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on March 24, 2000
Five years ago, I walked into Dr. Shapiro's office with over 40 lbs. to lose and was literally at the end of my dieting rope. I had subjected myself to every diet from Optifast to Jenny Craig to Dr. Atkins to Richard Simmon's deal-a-meal and was successful at losing weight, but as soon as the diet was over, all the weight came back.... and then some.
From the moment I walked into Dr. Shapiro's office, all the dieting rules that had been drilled into my head were thrown out the window. He and his team of nutritionists taught me that I was actually setting myself up for failure with diets that were based on deprivation and control. I learned that I was actually sabotaging myself with some of the dieting techniques I had been taught over the years. Almost every dieting counselor/coach/sadist that I went to forbid me to eat fat, sugar, and salt, so I was trained to eat only low-fat, low-sugar, low-salt (and low-taste) "diet" foods. Every morning, I choked down a waxy, low-fat muffin or a plain bagel, sometimes making it more palatable with a smidgeon of low-fat cream cheese because I thought I was being good. In my mind, I was a model dieter.... but yet, I GAINED weight. How could this be! And the frustration just led to more eating.
The first and most poignant lesson I learned from Dr. Shapiro was that a bagel has the same calorie content as the three-egg deli breakfast I avoided like the plague. No wonder I wasn't losing weight! This book is full of simple strategies like this that help you to understand what you are eating and enable you to make better choices. There's no starvation, no weird or embarrassing dieting tactics and no suffering involved. Throughout the entire time I was losing weight, I ate most of my meals at restaurants, traveled extensively, and never felt like I was on a "diet". It took me a year to lose those 40 lbs and I've kept the weight off for four years. My Dad started seeing Dr. Shapiro 6 months ago and has lost 35 lbs. I am thankful to Dr. Shapiro and his staff for literally changing my life. Read this book and follow Dr. Shapiro's advice and it can work for you too!
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on April 3, 2000
Dr. Shapiro's book turned me around overnight. I've never gone on a diet before -so I don't know how the others work. I was simply ignorant of how many calories were in different foods. I just ate what came before me, including junk foods at the convenience store. After ,looking at the sensible pictures (well done, by the way), I changed my eating routine immediately, with no regrets. I simply eat stuff that has less calories- without having to diet. Every now and then I have a "treat" if I feel like it. My pounds are lessening and I have done nothing but made the right choices. I feel great! Thanks Dr. Shapiro!
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on June 7, 2000
I was sceptical when I frist heard about the premise for this book, but I had read the reviews and figured it was worth trying. I'm always entertaining for business so I eat out at a lot. As a result 'traditional diets' are almost impossible for me to follow. Dr. Shapiro's book is not a diet plan, but rather an alternate way of looking at food and eating. He gives many examples of restaurant menus and what would be good choices to make. This is reinforced by the pictures. After looking at the pictures a few times I realized I was starting to make the better choices -- this was not a concious thing, either. Something about this book really clicked for me. I guess I needed to see and not just read or be told what I 'should' eat. After 3 weeks I have gone down one dress size. I would definately recommend this book to anyone who has tried everything out there.
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on April 18, 2000
Dr. Shapiro's book demonstrates very succinctly how to make some simple yet profound changes in your eating styles/food selection and how these choices will ultimately lead to maintained weight loss. The biggest factor working for him is the fact that this is not a "diet" -- i.e., replete with complicated and stringent eating rules and regulations -- he simply shows you that by increasing your consumption of fruits/vegetables and decreasing your consumption of other foods (not necessarily eliminating them however) you can eat a good deal of food (even interesting food) and still lose weight/maintain weight. The only thing I wish he had added to the book: 1. more info on better meat choices (i.e., lean chicken etc.) 2. ideas for people with seafood allergies (i.e., he includes many examples of low cal meals based on shrimp, scallop, clams, etc- - but if you're allergic to seafood this part can be somewhat disheartening). Overall, as I mentioned in the title of this review -- it's a well-written, well-illustrated book and it is worth a read.
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on April 21, 2000
I have purchased many weight loss books over the years. This is one of the few that I actually read and not just skimmed. It makes sense and is easy to follow. I lost 23 pounds using the Zone Plan a year and a half ago. All but 3 pounds are back. Ask yourself if you can envision being on a certain eating plan a year from now and if you cannot answer yes, don't bother with it because as soon as you go off of it, back comes the weight. This plan I think I can live with. I laugh when I listen to a co-worker lament about how she can't lose weight even though all she eats for breakfast are two bagels. I'll have to show her the bagel comparisons in the book!
