162 of 164 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Before I get into the review, please know that I never thought I would be writing something like this. I didn't "believe" that what I ate could help heal my body, I completely bought into the calorie model of weight loss, I figured the major heart and diabetes associations knew what they were talking about. If they didn't recommend it, I didn't take it seriously. I had never heard of the insulin theory, and figured I would be morbidly obese until I died young because I didn't have enough "will power" to starve myself and work out all the time.
I began the Calorie Myth/Smarter Science of Slim way of eating 6 months ago.My reason for starting was just to help control my blood sugar, sure I hoped to lose weight but I didn't think it would actually happen. I have lost an even 40 pounds without being hungry at all. I have not counted 1 calorie or macro nutrient. I have only exercised 4 times in those 6 months, which is not recommended, but I was focusing on nutrition first. As I lose more weight, I hope to exercise more, but the fact that I can loose 40 lbs without starving or doing aerobics for hours has been life changing for me.
Even if I had not lost 1 lb. I would continue to eat this way for the following reasons...
#1. EXTREME FATIGUE - Getting out of bed was a chore every morning. I was ready to go back to sleep by noon and was almost in tears many days because fighting through it to stay at work was so difficult. I had to sleep 'til noon on weekends to make up for "only" sleeping 8-9 hours on weekdays. I have been called lazy my whole life. I thought it was sleep apnea. I couldn't imagine how people had a job and kids and hobbies and friends. I wasn't able to function like that at all. Within 2 days of eating this way, that feeling evaporated. I'm still not the most energetic person I know, but I can make it through an entire day without wishing I could just go to sleep. I can think about doing things with my life that I never thought I would be able to do. I now know it was blood sugar issues and I had several other signs of hypoglycemia (extreme thirst, mood swings) which have gotten progressively better over the months. I used to wake up 9-10 times a night to drink water. Now I am down to 0-1 per night.
#2. SKIN - This may be TMI for some, so if you are squeamish, please skip. I have had an autoimmune skin condition for about 17 years. I tried taking Prednisone, I tried band aids with antibiotic ointment all over my back, I tried a "skin diet". It itched, bled, and never healed. Nothing made any difference. I gave up. I have worn dark, long sleeved shirts for 10 years. Then about 2 months into eating this way I noticed that my back, scalp, and arms were 80% healed. I didn't expect this and still can hardly believe it. I never thought I would be rid of this condition. There was 1 month during the 6 that I went back to eating things like cheesecake and lots of fruit and some pizza, after 2 weeks of this I had a major flare up, new bumps formed and itched like crazy. I went right back to eating correctly and the itching stopped and the bumps are healing.
#3. FOOD ANGST - Once I got through the first 2 weeks or so of irritability, strong cravings, etc. it was like a whole new world. I no longer start thinking about lunch right after finishing breakfast, I no longer have to "will" myself to not eat the donuts at work or the pizza that always seems to be around. (This never worked anyway, I always gave in. I thought I was just weak.) These foods honestly do not appeal to me very much now that the addiction/dependence is broken. I thought I could not live without cheese, but I can. I love the food I eat and have found a deep new appreciation for simpler foods.
I highly recommend this book AND the Smarter Science of Slim podcast to anyone who wants better health and/or weight loss. This information has helped me change my life and my outlook on life.
231 of 244 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I received an advance copy of the book in order to write this review. I'll tell you going in the book advocates a paleo diet and the banishment of grains, oats and other things.
As someone who pretty much follows the Mediterranean Diet, this doesn't appeal to me. But, having said that, I found the book a goldmine of valuable information, most of which I know for a fact is based on science and does indeed work. That is why five stars.
This book is actually the second edition of the popular Smarter Science of Slim.
According to a statement in the front of the book, The Calorie Myth was "Previously published in a different form as The Smarter Science of Slim by Aavia Publishing in 2012."
A reprinted or republished book is one which has been previously published in a different form (e.g. a paperback which was previously published in hardcover) and sometimes by a different publisher.
