The Diet Fix
by Dr Yoni Freedhoff.
Dr Freedhoff is also the author on my of my favourite blogs, Weighty Matters
. He's an Ottawa physician who now specialises in weight loss, and was -for full wow! factor- one of the people behind Disney quickly dismantling their cruel-to-fat-kids Habit Heroes or whatever it was called exhibit.
This is perhaps the best book about dieting that I have ever read. Period.
To start with, it isn't a diet book. Most of those are, essentially, gimmicks. Don't eat after 8pm. No carbs! No grains! No fat! No fruit! Only fruit! No foods with the letter E! Subway three meals a day! Cabbage soup before every meal! All of those, each and every one of them, is a way to trick you into, in fact, reducing calories. Period. This is no magic there. Which is why these books sell and work, at least for a short time.
So. Not two-week-diet-plan at the end of the book. Oh there are some recipes, but they feel there just because, there is no OMG, these are the very best recipes that will help you...
What Dr Freedhoff did, in this book, is identify problems, and give solutions, and helps everyone find their own path as a dieter.
There is SO much in this book, and I'm going to only highlight the two things that I found the most helpful.
Dr Freedhoff is aware that some of us are what he calls survivors of "traumatic dieting". We're the ones who've tried and failed, tried to be perfect, and failed, whose self-esteem, if it were a geologic era, would be somewhere around the Cretaceous. His "solution"? A 10 day reset of expectations at the start of a diet.
Oh, for most of us, it would take more than 10 days, which is probably the only gimmick in the book. To do this right will take longer, because it is not just the planning of meals and trips to the supermarket, but the emotional breaking down of years of a crappy relationship with food, our bodies, and dieting. The tools are there.
This "10" days reset, btw, will work no matter what brand of weird diet you want to choose for weight loss, from Weight Watchers to South Beach. In his comments, btw, about "resetting" the Weight Watchers diet, he made something very clear to me, that I hadn't seen before about WW and my behaviour on the diet, and I'm slowly trying to correct that. Anyhow.
In a nutshell, the reset can be viewed as a recovery program, a way for those of us with multiple failures in our past, to break away from some of them, and perhaps to move on. Again, I've rarely felt this positive about a book that speaks of weight loss.
The second thing that was good to read.. This is something that I've been trying to articulate over the years, to people online and at my Weight Watchers meetings but Dr Freedhoff has gone further and been more clear than I could ever dream of being.
That human beings rejoice in food. We celebrate with food, we share food, we enjoy it. And that any program that does not allow for that intimate participation in a fundamental part of human culture is bound to fail long term. That doesn't mean we have to eat out lavishly every night, but that celebrating with food is normal, and should not be viewed as obscene and disgusting, as it often is in the ascetic culture of rapid diets (which I'm part of at times!). To me, this mind shift is fundamental, because it acknowledges the shared humanity of fat AND thin people. Despite the mantra in many diet-places, eat like a thin person eats! does not translate to never celebrate your birthday, because thin people never do.
Those two things I was going to high light? Never mind, I'm moving on to a third, though I suppose it's part of the first in some ways.
The goal for weight loss, he says, is to eat as little as you can while still being happy with your life.
And that, my friends, is a fucking dramatic
departure from every other book on dieting I have ever read. Happy. With. Your. Life. Dear god, that is NEVER mentioned elsewhere. You're fat, you're supposed to suffer every day, in order to hopefully attain thinness. If you can't suffer long term, it's because of your lack of willpower. And that breeds self contempt. That cycle is what Dr Freedhoff is giving the tools to help us break.
Happy with your life. Be at a weight where you can be happy, that you can happily maintain.