209 of 213 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2002
Schwarzbein goes against all the current thinking on dieting. Exercise and balanced diet are good words that all doctors will tell you. From there Schwarzbein goes in a completely different direction. Count carbohydrates, not calories. Eat as much good fat and protein as your body needs. Eat 'real' food, not the processed and chemical-filled food that lines the grocery shelves. Stay away from the low-fat foods that make you feel hungry and contribute to hormonal imbalance.
After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, my doctor gave me a 1500-calorie diet. That wasn't enough food to live on. I was lucky enough to have someone recommend the Schwarzbein book. In the past eight months I have lost over 50lbs, eating food I enjoy and feeling good about it. My doctor said to keep up what ever I am doing. He was happy when I said I was eating the number of carbohydrates listed in the 1500-calorie diet. I am sleeping the entire night. My blood pressure is at 125/72, down from 149/100. I had to buy new cloths, down from size 48 pants to size 44. Hopefully I will have to buy a smaller size in the next 6 months.
Steak, bratwurst, bacon, butter, eggs, mayonnaise, and whole milk are all part of my normal diet, along with generous portions of salads. I can eat as much of these as my body wants. I make sure that I eat potatoes, bread, and whole grain cereal, but in limited portions. My blood glucose readings are in the normal range, and they agree with Schwarzbein's findings in her patient studies.
The main emphasis of the book is not on losing weight. It is about becoming healthy, enjoying eating, and enjoying a long life. It isn't necessary to immediately make all the changes listed in the book. The goal is to gradually make the changes and enjoy life.
351 of 371 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 1999
I purchased the book early last summer, and read it in a few days. It made lots of sense. I had been eating low-fat/high carb for about five years before, and my weight and body fat slowly crept up. I felt exhausted and hungry all the time. After eight weeks on the healing plan, I lost 12 pounds, and definitely firmed up. I then switched to the maintenance plan, and allowed myself about twice the carbs of the healing plan. I still kept losing, about half a pound a week, and felt great. The heartburn that I have been plagued with for years disappeared, and my cholesterol levels remained okay.
Unfortunately, my family and work life got very busy around the end of September, and there wasn't enough time to make proper meals. I went off the plan, started eating fast food, convenience foods and other bad things. Sure enough, the weight came right back. Things should calm down after the start of the new year, and then I'm going back on the plan, forever hopefully.
Some tips to make the diet easier:
1) Working a full time job and eating eggs every morning did not work for me. I tried that for a couple weeks and ended up spending over an hour each morning messing with breakfast. I found a good alternative in making shakes from protein powders. I add flaxseed and safflower oils, cocoa powder and fruit to provide the proper amount of protein, carbs, fat and fiber. I make a blender full of this drink in the morning, adding ice to make a cold shake.
2) Balance Bars (available at health food stores) make a good quick snack on the maintenance plan.
3) The extract of the herb Stevia (also available at health food stores) is a great natural sweetener, an alternative to aspartame. I use it to sweeten my protein shake, decaf coffee and tea.
172 of 179 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 1999
I have been following Diana Schwarzbein's guidelines for about 4 months now. I have all the praise for the book that other reviewers have expressed here. For those whose progress has been slow, I thought I'd share this observation.
Looking back, I can say that after the initial significant loss of inches, I can best describe my progress as 2 steps forward - 1 step back. There are times when I simply can't help myself but switch to a carb-heavy diet, including sweets and potato chips. This phase usually lasts for two or three days. At those times I gain some weight/inches back, and it can be pretty tough psychologically. The good news is that although at these times I think I've completely shot the results and gained everything back, it is usually a pleasant surprise to find out that the smaller size clothes still fit, albeit a bit tighter.
I've noticed that these "binges" happen after the next stage in inch-loss has been reached. It is as if the body is fighting back to hold on to those next fat deposits that are being attacked - and who can blame it! As D.S. explains, our bodies are programmed to gain - and hold on to - fat to provide for times of stress and famine. The beauty of the plan, however, is that once you are used to eating a protein-rich diet, it becomes easy to go back on track. The "binges" are nothing like what usually accompanies low-fat/high-carb diets. You'll find it has suddenly become difficult to eat a whole candy-bar anymore, and there'll be no more of that ice-cream consumption by the gallon. In fact, you'll find the ice-cream so sweet, you won't be able to go past the first several spoonfuls. (Trust me, I tried!) And after two-three days, you'll feel like going back to the plan because you will simply be feeling like a wreck.
