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Hardcover Don't Diet: How to Be Healthy, Happy with Yourself, and Never Worry about Your Weight Again Book

ISBN: 0688074693

ISBN13: 9780688074692

Don't Diet: How to Be Healthy, Happy with Yourself, and Never Worry about Your Weight Again

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Format: Hardcover

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Customer Reviews

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A Sensible Approach to Weight, Health, and Happiness

The 'Introduction' by Peter Valk M.D. discusses the negative overtones of fat: a weakness, a vice, ugly, sexless, weak, and unhealthy. Dieting doesn't work for most people. Extreme obesity is a serious disease. Obesity increases the occurrences of high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of coronary heart disease. Fatness can't be cured by reduced food intake. A low amount of saturated fats and higher amounts of complex carbohydrates, with regular exercise, can reduce the risk factors for heart disease. The fear of fat has caused epidemics of anorexia nervosa and bulimia among young women. The prejudice against overweight can cause depression, which is worse than being overweight. While more people are overweight than 50 years ago, they are also living longer. The problem with being fat may be in our attitude towards it. Chapter 1 says fat, in most cases, is not a health hazard and weight loss is not a generally desirable ideal (p.16). Fat is stored energy (after glycogen). While the body can use fatty acids for energy, the brain can only use glucose. Protein can also be used for energy, but is self-destructive. The 20th century fashion for slenderness contradicts thousands of year of human experience (p.19). Ideal weight tables are meaningless by themselves (p.21), but demonstrate credulity. The body-mass index is a created metric that is a guess (p.23). Body weight is relative, not an absolute ideal. Only extreme levels of fatness can be considered a health hazard: you can see this from 50 yards, no measurement needed. Atrens discusses the social factors that make you fat (pp.27-39). The increase in fatness follows a shift to a continuous supply of food (modern life). Urbanization has an affect on fatness, as does social class. Page 68 explains why "dieting is a health hazard". The diet industry is Big Business and lucrative for magazines and publishers. Sound nutritional practices should not be ignored by counting calories. Exercise is good in itself, even if it doesn't lose weight. Converting fat to muscle affects volume, not weight (p.71). Smoking to lose weight is a cure worse than the disease (p.72)! Chapter 3 notes that fatness indicates intake is greater than expenditure; you must overeat or underexercise (p.73). Eating at night is more likely to result in fat (p.80). Humans are getting both fatter and healthier at the same time (p.83). Chapter 5 discusses the various diets to reduce fatness. But fatness is not necessarily due to overeating, and undereating does not necessarily lead to slenderness. Atrens comments on the low-energy diets, the no-energy diets, low-carbohydrate diets, liquid-protein diets, and lunatic-fringe diets. The failure of these diets is due to "very powerful basic biological forces" (p.116). Failed dieters are the norm. Carbohydrates are the main ingredient of human diets. Cholesterol is synthesized in the liver (p.126). Typical Western diets have far too much fat in

Don't Worry, Be Fatty

I had the good fortune to attend Dale Atren's lectures on psychobiology and neuroscience during my undergraduate degree. His lectures were simultaneously hilarious and serious. This book is in that vein (though 'hilarious' is too strong in this case). The 'take home' message of one of Atren's lecture series was this (as far as I can remember): Forget about fad diets (which is just about all the diets on the market) because they usually do more harm than good in the long-run, both physically and psychologically. Instead, use COMMONSENSE to eat whatever you feel like (which by and large means eating lots of different types of yummy good - like the French do), stop worrying about your weight, and enjoy yourself. Don't be a slave to poorly educated 'nutritionists:' they rely on low self-esteem associated with 'being fat' and so have a vested interest in not revealing to you that frankly, being 'fat' (as opposed to clinically obese) is not really unhealthy at all. And THAT is pretty much the message of this book too. Just don't worry, be fatty.
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