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on March 7, 2007
"The Skinny" by Melissa Clark and Robin Aronson isn't just a diet book - it is a lifestyle book. Filled with humor, personal anecdotes and recipes, this book is fun and practical at the same time. You're not going to find a lot of facts, numbers, calculations, calorie counting or any mumbo jumbo such as carbs and food combining.

First, the authors encourage the readers to figure out what their 'happy skinny' size is (for Melissa it's a 2, Robin an 8). Then, they have a set of 'rules': eat what you want (and banish the guilt); Don't eat what you don't want; Build a skinny meal around the thing you want (add veggies, fruit, protein and a complex carb); Eat when you're hungry; Eat like a food writer (eat a bit then throw the rest away - which is rather indulgent and wasteful in my opinion); Control your portions; Enjoy your meal; Exercise some; etc. There is info on eating for every situation including dining out. The recipes are marvelous and everyone will find something here to satisfy them.

I've always hated diets as I like having a little sweet every days - and that is a no-no in almost every book you'll read. All in all, it is a nice little book with tips that will help you to stay on track without starving yourself or subsisting on carrot sticks.
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on February 22, 2007
I was thinking this morning as I drove to work about what it was, exactly, about this book that has me so lit up about losing weight. I figured out that what it is, is, that the authors have every excuse in the world to weigh 900 pounds..Melissa Clark eats in every high end restaurant in New York about 5 nights a week, and she is a size 2. So, of course, I paid close attention. And, there it is...a strategy for every situation, every excuse that I ever thought of, used, and abused. It is the strategy, really, that I was missing. A diet, after all, is nothing more than some version of eat less, exercise more...we all know that already. It's how to deal, that we really get from this book. And, the spirit of the writing is so infectious, I just found it altered how I thought about the whole enterprise of losing weight. Now it is just a fun game. Plus, there are lots of great recipes, many of which I have already tried, and really enjoyed. I love to cook, love to eat, and finally have a book that is teaching me how to have it all. In five weeks, I have lost 6 pounds, effortlessly. I expect the next 20 pounds to come off just as easily.
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on January 22, 2007
The last thing in the world I ever feel like reading is a diet book but I picked the Skinny up at my hairdresser's and I couldn't put it down. Even my lovely but slightly paunchy boyfriend picked up the copy I bought and read a good portion of it in just one sitting. The magic of this book is its wonderful, funny, but quite persuasive writing. It puts out a collection of ideas, some of which may be obvious to you (like portion control), that really sinks in more than, at least for me, other health and dietary advice ever has. I think this is because the book avoids faddish nutritional advice and emphasizes finding real pleasure not in over-consumption but in the joyful appreciation of the food that we love, while learning to really listen to and take care of our bodies in a sane and balanced way. As a New Yorker without a clue how to feed myself or stock my fridge, I found the section on how to stock my fridge and recipes for how to feed myself (for breakfast, lunch, dinner AND snacktime!!) extremely useful. There are no illusions spun here, just great advice based on common sense, good health science, and a real love for food. And it's a fun read!!!
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on August 6, 2007
I will preface this by saying, I don't read. I listen to all my books on CD, so the fact that I read this one in two days (avid reader should finish in a few hours) is saying a lot. It is written in such a way that I couldn't put it down. Their ideas are simple and easy to apply. I made the smoothie they suggested...yum! I especially liked the quick take-a- away lists at the end of each chapter. I highly recommend this book. I came upon it by accident. I was looking to buy Skinny [...] but as I read the reviews I started looking for other books and I came across The Skinny. The cover design sold me first and then the great reviews. This is also my first review I have written on this site. I believe in this book so much I had to share.
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on January 5, 2007
One of the women in my group of girlfriends gave us all a copy of this book for christmas this year. It's so great! It's a really fun read, filled with personal anecdotes and reader-friendly tips about monitoring your eating habits without actually going on a diet. And i love the recipes. They're all super simple dishes that i can knock out in 15 minutes and put in a to-go container for lunch. Losing weight wasn't actually my new year's resolution, but this book might just make it happen anyway...the funniest thing about it though, is that i keep catching my boyfriend reading it, and when we go out to dinner, he'll quote some of the writers' tips about eating, So i guess it's not just for the ladies :) Buy this book!
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on December 26, 2006
Who'd ever guess you could LOVE a diet book? Well, if you love to eat but also want to wear small-sized clothes, you'll adore this book. No faux foods, unsustainable deprivations or elimination of entire categories of food here, just well-thought-out approaches to handling a variety of eating situations.