THE CALORIE MYTH is the simplification and application of more than 1,300 academic studies. The supporting scientific literature and scientific documentation is included to back up what Bailor writes.
While the book has some typos and a few editing errors, the writing is excellent and the ideas and information well presented.
I have a copy of the the first book and some of the content is identical. Having said that, the new book is more professional and the material better laid out than in the 2012 version and if you did not read SSoS, you will benefit from reading the new edition. In addition, if you did read the previous book, you'll benefit from the new edition.
In this book, Bailor provides a five-week plan to burn fat and shed pounds "quickly" and a lifestyle program to improve your health.
One of the fascinating things you'll learn in The Calorie Myth is how to reset your set point. Of course, that was covered in the previous book too.
"Our set-point determines our long-term weight. If our weight is elevated, it's because our set-point is elevated thanks to what I call a hormonal clog," writes the author.
He continues by giving an example of an elevated set-point being like a "clogged sink." "When our hormones change, our set-point changes. This is why we gain weight as we age."
Bailor is against counting calories as are a good many experts in the health and fitness industry. It has proven to be a failure. I personally quit counting calories years ago and it's paid off.
He writes, "Basing your diet on calorie count is like taking a medication that treats the symptoms of an illness, but doesn't cure the underlying cause.We can monitor our bodies all we want by tracking calories in versus calories out, but if we're not eating foods that fuel our biological processes and help to regulate our hormones, we're not curing our bodies."
He adds, "You can count calories all day and will not set yourself up for long-term fat loss if you are eating low-quality calories that trigger excess body-fat storing hormones such as insulin."
Numerous experts and health and fitness authors express their opinions in an effort to reinforce the studies quoted in the book. For example,
"For the vast majority of people, being overweight is not caused by how much they eat but what they eat. The idea that people get heavy because they consume a high volume of food is a myth. Eating large amounts of the right food is your key to success." -- Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD
Bailor suggests folks discard their scales. "As long as we focus on short-term weight loss, our efforts will not work out long term. We need to keep this critical perspective in mind because common things that do help us lose weight short term do not help us stay healthy and slim long term.The single most important step you can take to enable this mental shift is to get rid of tools that encourage starvation -- e.g., your scale -- and to set goals that will focus you on the long term. I know walking away from the scale is incredibly difficult. But until we free ourselves from worrying about our weight, we will risk relapsing back into our old approaches that we know do not work for the long term. Focus on getting healthier, not lighter. Your body will take care of the rest."
I know for a fact this is true. I also know most people will have trouble with it because we're taught totally differently all our lives. Of course, even the tape measure doesn't always tell the truth because many people get a bit bloated from time to time and their waist may show a number that is not fat at all. I personally prefer to go by the calipers.
The exercise section is excellent. I have done the short, intense and sometimes eccentric exercises for several years and the benefits are awesome. More and more professional athletes and just everyday people are discovering that long workouts are pretty useless and very boring. And, often, the rest of the day is spent being sedentary unless you spend very little time in your chair.
"While lifting weights helps boys feel like men, safely and slowly lowering weights enables us to use up to 40 percent more resistance. That enables more muscle fibers to be worked and more clog-clearing hormones to be triggered. That means more results in less time," he writes.
There is a recipe section in the update. However, one of their sweeteners of choice is xylitol. I avoid this sweetener myself. To quote an article on The Mayo Clinic website, " . . . be cautious with sugar alcohols -- including mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. Sugar alcohols can increase your blood sugar level. And for some people, sugar alcohols may cause diarrhea."
If these are concerns you have, you might want to consider coconut palm sugar or some other sweetener. Stevia, although a processed food, is good as and also used in some of the recipes.
I personally think we have to take the good out of what we read and discard the rest. There are those who will love this lifestyle in total and want to adopt it. Others may opt for a different eating style and perhaps exercise style.
But everyone will find tremendous value in this book. It should be read carefully and fully absorbed. There's a lot of material here and, just as studies must be read carefully, so must this book. Skimming it is not the way to read it.
