19 January 2019

Weekend Cooking: Losing Weight and Eating Right

5 books for weight lossI always wonder what percent of people vow they'll change their ways starting on January 2. Of those changes, dieting has to be near the top of the list (along with exercise and budgeting). I don't usually make resolutions, but after a month or so of holiday eating, I'm usually ready to get back to our usual healthful way of eating.

I don't review dieting books as a rule because (1) I don't have a lot of experience with dieting and (2) I'm too lazy to do the research to evaluate the truth of what the books are telling us. Thus I was surprised to notice five sane-sounding diet-related books cross my desk this season. I thought I'd feature them today, in case one or more resonate with you.

To reiterate: I haven't double-checked the truth of any of these books. Impressions are my own, and I leave it to you to decide how closely you want to follow their advice.

5 books for weight lossWhat to Eat When by Michael Roizen and Michael Crupain, with Ted Spiker (National Geographic; December 31). I generally trust National Geographic to get their facts and science right, so that's a big plus for this informative and fun to read book by two doctors who are associated with The Dr. Oz Show. The general idea of What to Eat When is that our internal body clock should be dictating the timing of our meals, so that when we eat is just as important as what we eat to gain optimum health, lose weight, and decrease our stress level. The book reviews a lot of research into circadian rhythms, human and animal behavoir, and physiology. The authors note that it's not just our own body rhythms that matter but also that of the natural bacteria in our guts (our microbiome). The book provides a 31-day plan to help us make the switch from typical Western eating patterns to a more healthful one. It offers lots of tips, including foods to focus on and foods to avoid and advice pertaining to specific health and life issues. (review copy provided by the publisher)

5 books for weight lossThe Mojito Diet by Juan Rivera (Atria; December 18, 2018). This diet book is written by a medical doctor who trained at Johns Hopkins, but now teaches a Columbia, has a Univision television show, and sees patients in Miami. The general idea of The Mojito Diet is to provide a 14-day weight-loss and heart-healthy diet with a Latin twist and--yes--cocktails. Generally the author advocates for a highish protein, lowish carbohydrate diet, with intermittent fasting, that follows DASH principles. The book discusses the science behind the diet and includes menus and a detailed plan to lose weight relatively painlessly. Once your goal is met, you can continue to the chapters that offer a maintenance plan. Near the end you'll find a variety of cocktail and food recipes, most with Latin American flavors. Cocktails are allowed a few times a week, and dessert can be substituted if it has about the same calories as a mojito. The recipes looked appealing and doable. Many dieters will appreciate the guide to eating out. (review copy provided by the publisher)

5 books for weight lossThe DASH Diet Mediterranean Solution by Marla Heller (Grand Central; December 24, 2018). This diet book is written by a registered dietician and nutritionist who trained at the National Institutes of Health and who has written several DASH diet books. In case you don't know, DASH stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. A diet good for your heart is also good for your general health and weight. The general idea of this DASH book is to give the well-known diet a Mediterranean perspective to help you have a healthy cardiovascular system, control diabetes, and lose weight too. The book explains specifically which fats, proteins, and carbs to eat, and even helps you stock your pantry and survive the grocery store. You'll find easy to remember "rules" (like "put color on your plate"), and the author provides meal plans that look easy to implement. There are lots of charts for quick referral and to make it simple to figure out what to cook and eat. There is also a recipe section, with (no surprise) Mediterranean-inspired dishes. (review copy provided by the publisher)

5 books for weight lossGut Reactions by Simon Quellen Field (Chicago Review Press; January 8). This informative book is written by a chemist and all-round science geek. The general idea of Gut Reactions is to learn how to create a new, lower set-point weight and thus achieve better health. The book discusses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and shows us exactly what each one does for and to our bodies. We also learn where these nutrients are in our foods. Moving beyond just diet, the book also discusses lifestyle issues and then puts all the information together to explain metabolic rate, hormones, and our microbiome. This isn't really a how-to diet book, but it is filled with interesting science about physiology, nutrition, and intermittent fasting and includes plenty of illustrations and photographs to aid our understanding. There is also information about food cravings and addictions. The book includes some fun quizzes to help you determine your relationship with food and also offers advice for understanding your own metabolism. (review copy provided by the publisher)

5 books for weight lossDressing on the Side (and Other Diet Myths Debunked) by Jaclyn London (Grand Central; January 8). This book is written by a registered dietician and nutritionist who is currently nutrition director at Good Housekeeping. As is obvious, the general idea of Dressing on the Side is to debunk dieting myths and help us gain a more positive perspective on health, eating, and weight. The book goes into the science of nutrition, offers guides for evaluating the different popular diets, and helps us navigate the tons of information and tips we get from both the media and our friends. The guidelines in the book are down to earth and easy to implement and focus on healthful eating and drinking, such as how to determine when we've had enough to eat, how to eat dessert every day, and how to make sane food choices. The book is written in a fun, conversational style and addresses real-life issues like our financial budget, time constraints, and how to survive parties and the holiday season. Good graphics and easy-to-absorb charts and guides help you stay honest and accountable to yourself and offer advice for shopping and for eating out (at all kinds of restaurants and even when traveling). (review copy provided by the publisher)

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

NOTE: Mr. Linky sometimes is mean and will give you an error message. He's usually wrong and your link went through just fine the first time. Grrrr.


