Welcome to my blog. I am Miriam Downey, the Cyberlibrarian. I am a retired librarian and a lifelong reader. I read and review books in four major genres: fiction, non-fiction, memoir and spiritual. My goal is to relate what I read to my life experience. I read books culled from reviews in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Bookmarks, and The New Yorker. I also accept books from authors and publicists. I am having a great time.
Hope you will join me on the journey.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
The Diet Dropout's Guide to Natural Weight Loss
by Stan Spencer
Fine Life Books 2013
read as an e-book
I need to read a nutrition or diet book every once in a
while to keep myself on track. The Diet Dropout's Guide to Natural Weight Loss
is the kind of a book that you could read several times over just to remind
yourself of your nutritional and fitness goals. Stan Spencer, the author, is a
biologist, and most of the science-based information is very practical and
written in simple, meaningful language.
At the outset, I need to say that Spencer is not advocating
a particular diet plan, but he is advocating a lifestyle change. He offers
basic information about eating patterns that cause weight gain, some practical
ways to break those destructive eating patterns, and suggests basic nutritional
guidelines for healthy weight maintenance. He says, "Natural weight loss
simply consists of changing the situations, habits, and thought patterns that
caused you to gain weight in the first place." And while I would quibble
with the concept that natural weight loss is "simple," I certainly
can relate to the concept of changing situations, habits, and thought patterns.
One of his key ideas is the concept of mindfulness. This is
a concept that I have practiced many times in my life but I have never
consciously used in conjunction with my eating goals. I certainly have planned
meals, eaten meals, stolen lots of snacks and junk food, and dieted. But, I
never have used meditation and mindfulness to control and confirm my
nutritional needs. Practicing mindfulness could be as simple as taking a deep
breath before eating, or it could be as complete as spending 12 to 15 minutes a
day in meditation. "As you focus on the present, try to keep an accepting,
nonjudgmental attitude toward whatever you are experiencing at the
moment." When I think about it; I eat the most when I am not
mindful...when I am just filling my face without thinking. I guess you would
call that "mindlessness!"
One of the major goals of the book is to help people stop
emotional eating. He suggests five ways to achieve that goal:
1. Focus on the present 2. Mental relaxation 3. Healthy Thoughts 4. Social Interaction 5. Do Something Productive
Spencer doesn't suggest any particular diet plan, but he
advocates eating three balanced meals a day. Each meal should consist of 45-65
percent carbohydrates, 10-35 percent protein and 20-35 percent fat. This ratio
will cut down on cravings and emotional overeating. Of course he advocates
exercise as one of the key components to natural weight loss.
The Diet Dropout's Guide to Natural Weight Loss is geared to
people who have found weight creeping up on them and wanting to stop the habits
that have promoted those weight gains. I found a lot of the information very
useful, although I didn't read anything that I didn't already know. Sometimes
it is important to be brought back to reality. One reviewer said that the book
took high level concepts and reduced them to a simple language with specific
tactics to make for a healthy lifestyle. I think I would sum the book up the
The book is short, inexpensive and valuable. The Kindle
version is only $2.99. Well worth having.