Diet Books and Reviews

- POSTED ON: Mar 27, 2011

I like reading, and I especially enjoy reading Diet Books. Reading them is part of my DietHobby.

Diet Books are written by medical doctors, and psychologists, and trainers, and nutritionists, and journalists, and lawyers, and housewives, and people from many other walks of life.

Most diet book authors say that they have personally lost weight while following their recommended diet, and/or have seen their clients, their patients, their fellow members, or their friends lose weight while participating in the diet presented.

This is also true of authors who espouse diets that aren’t officially labeled “Diet”, such as diets which based on intuitive eating principles like: “Eat only when hungry; Eat what you like: Stop when you’re full.”

Books are work products that are normally intended to benefit their authors financially, and/or bring them into the public eye…i.e. provide them with fame and fortune. Honest and dishonest people both exist in this world. Some people lie.

Authors can exaggerate or actually fabricate examples of successful dieters in order to boost the credibility of their diets. Their motives vary.  Some of these do this for financial gain, and others do it to benefit humanity. For some, it is a mixture of both.  Except for that fact, initially, I have no reason to doubt an author’s claims.

While reading a diet book, I charge myself with the personal responsibility of doing my best to keep an open mind to the author’s concepts, and while I cannot keep myself from factoring in my own common sense, my prior knowledge, my own life experience, and my personal values, I work to temporarily suspend my personal judgments about the concepts presented.

After a lifetime of reading hundreds of diet books, my belief is that just about every diet works for someone.

Every diet book I’ve ever read has benefited me in some way. Even the worst of them usually contains some useful kernel of Truth, and most of them contain recipes that I find personally interesting.

Each diet book has provided me with information, and sometimes… the information I gained was not what the author intended.

Over time, it is my intention to write here about a variety of diets, and about some of the diet books I have read. I’ll be doing this as the mood strikes, and in no particular order. My reviews of new diet books and old diet books will be provided at random. Which, I believe is appropriate…since that’s how I read them.

Occasionally, there will be a “diet” book that I judge to be particularly unusual, interesting, or outstanding. such as Gary Taubes’ new book, Why We Get Fat and What to Do about It (2011), and such a book will be featured here in BOOKTALK for a long-term Discussion.

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Existing Comments:

On Mar 27, 2011 Karen925 wrote:
I look forward to your upcoming reviews of diet books. The books I have read usually revolved around the proposed method to engage in weight loss: Weight Watchers (twice successfully lost, maintained for several years, then regained), South Beach (1 time, lost successfully, maintained for several years and first time I was introduced to the concept of insulin resistance and carbs effects superficially), NoS failed miserably (which was such a shock that I decided to take the study of nutrition seriously and to never again give someone/anyone else the authority to dictate to me what and how I should eat). Each of these wl times along with the reading provided me each time with a new insight. The best that happened to me was failing miserably on Nos following much for the advice given on that website by other forum members. I have read so much since Oct 6, 2009, the day I started calorie counting and food journaling. This deeper knowledge on nutrition has benefitted me and those dear to me in a way that is astounding at times. Just like your much more extrensive knowledge is benefitting so many more people than just yourself:-)

On Mar 27, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Thanks Karen. I hope that when I write about any diet that others have experienced, each reader will chime in to add their own opinions to the mix. Although the basic "vanilla" No S Diet didn't work for me personally, that diet book is one of my favorites, and I very much recommend it. The No S diet plan contains many concepts that I find valuable. I think the basic No S Diet is a good diet for some people, although, for me, personally, its plan of moderation, simply wasn't "moderate" enough.

On Mar 27, 2011 TexArk wrote:
I wish I had all the diet books I have bought over the last 40 years! I could have a diet book museum....Every decade I would decide that I had finally found the answer and then purge all the books that I thought were flawed. This cycle repeated itself as I thought I had found the answer only to discard more books. And the funny thing is, I have bought back used copies of books that I had previously weeded out. .....The internet has really helped me in my quest to learn because I can have so many sources at my fingertips.....But you are so right....I have learned something from each and every book about weight loss, picked up recipes here and there, recognized quack science and good science....watched what was demonized then become recommended...etc etc.....My favorite books lately have been old cookbooks (pre 1960s)and ones that my grandmothers and great aunts used in the 1930s and 1940s.....In these books you have no fear of saturated fat and no modern convenience foods...and I can see what the American Diet was like before the current SAD.

On Mar 27, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Hi TexArk. It seems like all of us go through that cycle where we feel a need to "prove our faith" in our current diet, by throwing out our past diet books. I feel fortunate that I saved the ones with my favorite recipes. I also collect Cookbooks, and some of my favorite Cookbooks contain recipes from the 1950s. Young "real food" people might be surprised to see how frequently highly processed food ingredients were used even 60 years ago. I have mixed feelings about most "nutritional" issues, and I am still undecided about many things that are commonly taken for granted by the majority. My personal beliefs allow me the freedom to personally conduct various experiments with different diets and different ways-of-eating. This seems to work for me.

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