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Customer Review

76 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow Down to Speed Up Weight Loss, August 19, 2005
This review is from: The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss (Paperback)
Listen to talk radio for a few hours and the newest diet claim will become clear: Stress causes fat. The latest buzz in the diet biz is that stress releases certain hormones that cause the body to hang onto fat and store it right in the biggest problem area - the gut. Is there any truth to this claim?

According to Marc David, author of THE SLOW DOWN DIET, there is. David, a Sonoma State University-educated nutritionist with Harvard training under his belt, has spent a lifetime unraveling the mystery behind healthy eating and weight gain/loss. His experience has brought him to the pages of THE SLOW DOWN DIET, where he painstakingly lays out his theories on weight, stress, pleasure, and health.

THE SLOW DOWN DIET is an 8-week diet plan, not so focused on commandment-style lists of diet do's and don't's, but focused more on finding the hidden nutritionist within and, as the title suggests, slowing down and tuning in enough to listen to that hidden food guru.

According to David, we already own the 8 metabolic powers that can help us lose weight, if only we can learn how to access them:

*Relaxation

*Quality

*Awareness

*Rhythm

*Pleasure

*Thought

*Story

*the Sacred

Using copious research (including some very alarming and interesting facts), David backs up his approach to weight loss with science and a few case studies borne of his years of being a nutritionist.

No doubt about it, David's weight loss approach is appealing. Who can find fault with the idea of treating each meal as a celebration, eating delicious healthy food, and dropping the stress for awhile? What's even better, if we do already possess the tools for this system, what excuse could there possibly be to not give it a try? Who would argue with the idea of relaxation as a means for weight loss?

David's weakness, however, lies in his lack of specificity. He recognizes the difficulty for many people to find, afford, prepare, and eat (and/or feed a family) organic, all-natural, fresh foods. While his message of quality = health certainly can't be argued, he offers no real suggestions on how to make this high-quality lifestyle available for a great many people, including people who have no access to health-food stores or who have a limited budget and a large family to feed.

Also, some of David's claims might seem a bit "extreme" to some people, and great care will have to be taken to maintain an open mind while reading passages such as the following:

"If [a tomato] is picked by an underpaid migrant worker who's given no benefits and few worker's rights, then the tomato is hypocritical and lacks integrity. If it is chopped by machine along with thousands of other tomatoes, delivered to a fast-food joint, and slapped together with a bun and meat from a cow who suffered even worse traumas, then our tomato is now suicidal, or even murderous, because it has lost its soul and has no reason to live" (p. 47)

If dieting trends continue in the direction they've been going (attention to quality of food and interest in how the chemical reactions of stress manifest themselves in the body), it is likely that THE SLOW DOWN DIET could become wildly popular. Offering a lifestyle that is welcoming in this age of "overworked and overweight," Marc David will be the diet expert to watch.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 17, 2008 1:27:46 PM PDT
A Johnson says:
Thank you for the "suicidal tomato" quote. To me, it casts a great deal of doubt on the reliability of the author's scientific reporting; if I'd bought this book on the basis of the good reviews, I would have felt thoroughly deceived once I'd have read that. I'm not sure why you would recommend keeping an open mind on such a claim, but perhaps you were being ironic.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2008 8:42:31 PM PDT
Don't judge a book by a quote perhaps taken out of context, and be magnanimous toward authors trying to express ideas. Slow down and read between the lines, and digest your reading better. Such is my advice for those who ask.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2011 9:06:40 AM PST
Gabrielle says:
Perhaps this is just an exaggerated way for the author to say that every single thing on this earth has energy. If negative energy surrounds your food, and you later consume it, how can that be good for you?

Have you ever heard the term "kosher?" Do you know what it means?

Posted on Sep 22, 2011 7:32:02 PM PDT
Kacybee says:
Thank you very much for this review! I'm planning to purchase the book because I think there is wisdom to be gleaned from it, even if some of his ideas are not completely in line with some people's reality or way of thinking. I appreciate your honesty! Thanks!

Posted on Apr 14, 2012 12:34:49 PM PDT
Shay Johnson says:
While I agree with you that the tomato idea is far fetched, for the sake of anyone reading so you dont think the author is nuts....the tomato comment comes from the philosophy of Karma. With Karma it is believed that what goes energetically into the preperation of a food, will effect the energy that manifests or comes out of that food. Although now that I think about it, its not that far fetched, Jews have a similar belief which results in kosher eating. Many cultures actually do have specific beliefs on food prep.

Posted on May 15, 2013 11:26:49 AM PDT
It's considered a good idea in some circles to thank your food for it's sacrifice on your behalf. Perhaps expressing love and gratitude to the poor, suicidal/ homicidal tomato and traumatized cow will calm and elevate the negative energies.
That goes for thanking everyone who prepared the food, including the sad farm worker.
I practice Reiki, and charge my food, built just placing your palms above your food as you thank it will transfer life energy into it.
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