, you get to eat more without gaining weight. Ultimately, this means no more dieting! This is something other weight loss plans DON'T teach you and makes Curves unique.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I joined Curves and lost 10.5 inches in a month. I just went 3 times a week. Then I picked up a copy of this book...ALL THE excersizes are there for you in the book so you can do it from home. The diet plans are concise and easy to follow. The recipes are delicious. What's great is that the book doesn't talk down to the readers. I love it!! It's been a life saver!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have bought this curves book and bagan going to curves 2 and a half weeks ago. I am a person who has NEVER EVER excersized in any way! I found out I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, ect and I was close to 50 pounds overweight when I began. I have lost about 6 pounds nice and slow since I began. I see a difference in my strength and appetite already. Curves is a fun, safe place to work out and the book has very good advice about food and dieting. I tried atkins and it was too strict with the low carb idea. curves seems to take a less drastic approach, for more permenant weight loss. I beleive this because i am losing the weight slower, which means I will keep it off this time! I also originally thought I had no time for excersize..boy was I wrong! 30 minutes, 3 days a week is a peice of cake for people like me who have always been on the go with work and college. I do need to get in more cardio as someone else suggested on here, but I am taking it one day at a time. I plan to increase my excersize slowly, so that i get used to it since I have been so out of shape for 33 years!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
wow...i have done the curves exercise program for a few months now and have been stunned with the results, inches and pounds falling away all because of the missing link....strength training...now i have a home companion to help me make sure my eating habits don't sabotage my exercise program...i can feel the weight loss in the way my clothes fit and i am feeling better inside now, too....thank you gary heavin for providing me (and all of us women who hate to exercise) a way to stay healthy and fit the rest of our lives without having to live in the gym....
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
First I must say that I find it truly amusing that the worst review for this was writen by a man who so odviously has never actually used much less properly used the equipment. I can asure everyone that the machines are quite easy to use without "thrashing around" and that when used properly don't seem to cause injuries. Having the cardio everyother is nice even if it is redundent bc most of what I need right now is cardio. The environment is also nice as it is not full of people who live to workout. Certainly is a beginner environment but I am a beginer. Oh and on the medical side many of the people where I go including myself were sent by dr's. Yes we all know that exercise and a healthy diet will help us loose weight but this program is great for those of us who have no idea where to start.
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