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on March 5, 2014
I bought this book when it first came out, so this review shares my LONG-TERM experience, which is significant. Anyone can pick a diet/exercise book, stick with it for a couple of months, get awesome results, and write a review telling you this is the answer to all your problems. But you never get to hear what happens later -- a years down the road -- did they maintain their losses? Did they gain it all back and then some? So, that's what I'm going to share with you -- me, more than two years later.

Who am I? In my former life, I was an elite athlete (swimming) who competed at the national and international levels and went to college on a scholarship. Now, I am a 37-year-old mom of two who works fulltime. When I read Jackie's book, I wasn't "fat" exactly, but I was at the very high end of the "healthy" weight range for my height: 5'4", 145. I was definitely unhappy with how I looked. As a former athlete, I was really missing my body, but never thought I could get even close to where I was before grad school, marriage, two kids, and a stressful job intervened.

So anyways, forgetting for a moment that the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result," I decided to try yet another diet and exercise program. I read Jackie's book. At first, I could only muster the will to follow the dietary guidelines, which, by the way, are surprisingly easy and do not require you to break-up with carbs, learn how to eat weird, or immediately overhaul your pantry. I added the foods she said to, ate what else I wanted to, and started losing weight right off the bat. I did this for about a month. "Hmmmm," I thought, "if I can lose weight just by eating this way, I bet it'd come off faster if I actually tried."

So I started to follow the second phase of her diet, which is "cleaner," and I tried the workouts in the book. Now, to be honest, I am not that great at pushing myself after years of having a coach do it for me. The workouts are great, but I couldn't stick to them. I got her DVDs instead, which are great, especially the "30 day jumpstart" (which still kicks my butt) and the "Xtreme timesaver." Having her tell you what to do instead of having to figure it out for yourself definitely makes it easier to complete the workout. Armed with the book and the DVDs, I marched on.

About three months in, I had lost all the weight I wanted to (30 pounds). Awesome. And I wasn't "skinny fat," either. I was actually firm. So firm, in fact, that I could see definition in my abs -- "there you are my old friends, I thought we had said goodbye forever." Now here's the really awesome part: I have maintained it for two years and counting -- with minimal effort.

Since reaching my goal, I have continued to follow Jackie's dietary guidelines, but instead of doing the "cheat meals" thing, I apply a 90/10 rule -- 90% of the time I'm 100% good; 10% of the time, not so much (the percentages change during the holidays). When I get sloppy and start to notice a little flab creeping back, I get serious and go back to the plan 100% until I'm back to my goal (the trick here is to catch yourself before you go more than 10 pounds in the wrong direction). I firmly believe that the dietary guidelines alone have been 95% responsible for my maintenance.

I do still exercise, but nothing crazy. I aim for 30 min. of intense exercise 3 times per week. I only do more than that when I have to make up for the holidays or something, and there have been months when I do nothing at all. I rely mostly on Jackie's videos but add in other random ones I pick-up here and there when I get bored. I've also gone on a couple of gym kicks but only run high-intensity intervals on the treadmill so as to avoid the gym rats who shamelessly stare as they grunt through another set of bicep curls.The point I'm trying to make here is that I haven't exactly been killing myself in the gym or setting aside chunks of time every day to workout, yet I have managed to maintain my new body.

Bottom line: You can do this. The book's subtitle, "And How to Get Thin Forever," is true. Reaching my goal required some initial effort (but nowhere near as much as other programs I've tried), but maintaining your new body is not only possible, it's easy. And the longer you stick with it, the easier it becomes.
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Warner spent five days a week, two hours a day writing the book, according to a recent article in The Advocate. She's trying to come back from the loss of her Bravo show, Workout. The loss of her show followed some insensitive remarks about a woman's breasts. The woman's husband called Warner out when he overheard the on-camera quips about the shape of his wife's breasts. She had undergone reconstructive work after a battle with breast cancer. After considerable pressure, Warner's sponsors pulled off the show. Many fans dropped her and her status as a role model was losing steam.

Another show she planned was cut down before it aired. So, this book is one step in her comeback and attempt at redemption. And certainly it will sell well because people rush to buy this type of book --- and she still has a following --- though not as much of one as she once did.

About the book she says, "It's different and better than anything else out there," She says the Atkins diet is a program that can't be maintained because "deprivation doesn't work." I think we can all agree with that.