Mae Travels 1/19/19, 6:40 AM  

Your habitual healthy eating choices are usually evident when you write about your meals each week. As for these books, as I understand it, even egregiously crackpot diet books might help at least a few people to lose weight. But the biggest benefit realized by diet books is to make a lot of money for the authors and publishers! These sound like they might be this year's good money-makers.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

rhapsodyinbooks 1/19/19, 6:57 AM  

I love Mexican food and drinks, so the Mojito book sounds perfect! Thanks for the summaries of these books - very useful! And I totally agree about National Geographic!

Kay 1/19/19, 7:13 AM  

These look interesting and they may be just what some are looking for in their resolutions. Lots of science out there right now about weight loss and better quality of life, etc.

As someone who has lost a very large amount of weight in the last couple of years, I've learned that my relationship with food is quite complicated and a lot of it is 'all in my head'. I think many of us who want to drop some pounds can do it using various methods, but the hardest thing is to go on to 'regular eating'. For me, it has taken a long time to process habits and thought processes that I wasn't even aware of. I tell people at my weekly meetings that I've decided it's supposed to take a long time to adjust and hopefully make new behaviors or 'go-to' strategies.

In any case, I've also found that my mother's 'not very creative and, though she was a wonderful woman, she couldn't cook all that well' method of raising me and my siblings is probably the best for me. I didn't gain weight until I went to college. And the eating I do now is very similar to what I ate growing up. Who knew? Ha! Mom knew all along that fruits, veggies, and lean protein was healthy.

Tina 1/19/19, 7:55 AM  

I tried one called Sommersizing once and we lost weight but our cholesterol went sky high. Best bet is moderation and common sense. And now I want a mojito just seeing the name!

bermudaonion 1/19/19, 8:19 AM  

I have several friends who seem to try every diet that comes along but we're like y'all - we just stick to a (usually) healthy diet and exercise.

Amanda 1/19/19, 8:38 AM  

I'm actually listening to Gut Reactions right now. So far it seems much more like nutritional science/history than advocating any particular diet, which I find refreshing. Some of the stuff in here is like reading nutrition science fiction (all the stuff about adenovirus 36 for instance) and I'm just totally fascinated. I'm interested to see what else I can glean from the book. The audio came with a PDF but it has almost nothing in it, so I'm glad I didn't cancel my library hold for a physical copy. I'll see what kinds of quizzes, diagrams, etc accompany the book at that point.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 1/19/19, 9:48 AM  

When I was a teenager, I had met my pe requirement at school, and I noticed my weight was beginning to edge up. I began to be more physically active---riding my bike and running---and my weight went back down. I've always read as much as I can about health and eating and physical activity, so I may look for some of these.

Tina 1/19/19, 9:59 AM  

I just saw your comment at my blog, you ought to check out the Skinnytaste website as many of the recipes I’ve posted are there. Then you can preview that latest book 😊
The first book is great too.

Jackie McGuinness 1/19/19, 10:09 AM  

I have no use for anything from Dr. Oz, sorry.

But the Gut Reaction would be good to read. I bought the book The Complete Gut Health Cookbook by Pete Evans, https://peteevans.com/books/complete-gut-health-cookbook/ and really like it. Helps he's easy on the eyes too!!!

Abigail Pearson 1/19/19, 3:23 PM  

What to Eat When looks like a fantastic book, I'm going to request it from my library right now!

Vasilly 1/20/19, 12:51 PM  

My library bought several copies of What to Eat, but I'll pass. I'm too lazy for diet books. :-) This is that time of the year where so many of them are published.

Vicki 1/20/19, 4:29 PM  

I have a lot of Roizen/Oz books. I may get a copy of this to add to them. I also have a copy of The Dash Diet. The other books sound interesting too.

Carole 1/20/19, 4:44 PM  

Sorry I'm late - been a bit under the weather with a touch of food poisoning - a bit of a risk when it's so hot. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

Sue Jackson 1/20/19, 7:14 PM  

What an interesting round-up! I hadn't heard of any of these yet, though, like you, I dojn't usually read diet books. We did switch to a modified Paleo diet a few years ago, with the help of our dietician, because it's supposed to be best for those with immune disorders, and it has definitely helped with our specific medical issues.

Thanks for the informative overview!


Book By Book

Aj @ Read All The Things! 1/20/19, 8:56 PM  

I read a few diet books when I was a teenager, but I was never able to stick with them for very long. I’m hoping that exercise will help get my weight down. I’m not very good at being hungry or cooking meals that take forever to make.

Aj @ Read All The Things!

Julie Goucher 1/22/19, 9:02 PM  

I haven't taken part in quite a while, but hoping to be a bit more frequent!

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours 1/25/19, 2:28 PM  

My husband and I started the Keto Diet just after New Years ... it is an interesting switch for sure, but so far we're seeing slow successes. :)

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