Category Archives: Diet Books

4-Hour Body

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The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming SuperhumanThe 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

TMI yes, I realize that’s a wrong spelling of the author’s first name and is also not meant in the figurative sense but literally. This book does have over 500 pages after all.

So first off Timothy Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body starts as a diet book, not as in “starve yourself diet”, but “change your eating habits diet”. It states firstly to NOT EAT GRAINS. Any grains!!! This is even a step up from The Wheat Belly (full review here: in which only modern (gluten containing) grains were not allowed.

To get a full understanding of how grains affect us scientifically here a link to Tim Ferriss’ blog on the issue: www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2010/09…

Sounds like The Paleo Diet Lose Weight and Get Healthy By Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat at first glance and even when you read the recipes provided at the end of the aforementioned blog, you see fruit mentioned as part of the suggestions for that week long menu. But Ferriss does not eat fruit! In his suggestion -contrary to the paleo diet- one is not allowed fruit due to blood sugar raising attributes. For fiber in his ALL meat, ALL veggies, ALL the time (WAIT: it’s not all the time, because each week one is allowed a cheat day, where one can consume anything one likes!!!) he eats legumes like lentils and beans. So this “all the time” isn’t true and a cheat day sounds awesome to keep you on track. But once more back to the blog above: It is mentioned that -especially if you are sensitive to gluten, but even for everyone else looking to improve themselves all around- only after 15 days is the last gluten flushed out of your system, so to see improvement to stick with the total gluten free for at least a month to six weeks. So there goes your cheat day!
Also the NO FRUIT is what I have the biggest issue with and replacing them with legumes that make you gassy and bloated (when all you want is feeling better and thinner?).

To stick with this book though it takes a lot. I started off laughing about the disclaimer in the beginning and the authors writing style is highly entertaining. So there’s that. But then there are also numerous cases in which facts are contrasting each other, giving the plain reader a wrinkled brow as to which of the stated facts they should be following now. Entertainment value aside, there is so much data in this book, that it gets tiresome to read at times to the point of page flipping. Which of course is why the author recommends in the beginning of the book to look at the chapter index, read only the first few mandatory and then flip forward to whichever head line looks interesting to the individual reader. Want to lose weight? Already basically covered but keep reading here___ Want to put on muscle? Keep reading on page___ Better sex? Page____.
That is a recipe for information overload obviously; and for the mentioned differences in facts as a) you have to do things differently to lose weight than to put it on (though only marginally) and b) many different specialists are quoted and case studies summarized to account for alternative approaches to the covered themes.
This book is intended to be a recipe for total overhaul, but not all of us want to be good at everything or plain don’t have the time or means to even attempt to. And speaking of time: Obviously it takes time to read this big a book and after the initial fun of reading the first chapters one runs out of time, patience and interest in pursuing the remainder of the book and finds one selves flipping through it, loosing momentum and possibly the spark that gets lit in the first chapters.
This not a bad book makes! As just with the disclaimer, if one sticks with Ferriss’ reading instructions (only to cover the mandatory chapters and then flip to those of interest to the individual reader), this issue is easily avoided. One can always pick up the book later and go back to a chapter that sounded somewhat intriguing.

I did not like the diet for a few simple facts: No fruit(!?), too many supplements to get to that “superhuman” state, too repetitive in its initial stages and conflicting messages about grains (so they are not good for you but on your cheat day you eat a few chocolate croissants?).

Interested in a summarized cheat sheet: www.scribd.com/doc/52738660/4-Hour-Bo….
You will see all the tiresome tricks it takes plus the numerous supplements I am talking about…

Not the non plus ultra; so self experimentation (which is -by the way- a huge part of the book and the authors life)and trial and error it will be to find out what works best for everyone.

But once again: NO GRAINS!!!

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The Blood Sugar Solution, Hyman Dr.