She says in her book, "We are a nation of sick, unhealthy people wasting away and mutating into sad, fat, and lethargic people, just getting fatter and sadder by the second. We are an out-of-control nation with out-of-control waistlines. I have noticed that a mass panic is setting in. I see it every day in the faces of people and desperate e-mails from around the country. So many people are tired, always dragging and feeling exhausted. Many are a walking medicine chest, dependent of pills to control everything from high blood pressure to sleep deprivation, and are chronically fatigued and depressed. Others can't climb a flight
of stairs or walk a block without gasping for air. Millions of people are alive, but hardly living."

I find what she said so sad yet so true. I'm old enough to be Jackie's mother. I can tell you that I have more strength and energy now than I did twenty years ago. And it's due to changing my lifestyle in a manner similar to what she recommends. I only wish I would have learned about it sooner.

I was never obese but often overweight. I don't care so much about looking sexy anymore. But I do care about feeling strong and well and having my blood pressure and other numbers where they should be. There comes a time when we care less about the shape of our butts and more about the shape of our health. So some of you are still motivated by looking good. Others by feeling good. And hopefully many of you about both.

My point is, Warner speaks to the root of the problem and to the soul of the reader. She gets right down to the hurt. That sets her apart from others who write this sort of book.

She says she's passionate about "showing people how powerful they really are." That talks to me. I'm all for empowering myself and others and I know from personal experience how great it feels to hit 65 and be able to do ten times what you did at forty five, to be stronger and smarter and wiser. And that's a mixture of physical strength along with self-confidence. This is what Warner teaches. And for that reason, I consider her the top of the lot.

She starts out by telling you why you're fat. That's important. Why? Only when you know why you're fat are you able to go in reverse and start over --- doing the right things that will make you slim and keep you slim. You have to know why you got fat in order to correct it.

Hormones are the cause of fat, according to Warner. "Out of whack hormones disturb your body chemistry and cause weight gain," she says. She adds, "When you control your hormones, you can control fat!"

She goes on to say that there are hormones that can make you thin. Here she talks about human growth hormone (HGH). Of course, it's illegal to take the pill HGH. But she discusses ways to get your body to create it naturally --- pretty exciting stuff because HGH is truly the fountain of youth.

She also tells you how to eat to create more testosterone. And yes, that's a very powerful and important hormone for women as well as men.

She says, "The best testosterone diet is a healthy moderate-fat/high-protein/moderate-carb diet --- which is how my nutrition program works." She goes on to say that type of diet creates a hormonal environment that the body uses to burn fat and put on lean muscle.

In discussing exercise, Warner tells the reader to see herself/himself as "an athlete." She says, "When I tell my clients that I see the athlete in them, they actually work harder and complete those last five reps. Your behavior is consistent with your identity."

She hit the nail on the head there. You become pretty much what you think about all the time and who you think you are. She says, "When you look in the mirror, do you see a lazy, fat, out-of-shape person? If so, your behavior will follow to match that identity --- you will in effect act like and be a lazy, fat, out-of-shape person." She goes on to say that if you see your inner athlete, motivated to change, you become that person.

Warner says crunches are worthless. By looking at her famous six pack, I'd say she certainly does her share, however. Those don't come naturally or easily to anyone.

But what she says is true --- they can cause injury after several years of doing them --- if not less. She says it's all about cardio (which, much like myself, she hates.) She stresses doing "power circuit" training to the point of exhaustion. Again, I think she goes a bit off on this. A person can do far too much of anything. Exercising until you throw up or whatever doesn't appeal to me one whit! If you like that sort of thing, more power to you.

Warner allows sugar in her eating plan but not much. She believes that sugar and not fat is the culprit. I certainly agree with this as science backs it. The book also offers lots of food choices--including pita bread, pork roast, and yams. Her plans call for three meals and two snacks per day. Two "treat meals" weekly are allowed. You can have any junk food you want as long as it has no more than 1500 calories.

I don't agree with the idea of cheat meals or cheat days. A study in the International Journal of Obesity showed that people who ate a consistent number of calories all week long were 50% more likely to maintain their weight than those who stuck to a stricter plan Monday through Friday.

In other words, if you're strict five days a week and then go on a two day binge or cheating spell, you're likely to put on pounds. Moreover, doctors warn against cheat meals. Even one meal that's not healthy can have ill effects on your heart. This is above and beyond what it can do to your weight.

