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The No-Grain Diet: Conquer Carbohydrate Addiction and Stay Slim for Life Paperback – March 30, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Impressively modern in design, The No-Grain Diet brings a realistic viewpoint to the problems of weight loss in a genuine effort to improve the health of an ever-growing number of obese Americans. Offering a variety of "food plans," along with a set of techniques aimed at controlling emotional eating and cravings for "bad" foods, Dr. Joseph Mercola clearly understands how to motivate us--in one section, he suggests that rather than "living by the scale," we measure our success in relation to the fit of our favorite pair of slightly-too-snug jeans. Many recipes are included, most of which are free of the boring flavor substitutes so common in diet books.

The diet itself combines several familiar concepts. The "no grain" model emphasizes organic vegetables and quality protein, with limited fruits and absolutely no simple carbs. Mercola's idea of "quality protein" is somewhat startling--he is deeply concerned about toxins, and urges grass-fed beef over potentially mercury-filled fish. His main point is frequently reinforced: refined grains of any type are basically deadly and eating them should be viewed as an unhealthy addiction.

Here, the book veers off in a new direction: rather than gently nudging our habits in a new direction, he suggests we break what he insists is an addictive cycle with a method called "EFT," or "Emotional Freedom Technique." As a way to avoid surrendering to desires, his system of tapping acupressure points and repeating affirmations is used to overcome them. While repeat dieters will understand the necessity of examining emotional ties to food, Mercola's voice becomes a tad strident, and possibly downright offensive to those with a different opinion on what constitutes an addiction. --Jill Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

"Don't be surprised if you never again want to eat starches, sweets, and grains!" Osteopathic physician Mercola stands on the shoulders of Atkins (and gives a nod to Gary Taubes, author of the New York Times Magazine cover article many believe blew the lid off high-carb, low-fat diets forever) to make big claims in this guide for overweight readers. Mercola's diet, which he's honed for over a decade at his Illinois wellness center, offers "near miraculous results," and will allow its followers to "permanently conquer food cravings," he says. The secret to lasting weight loss, according to Mercola, is to cut out starches, sweets and grains entirely. (Dieters on the maintenance program are allowed "healthy" grains-buckwheat, quinoa, etc.) But though Mercola offers three different eating plans (The Booster, The Core and The Advanced Food plan) and plenty of no-grain recipes, his program goes beyond mere dieting: Mercola is a proponent of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a kind of "psychological acupressure" that he says is "the equivalent of AA for grain addiction." Developed by Gary Craig, EFT involves tapping on pressure points in the face and upper body while repeating a healing, key phrase, such as "Even though I want to have pizza, I deeply and completely accept myself." Mercola's course for weight loss is an intensive one, with rigorous rules and plenty of additional components-lifestyle changes, supplements and self-affirmations-that take a lot more energy than calorie counting. But that's the whole point, Mercola says, because cutting back on calories or carbs alone leads to temporary weight loss at best. For those willing to dedicate themselves to such a program, Mercola's guide may offer real results, and the case studies he includes should certainly help with motivation.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (March 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452285089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452285088
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Mercola is a board certified family physician that has treated 25,000 patients from around the world. He encourages and educates people about safe and inexpensive nutritional, lifestyle and exercise options to radically reduce their risk of dying prematurely from dangerous drugs and surgeries. He is also the founder of Mercola.com which has been the most visited natural health site on the internet for the last ten years with over 15 million unique visitors every month.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