- Susanna K. Hutcheson
Health & Fitness Researcher/Reviewer
148 of 164 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I read Bailor's first book, The Smarter Science of Slim, and loved it. I am a bit of a nutrition geek so I actually enjoyed having all of the research in one nice easy to read place. When I found out that there was going to be a new edition coming out (The Calorie Myth), I went back and forth trying to decide if it was worth getting the updated version. In my opinion, it is. There is just enough fresh information to make applying the principles to your life that much easier. If you never read The Smarter Science of Slim, then this is a must read.
The basic premise of Bailor's research is that the level of bodyfat is dependent on the state of your hormones. Without a doubt, that is true. But this is where it gets a bit complicated. There will be naysayers that still buy into the role of calories, but, in a way, this book is not completely doing away with calories if you still want to buy into that theory. When you eat good quality (""SANE") food, your hormones are balanced (and that includes the hunger producing hormones) and you feel full. You automatically eat less calories. That being said, if you follow the guidelines in this book, you can still eat a LOT more "calories" than you can imagine and still stay slim. But I agree with Bailor...balancing your hormones is 100% more effective than counting calories for anyone. The issue here is really freeing your mind to believe it!
As an example, there is a huge portion of the population that still buys into the need to eat low fat, even though study after study has shown that there is no relationship between a low fat diet and health. And this is all because one study, by Ancel Keys, was promoted so much that it has become nutrition gospel. The message that has not been so well publicized is that Keys actually left some of the data out of his results because leaving it in would have skewed his results to show exactly the opposite of the low fat diet he was trying to promote! There has been a lot of faulty nutrition research done over the years and it has really made it impossible to make good nutrition choices without digging through all of the data. The Calorie Myth has done that for you. You just need to open your mind and be willing to experiment to see how different things work for you.
I can tell you, from my experience, that the concepts presented in The Calorie Myth work. I am a 51 year old, menopausal woman and, according to what you read, I should be struggling with my weight. I actually struggled with my weight UNTIL I was about 40. I ran marathons and ate the traditional athletic high carb, low fat diet. I was fat and unhealthy. Since then, I have thrown away my scale (this is a must!), stopped counting calories, stopped endurance cardio and started eating more of a Paleo/Primal diet. This really started because I discovered that I had allergic reactions to wheat, but it was life changing. Now I eat a ton of food, exercise less and never have to worry about my weight. Everyone always comments on how healthy and strong I am and most people think that I am in my late 30s. It really works. Do I still "cheat"? Absolutely. But, because I have cleaned up my diet, it doesn't impact my body like you would expect. Besides...I don't want to cheat that much because the food that I am eating is so luxurious. No more dry bread or pasta with low fat butter spray or other chemical garbage. All natural delicious meats, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats.
I am also a big fan of the Jaminet's Perfect Health Diet and think that it is the perfect companion to this book. It is like taking the Calorie Myth and tweaking it a little bit further to really eliminate the Omega 6 fats and other harmful substances in todays food. But it is still the same message.... Live like you are intended. Eat nature's food instead of chemically produced garbage. Stop spending hours at the gym. Get your exercise an enjoyable way - play tennis, walk on the beach, ride a bike, yoga, dance! And then just add in the short time required to do the resistance training Bailor recommends. Open your mind and be amazed.
162 of 182 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
As others have noted, Bailor's book is another flavor of the paleo/primal diet style along with some exercise recommendations. I've studied the calorie counting, low fat, high carb myth, starting with Gary Taub's excellent, but more technical, tomes. My research led me to Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, whose arguments made the most sense to me, and that's (mostly) how I've been eating for the past few years. (Funny story - I'd been eating vegan, very low-fat for two years before that...)
Why I give The Calorie Myth three stars.
* Anyone who is getting the word out about how the American public was frightfully misled about the wisdom of eating low fat, high carb has my vote. The fact that Bailor does so in very lay-person terms is to his credit. Really, anyone can get it with the "clogged sink" and other analogies. Easy to understand the important set-point and "it's the hormones, stupid" explanations. Even for those at the Dept. of Agriculture, one would hope.
