Customer Reviews: Feed Your Brain, Lose Your Belly: A Brain Surgeon Reveals the Weight-Loss Secrets of the Brain-Belly Connection
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on August 31, 2011
My family ages in a predictable pattern. We gain weight around the belly, we get gastritis and or diabetes and we get cranky. I know that I have glucose issues like many of my family but until I read this book I did not understand exactly what that meant, how it affected my brain as well as my body, or what I could do about it. Dr. McCleary explains it all in simple language that is also motivational. His recipes are WONDERFUl! I never knew what to do about breakfast but now I love his smoothies! Best of all I have most of the ingredients in my own pantry. None of his ideas require exotic foods or hard to get items which I really appreciate. I also loved how he gave reasonable substitutes for foods I could change out that would make a big difference. I found his language around exercise to be loving and encouraging which was a wonderful change from the scary rhetoric many other authors use. I am even considering buying a pedometer as he suggests. While some reviewers seem put off by the talk of supplements I found it really helpful. Our food is demineralized how else are we going to get what we need? I don't take Dr. McCleary's supplements but I do take supplements and I encourage others to make educated choices about not only their food but about what they may need to add to their diets beyond food. What else can I say? The pages are dogeared, the information is well researched and easy to access and I now have hope that I will not grow old and cranky (just, hopefully, old!)
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on April 12, 2011
The first eleven chapters are a very succint, understandable, and persuasive summary of the current interpretation of restricted carb eating. (Unfortunately there are no references to the many others who have brought this understanding to the public.) However, he then throws in Chapter 12 to push a proprietary supplement whose contents are not identified. It was a shock and a dissappintment. What would have been a book I recommended to everone, I will now keep to myself.
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VINE VOICEon April 15, 2011
I belong to a Healthy Lifestyle online support group. It's mainly about weight loss, but it's also a moral support group for keeping me exercising, eating well and leading a balancing life. If there is one thing I have learned from that group, it's that weight loss is NOT about calories in, calories out. There is definitely something else to it, and the logical way that this book is layed out tells me that what you eat is a big factor. I love that it's easy to read, but it's also well researched. The research is documented so that you can check it out for yourself. I don't have a lot of weight to lose, and I am doing most of the things recommended here anyway, but I hope that I can be healthier once I have made some changes that are in this book. I will be referring to my book often and getting copies for my gal pals!
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on November 12, 2012
When I first found this book I was rather excited. I'm very interested in the connection between diet and brain health, and I'm sure a great book could be written on this topic. Unfortunately, this book is not it. There is really very little specifically about the brain in this book, it is largely just a standard diet book with some recommendations about food choices and exercise. At a minimum, in a book about diet and brain I would have expected a careful explanation of nutritional ketosis, of the effect of ketones on the brain, and of the various health benefits one might expect from a ketogenic diet. (Ketogenic diets are used successfully to treat epilepsy, and are currently studied in clinical trials as possible treatments for brain tumors and dementia.) Yet this book devotes only 4 pages to ketones, which basically just say "ketones are good; eat coconut oil to produce them." Moreover, even though the section on ketones (correctly) states that ketones are an alternative energy source for the brain, an earlier sentence in the book states (incorrectly) that glucose is the only fuel the brain can use. This is a rather big mistake for somebody who sells himself as an expert in diet and brain health.

But more importantly, the whole book seems to be just a thinly disguised advertisement for the author's weight-loss product. (Google the author's name, and you will find the product.) The entire book basically just describes a single clinical trial in which this product was tested against a diet and exercise program and against a control group who didn't diet or exercise. After the author spends a good 11 chapters to explain the diet and exercise program in detail (always referring to this clinical trial, but never really explaining what exactly this trial was), in the 12th chapter he suddenly explains the trial in detail, and tells us that while the diet and exercise program was helpful in the trial, participants who also took the supplement lost much more weight. Curiously, while the author mentions the brand name of the weight-loss product that he sells, he never tells us what the active ingredient is. (The active ingredient is Gardenia cambodia, used in many weight-loss supplements.) Clearly, at this point he doesn't want to educate, he wants to sell.

