Customer Review

235 of 238 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good advice, but do as she says, not as she does, October 4, 2011
This review is from: Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting (Paperback)
There are a lot of negative reviews about this book, throwing out the A Word [anorexia], and full of people making a big stink about how Bethanny advises people take just a few bites of food. But here's the thing: if you want to lose weight, you basically have to decide what you want to sacrifice - quality or quantity.

By that I mean you can either choose to eat lots/large quantities of food, but it has to be low-cal healthy stuff [veggies, air-popped popcorn, fat free dairy, lean protein, nothing fried/sweetened/fatty, etc.]. In this case, you're sacrificing quality - meaning you're limiting (or eliminating) richer, tastier foods in favor of getting to eat more. This plan is great for those who like to consume in bulk.

The other option is to sacrifice quantity [this is the route Bethanny seems to advocate], meaning you can eat whatever you want, but must stick to small portions. I've observed that this is actually how most of my thin friends eat/drink. I used be jealous because they appeared to be able to eat whatever they want (and they do), but the difference is they stop when they're full (what a CRAZY concept, right?) and they're never the ones to have that second piece of pizza/cake/fried chicken.

All that to say, you can moan and complain all you want about Bethanny's portion-minded way of indulging but I guarantee that you will never find a weight loss book that's going to tell you that you can eat whatever you want, as much as you want because it simply can't be done.

Getting back to the book itself . . .

Pros:

-Encourages you to indulge in the foods you want (in moderation). This is key. Deprevation almost ALWAYS backfires when it comes to weight loss/dieting. As I always say "Woman shall not live on rice cakes alone".

- Requires you to eat mindfully. Years of dieting can cause people to forget how to listen to their bodies. Getting re-familiar with hunger and fullness is important and can help you eat the proper amount of calories for YOUR body, as opposed to how much your friends/husband/kid/neighbor eats.

- Bethanny shows you a sample of what she eats in a given week/weeks. It's a good example of a balance of healthy foods and less healthy ones.

- There is freedom is not being on a "diet" and not having to cut out any food altogether.

Cons:

- For those of us who have struggled with our weight for years, and especially people like me who battle binge eating, the concept of having say, 3 bites of a brownie is almost laughable. After all, if we had the restraint and discipline to stop at a half a bagel, we probably woulnd't be heavy to begin with. I imagine leaving some (or most!) of your food on the plate is something that would require LOTS of practice.

- She oversimplfies the impact of emotional eating and throws out only one brief sentence about getting professional help if you binge eat. This is CRUCIAL because if you are not in a sound place emotionally and psychologcially, all the other advice in the book becomes a moot point. It's almost impossible to take a balanced approach to eating if you're a wreck on the inside.

- This was the biggie for me, and the main reason [I think] why people cry anorexia over this book: Bethanny's food journal. While it's a good mix of healthier foods and treat foods, she doesn't eat anywhere CLOSE to a healthy amount of calories for a grown woman. My three year old neice quite likely consumes more calories than Bethanny does. Now I'm sure being in the public eye means that Bethanny is under pressure to be a few sizes smaller than the average [healthy] woman because well, thin is in, and the camera adds ten pounds. But the average woman reading this book is likely not an aspiring reality star, model or actress and doesn't need to subsist on merely the amount of food that falls off the table at a small dinner party.

My advice/verdict/summary? Fill up on healthy food, top it off with a few bites of the more indulgent stuff, be active as much as your schedule allows, and seek help if your emotions are getting in the way of making better choices for your body.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 28, 2012 7:08:36 PM PST
shoemamma says:
this was really a very well written review and fair, open minded,& honest review of her book and concept. Pretty accurate and sound . I agree with everything you said. Thanks for taking the time to write your review.

Posted on Feb 29, 2012 2:22:53 PM PST
Thanks for the great feedback! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 8:32:34 PM PDT
"L" Herzog says:
I agree!

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 12:02:50 AM PDT
J. Murray says:
Thanks for your review. I've read several from different sites, but yours is the most balanced and seemingly-unbiased I have found. Thanks again!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 9:55:40 AM PDT
My pleasure!

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 9:20:46 PM PDT
McKenzie says:
Your review is one of the best reviews i've read.
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