302 of 311 people found the following review helpful By K.S. on May 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a regular visitor to Dr. Mercola's website for some time, I eagerly awaited the arrival of his book. While Dr. Mercola's big-picture objective -- weaning the average American off of poisonous food, poisoning medical doctors, and a poisoned environment -- is noble, his small-picture book renders an easy, common-sense diet too complex to follow.
In Mercola's defense, neither the writer, Levy, nor Dutton editors did much to clarify and communicate his vision. The writing is stilted and humorless, the organization an afterthought. Readers will balk at the confusion between Phases and Food Plans. Inconsistencies abound: Foods allowed on one page are nowhere to be found on another. For example, oranges are allowed on the 8-meal Booster Start-up plan on page 68; yet, inexplicably, the same list (lots of duplication in this book) eliminates oranges on page 106. Without explanation, the plan itself is reduced to six meals on page 136.
With better editing and organization, and fewer contradictory menus, the entire tome could have been reduced to half its size, with twice the clarity. It's a prime example of how too much information -- right down to how to cut one's bacon! -- can spoil a vital health education.
If you can find a way to get past the book's choking design flaws, please do: The good doctor's prescription for real health is both impassioned and well-documented, eclipsing all other "diets" out there, past or present.
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184 of 193 people found the following review helpful By J. Yu-Sian Wang on September 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read in an article that only 25% of the US population are able to handle a high carbohydrate (as in high starch) diet. Their bodies are built to handle it. For the 75%, we are a mixed type or protein type diet. That means that we are NOT able to handle large amounts of starch.

I've read thru this book in the library, and compared it to the ZONE diet. Both diets replace the grains with fresh non-starch vegetables. And you have to eat plenty (~3 cups of vegetables) per meal (even breakfast!) in addition to your protein & fat.

What most Americans don't do is to eat the required vegetables. If you don't eat the vegetables, then you are eating a "protein only" diet, which can only spell disaster for anyone's health.

As for grass fed beef, organic chickens, what is wrong with that? If you can afford organics, organics are always better for your body, because there are no preservatives, no hormones, no antibiotics, no pesticides, used in raising the animals. The organics produce are slowly coming down in price. I suggest you check around.

For people like me, who can't afford organics all the time, I try to buy as much organic as my budget allows.

I follow an Asian diet now, and replacing 90% of grains with fresh vegetables that either I eat raw, or simply stirfry.

So for people who can't have starch, eat the best protein you can afford, the best vegetables you can afford. Go check out your local asian grocers. Their vegetables tend to be cheaper and better in quality, simply because of the volume they sell.

They also have a greater number of vegetables.
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180 of 189 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Mercola gives his readers worthwhile health explanations and advice but his diet plan is too restrictive and time-consuming to easily follow. Instead, I recommend Going Against the Grain: How Reducing and Avoiding Grains Can Revitalize Your Health by Melissa Diane Smith. It is easier to understand and its diets and recipes are simple, tasty and a breeze to follow. I'm an avid reader of health books and both of these books cover important information for health maintenance. But Ms. Smith's book, Going Against the Grain, deals with a much broader range of health problems associated with grains and is the book I believe people would prefer.
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96 of 101 people found the following review helpful By CMCM on December 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
There is a huge amount of resistance to the idea of eliminating grain from the diet, because one visit to the grocery store reveals that most of its contents are comfort foods based on grain. Who wants to give up all those goodies? I sure didn't. I was addicted to all sorts of things which I had on a daily basis in small amounts. But a lot of health things were increasingly bothering me, some of them digestive, and I had gotten to the point where I thought nothing agreed with me. I have had about 15-20 excess pounds I simply could not get rid of, even though I'd eliminated most sugar, ate very little bread and cereal, minimal dairy, exercised 5-6 days a week. The excess weight just would not go. I think I've tried every diet known to man, and oddly, the only one where I lost weight was Atkins, which I only stayed on for about 6 weeks. But I never put 2 and 2 together when I did that diet.

After a scary dizzy incident a few weeks ago on a day where I had eaten a LOT of wheat things, I started researching gluten sensitivity (celiac disease) because my mother has it....and I found two very valuable books "Dangerous Grains" and "Going Against the Grain." Everyone should read those two books, by the way! I had this "No Grain Diet" book in my vast library of health/diet books, but had initially rejected it as too extreme for me to consider, and well, I was resistant to his ideas.

Now I'm reconsidering. Two weeks ago I implemented a diet very similar to what Dr. Mercola suggests: strictly no gluten/grain, no dairy, no sugar, increased veggies and low-glycemic fruit in limited amounts, lots of water, and somewhat increased lean protein intake.
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