- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Running Press Adult; 1 edition (September 6, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0762460466
- ISBN-13: 978-0762460465
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 7.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 74 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Buddha's Diet: The Ancient Art of Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind Hardcover – September 6, 2016
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A science-based, spiritually inspired, time-tested guide to weight loss. Fascinating!”
Kim Barnouin, co-author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Skinny Bitch
Combining scientific data and ancient wisdom, this skillfully written book makes a compelling case: Buddha's instructions to monks on time-restricted eating make sense -- even for lay people like us. If you eat, you should read this book.”
Chade-Meng Tan, bestselling author of Search Inside Yourself
Scientists have known for years that time-restricted diets protect against obesity and other metabolic diseases. Buddha's Diet brings these findings to the world.”
Dr. Satchidananda Panda of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, one of the world's leading experts on time-restricted diets
About the Author
DAN ZIGMOND is a writer, data scientist, and Zen priest. He advises startups and venture capital firms about data and health. He is a contributing editor at Tricycle, the largest Buddhist magazine in North America, and teaches at Jikoji Zen Center, a small Buddhist temple in the Santa Cruz mountains. In May 2015, he was named one of 20 Business Geniuses You Need to Know” by Wired Magazine, as he frequently reminds his kids. He lives in Menlo Park, too.
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I am a 36 years old male, and my BMI had been around 33 (obesity) for the past 10 years. About 1.5 years ago, my doctor flagged that I need to control my weight (220 lb at that time) otherwise, he worried about my health risk related to obesity based on blood tests. I started to control my diet and exercise regularly, and in 6 months, I lost 30 lbs to 190lb. However, as Dan said in his book, losing weight is not hard, but maintaining lower weight is challenging. Towards the end of my 6 months effort, the journey of weight-loss was becoming more and more challenging, and I finally found myself more and more excuses and fell back to my “normal” life. In the next few months, I gain back 10 lbs and I started to notice my pants getting tighter, and I no longer felt I need to weigh my self as often, sounds familiar?
This pattern was familiar to me, since I have done this twice. In my freshman year, I lost 50 lbs+, and before my wedding, I lost 40 lbs. But in both cases, I gained everything back, and probably put on a little more than what I lost. I knew where I was going when I got back 10 lbs this time, and but it was mentally hard to restart the effort.
In one of my casual chat with Dan during work, he mentioned his book (yes, this one) about intermittent fasting (IF), and this idea immediately resonated with me, because I realized that in the two weight-loss cases mentioned above, I unconsciously did IF. In my freshman year, I was on a busy schedule so I didn’t usually eat anything other than 3 meals (so roughly 15 hours fasting every day). Before my wedding, I was eating a big breakfast everyday, but that was the only meal I ate (so 23 hours of fasting per day). In both cases, I didn’t try to control what I ate, but I unknowingly restricted food intake outside regular meal time. I had never thought about dieting from the angle of eating time, until Dan pointed out that way. I decided to give it another try, and I started immediately by buying and reading Dan’s book as the first step.
I decided to drop dinner and restrict my eating (of any food) to 9AM - 1PM, a 4hr window. I know this sounds crazy, but believe it or not, it was not that hard. The first two days were horrible, and I felt so hungry in the evenings that I must go bed early. From the 3rd day, I didn’t feel as bad, and within a week, I totally adjusted to this new schedule and no longer felt hungry at all in evenings. I didn’t restrict what I ate for breakfast and dinner, and I just tried to not over-eat. We have plenty of free food at work (that is Facebook!), so I usually take my plate to my desk rather than eating in cafe (this prevents me from re-grabbing food esp. dessert). The portion of my meals are as before, and I still eat things like fries and pizza. I try to be more active when I can, but not excessive exercise. Now it has been 3 months, and I lose another 20 lbs. I want to lose another 10, so my BMI will step into the normal range (<25). Now, my blood tests are all normal.
IMO, weight-loss isn’t rocket science. It is eat less and exercise more. What’s really tricky is the easiness to execute. Time based diet restriction is a practice that is easy to remember and follow. Personally, I still believe it is the restriction of calories that helped, but blocking out time for calorie intake is probably much easier than fighting the temptation for favorite food.
I’m still in progress, but I want to share my story. If you are like me and a weight-loss-then-gain-back experience sounds familiar to you, give it a try!
It's a lot easier to eat this way than to maintain the 5-2 fasting advocated by some authors in recent years. Also, this book advocates that people decide what they want to eat and how much they want to exercise. And yet...because I need to eat dinner earlier than I used to, I snack less. Two glasses of wine a week seem more than generous; I now drink herb tea after dinner. Besides, there's one cheat day allowed every week (hello, dinner party!) After following the Buddha Diet, I'm sleeping better, exercising regularly, and bringing the wisdom contained in this book to more aspects of my lifestyle. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
The book cites many new eating and dieting studies but it doesn’t advocate a vegetarian diet based on any specific culinary tradition. There are no specific foods required, no grocery lists. In fact, there is nothing prescriptive or extreme at all. This approach embraces compromise, adaptability, and wholeness. The key science brought to the diet is the fact that humans are diurnal animals and that we should eat during the day. This was a real “ah-ha” for me. I have noticed feeling terrible the day after I eat late, and now I have some clear directions to avoid late night meals not just based on my experiences, but also based on a planned and researched approach to eating. It helps me make change if I know I am following the advice of Buddha.
Tara Cottrell and Dan Zigmond present the plan step by step and encourage an incremental adoption that seeks a middle ground avoiding extremes or edicts that make eating a chore. Cheat days are even built in. The overarching concept seems to be to bring thoughtfulness to each meal. Instead of shoveling in breakfast at 6, snacking on and off all day, and munching popcorn at midnight, Tara and Dan advocate eating habits that require the eater to just think a little before eating. Sitting down and eating calmly seems to be a cornerstone practice of the program as well as planning so that meals are all eaten during the day.
Simpler habits hopefully allow the brain to make the crucial decision to stop eating once the body is satiated. Sounds simple but like many simple practices, it will take many of us practice so that we can learn to eat more like the Buddha and wean ourselves from the emotional or mindless eating. Ultimately, the goal is to eat peacefully and happily, feeding the body and mind without succumbing to excesses that ruin our health.
This book would be a good book for anyone who wants to weave Buddhism into their daily practices or anyone who needs more structure for their eating habits. Easy to read, interesting information about the Buddha, the Buddha’s Diet is a good read about a timely topic.