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Calorie Queens: Living Thin in a Fat World Paperback – November 14, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
The mother-daughter team behind this diet book immediately get readers' attention by purporting to know why other diets fail: gimmicks aside, they boil down to one thing—a low-calorie diet. But the authors confuse and disappoint as they explain that their diet works precisely because it captures the essence of all the other failed ones: it's based on a concept they call "Eucalorics," which focuses on the age-old concept of counting calories and exerting portion control. To the book's credit, the writing is friendly, folksy and fun. The work supplies helpful nutritional information and mathematical equations that make counting calories easier. But in its attempts to reduce weight loss to a matter of "doing the math," it oversimplifies, failing to acknowledge, for example, fundamental behavioral reasons linked to overeating. The authors claim to have lost 300 pounds between them and to have tested their plan on their church group, though they don't say how many people were involved or how much weight they lost. Nearly two-thirds of the text features sensible but unoriginal recipes (e.g., Glazed Carrots, Vegetable Frittata, Traditional Chicken Salad) that do nothing to encourage readers to adopt this plan. (Nov.)
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"Inspirational the smartest weight loss book youll ever read." -- Jennifer Crusie, New York Times bestselling author of Bet Me
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Top customer reviews
This wonderful book explains the concepts of eucalorics (eating your maintenance calories while you lose weight). Highly recommended in this crazy world of low carb, paleo, low fat, high fat, whatever (which I ALL bought into at one point or another).
Highly, highly recommended if you want a sane, PERMANENT way of eating.
So many other authors would have us believe it's not OUR fault. We have slow metabolisms, carbs are the devil, or it's the fat in your diet that is killing you. How about the truth....we're spoiled by "super sized" portions and we eat nothing but junk. This book helped me adapt some healthy accountability...thus making it possible for ME to do something about my weight.
I say it's a MUST READ AND FOLLOW for anyone wanting to lose weight. I've read some other diet books for nutritional information and have left some reviews on them. But this book is the "blueprint" I follow daily to lose weight. Thanks again!
I do have a few minor criticisms of the book/their advice:
1) Coming up with the term "eucalories" is really gimmicky, to me. It's as if they realized that the concept of eating the calories of one's goal weight was just too simple an idea, so they had to come up with an "angle"---hence the term "eucalories." I have to laugh at the people in these reviews who refer to this as their "system."
2) After so much common sense, I was really disappointed to be told that the "one single change" we should make if we don't take anything else away from the book is to each extra lean beef. Really?? I never eat extra-lean beef. I never eat low-fat dairy (which they also recommend). My family doesn't like it, and I don't want to buy two sets of everything. I am able to easily control my calories by eating smaller portions of those higher fat foods (e.g., a 3 oz. portion of beef rather than a 4 oz., 3/4 cup of whole milk rather than a full cup, etc.). After all, if they're advocating getting away from the "diet" mentality, why continue to recommend those foods that all of us hate to eat when we go on a diet? Sure, I suppose our taste buds will eventually adjust to those foods, but there's still no way they taste as good as their full-fat counterparts.
3) The exercise advice is decent---i.e., exercise mainly for health, not to lose weight (although they acknowledge that it helps). They indicate that they go to the gym four times a week. That's fine, but as a veteran of many diets (as the authors are), one of the odious things about dieting was always the obligation of doing gym-type exercise. I dreaded it, and I usually lasted for a year, even two, but eventually always gave it up. So, I would have preferred exercise advice that was just as much common sense as their core calorie concept. Why is our country so obsessed with "artificial" exercise in gyms? If we would just move more by doing everyday things, we can maintain our fitness. An hour of vigourous housework a day is exercise (and we would all have neat, clean houses). Raking leaves (rather than using the leaf blower), doing all our own yardwork, washing dishes by hand, and yes---parking farther away from our destinations and walking---all of this burns calories AND we're accomplishing something at the same time. If you like the gym, fine, but there are alternatives.
4) Much of the book seemed to be filler---redundant or just dragged out. Again, I think the concept is so simple and could be expressed in just seven words (eat the calories for your goal weight), but one couldn't publish a book with just seven words. So, they fill half of it with information nearly everyone has heard before (e.g., see #2)or keep repeating the same advice in different ways. The other half contains recipes, which is fine for those who don't cook regularly, but if you're already a person who cooks, then there's nothing spectacular here.
Overall, I think this book seems written by a couple of decent folks, but those who will get the most out of it are those who are still in the extreme mode of dieting (which, to be fair, are many Americans). For those of us who are already committed to moderation, there's nothing new here.