* Likewise, his description of eccentric exercise makes its benefits understandable to a non-technical audience. I'd heard it mentioned other places, but from his explanation I feel like I really "got it," encouraged enough to give it a try. (Though not exactly eccentric as he describes it, kettlebell workouts can give you that "sore for a week after a 20-minute workout" result, too.)
* His recommendation to cook double or triple recipes and freeze extras is good advice. Unless you don't work outside the home (or don't work from home) and have ample time to commit to cooking, it can be a bit of a burden to follow even a quasi-whole foods eating plan. Volume cooking and freezing helps you stay on track; I speak from experience on this one.
* Bailor repeatedly emphasizes that each person should follow his recommendations to the point that works for them, and to beware of making a diet style into a religion. If you eat whole foods at least 80 percent of the time and get a good balance of proteins, fats, and carbs (though I question his--see below), you will be far ahead of those eating SAD (standard American diet). One-hundred percent may be desirable, but don't beat up on yourself for occasionally including a "forbidden" food, as it can lead you down the rabbit hole of "I messed up so forget the whole thing and let's go to Smashburger."
*Though he espouses a whole foods approach, when you get to the actual food recommendations in the recipes, they rely heavily on large volumes of protein powder. How is that not a (very) processed food? Certainly not as bad as Twinkies; still, not something your great grandparents would recognize as food, let alone our primal ancestors.
* Along those lines, if achieving the protein recommendation of 30 to 60 grams per meal depends on the frequent reliance on protein powder, how could this dietary proportion have been common to our ancestors or recent forbearers who didn't have access to this modern processed food? The explanation he gives may be feasible according to metabolic science, but is it historically correct and common? It might be Bailor's background as an athlete that shapes his view that processed protein powder fits with a whole foods eating plan. Frankly, there were only a handful of recipes I would consider including in my whole foods repertoire.
* Bailor makes no mention of the benefits of cultured or fermented foods (beyond yogurt), which Nourishing Traditions emphasizes and even mainstream media is now espousing. The curative, health-promoting powers of these foods is essential to a "sane" (to coin a term) dietary approach, as evidenced by the fact that all cultures throughout history used these foods as do current, less technological cultures.
* The use of xylitol as a sweetener and the regular inclusion of desserts are troubling. My understanding is that the best way to slay the sugar monster is to go cold turkey from all sweeteners to allow the taste buds to recalibrate, which will reduce cravings in most people in about two weeks. Continuing to assault the taste buds with sweeteners, albeit in the less toxic, low-carb form, may not be the best advice, as it can perpetuate cravings. I will concede that for some overweight or obese sugar addicts, including Bailor-style desserts could be an intermediary step which would help reduce carbs and recalibrate the hormones, which is primary. Then they might be in a better position to tackle the sweet cravings.
* [added 1/8/13] Almost forgot to mention the recommendation that one consume 30 bags of green tea per day (not the tea itself, rather throughout the day, brewed in a concentrated solution). Now, we all know the benefits of green tea, but anytime someone tells me to intake megadoses of anything - good or bad - I have to take note. Usually, megadoses of the "cure d'joire" are either ineffective (think oat bran) or potentially harmful (think vitamin D). Even in cultures that have used green tea for eons, I'm doubtful they consumed this much. That said, I was reminded of the benefits of green tea and was motivated to include a cuppa in my daily routine.
Bottom line, I find the Nourishing Traditions approach more "sane" and intuitive than Bailor's, though I laud him for banging the "what they told us all these years is wrong!" drum. I haven't worked up the nerve to include organ meats yet (frequently eaten by our ancestors), but I can heartily recommend the benefits of sticking to whole foods, doing a lot of home cooking, and including raw cultured and fermented foods. This is sustainable for me (thanks in large part to living in proximity to a wonderful food co-op), which according to Bailor is key to adopting any healthy eating plan (sustainability, not necessarily access to a good co-op). His proscriptions may be more sustainable for others, so for them this book (though simply a re-packaged Science of Slim to increase sales?) will be a boon. I think his exercise recommendations are sound. Good health to all, however you get there! As Bailor says in his final plea, spread the word about the calorie myth (the concept if not the book).
