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Old 11-07-2006, 11:19 AM   #1
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Default You on a diet

Have any of you maintainers read this one? I just picked it up and am starting to work through it.

Anne
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Old 11-07-2006, 11:22 AM   #2
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I just ordered it - should get it in a day or two.

It would be great if we got a discussion going once some of us have read it.
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Old 11-07-2006, 01:41 PM   #3
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There is a support thread for this under General Diet Plans.
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:00 AM   #4
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Is anyone interested in doing a chapter by chapter discussion of You On A Diet, like we did with Thin For Life?
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:17 AM   #5
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I just finished it this weekend, and while I liked the book, I'm not sure I think it was worth a chapter by chapter like TfL was.

Anne
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Old 11-15-2006, 02:57 AM   #6
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I haven't read it yet, but plan to. I just finished TFL and I'm glad I did.
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Old 11-15-2006, 12:43 PM   #7
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I ordered TFL from Amazon and it should arrive today. I also bought the book 100 days of weight loss (I had seen excerpts and it looks very inspirational--I may read it and give it to my MIL). I was thinking of buying You on a Diet, but changed my mind. I'd love to hear comments about it, though. I guess I'll have to look for the thread for the TFL book.
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:11 PM   #8
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Default You on a Diet - High Fructose Corn Syrup

I'm currently reading You On a Diet. I like the format of the book and, so far, it seems to be a pretty sensible approach to weight management. It's been interesting to learn about the mechanics of the body when it comes to food.

When I read something, I don't retain the information very long unless I take notes. I thought I would share my notes/thoughts as I go. Anxious to hear what you guys think, too.

The tidbits on HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) interested me so that's the first topic I delved into. It brought up some questions, too, which I'm hoping I can get some input on.

Sorry, this isn't going to be too terribly organized:

HFCS

* The body doesn't recognize it as "regular food" or excess calories, so it doesn't turn off hunger signals

* Avoid all:
Simple Sugars (more on that in a sec)
Enriched, Bleached or Refined Flour
HFCS

* Food Labels:
Avoid foods where HFCS or another simple sugar is more than 4g per serving
OR
One of the first 5 ingredients

* Sugar (why it's bad):
Excess Calories
Induces highs & lows in blood sugar (creates a cycle of craving more high-calorie food)

* Simple Sugars:
Brown sugar, dextrose, corn sweetener, HFCS, glucose, corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, maltose, lactose, malt syrup, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose

* Watch for HFCS in bread:
Go for 100% Whole Grain only (not "made with," multigrain, whole grain, blends, "good source," "supports heart health")

*Watch for HFCS in salad dressing:
Go for "low-cal," not "low-fat" (which can be loaded with HFCS)

So, here's how this translates for me:

* My Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches are a big no-no. They're low in fat and calories and have 3g of fiber, but they have 15g of sugar.

* So are the All-Bran bars I eat with my coffee. They're low in calories and high in fiber (which is why I eat them), but they have 11g of sugar and simple sugars are at the top of the ingredients list.

*My All-Bran Bran Buds (which I mix into my low sugar yogurt) has 8g of sugar (too high according to YOAD) and sugar is the second ingredient behind wheat bran. However, one serving packs a huge fiber punch - 13g! At this point, I'm not ready or willing to give them up because they're such a great fiber source.

So, I suppose my question is this... As they state, sugar causes highs and lows in our blood sugar causing cravings for high-calorie food. If I can eat things like Skinny Cows (one per day) and All-Bran and similar products (in moderation, of course) without experiencing problems with cravings, is the small amount of sugar I'm consuming not a concern? I'm very careful about sugar (for the most part), good fats, good carbs, protein, fiber, sodium and calories. I don't know anything about recommendations or general guidelines for sugar consumption (other than YOAD). Is there a certain number of sugar grams that we're supposed to stay under each day?

If the authors address this at some point in the book, I willl share what I learn.

Hope you're all having a good day.

K.Lee
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:35 PM   #9
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Karyn - I think that - like with many things - some people are much more affected by sugar than others. Like you, I eat a little bit of sugar and don't have cravings.
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Old 11-15-2006, 10:52 PM   #10
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The way I look at rules like this is that they are merely suggestions. Not all people will react to sugars in the same way. If what you are doing works for you, and you are as slim as you'd like to be and as healthy as you can be, than you may not need to make any changes.

But like me, if you're just not getting anywhere in the way you were previously eating, it couldn't hurt to try to make some new changes like these sugar rules.
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Old 11-15-2006, 10:57 PM   #11
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Default My review

KarynLee, thanks for the notes. I'm finally getting around to doing a quick review.

YOU on a Diet is divided up into 5 basic parts. The first, What a Waist!, talks about why waistline measurement is the right measurement to use from a health perspective. The second part, The Biology of Fat, is a summary of the hormones that influence our appetite, how food is digested and absorbed, the role of inflammation, the dangers of abdominal fat, and the role of exercise. The third part, The Science of the Mind, talks about the role of neurotransmitters and basic psychology on weight. Part 4, is a 'diet' and activity plan, and finally the appendices cover medical options, including prescription medications, plastic surgery and gastric bypass.