So be patient. After the next try, your body will give up a few more ounces of fat. But you have to convince it that there is nothing to fear - that there will always be a steady supply of balanced nutrious food, and those fat deposits are not needed. "Two steps forward, one step back" may seem like a slow progress, but it's progress nonetheless, and that's more than can be said about other diets.
Eating this way will also free you from the gym obsession. You'll notice that once you've built a certain amount of muscle with weight-lifting exercises, your metabolism will be working without your having to stair-master yourself to exhaustion every morning. I do weight-lifting with some regularity (although haven't for the last month and a half) and get the rest of my exercise from walking to and from work. Even extended business trips, with no excercise and abunadnce of hotel mini-bar temptations, do not throw me off anymore.
But the best part is that this way of eating and living has helped me take my mind off food and weight loss and free it for other pursuits. It's the best result I could ever hope for.
114 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2003
Several reviews back, a reviewer claimed that Dr. Schwarzbein is a quack and not board certified in internal medicine or endocrinology. I did a search, and web site for the American Board of Medical Specialties (the umbrella organization for the 24 approved medical specialty boards in the United States) states that she is indeed board certified. She is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, with a general certificate in internal medicine and a subspecialty certificate in endocrinology as well as diabetes and metabolism. Check your facts before making false accusations!
83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2001
After two babies and twenty years of eating fat-free, high carbohydrate meals - I found myself 53 pounds overweight. Feeling sluggish, constantly craving sugar, and being rather moody I decided to try the zero carbohydrate diet. Fortunately, a friend told me about Schwarzbein's book as I was starting the Atkins diet. To prepare, I had to shop twice and change my way of cooking. I stopped eating out of the pantry and started eating out of the refrigerator. It took a few weeks to figure it out but Schwarzbein's meal plans were a tremendous help. My husband looked at me as if I was crazy: eating steak and salad 6 nights in a row, eggs and sausage for breakfast, cheese and nuts for snacks, and chicken picatta for lunch. Within one week of starting I felt much better. Within 9 months I lost 43 pounds (I do cardio 4 times a week for 40 minutes and lift weights too). Went from a size 16 to a size 6. Unfortunately, sugar (which I now know is HIGHLY addictive), got to me around the holidays and I put on 10 pounds in 4 months. I am back on track now and look forward to peeling off the remaining weight and returning to my new energetic self.
60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2001
I ordered this book after hearing of Dr. Schwarzbein's named mentioned by a few celebrities. While I am not a diabetic or severly overweight, at age forty with two children and a husband, I felt horrible. I had PMS so bad for two weeks out of every month I felt like it was taking over my life. I was always in a terrible mood, stressed out, like a stick of dynamite ready to go off. What I read in this book astounded me! It was as if I was reading an exact description of me. I lived on a high carb, low fat diet for ten years. I craved pasta, and coffee all the time. I craved pasta so much that I ate for lunch and dinner daily usually with a vegetable and no meat. I realized after reading the book that I was eating almost no protein at all. I began eating balanced meals immediately that included natural fats and proteins, and cut out pasta, bread, and sugar from any source other than fruit. In two weeks, I felt like a million bucks. NO PMS!! None, for the first time in years. I could not believe it. I kept up the eating plan and lost ten pounds in 5 weeks. I have 20 extra baby pounds that I was struggling to get rid of for 4 years! Even better, I hardly drink coffee any more. This book was an easy read only taking about 3 nights. I would suggest this book to anyone who generally doesn't feel well and wants to feel 100 times better whether it's PMS, fatigue, stress, etc. Dr. Schwarzbein makes so much sense. She points out that we as Americans are getting sicker and sicker eating what the "expert" researchers say we should. We, as Americans are living on medications for all sorts of ailments. Dr. Schwarzbein has the answers to why that is happening. Read the book. You will be throughly enlightened.
