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Nutrition and Athletic Performance
Nutrition and Athletic Performance
by Douglas N. Graham
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.31
41 used & new from $0.45

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That's A lot of Fruit!, July 10, 2011
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First of all, I've read the book and understand the concepts described. Furthermore, I've experimented on myself with the protocols contained in the book. It is in that knowledge that I can speak intelligently about the validity of the book. Well, I can speak about how the book has effected me; the information may not deliver the same result for others.

The one thing I can say without a shadow of a doubt is, the diet suggested in the book takes a great deal of discipline to undertake. To give the diet a fair chance, you have to be 100% committed to following the nutritional prescriptions to the letter. Otherwise, this diet will not do for you what you want it to do.

The first thing that I discovered when I started the diet described in the book was the sheer volume of food I had to eat: it was massive! I'm very active as well as having a naturally fast metabolism. This fact necessitates that I eat a great deal of calories (4,000 +)every day. When I say I had to eat a lot of fruit, I mean I ATE A LOT OF FRUIT!

A typical day of eating would consist of eating 2 pints of strawberries and blueberries, 6 large apples, 30-40 bananas, a large green salad (spinach or romaine with other vegetables) and maybe some pineapple. I said it was a lot of fruit, didn't I? Upon first glance, this looks like a lot of food and it is. However, because of the high fiber content and the fact that the fruit sugar is metabolized quickly, eating this amount of food is possible. Now, tolerating this volume of food and sugar takes some time to accustom too.

On my best days when I didn't deviate from the diet, I found the diet to be adequate in supplying all the nutrients I needed. Nevertheless, a surprising side effect occurs: you lose weight. I know what you're thinking, you're thinking 'how is that possible?' Well, typical diets tend to make you retain water because they are high in salt and protein. These two factors cause water retention. You'll notice when you're on a fruit diet that you'll lose weight, despite getting all the calories you require. This is because of all the excess water that is retained is discarded. I'll admit that this took a blow to my ego because I am used to carrying a certain amount of muscle mass and when I saw myself shrinking, I got worried and began to feel self conscious.

I knew going into this self experimentation process that I would lose some weight and experience a certain degree of discomfort, because I did some preliminary research about this type of diet beforehand. However, I didn't realize how dramatic a change it was until changes happened rapidly.

Let me simplify things. Here's the good parts about the diet. First of all, your body will alkalize and your immune system will get a boost. Because of the high water content of fruit and the amount of fruit you eat, you are virtually guaranteed to get all of the water you require in a day. As well, you will consume all the vitamins and antioxidants you need without taking supplements. Your muscular endurance or lactic acid threshold will increase. You will have regular bowel movements. Your energy level and blood sugar levels will be good, assuming you are eating enough and regularly. The diet detoxifies your body tremendously. Your will lose weight and become leaner.

Here's the bad parts about the diet. You will have to eat a ton of fruit. You may have to urinate frequently. If you skip a meal or go too long without eating, you will feel weak because the fruit sugar metabolizes so quickly. You will have a hard time holding onto muscle mass if you don't exercise regularly. You may or may not find that your testosterone levels drop because of the lack of fat in your diet (I did). If you require a large number of calories per day, you will find it hard to consume enough calories by eating only fruit. Unless you strictly adhere to the diet, you risk becoming nutritionally deficient. Furthermore, you may sabotage your bodies ability to secrete insulin if you deviate from the diet and eat a lot of fat (over 10-15% of daily calories consumed). You may become deficient in minerals if you do not consume adequate amounts of leafy greens. This diet can be expensive because it is recommended you only eat organic fruits and vegetables, as well as the large quantity of food you must buy. Depending on your friends, you may be a social outcast because of how drastically different the diet is from most people's diets; you may find eating at restaurants very difficult and awkward.

Now, you may notice that I listed more good things than bad. That does not mean that the diet won't work for you. Quite the contrary, actually. The bad parts of the diet I listed are all dependent on the individual, their means, tolerances and beliefs. Actually, I'm quite convinced that this diet is not only healthy but optimal under good circumstances. If the price of food were cheaper, the food more readily available and untampered (not genetically modified) with, the amount of diseases and illnesses would be virtually abolished. I sincerely believe that.

This diet, I find, is not very practical for the average person. Like I said, you must be very disciplined and committed to derive success from this diet. However, that has more to do with an individual than it does with the diet. The diet itself is good, but because of the variable factors related to human behaviour and thinking, it's success is largely dependent on the individual employing the diet and the success or failure of that individual on the diet is not really a reflection of the effectiveness of the diet.

That being said, there are other factors that may influence the effectiveness of the diet. I read a book a while back about eating according to your ethnicity. It basically argues that not all people will respond to food the same way and that's because our ancestors were accustomed to eating different types of food, based on where they lived. This is definitely a factor you should consider and look into. Myself, for example, I find if I don't have some meat in my diet, I don't feel well at all. Of course, this might be psychological as well as physical. However, certain types of food my body likes and dislikes. That is normal for all people.

When choosing a diet, gauge its effectiveness based on all of the following factors: how it makes you feel, how it makes you perform, how it contributes to how you look and the practical application of the diet. The diet described in "Nutrition and Athletic Performance" can work for many people. Even if you don't commit to the diet in the long term, you will derive positive results from it, depending on what your goals are. However, the diet is not for everyone.

The one thing that I've learned from the diet is, consuming a large amount of calories from fresh fruit and vegetables while decreasing your meat consumption and processed foods, you will increase your health and vitality tremendously. Just remember that no two people are the same and that finding what works best for you is a trial and error process.
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