About the title of the book she says, "I fought very hard for that title. "It's inflammatory, but I am tired of turning on the TV and reading diets that are not going to help."

The foods she recommends are easily available and affordable.She suggests you don't weigh or measure. If a piece of meat will fit into your palm "that's cool." Gotta go along with that.

I found the book interesting and some of it useful. I certainly don't agree with it all. I think Warner tends to go to extremes at times and I think she's wrong at times.

I did find Warner's book unique and head and shoulders above most of the so-called diet books or fitness books available. One need not agree with everything to get good from it. Her talk on metaphysics was very interesting and inspiring.

You'll find lots of exercises, complete with small photos of Warner doing them to show you how. You'll also find many really great-looking recipes that should be easy and fast to make as well as healthy. She does suggest, and rightly so, that you use organic food, including eggs. In fact, she suggests two eggs per day.

I found both the exercise and the food preparation sections very good. I also enjoyed the motivational sections. All in all, a very complete book for the person wanting to get in shape.

While Warner does not come across as a caring, compassionate person, her writing makes her sound like one. And people who are miserable because of their weight and the shape they're in need that type of talk. Her book speaks to a need deep inside all of us.

I think anything that will get you motivated and moving is a good thing. This book could very well be just that catalyst for many people. If so, it's well worth buying and considering.

Recommended.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson
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on July 19, 2011
On a scale of 1-10 I rate this a book a 10. I have learned so much about the effect of what you eat, exercise, and water. The information in this book have definitely been researched. I believe and trust what I have read. I am excited about putting into practice what I am learning. I recommend this book to anyone who would like to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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on September 22, 2011
Jackie's program outlined in the book educates the reader about how to get the most bang for your buck from your food and on eating good combos of food to help sustain you longer and be overall more successful with weight loss & maintenance. She teaches you why American's eating habits suck, to be blunt, and why people struggle with fitness and weight loss plateaus. It all comes down to food, your body's means of processing food and chemicals, and quality of food (lean proteins, whole grains, whole foods). Jackie educates the reader on what refined white sugar and chemicals do to our bodies, and for me, once I was able to cut out sugar and junk containing hidden sugar and clean up my diet, it was then and only then that inches fell off my body in many areas I had struggled with for a long time (belly, thighs, glutes, oh, and the backs of my arms are now tone & I have cut triceps!). I've had to literally buy new clothes since starting this program and I already worked out 5x/week before starting it! I had hit a major plateau for sure and this was just what I needed to jump-start my body! Granted, you don't necessarily need to buy a book to count calories, but I have found Jackie's book very helpful and so educational and I definitely am seeing that her program works (because I do it) and is sustainable. I have turned several friends into junkies as well! The book also teaches you how to tackle strength training (which many women steer clear of) and follow a workout program that will work more of the major fat burning muscle groups efficiently in order get more out of your workouts and ramp up your metabolism. I've also shared Jackie's philosophy with well-respected and successful trainers in my area who agree w/ a majority of the principles that her plan is based upon. It is definitely my diet and fitness go-to and will be for a very long time BECAUSE IT WORKS!
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on May 16, 2013
I've been into diet and nutrition for YEARS, but I still learned A LOT...and I mean A LOT from this book.

It's well written, easy to follow, AND packed with information you may not know.

OH, and for those of you who are "number fans", I've lost 12 pounds in 5 weeks.
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on April 21, 2010
While I'm not obese, I am slightly overweight. After beginning a vigorous exercise routine, I was having a hard time finding a diet that would help me be healthy from the inside out and shed this annoying layer of belly fat that won't go away. I purchased this book and read almost the entire thing in two days. I began implementing Jackie's suggestions and I'm already feeling better, feeling lighter and my stomach is already a little less pudgy. Jackie's book is not a diet--it's a lifestyle change with a ton of information explaining why you're fat including a lot of info on hormones, detoxing, exercising (including what seems like over 20 exercises you can do at home), supplements, gym etiquette, the food industry and how it's making you sick, an eating-out guide and more. Her plan is easy, practical and very doable. It's real-life nutrition set in a world where crap is shoved in your face everywhere. Yes, it's hard to make a change from eating carrots instead of oreos but it's WORTH it. I have cut sugar and now can barely tolerate any when I actually have it. I used to love soda but now it tastes downright nasty. The two cheat meals she allows you will keep you on track and stop you from binging. If you want to really treat your body well and "eat clean" to give your organs a break and age better, this is for you. It is NOT a get-thin-quick fad diet thing. It's real changes to make you healthy and regain power over your body. You're worth more than chips and triple chocolate cookies. Jackie has yet to disappoint in my opinion and this book will remain a staple in my life forever! THANK YOU Jackie!!
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on July 25, 2012
I started this plan when I have been at a stand still for 6 months at 139lbs. The scale would not go up or down no matter what I tried. I had my son 17 months ago and the last part of my weight would not budge.....until I bought this book. These are my results in 14 days:
Started 7/9/12
Weight 139.8lbs
bust: 32.5"
waist: 30.5"
hips: 35.5"
biceps: 11.5"
thigh: 21"

