Customer Reviews: Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss
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on March 30, 2007
I respectfully disagree with those reviewers who claim there is nothing new in this book. They must have skipped to the last chapters and simply read the dietary recommendation at the end - and even those are different in both form and function. I have read, and been on, about every diet out there -- atkins, south beach, california, grapefruit - you name it. I have been on the Ultra Metabolism Phase 1 plan for 3 weeks, have lost 7 lbs - never feel hungry at all - but more importantly - I HAVE NEVER FELT BETTER! I didn't even know I felt that bad!

You must read this book from the beginning and then all the way through - taking each of the tests and determining the areas where your body is not functioning properly. I had no idea so many of my symptoms were tied to stress and cortisol release. I have a friend who had no idea she had hormone imballances but identified them and sought a functional medicine physician to correct them - and is ecstatic - and she was a vegetarian before she even read the book. I have another friend whose breast cancer physician had her read this book and go on the diet as part of her treatment! All three of us feel transformed.

I can't recommend this book enough. I was exercising 4 days a week ,hardly eating ANYTHING, and still gaining weight, and now I know WHY and what do to about it. If you will strictly adhere to the phase 1 guidelines ( which will require shopping at your local Whole Foods or natural foods market ), I bet you will lose weight and feel great doing it too.
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on March 20, 2006
When I first read Ultra Metabolism, I had the simple intention of loosing a couple of pounds. After I read and re-read the book, I was changed forever! The information and guidance given by Dr. Hyman has already made profound differences in my family's life. In just one week my skin was smooth and glowing. My daily headaches were gone after eliminating aspartame filled gum. I no longer crash at 3:00pm in need of a coffee fix. Just three days into the detox, my husband stopped snoring, after a week the dark bags under his eyes were gone, and in just two weeks, he has already lost 9lbs.

I feel healthy, educated and informed.

H. Marker, California
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on November 5, 2006
I never would have read this book, except for a very effective promotion by AOL, because the title sounds to me like the name of a fen-phen drug. "Ultrametabolism -- your weight-loss miracle!"

But it's not. It's quite the opposite. This is only a diet book because in the course of finding the causes of his patients' multiple maladies, Dr. Hyman had them alter their diets, and found that as a side-effect, they lost weight.

Dr. Hyman cites sound research (there are end notes so you can check out the research yourself), and then, based on reason and his own practice, puts these bits of information together to show how those little bothersome ailments -- itchy feet, dandruff, itchy eyes, fatigue, reluctance to get out of bed in the morning -- as well as some more serious problems like eczema, high blood pressure, and extra weight -- can often be tracked to what we eat.

Based on this book, I put my family on a no-gluten and no-dairy diet, with the result that one daughter had great improvements in her eczema as well as a decrease in anxiety, and my two other children had improvements in their ADD symptoms, one drastically so. My fatigue has gone away, and I'm now tired of tolerating "band-aids" for problems. I'm pushing to get to root causes so that we can be as healthy as we are meant to be. I've bought this book for one friend and recommended it to many more. I also recommend it to you.
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on March 21, 2006
This is a great book. If you can put this into practice, you WILL see results. To get any great result with your weight loss, you do need to do work and this is a helpful tool in that area. It opens your eyes to ways to lift your metabolism that you may not have thought of before or known about - but now that you do, you can start to change. While it's ultimately aiming at a 'diet' it's focusing on raising your metabolism which helps you burn calories at a high rate - so not only will you loose weight from eating the right foods etc, but the weight lose will happen faster and in a more healthy way because your metabolism is now boosted and is working for you even when you are resting. Not that I have much to loose, but I've tried this now for one week and have noticed a big difference not only in my physical appearance but in my day to day health (with a weight loss of 8lbs already). I'm not as reliant on Coca Cola to give me my caffiene fix and I'm sleeping better at night.
This is an 8 week plan that if you put your mind to it, you can do, and it's so worth it, because not only are you going to look better, but you are going to feel better. I do already and I'm only on week one. Give it a try. It is so worth it.
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on July 24, 2008
I bought this book because of a recommendation by someone that had implemented, and kept using Ultra-Metabolism "steps" with great success. Upon reading Ultra-Metabolism, I recognized information I use and share...all the time.

Why read or buy another "weight-loss" book when the Seven Keys to the New Science of Weight Loss are listed on page 73-74? According to Dr. Hyman, everyone has his or her own instruction manual. So why purchase this book? I would suggest that you download guides from [...] This may be enough for you. The book serves as support and offers reminders to help people keep on track.

Ultra-Metabolism quizzes you and guides you, step-by-step, to deciphering your own metabolism, and a whole lot more, in what he calls an "Ultra-Metabolism Prescription". Again, Dr. Hyman instructs us that this is the basis for generating the right instructions to your own body, through diet, and ... Ultra-Metabolism.

Dr. Hyman follows the premise of food containing information to talk to our genes, or "Nutrigenomics". In addition to offering exciting, cutting-edge research, he offers nutritionally-sound advice on how you can talk to your genes: Eat real, whole foods; eat foods high in phytonutrients; eat foods with a low glycemic to control appetite; eat more fiber intake to lower body fat; get your meal timing right to help turn on your metabolism; reduce stress (stress makes you fat, relaxation makes you thin); exercise in a manner that turns on metabolism; and reduce inflammation.