71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2002
After following Dr. Schwarzbein's diet religiously for 3 months, my blood test results showed the following: Cholesterol remained just below 200, about the same as before. My triglycerides dropped from 248 to 80. My good cholesterol doubled from 25 to 50, and my LDL (bad cholesterol) remained the same, below 100. In addition, I met my goal by losing 16 pounds, and my waist size dropped from 34 to 32. I imagine that the results would have been better if I had exercised regularly.
I enjoyed eating a balanced diet that included eggs, butter, heavy whipped cream, red meat, and cheese. My wife's physician was familiar with Dr. Schwarzbein's book, so I had no fear.
A recent article in JAMA, Vol. 287, No. 18, May 8, 2002 by Dr. David S. Ludwig, M.D., PhD, THE GLYCEMIC INDEX, Physiological Mechanisms Relating to Obesity, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease, appears to support Dr. Schwarzbein's program.
Dr. Ludwig's study was supported by grants from the National Institutue of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2000
I bought this book, along with about fifteen others, a year ago, in an attempt to get my Type 2 diabetes under control using diet and exercise rather than medication. As a result of using her plan, my morning glucose fasting numbers came down immediately. I just completed my annual physical and my Glucose A1C has dropped out of the diabetic range (from 7.9 to 5.0). Much to my surprise, my cholesterol dropped from 280 to 199 and my HDL increased from 34 to 47 (all excellent numbers) and my blood pressure dropped to well below the problem level. I have not really been attempting to lose weight, but have dropped about 18 pounds over the same year. I am never hungry and I never have digestion problems. Dr. Schwarzbein knows what she is talking about.
By contrast, when I furst learned of my diabetes, I immediately went on the American Diabetes Association's recommended diet, and my cholesterol increased from 238 to 280, my blood pressure increased slightly, and my Glucose A1C increased from 7.6 to 7.9. In addition, I was always hungry, had a terrible time sticking with the diet, and felt weak and unclear-headed.
Buy this book and follow her instructions- it will save your life.
54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2000
I first learned of this book from the Suzanne Somers book - "Get Skinny Eating Fabulous Foods". I decided that before I launched off on some totally new way of eating (I've been on low fat/high carbs for years) that I would learn more about the principles behind Ms. Somers' book. I've never been overweight by any of the charts and never more than 15 or so pounds over my own ideal weight of 130 (I'm 5'9" tall) and I have amazing cholesteral readings (I'm 56 years old).
For several years I have had an uncontrollable problem of binge eating at night. I would eat until my stomach bulged and ached but always wanted more to eat - never satisfied. Just a bit over a year ago my weight was at its highest point ever - 146 lbs. So I joined Weight Watchers (WW) and over a 3 month period I lost 16 lbs. However, the experience was just another agonizing way focusing my life around food and eating out was a nightmare. I got to the point that I refused to go out to eat at all - because I would feel like a WW failure. Then my weight started creeping up again - the nighttime binge eating had never gone away.
Then I found the Somers book that lead me to Dr. Schwarzbein's book. What an amazing discovery! I've been following her eating principles for about 4 weeks and my weight has dropped back to 130 lbs. I feel wonderful; don't focus on food; have lost my cravings for all the carbs I used to eat; and the most wonderful thing is that the night time binge eating has ceased (no willpower needed or used). I had stopped my exercise program about 4 years ago but now I'm getting back into a light exercise routine that is primarily walking and weight lifting at home.
So, thank you to Suzanne Somers and Dr. Schwarzbein! Now my big challenge is to get my husband "eating right" so he can lower his huge cholesteral levels.
75 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 1999
I have lost 50 lbs. since the 1st of August. I began eating lo-carb when I read Suzanne Sommers new book and quickly switched to the Schwartzbein Principle after reading the Doctor's book. I am in my 50's, female, and have been very obese for years and have struggled with various weight loss methods all of my adult life. This book seems almost like a miracle to me. I have been taken off one of my blood pressure meds, I have more energy, I look and feel better and I don't crave sweets! I do intend to continue to follow the Schwartzbein Principle as closely as I can and I know that one day in the not too far future, I will be normal weight. I never thought that could happen. Thank you, Dr. Schwartzbein!