The book closes with three appendices. One long appendix explains in details how clinical trials are run. This appendix is fairly technical and completely out of place. It seems to be either filler material, or the author put it there to convince us that what he is doing is actually ethical. A second appendix talks about fetal programming of adult disease, and also feels like filler material to me. A third appendix is called "suggested reading." It contains a long list of scientific articles, but with no explanation what they contain or why one should read them. Importantly, none of these articles are cited in the main text.

Why give the book 3 stars? The advice that is given is generally sound, and is presented reasonably well. It largely matches advice that has been given by people such as Atkins or Mark Sisson for years (decades, in the case of Atkins). The nutritional supplement Gardenia cambodia is most likely save and does actually seem to cause weight loss. So if you read the book by accident, you'll likely get reasonable advice. But if you have a choice of which book to read, read a different one.
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on March 20, 2011
I try a lot of different diets, and I plateau on every single one of them. Dr. McCleary's book explains the science behind why this plateau effect happens on low-fat, low-cal diets. He presents complex scientific information in an engaging and fun to read manner. McCleary goes on to explain why eating the right kinds of fats (monounsaturated), in the right proportions, can actually aid healthy weight loss and help us to feel full between meals. As a bonus, eating this way is good for your brain health.

This book provides meal plans and recipes, lists of good foods to incorporate into your diet, and suggested exercises you can do in your home, using common household items if you don't own weights. I have never seen this frugal and practical suggestion before in a diet and weight loss book, and thought it was excellent, particularly since now is not a great time, economics-wise, to spend money on athletic equipment that may go unused.

Overall I found this book to provide very good value. It contains solid advice and a fresh outlook on weight loss--that eating fat can actually be good for you. This is a common sense paradigm shift about obesity, diet and exercise the likes of which I haven't seen since reading French Women Don't Get Fat.
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on November 28, 2011
I have enjoyed studying this book and have begun incorporating changes recommended. I appreciate the explanations regarding the the physiology behind this system. This book is going to be one of my main reference books for quite awhile.
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on July 28, 2011
I loved this book. I read it in one afternoon and it made so much sense. Dr. McCleary, a neurosurgeon, makes a convincing argument for a healthy and easy to follow diet that will improve our health in many ways, including better brain function and lower weight. I really like his approach to food and didn't find his advice overly didactic or limiting. I've also tried some of the recipes in the book and they are delicious! I'm surprised this isn't a bestseller!
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on April 7, 2011
The beauty of this book, is that Dr McCleary has taken the overwhelming and often confusing topic of weight loss and provided a logical solution that makes perfect sense. No more counting calories or crazy diets in order to lose weight. Understanding the body's response to sugar and too many simple carbs is all that's required to lose the weight you always dreamed of and KEEP IT OFF!! In fact, not only keep it off, but improve our whole body and brain performance as well.
This book is brilliantly written in a clear concise manner that anyone can understand. Dr McClearyhas unlocked the secret to weight loss so that none of us needs to be overweight anymore. You just need to read this book and commit to the simple principles that anyone can's that easy !!
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on March 31, 2011
I would like to recommend the book "Feed the Brain Lose the Belly". I believe the reason I enjoyed the book so much was because it was written in a way that was very easy to understand and to incorporate into your daily life. It is filled with nutritional information that will help us keep our BRAIN CELLS healthy as well as our BELLY'S flat. Some of which I had heard or read before but after reading this book it is almost impossible not to be aware of what we are doing incorrectly in our daily lives. My family has had many laughs about "Sticky Fat"( read and you will understand). Somehow that desert doesn't taste as good when we understand not only the weight issues but the health issue as well.

Enjoy and learn to be healthy with a flat belly.
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on September 17, 2011
Dr. McCleary gives great clarity on how our bodies use the hormone insulin to regulate the fat-burning or fat-storage process. Throughout the chapters he systematically makes his case in a manner that is easy to understand and comprehend. Thank you Dr. McCleary for a job well done!
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