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2014
For anyone still believing in low fat, food pyramid schemes, or governmental dietary guidelines, this will blow your mind and save your life. For those already well-versed in Whole Plant, Nutritarian, Atkins, Paleo, Grain Brain, Detox, et al, this adds some valuable new distinctions and metaphorical explanations. I've read dozens of nutrition books, and this is one of my favorites despite my forthcoming criticisms.
The overall scheme is roughly a mix between plant-based phytonutrients per calorie (wonderfully expressed in Joel Fuhrman's Superimmunity) and low carbs (convincingly & exhaustively detailed in Taube's Good Calories, Bad Calories). Simply put, enjoy high quality proteins & fats in moderation and then fill up on lots of non-starchy vegetables. Cut out all starches, sweets, grains, legumes, starchy (root) vegetables, high-fructose fruits, & most dairy. Never go hungry.
The object is to adjust your hormones to adjust your body's "set point" so that it will automatically adjust to a new, slimmer weight. It's not how much you eat, but what you eat. Short term caloric restriction diets undermine long term success. This highly readable text explains many concepts with clear and clever analogies.
The title comes from busting the absurd claim by "experts" (and shills) that all calories are equal and that weight loss comes from burning more calories than one eats. (The laws of thermodynamics are always valid everywhere but are stupidly misapplied to the human body by nutritionists who apparently flunked physics.) 100 calories of kale bears no resemblance to 100 calories of agave syrup.
Bailor emphasizes protein at every meal to avoid sarcopenia (loss of muscle tissue) and at least briefly mentions strong preference for seafoods & grass-fed meat, without getting into much detail about ALA, EPA, & DHA. He too-briefly dismisses The China Study's warnings against meat, fish, eggs, & dairy. He defines this diet as "medium carbohydrate" and doesn't want to be classified as "low carb", although he certainly leans that direction by eliminating sweets & starches and pushing animal proteins.
He values fiber but points out that, "Eating whole grain bread to get more fiber is like eating carrot cake to get more vegetables." He explains how, "calories from starch are more than twice as efficient at becoming body fat as calories from protein" and explains carbohydrates "leaking calories into her fat cells." "Body fat storage is triggered as a response to eating food that causes us to have more glucose in our bloodstream than we can use at one time."
He dismisses legumes as being too starchy, but I find them to be a valuable whole-plant protein source that does not spike my blood sugar. See the legume chapter of Fuhrman's "The End of Diabetes" where the carbohydrate argument against legumes was eloquently defeated.
He also dismisses all whole grains as being too starchy without even mentioning the distinction between overcooked pasta versus moderately cooked INTACT whole grains. Thus he dismisses grains without consideration for the RATE of conversion to glucose, although chapter 8 very clearly describes the importance of conversion rate and not spiking serum glucose. Admittedly one can survive without grains, and many of us might benefit hugely from eliminating gluten (wheat, rye, barley) without even realizing it (see Grain Brain). Should we really avoid intact quinoa, amaranth, millet, black rice, et al?
I find grains & especially legumes important because I don't want to eat animal proteins at every meal, as Bailor suggests. If you don't want the level of animal proteins he recommends and follow his prohibition of grains & legumes, then he might retort that spinach has more protein per calorie than steak--but if you ate that much spinach you'd be bloated, unsatisfied, and getting so much oxalic acid as to risk kidney stones. We need beans.
Furthermore, his reliance on protein powder does not strike me as safe and natural. Soy extracts are not the same as whole soy.
Also, brewing 8 bags of green tea twice a day seems too unnaturally extreme. Just, for instance, consider that tea is high in fluoride, which is NOT healthy to ingest (see The Case Against Fluoride by Connett). FYI, you can add soy milk or eat greens with tea, and the calcium will bind the fluoride so that it passes through unabsorbed. Foods To Fight Cancer explains the EGCG benefits of green tea, which tea types excel, and the importance of brewing for ten minutes before consumption.