"Eat breakfast daily: Spread your food intake and calories throughout the day; Wait at least two to three hours after your last meal before going to sleep."

Where have you heard this before?

Another example of simple, effective suggestions are supplements to consider when you are turning on Ultra-Metabolism:

"1. A multivitamin and mineral combination. 2. A balanced, absorbable calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D supplement. 3. An omega-3 fatty acid supplement.

Many people do very well with a structured approach to weight loss. As the reader would expect, Dr. Hyman guides you to natural weight loss, step-by-step. Starting with Step one: Detoxifying the liver.

In addition to offering a plethora of practical, easy-to-implement weight loss suggestions, the author busts a few "myths" while promoting education. He includes information regarding "Nutrition", and how we come to think about food:

P. 66 The food industry generates more than a trillion dollars in annual sales, accounts for 12 percent of the U.S. gross national product (GNP), and employees 17 percent of the country's labor force. It spends more than $33 billion a year on marketing alone. Seventy percent of those dollars go to pushing fast food, convenience foods, candy, snacks, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and desert. Only 2.2 percent of those marketing dollars are spent on advertising for fruit, vegetables, grains or beans.

I also enjoyed Dr. Hyman inclusion of relevant and stimulating quotes:

"Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises."
Samuel Butler

As you would expect, Dr. Hyman offers the usual faire of delicious, natural recipes, and Ultra-Metabolism possesses its fair share of "buzz-words". Ultra-Metabolism also includes Dr. Hyman's attempt to generate an on-line Ultra-Metabolism community, which comes off as a bit far fetched. However, taking cues from various weight-watching groups, his efforts may very well bear fruit.

The "Food is Medicine" premise of Ultra-Metabolism focuses this book as excellent "support" literature. Ultra-Metabolism reinforces your healthy lifestyle choices, which, in turn, support your health and wellness. Ultimately, in this "win-win" situation, you gain timely, user-friendly, effective resources and guidance to be well-inform about the choices you may make ... a recipe for success.

I prefer to recommend natural health texts that acknowledge alternative health practices, and their long-time contributions to the health, stress reduction and wellness fields; this acknowledgement was lacking in Ultra-Metabolism. However, given the exceptional nature of this easy-to-follow, reader-oriented book, I am happy to recommend it.
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on August 4, 2010
After reading about 50% of the reviews here, I think a lot of people are missing the point of this book. It isn't to lose weight. It's not a diet plan, fad or otherwise, and if you come to it with the sole intention of losing weight you may be disappointed. UltraMetabolism takes a wholistic view of, and provides a prescription for, a lifestyle that will lead to metabolic health. If your metabolism is off right now, reading and following this book will most likely help you lose weight, but only as a byproduct of achieving metabolic equilibrium. If it is not, then reading this book will simply provide you a different perspective on achieving metabolic health and may provide some good pointers that you didn't already know.

There's a lot that goes into the seemingly simple process of eating, digesting, and utilizing food and its nutrients. Dr. Hyman does an excellent (albeit sometimes too "horn-tooting") job of describing all of the stages, hormones, organs and systems, food, nutrients, external factors, etc., that have a hand in how your body metabolizes nutrients. He also discusses at length the various effects these processes have on your weight and overall health. He then provides analysis tools and prescriptive advice for how to modfiy your current diet and lifestyle to bring your body back into metabolic equilibrium and a healthier state of being.

You may not agree with his advice, although he does support many of his statements with scientific studies. You may find his diet recommendations too strict or expensive, although after following it for a few weeks you'll probably realize that the slight increase in cost to buy better ingredients is far less than all the money you were spending on bad lunches at work, starbucks in the morning, gelato in the afternoon, etc (my food budget has never been healthier). Also, those cravings that make it tough to stick to the meal plan early on? They go away pretty quickly too. But I think if you just come to this book with the right perspective and the correct understanding of what it is about, you'll have a much better experience with UltraMetabolism.

I think a good summary of the UltraMetabolism experience is this: Dr. Hyman clearly tells you that you can eat as much food as you want on his "diet." The trick is that if you follow his advice and achieve metabolic equilibrium, your body won't overeat. You'll feel full when you should, your brain will know what that means, and you'll stop eating. As a side effect, you'll have more energy, feel more relaxed, and have much better overall body health. Can that be so bad?

EDIT: After discussing this with my wife briefly, she made a good point. The title of the book is "The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss", so I can see why some people come to it thinking it's a diet book. Blame that on the marketers. Diet books sell better than healthy living books. But take it from me, this book is about so much more than losing weight. Like the title says, the weight loss you will see is "automatic" as a result of changing your lifestyle and achieving metabolic homeostasis.
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on December 2, 2006
Honestly, I may sound like I'm the last to arrive at the table, but I didn't know half of the wisdom contained in this small, easy-to-digest volume. Counting calories won't work? I didn't know. High-fructose corn syrup? I've heard of it, but so what? Eating organic foods? Oh, please...why would I spend the extra money?

