Top positive review
73 people found this helpful
Lost 10 pounds in the first 2 weeks and am still losing after 2 months.
on March 9, 2014
5 stars because this book works.
I never thought I'd be able to regularly eat less than 1000 calories a day and not go crazy. My wife and I tried this diet out as soon as the book arrived. You just can't argue with the results ... I lost 10 pounds (and a waist size) within the first 2 weeks. This book completely adjusted my attitude and way I view my diet.
Granted, the diet as written in the book is not easy (at least initially):
* The shopping is hard (and expensive) as some of the items are very difficult to find or are only available at ridiculously expensive stores (like Whole Foods) ... additionally, there are mistakes in some of the shopping lists (which I hope they fix for the second printing)
* The cooking is (initially) hard as there are ALOT of new recipes to learn ... especially for the first week. However, since most recipes only involve 4-5 ingredients, they are actually very simple and quick once you get used to it. By the end of the first month, I had cooked everything and preparing meals was a lot simpler/quicker than my diet before this book.
* I still had cravings. But since that's part of any diet, I don't hold that against Rocco ... it's my own fault for getting used to eating large quantities of bad food. However, the cravings I've had on this diet were a lot less than any other diet I've been on. Also, since my target weight of 250 lb is much larger than the average person, Rocco does state that the diet isn't optimized for someone my size. However, if you read the diet portion carefully, you'll note that Rocco recommends supplementing with an extra, healthy snack. For me, I added the broccoli+humus snack every night and that kept my cravings at a manageable level.
* After about a week, I started feeling really, really good. I'm not sure if it was the weight dropping off, or the nutritional balance of the diet (or a combination of both), but I just feel a lot healthier and more alert.
Once my wife and I started the second month, we wrote our own meal plan based on his. The major changes we made were:
1.) Swapped recipes we hated for recipes we really enjoyed. Goodbye rutabaga (*yeck*) ... hello Salisbury Steak at least once a week.
2.) Swapped recipes that we found difficult or time-consuming for simpler recipes we didn't mind regularly eating. Example: while the Green Monkey is delicious, the prep and clean-up time are astronomically higher than cheese & apples, or broccoli & humus.
3.) Swapped recipes with expensive or hard-to-find ingredients with recipes with common/inexpensive ingredients. I can't think of a specific example at this second, but this really made shopping a lot faster and cheaper. Our weekly grocery bill was cut in half and our total shopping trip time was down to less than an hour (plus we could get away with going to only one store).
4.) Swapped expensive ingredients with cheaper ingredients. Sliced turkey from the deli case is roughly $12/lb where we shop, but a roast chicken @ Costco is $5 and yields roughly 30oz of meat. And frankly, I think the roast chicken tastes much better. Another example was swapping the mango (in the "rice pudding" for whatever fruit was in-season / on-sale).
5.) Swapped in recipes that could be doubled. We couldn't find a small enough bok choy for a half portion of the Turkey Stir-fry recipe, and we hate wasting food. So every other week, we make a normal portion (which counts as double if only 2 people are eating), and save the other 2 servings for a night of the week that we both work. The tea is another great example (since I find zesting half a lemon annoying). My wife also does this with several of the lunch soups and salads as she feels that a double portion is about as easy to make as a normal portion.
6.) Pencil in the right amounts on each page. My wife took a few minutes after we got the book and penciled in the correct ingredient amounts for 2 people. It took her less than an hour (converting from fractions of a Tablespoon to Teaspoon is not always clear), but we don't screw the recipes up anymore.
... granted, we are now eating less variety, but identifying our favorite, easy dishes and having them once a week (or twice a week in case of left-overs from the double-up trick) makes this diet a lot less time- and $$$-intensive. In order to keep the calorie count accurate, we ranked our favorite meals and then matched them with compatible snacks and desserts that fit within the daily calorie targets. We wrote the ingredients on the back and use them to quickly create the shopping list for the week.
So yes, this isn't a magic cure or a perfect, effortless solution. But no diet is, and anything worth doing will take some effort. Also, can you really put a price tag on getting your health/figure back?
If you are serious about weight loss and enjoy cooking, you really need to at least give this a try for 2 weeks.