Unnatural extremes of any sort are dangerous, whether soy isolates, protein powders, excess tea, excess animal protein, extreme low carbohydrate (prolonged ketosis), super low fat (some vegans), strict vegan (B12, DHA, EPA), etc.
His distinction between low-fructose & high-fructose fruits (citrus & berries versus bananas & grapes) is valuable, but I'd like to see a thorough chart of each, with numbers. Same for his distinction between starchy & non-starchy vegetables, although he provides a handy rule that non-starchy vegetables are generally those that can be eaten raw. Are carrots starchy or not? Give us some numbers instead of yes/no classifications.
"When the body thinks it is starving, it hoards precious fat reserves and instead burns the calorie-hungry muscle tissue." This is analogous to responding to a pay cut by cutting expenses rather than dipping into the savings account. Instead, he says to eat fat so that your body adjusts to regularly burning fat and doesn't feel any need to hoard it, BUT those fats are primarily healthy plant fats like whole avocado, coconut, cocoa, olives, nuts, & seeds (well in line with Dr Joel Fuhrman). He only briefly mentions the healthy MCT's in (saturated) coconut fat.
In addition to eating MORE, but SMARTER, he also emphasizes exercising LESS, but SMARTER, with eccentric interval exercise. Apparently my super-intense racquetball is insufficient to qualify for his 20 minutes a week of extreme muscle fiber workout. The object of exercise is NOT burning calories but building muscle mass, which then burns calories 24/7 and shifts hormones that shift weight "set point". This is an exciting concept, and I'm off to the gym to try it out.
Despite the good advice, his implementation in recipes left me completely unimpressed, as every single one of them contains animal products, protein powder, oil, xylitol, or artificial sweeteners (Splenda/sucralose in sugarless Torani syrup). Yuck!!! Read this book for concepts, but read Fuhrman for better food choices.
This is primarily a weight-loss book, although the result will likely cure metabolic syndrome and be healthier than many diets (unless your increased IGF-1 hormone causes grief many years later), but there is only scant mention of cancer and other diseases, so it should not be your only guide to nutrition. Phytonutrients, omega 3's, antioxidants, artificial sweeteners, animal protein dangers, and such concepts are only mentioned in passing, so learn the details from Fuhrman's books.
With this book alone, many Americans would achieve exceptional improvements in short-term health & fitness. Balance it by also reading Joel Fuhrman's Superimmunity or End of Dieting, and you'll have the ticket to super health. Add a few others like Anticancer by Servan-Schreiber and Foods To Fight Cancer by Beliveau. Then maybe toss in Healthy At 100 by John Robbins for a broader, "longer" perspective. Keep looking for answers, but BE SURE to READ THIS ONE!!!
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2013
This book will pay for itself with the first new pair of LARGER pants you DON'T have to purchase. But warning, you may have to buy SMALLER pants in the near future.
I got this book last night courtesy a pre-order download. I have followed Jonathan Bailor's advice via his podcast for nearly a year, but having this book in my hands is a convenient way to reference all the information to stay slim and healthy for life.
Several years ago, I lost 90 pounds, mostly by eating alot less, and exercising alot more. That was the easy part. Keeping it off proved far more difficult, as long-term starvation is HARD. And worrying about gaining it all back made me feel miserable. Out of desperation, I turned away from the eat-less-exercise-more mantra, and began my exploration into eating well, rather than eating less. After a good start from other sources (Fat-Head, Wheat Belly) I found Bailor's program of SANE eating. Now I have no worries about gaining fat. I don't even worry about my "weight" (as I have gained muscle). My principle measure of success is my belt, not a scale.
If you are looking for a quick way to lose weight with a temporary diet, this book is NOT for you. If you like small plates and going hungry, this book is not for you. If you want to follow old advice that continues to make you sicker, this book is not for you.
Fast "weight" loss usually means breaking your body down, with poor long term results. But if you want to get fit and build your body up for the long term, this book is for you. If you enjoy eating satisfying and nutritious food until you are full, this book is for you.