The ideas the authors present are psychologically sound; the writing is stylish and wry; and the recipes are knockouts.

I have two homes and have purchased a copy of "The Sknny" for each. Now I'm going to order copies for my most fanatic food and fashion loving friends.
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on January 6, 2007
I have more diet books on my bookshelf than some people have books in their house. This one was an impulse buy that I picked up because it looked fun. I can honestly say that this is the best "diet" book I have ever read. It reads like you're hanging out with your girlfriends, who just happen to know about this stuff. I found more practical, usable tips in this book than in any other I have read. It goes into detail on topics like how to eat out and stay healthy and how to avoid mindless eating.
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on October 14, 2007
This book appealed to me on so many levels. The conceit - a conversation between Robin (more my speed, and mother of twins) and Melissa (the more disciplined one) - elevates what could have been a lecture or a screed into an engaging back and forth on individual choices and preferences. The format and the layout make it easy to breeze through in hours - the "takeaway" section at the end of each chapter reinforces the key points. What I appreciate most, though, are the tips and techniques that make veggies more appealing. I know I'm supposed to eat more - I just can't stand the taste of crudites without dip, and I don't always have the time to puree them into my sauces. Melissa's foodie techniques like drizzling olive oil and sea salt over even orange slices work better. Their idea of building a meal around what you're really craving, or eating each item on the plate in direct proportion to how much you really want them make eating a delectable opportunity for decision-making. The Skinny also incorporates ideas from other recent bestsellers - the idea of the balance beam recalls French Women Don't Get Fat. I also like how realistic they are: they identify three types of overeating, and merely say try not to get to the most serious stage more than twice a year. There's no guilt - only the grown up acceptance that sometimes we mess up, and so we try again the next meal.
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on January 13, 2007
I saw the authors of _The Skinny_ on the Today show the other week and I was intrigued. I haven't read a diet book since the first edition of _The Zone_. I am so glad I bought _The Skinny_, which I think is more of a lifestyle guide than a diet book. It's based on common sense and sound nutrition, with a healthy dose of good humor.

_The Skinny_ made me think hard about my eating and drinking habits. Why eat most of a bag of microwaved popcorn if I really want a cookie? One cookie: probably <100 cals., so much popcorn: ??? Why drink two glasses of $5/bottle wine if I really *want* one glass of $10/bottle wine? It's better for my budget and my health to drink less wine but enjoy it more.

I am frequently dismayed by the shortcomings of popular diets - too few or too many carbs, too much or too little fat, too much or too little salt, too few 'fun' foods, or too many processed foods. The simple, imaginative recipes in _The Skinny_ include fresh, wholesome foods that I actually like to eat. I am looking forward to savoring the flavors of each meal on the 14-day 'get started' mealplan.
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on August 15, 2007
Living in New York City with yummy restaurants, coffee houses and bakeries on every corner, it's hard to resist the temptation of a chocolate croissant or triple latte with extra foam. That's why I'm so glad my friend recommended The Skinny-- the tips in each chapter have helped me get through everything from my cappuccino choices to packing healthy lunches for the office and even the occasional cocktail party! I can tell the authors have been there and they get it! This is definitely a diet book for the real world. The food is fun, recipes--like the Whole Wheat Cherry Scones and London Broil with Caramelized Pineapple--are delicious, and the guidelines are easy to stick to. "Eat what you want. Don't eat what you don't want." If this city girl can fit into her little black dress, so can you!
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