Things I liked about the book:
  • Emphasis on health and not on appearance
  • Long term perspective (100 cal/day=10 lbs/year arguments)
  • Accessible descriptions of fat biology
  • Discussion of medical options for a medical problem, and not as 'cheating'
  • Simple, clear guidelines for cleaning up diet and beginning exercise
  • The emphasis on moderation vs perfection in diet and exercise

Things I didn't like about the book:
  • Lack of references: no way to tell when the recommendations they make have been superceded by better studies
  • Unreserved recommendation for supplements (summarized on p 203): the research on some of these is very sketchy
  • The conclusions they present about fructose (esp HFCS) as somehow worse than other simple sugars is controversial. And there is absolutely no mention that most of the natural sugars found in fruit is fructose. This may come with the territory of trying to simplify such a complex subject, but it really bugged me.
  • Their diet plan didn't seem to follow through on their earlier statements about moderation and long term emphasis.
  • I found the discussion of inflammation pretty much incomprehensible.
  • As a style point, I thought the attempts at humor were pretty stupid.

I'm trying to figure out what I do (if anything) with the information in this book, as someone who needs to actively manage my weight. I found the discussion on hormonal and neurotransmitter regulation of appetite fascinating, and would probably recommend the book just on that basis. But in terms of real actionable ideas, it seemed a lot of the same to me--get the junk out of the diet, choose whole plant-based foods over refined ones, avoid trans fats, saturated fats, and added sugars. Exercise with walking and basic strength training.

I'm also one of those people that doesn't have a problem with carbs. I don't get the highs and lows after eating them. It's pretty much all good. So while I try to avoid foods with lots of added sugars of any type, I'm not really concerned if the naturally-occurring fructose in the raisins in my raisin bran put my simple sugar count above 4 g/serving. I'm a little skeptical of the one-size-fits all approach. KarynLee, the whole milk in my fridge has 11 g of naturally occurring sugars per cup, so depending on how much actual dairy goes into a Skinny Cow, the amount of added sugars may not be that bad (the nutrition panel does not distinguish added sugars from naturally occurring). Not that you'd want to build a diet on Skinny Cows, but as an occasional thing, it's probably not the end of the world.

Anybody have any different opinions? It's always possible I missed things, or just got a bug up my butt because of the whole sugar issue.

Anne
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Last edited by AnneWonders : 11-16-2006 at 12:17 AM. Reason: I try to avoid foods with added sugars, not add them!
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:48 PM   #12
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Pat & Alison, thanks for the reality check. You're right, we all have to strive to do what works for us as individuals. Sometimes, I get a little caught up in what the "experts" have to say and assume I'm doing something wrong.

Anne, your review was awesome. Thanks for putting that together. You make some great points and I'm feeling a little better about the fact that the section on sugars left me a bit befuddled. Like you, I was not impressed by the information they gave about supplements. And I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds their cutesy jokes annoying (and distracting!).

The next section I'm about to tackle is the one on how the body processes fats, proteins, carbs, etc. It really is fascinating stuff.
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:05 AM   #13
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Thanks for your review, Anne. I manage to read three pages per night and then fall asleep so am not making much progress. Like you, the science of weight loss and obesity is fascinating and I'm coming up to that chapter next.
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:56 AM   #14
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I haven't read the book, so take whatever I say with that in mind. From what I've read here, and heard about it, it sounds very much like SugarBusters. The rules, such as they are, are all the same with the same emphasis on added sugars and the demonizing of HFCS.

Until I tried SugarBusters and followed those rules, NOTHING worked for me except outright starvation. No matter how much exercise and low cal/low fat I ate, my weight would barely budge unless I was below 700 calories UNTIL I GOT RID OF SUGARS and PROCESSED CARBS. Now I can eat double that and still lose, admittedly still not a lot of food. One serving of anything with sugar or processed starchy carbs, and the weight piles back on disproportionally to the calories- and it's NOT bloat. Further, it always goes straight to my abdominal area. I've been doing a lot of reading which attempt to explain why this can be true, and I'm beginning to believe it.

So for some people, everything I hear about this approach rings true. My take is that this IS a cookie cutter approach, but that a huge segment of the population fits neatly into that cookie cutter. Look around at most heavy men and wome. Yes, there are some who are still hourglass figures, albeit BIG hourglasses at 50-100 pounds overweight, but I think the majority that I see are big apples. These are the people who are likely to be insulin resistant, maybe pre-diabetic, or carb sensitive. We are the ones who benefit most from this type of diet.

Mel
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Old 11-16-2006, 10:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel View Post
So for some people, everything I hear about this approach rings true. My take is that this IS a cookie cutter approach, but that a huge segment of the population fits neatly into that cookie cutter. Look around at most heavy men and wome. Yes, there are some who are still hourglass figures, albeit BIG hourglasses at 50-100 pounds overweight, but I think the majority that I see are big apples. These are the people who are likely to be insulin resistant, maybe pre-diabetic, or carb sensitive. We are the ones who benefit most from this type of diet.
Mel, I think this is a very important point. If this book gets a few people to put to put down the super big gulp or the giant muffin because of the HFCS, then I applaud that. The growth of obesity-induced diabetes in this country is truly frightening.

But if all this applies to the 'apples', what is a 'pear' like me to do? I clearly have a lot of room to lose some weight, but my waist is a nice 32", which is 'healthy' by these standards. For that matter, my blood sugars were perfect back in the 250+ days (much to my doctor's apparent dismay at the lack of a solid biochemical fact to bash me with). Do any of the fascinating hormonal explanations even apply to me? Is my biochemistry different from what the book presents? I can't even check with no references. I guess the 'waist management' aspect of it should have been fair warning to me. Should 'pears' save our money and pass on this book?

I'm still conflicted. I don't see any inherent problem with the advice in the book, other than some of it is tough to implement, and I think it would do a lot of people a lot of good. I was very interested in the biochemistry. But I'm not sure I got my money's worth out of it.

Anne
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