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Daniela‘s review

Feb 01, 12 · edit
3 of 5 stars
Read in February, 2012
The Blood Sugar Solution is a very complex book about the effects of food, especially carbohydrates, on the blood sugar/insulin levels and in turn their effect on the health. It is full of information about different deseases that are caused by insulin imbalance and insuline resistance. However it is much more than a book for diabetics or those who are trying to avoid becoming diabetic, as it states a few cases in which everything from skin conditions, to depression and yeast infections can be cured without further medication if one follows the blood sugar solution program. Most of the ideas in the book have been published before such as looking at the glycemic index of foods by following a green light, yellow light, red light system (“The GI diet”, Rick Gallop amongst others); gluten as the “bad guy” as described in “The Wheat Belly”, William Davis -which I was fortunate enough to review for Netgalley http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/180… ; the set up of your plate into three sections of 50% greens, 25% meat & 25% starch as well) amongst many others and when one looks at the glossary of books and articles used at the end it becomes apparent, that the author of The Blood Sugar Solution has with his book established a compilation of many previously published theories on how diet affects our health. So regarding the information concerning knowledge about foods and nutrients and their influence on the human body, there isn’t any ground breaking news to be found here. It is however -because of the load of facts and data- a very informative, if sometimes long winded and repetitive book. The one thing that makes this book stand out is that it not only incorporates the usual diet plus exercise, but really emphasizes a conscious change in ones relationship to food, others and oneself and the avoidance of toxins in our environment and food. It is a very holistic approach to better health through an old idea of completely cutting out starches and gluten as well as dairy out of ones diet. What’s great is though, is that it is a six week program. This is an attainable amount of time to be spend on getting better. And it doesn’t end there. The author explains how after this period some starches, gluten and dairy can be reintroduced and tested as to their affect on ones well being. So the diet doesn’t stay exclusive. The reintroduction is not a new idea, but the way on how to monitor the influence of the individual food substances is significant. It is helpful is that the author has included many lists and questionairs that can be easily done by anyone. And a complete breakdown of what is done each of the six weeks of the program is also quite comprehensive. The program is radical! But his approach of Functional Medicine, with the idea of healing the body from within by feeding it the right things, instead of covering up underlying causes of illnesses by just treating the symptoms make the authors ideas very compelling especially should one score high in one of the quizzes, which indicates that one is on the way to being diabetic or already there. So in essence it boils down to the following: Medicating oneself possibly for the rest of ones life with immens side effects and the danger of having the underlying cause of diabetis escalate – as blood sugar lowering medications do just that, yet do not address the issue of the actual insuline resistance of the individual and make matters worse as the insuline keeps offsetting sensitive balances in the body- or following Dr. Hymans Blood Sugar Solution program for six weeks? If I had scored high in any of the quizzes I would try this in a heart beat. As it is I would recommend this book and its program to anyone who thinks that they even remotely fall into the catagory of diabetes or prediabetes and the many symptoms that come with it. Amongst the illnesses he claims can be cured are many that one wouldn’t think of when hearing diabetis (in fact he calls it diabesity) such as depression, ADHD, allergies autoimmune deaseases such as MS, cancer, demantia and many more. A six week trial to see if things get better through following this program sounds very reasonable and can be easily followed as there is a quizz for that as well, progress from before to after will be monitored and gives one a picture of the results. Another very important factor is that for extra support a lot of information, including the quizzes, some recipies etc. are available on Dr. Hyman’s website. It’s mentioned about a hundred times in the book so you can’t miss it!

The Wheat Belly, Davis, William MD.

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The Wheat Belly, William David MD.

Daniela‘s review

Jul 03, 11 · edit
4 of 5 stars
Read from June 30 to July 04, 2011

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11505008-wheat-belly

 

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to HealthWheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book The Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D. should be required reading for everyone in the world.

We’ve all heard about the No Carbs approach in diets like Atkins, South Beach etc. Efforts have been made to explain and counter arguments about toxidity etc. were made to discredit all of those diets as they were too restricting. So the word of warning right off: Davis agrees with the low carbs recommendation to the extreme. He calls his book The Wheat Belly, as wheat is the widest used and most readily available grain (product) in the world. He does refer to all gluten containing, genetically altered grains by this one term: Wheat! Through crossbreading it has been turned into a high yield, low growing plant to produce as much grain with as little loss as possible. Through modern food science it has become possible to alter it to growing specifications that are the most satisfying for the producer. At the same time people were advised to eat as much whole grain product as possible as it was advertised as healthy. Unfortunately this development occurred too fast for human digestion to keep up and was done without even checking how the cross breeding affected the consumer. Through the process wheat gained attributes that neither parent plant was known to have on humans. Chemical processes in the body that affect not only digestion, weight gain and intestinal problems (like celiac desease) but shockingly were responsible for all sorts of health problems from heart desease brought on by weight gain, to high blood glucose levels and resulting diabetes and effects on the brain that suggest an addiction and contribute to problems like ADHD, dimentia and other brain related health problems.

One of the most convincing points is that despite the fact that people were advised to eat low fat high fiber diets the population has grown more and more overweight and obese.

Davis compares our diets nowadays to that of our ancestors, where the ones of about two generations away still got non genetically altered wheat and those from a few thousand years ago hardly ate grains at all. He argues that if we were to follow the hunter and gatherer diets of our forefathers we would be following what our bodies are still genetically programmed to digest: Meat and fats as well as vegetables and fruit, with very little grain. And if grain, then because of the adverse effects of gluten on digestion in many people, gluten free grains.

This is not a fad diet book, but a scientific text, that states many studies and examples about the facts Davis descibes. A deeper insight into the changes of human physiology over time to see if and how any progress towards better digestion of today’s “wheat diet” has been acquired would make this work complete.

Davis does include a small recipe section that is geared towards replacing wheat products in a satisfying way.

An eye opener and if even half the facts are true, one would hope that society could adopt eating habits more adapted to our bodies to produce a healthier population.

In Canada the food guide has already been changed away from the largest amount of calories having to come from grains, to the recommendation to eat mostly vegetables and fruit. If meat moved up on the scale and grains moved back into last place, it appears after reading this book, we would be receiving very good advise.

Absolutely recommended for those with celiac desease, weight problems and other thus unexplained health issues that are worth a gluten free/ wheat free trial. Parents of autistic children and children with ADHD might find this very interesting and helpful. Yet everyone could benefit from following this diet if what it claims is indeed true: Better all over health and a cure to many ailments.

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http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/180800850″