Today 7/24/12
Weight: 131.0lbs (lost 8lbs)
bust: 32" (lost .5")
waist: 29" (lost 1.5")
hips: 34" (lost 1.5")
biceps: 12" (gained .5")
thigh: 20" (lost 1")

I never write reviews but I always read them. When I bought the book I came to Amazon to read the reviews and they were great. I just wanted people to know that you can get real results and look great using this plan. I find the time for the 20 minute cardio and the 3 times a week circuit training. I am so glad I got this book and hope you get the same results.
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on April 28, 2011
This book changed my life. It provided me with a refreshing look at weight loss and provided the guidance I needed to change my lifestyle. I spent the last three months on this non-diet, and I feel healthier, stronger, more energetic than I have in years. I noticed major changes within the first two weeks, I lost 25 pounds so far and the cravings for unhealthy crap have completely stopped. I no longer want to eat sugary foods, or drink sodas. When I do eat these things, I notice immediate changes in how I feel and lose the desire to continue eating them. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to make a long term change in their lives and feel amazing. I have received numerous compliments on my progress and I tell everyone about this book. It's absolutely incredible!!
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on September 27, 2010
I tried everything. Haven't we all? This is the first system that has ever come close to working for me and this has been a miracle. 42 out of my 50 pounds goal are gone. Why did this work when everything else for me has failed? The cheating. Mentally I needed the cheat. At first. Now I don't even need the cheat! Here is why. I used to take the blame and call myself a baby. I would last 3 days on a diet and when I fell off the wagon, I stayed off. Why, and why do I no longer think I'm a helpless fool of a baby needing his comfort treats 24/7? Because I am no longer a sugar addict, that's why. It was so simple, so obvious, so right in my face literally I was too close to see it. I beat the sugar addiction once Jackie opened my eyes, slapped me in the face with her straight-forward explanation - and it made me a new person. Better then I was, inside and out, not better then anyone else who has not had their break through yet, just better then myself. And that is all I wanted. This book saved my life and that is an understatement. Please believe me - it's the sugar!! Listen to me, will ya? Don't believe ME, believe Jackie. I promise you. I wish I could say it 1000 times and in every language. Ditch the sugar, eat good foods, cheat when Jackie says and exercise. DO NOT starve yourself! Once I beat the sugar addiction, I don't crave anything and am always eating. I eat when hungry so there is no suffering. 42 pounds in 14 weeks, eating all the time, walking and bike riding for exercise. That's all. Beat the sugar=beat the devil.
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on July 31, 2011
Jackie's book is the ONLY diet book that I have ever read from cover to cover. To me it all makes sense, I am a sugar adict and sugar was running my life! I have lost 40lbs in 8 months following Jackie's plan, the first week was difficult until the sugar cravings were gone. Now I don't even think about what I am going to eat next, I pre-plan my meals and keep my sugar to 5 grams per meal. Not a difficult thing to do, just making better choices and reading labels. I am amazed at how much sugar is actually in some foods, even foods that are called "sugar free", you have to READ the labels! I can not stress that enough, there was 12 grams of sugar in MILK!? I have switched to Almond milk and I love it, and can use it for my protein shakes and I put it in when making mashed potatoes for my family and they don't notice any difference. I exercise 5 days a week doing cardio and weights and curcuit training and I love it! The only bad part is most of my clothes don't fit now but I don't want to buy new stuff until I lose another 40lbs. If you have to buy just one diet book in the next year....pick up THIS book!!
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