"The Calorie Myth" will help you understand the importance of focusing on food/exercise QUALITY rather that QUANTITY. It simplifies getting and staying fit. It will also give you the tools and knowledge to stop worrying about your weight, so you can focus on the important things in your life.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I have been tinkering with the SANE way of eating since finding Jonathan Bailor's blog several weeks ago. I was excited to see that he had written a book - "The Smarter Science of Slim" - but it was out of print. I pre-ordered the new book "The Calorie Myth" and contented myself with listening to the occasional podcast while I waited. I have added lots of vegetables to my diet and cut back on starches and have been seeing some success, mostly in the way I didn't gain weight over the holidays for a change. I have been really anxious to have an opportunity to read more and see the science behind the book. It arrived on New Year's Eve and I have been reading it at every possible opportunity. In the last few days I have fully implemented the plan, I have begun to see a difference in how I should look at diet and exercise. Further, I have not gotten on a scale, but can also see a difference in how my clothes are fitting!
I am a 40-something overweight woman who has "tried everything." As I read through the book, I realized that the earliest "diet" I was on was recommended by my pediatrician back when I was about 12. It was a low calorie diet and I don't remember actually losing weight on it, I only remember being hungry all the time. In retrospect debunking the whole "calorie is a calorie" myth would have probably solved my weight issue thirty-some years ago. If my Mom had been told to take away (or at least limit) fruit juice, soda, Kool-aid, sugary desserts and all of the starchy foods that were prepared for me - the problem might not have blossomed like it did. As I got a little older, I continued to gain weight. Diets and exercise were tried and short-term successes ultimately failed long-term. I joined a popular weight loss center right before I got married in my late 20's. I counted every morsel that went into my mouth and lost weight - about 40 pounds. My wedding dress was on the border of being un-alterable and the seamstress told me I needed to stop or I would need to buy a smaller dress. I went back to eating carefully, but not dieting and the weight came back - and brought a few extra pounds with it. A few weeks after our honeymoon, I tried the program again (even after I swore that I would never count calories again) and this time I lost nothing. I tried other diets, including Atkins, South Beach, Alternate Day Diet to name a few. I have been able to lose some weight through low carb eating (around 50 lbs) and mostly keep it off, but I have more to lose.
Now enters "The Calorie Myth." The entire premise of the book is different than any other diet I have read (and believe me, there have been many). Bailor introduces the science behind it as less a diet and more a way to improve your health dramatically. In fact, he suggests that we should focus not on a number on the scale, but on our overall health ...and waist circumference. I have found myself stepping on the scale daily until hearing his opinion of this on his podcast. It's been pretty awesome not worrying about what it will say, I must admit. My clothes are already beginning to fit a little looser - so obviously I'm not doing too poorly. The biggest difference is that I am NEVER hungry. If I feel like nibbling, I actually eat veggies - it's mostly boredom anyway so this is strangely satisfying. If I want a little treat, I have options - and they aren't "Frankenfood" substitutes or as Bailor calls them "Edible Substances" that are really just over-processed junk. One of the ideas that I heard on a his podcast had me nodding my head was Bailor's suggestion that "enriched" breakfast cereal was like adding a vitamin pill to your cigarettes. Sure it's BETTER for you, but it's still not GOOD for you.
Bailor also gives nuggets of information from exhaustive research and why low calorie/low fat/high carb is ultimately doomed to failure. This has been my experience, so it wasn't a surprise at all. However, one study that particularly hit home with me was a WWII era study done by University of Minnesota researchers who measured the effects of a 1600 calorie diet on people. "Subjects' metabolism responded by slowing down by a whopping 40%. At the same time their strength fell by 28%, their endurance fell by 79%, and their rates of depression rose by 36%." To think that this information has been known on any level since at LEAST WWII and wasn't common knowledge just boggles the mind.