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on April 12, 2000
I think the immense virtue of this book is that it raises people's awareness about the foods they eat: many people blindly assume that if a food item is "fat-free" it's "healthy," or that certain foods are ipso facto "fattening," but Dr. Shapiro pops that bubble neatly. And by showing that you can improve your diet by making the right choices among easily available foods, vs. following someone's weird (or expensive) "diet plan," he's done everyone a great service. Still, I have some problems with his approach: (1) His concept of protein equals "soy," which is fine if you're a vegetarian, but those of us who still include moderate amounts of animal protein in our diets would have appreciated some guidance there too. (My doctor says I'm "pre-diabetic," so I'm trying to raise my protein intake and reduce carbohydrates, but it's hard to stick to this regimen if my only choice is tofu!) (2) The implication of many of the pictures is that quantity is more important than content -- but one reason Americans are fatter today is that we've grown accustomed to "supersizing" everything and stuffing ourselves. I think portion control is just as important as making the right choices. (3) He doesn't (usually) take into account the carbohydrate vs. protein content of the foods he compares. Given the choice between eating only fruit or having a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, I'd choose the latter because I need the protein. I think that the book is fundamentally sound and very helpful, but I'd appreciate it if, in future editions, Dr. Shapiro made more of an effort to address these issues too.
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on March 15, 2001
The photos of this book really are an outstanding way to get people to re-think their food choices. I have to agree with other critics, though, that his push of soy products gets old. Soy products are expensive, not available everywhere, and some people (not me, but my husband) just hate them. Yet Dr. Shapiro gives almost no other protein options. He also uses low-sugar products, many of which have artificial sweeteners that many people would argue are more unhealthy than sugar. Also, he uses some super-size foods for basic comparisons...he uses an oversized 400 calorie bagel as an example, yet the bagels my family buys prepackaged from the store have only 180 calories. My point is this: Dr. Shapiro's book will get you out of your comfort zone and make you re-evaluate what you eat, which is fabulous So use that same principle when using his book. You can still have a turkey sandwich if you use less meat than his photos, and no-fat mayo -- you don't have to use expensive soy lunch products. I also found it disappoining that he included photos of specialized dishes, but then didn't provide recipes. All this aside, I have lost weight because I am incorporating much from his book into my eating choices.
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on January 6, 2001
As a nurse and a 20plus year dieter, I've read it all and know everything there is to know about good nutrition and the various weight-loss tricks and trixter's out there. Dr. Shapiro's message is basic and simple but the photos are dramatic. The book is visual reinforcement of the basics of healthy weightloss. I bought the book on October 30, read it in two days and put it into practice on November 1. In spite of the Holidays, a Christmas baking fest and five Christmas parties, I have to date lost 22 pounds. At the hospital where I work, I've become Dr.Shapiro's poster child and have been responsible for the sale of at least fifteen books. Where is my commission, Dr. Shapiro?
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on April 6, 2001
This is really a different way of thinking and eating. I have to admit it...I picked up this book just for the pictures. I figured it was like every other diet book, but hope springs eternal. I've been fat my whole life. I knew I didn't overeat and every diet I've ever been on has been a crashing failure. Always before I ate to live. I hated dealing with food at all because I felt like I couldn't win. Now I live to eat. I eat more than I ever have, I'm not hungry, and for the first time in my life I'm losing weight.
This book is different because it actually tells you the truth. Much of the information makes perfect sense and I'm proving it works! I realized I was eating small quantities of very high calorie foods, so I was still hungry and needed more. Now I can eat much more food, but many fewer calories and I'm losing about 3 pounds a week! I always hated the diet shakes and the diet bars. Now I get my Veggieburger on bun, my big salad, my corn and black bean soup and my green pepper out at lunch and all the women with their Power Bars cringe at all I'm eating. But I'm actually consuming fewer calories than they are - and I'm not hungry again in 2 hours. Dr. Shapiro gives you many alternatives to foods we always thought were so good for us. Who knew those "fat-free" cookies made you just as fat as homemade ones? I sure didn't. Yes, there is an emphasis on soy and seafood rather than meat. But he's trying to show you that if you really want to lose weight you'll stay full longer on 12 oz of swordfish for the same calories in a small hamburger.
If you have stomach or bowel problems you'll notice a difference, too. Anyone who's been on Adkins will tell you how bad you feel after a few days and what a problem gastritis and constipation can be. On this diet, you're eating healthfully and normally and you body will let you know you're on the right track.
Like a lot of overweight women, I thought I knew everything there was to know about food and dieting. I didn't. Read this book. You may find out how much you didn't know.
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on March 28, 2000
I saw Dr. Shapiro on Good Morning America and thought I'd give his program a shot. I've bought several diet books in the past and this is the first one that has worked for me--I've lost 10 lbs in 2 months and have 20 more to go. Dr. Shapiro's program is easy to follow and the color photos keep you encouraged. Read this book and give copies to your friends and family. Trust me, you will never eat a bagel again!
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