Well, all of those attitudes were altered permanently after reading Dr. Hyman's little gem. Currently, I have only a small problem with my weight and my eating habits--but, thanks to this book, I'm fairly confident it won't ever become a big problem. Don't be surprised if you find yourself transforming your pantries, your cupboards and your entire kitchen as soon as you put this book down...not that putting it down will be any easy task.

I give it four out of five stars only because some of what Hyman says feels like it's too high a bar to set for just about, "If it has a label, don't eat it!" However, the spirit of even these most radical of his recommendations is well-intentioned, and unlikely to be lost on anyone who can take what he has to say with a grain of salt.

Just don't try to take it with a teaspoon of partially hydrogenated soybean oil.
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on February 27, 2009
I'm shocked that anyone would give this book 2 or 3 stars. I've been dieting since the age of 9, and have read more books on the subject of health, weight loss, and fitness than I can count. "Ultrametabolism" offers great advice on how to "reboot" you body if you haven't been eating so well. There's no counting calories, protein, or fat grams, and you don't have to cut out enitre food groups, like carbs. The first two weeks on the plan, you have to refrain from all potentially allergenic foods [peanuts, dairy, wheat, etc.] to give your body a break from anything that may be hard on your body; that you may be allergic to. He also recommends drinking a few cups of his "detox broth", which you make yourself using a variety of fresh organic veggies of your choosing.

The plan is essentially a whole foods lifestyle. After the first two weeks of detox, you can slowly add things like organic dairy and whole wheat into your diet. There are lots of tasty recipes included, like coconut dal, cashew chicken, and lemon salmon. They're all pretty simple to prepare for anyone who cooks even a little. Not to sound like some crazy informercial, but during the two week detox part, I lost 14 pounds. The author says you can expect to lose 9 to 11 pounds in the detox phase (mostly water weight, likely). I started the plan right after the holidays though, so I'm sure it was a shock to my body to go from egg nog and pecan pie to fresh fruits and veggies, plus I'm very obese [240 lbs], hence the dramatic weight loss. After that, I lost the typical 1 to 2 pounds a week.

With all the health and diet books I own, this is the one I always recommend when friends and family ask what i suggest to help them eat better without the fad diets. A sample day on Dr. Hyman's plan would be quinoa with peaches for breakfast, lunch would be black bean and avocado tacos on corn tortillas, salmon with spinach, brown rice, and vinegarette for dinner, and snacks are fresh fruit and raw nuts. As you can see, the focus is on unprocessed foods, without refined sugar and saturated fat. Every time I start to veer away from healthy eating and get distracted by holidays, parties, etc., I always go back to this book to help me refocus and remind me of the basics of good eating.
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on August 18, 2006
Dr. Hyman has hit upon a number of truths regarding weight loss and good health in general. Having read all the popular plans, I must say that Dr. Hyman is the first author to present all of these useful pieces of information in one place. Some of his material I had suspected to be true but no one has ever before explained it all so profoundly and clearly! At long last, I am losing those extra pounds and enjoying my meals! Although I have dropped the gluten and sugars, I do not feel deprived! Amazing!
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on April 2, 2011
I'm not a nutrition book guru, but in the last couple of years, like everybody else, I've gotten more concerned about obesity, diabetes, and sugar. I have always doubted the main diet myths--low carb, low fat, low calorie--and hated the fads of yes/no foods. This book finally explains why!! It starts out with a great debunking section of why fad diets don't help you lose weight, and how yo-yo dieting makes it even harder. It basically explains my whole history with dieting. I read it over and over again.

THe point of the book is to help you refresh your metabolism, which is your food burner. It gets to the cause of why your dieting isn't working, and the tone is nice and scientific. Some readers didn't like his little sketches of his clients because their problems were unique, but I found the vignettes helpful. I could see myself and people I knew through many of the details. I began looking for underlying problems like inflammation, which I hadn't considered before. He suggests different vitamins for these kinds of things without going whole hog vitamin overboard, like some do!

The diet part of the book is not a list of "no-no's" but instead many lists of "yes yes's." It is a prescription of mostly whole foods. It isn't high praise for organic, or vegetarianism, or going completely raw. It is basically a whole foods diet with wiggle room for those who want to go more radical and those who want to go less. It is completely doable from a regular grocery store, but is probably best suited for a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's type shopper.

After following the advice, I finally was able to unstop my weight clock. I had been stuck at a weight about ten or fifteen pounds heavier after having four kids and was not able to budge it, even with diet and daily running. This book got it to budge within three days, and kept me feeling healthy and full. More importantly, all my sugar cravings were elminated, and my appetite went down. This made me think less about food, which is what I've always wanted! I've always wanted my relationship with food to be less salient and more functional, rather than becoming a food nut.

I also enjoyed traditional "no no" healthy foods without any setbacks (i.e. nuts, seeds, avocados, potatoes). I finally felt good in my conscience relying on whole foods, non sugared, non salted, and raw when possible.

But the best part is the prescription is totally maintainable long-term. If you are looking to be free from food bondage, and something that you can sustain your whole life, this is finally it.
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