From a nutritional standpoint, Bailor advises get rid of/or limit sugars and starches. Given that this is where my biggest success has come from, I am already totally on board with this idea. Further, he breaks it down to three very basic precepts:
1. Eat no less than 10 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day
2. Eat at least three 30 to 55 gram servings of high quality and nutrient dense protein per day
3. Fill the rest of our plate with whole food fats and low fructose fruits
This is just so logical - but not really something I have done until recently because low carb dieting is pretty restrictive here. I have noticed how much better I FEEL by adding more vegetables - now I'm anxious to see what else this will do for my health.
All in all, I am very impressed from start to finish. I have already noticed improvements in how I "feel" and am pretty certain this will also translate into positive changes in my appearance. This is a great book with a wealth of information and I'm looking forward to seeing where this takes me!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The material and insight Jonathan Bailor shares in this book and in his podcasts has been the key for helping me fine tune and tweak my diet and fitness regime. What he offers is clear, do-able and backed up by science. He's practical, inspiring and clears up all the confusion around what to eat and how to work out for the best results.
The biggest difference this material has made for me is in helping me find more ways to eat more non-starchy veges and protein in every meal. Such a simple solution for more health, energy and leanness. It's not that hard to do - and it has made a big difference for me. The tips and science shared here make making this shift easy.
Some reviewer here questioned how this book has gotten so many 5 stars so quickly... It's getting so many 5 stars because the material here is that good. In addition the author has been 'out there' guiding and sharing this info freely in such a helpful, non-manipulative way for awhile. (All for FREE and with a complete focus on good will and on promoting the well-being of others...).
It is easy to give this book 5 stars - I wish everyone I knew would read it - it cuts through hype and agenda - and can help us all be more healthy, energized and just feel better every day! A great thing....
104 of 133 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I was shocked to see thirty 5-star reviews on this book within a couple of days of its release. It makes me immediately suspect that some marketing machine went into high gear to pump up the book. The book contains excellent information, but it *does* have some problems. First of all, there's too much marketspeak in the book. The market is becoming saturated with books like this, and so it was apparently thought that some gimmick tagword (SANEity) would differentiate this book from others. As someone with mental chops sufficient to understand when he is being drafted for a marketing "movement," the constant repetition of SANEity just ended up being annoying. Second, I thought the book was unclear on the place of dairy. I was unclear whether one could/should use butter (ex. organic, pasture butter) as part of this program. And also unclear where whole organic milk, or organic raw milk cheeses stood in the author's mind. Full-fat, plain cottage cheese and greek yogurt are acceptable. Third, I hope you don't have any other hobbies, because if you have a 9-5 job and are raising kids, this is likely going to be the only hobby you have time for -- grocery shopping for tons of vegetables, and then prepping them for dinner and smoothies. Fourth, the recipes didn't look all that appealing. I found maybe three that I thought might be worth the trouble of making. As a remedy, you might want to look at some of the well-rated Paleo recipe books out there. Fifth, it was very light on information about exercise, and came at it from the perspective that all people hate exercise. Therefore, a point of the book was that you don't have to exercise more than 15 minutes per week. But what if you WANT to exercise more? I don't know. Sixth, probably overpriced inasmuch as much of this information is already in the marketplace in paleo books. Seventh, I would advise against getting sucked into any marketing movement, such as signing up for emails, and/or other services. A good book containing a good system, and you should buy it (or ask your public library to buy it, so you can borrow it), but true eminence is rare, so temper your esteem.
EDIT: Since I have written this review, I have tried 7 recipes out of the book, and probably won't make any of them again, as they are written (some of them might be improved with herbs, spices, garlic, ginger, onion, etc.). I decided to return the book for a refund, so I, personally, no longer have any ante in the pot.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Got an early review copy... great book, really solid info. Been waiting for someone to write this book. Calories are a really poor unit of measure for weight gain/weight loss. They are too crude and don't take into account the metabolic/hormonal impacts of the foods we eat. Instead of just caloric info on nutritional facts panels would be great to include glycemic index, insulin response, inflammation index, etc... these factors are have a much stronger correlation with weight gain. Well worth the read.