Losing weight is not that complicated. Eat fewer calories than you burn and the pounds will drop off, your clothes will loosen up, and you’ll see a lower number on the scale. It’s that simple. Only it never really is that simple.
Bob Greene attempts to make dieting a little simpler for all of us in his latest book, The Best Life Diet. Like all of Bob Greene’s books, you’ll find a dose of inspiration from Oprah, and plenty of sound advice to motivate us and get us back on track. Still, the Best Life Diet is different from any other diet book you’ll read. It’s all about using diet, exercise, and behavior modification to improve your lifestyle. The information isn’t really ground breaking, but the approach is quite different from the other popular diet books.
Most of the latest diets follow a trend of including phases, which usually include a strict Phase 1 to boost quick weight loss, followed by a structured Phase 2 for steady loss until you reach goal. This leads to a final Phase 3 that you are supposed to follow to maintain your new body. Bob includes phases in the Best Life Diet as well, but Bob asks us to try a different approach. Instead of focusing on strict dietary changes, we will work on changing our habits and eating behavior. Bob also includes sample menus and recipes to get us started on a healthier plan.
You won’t be asked to go on a diet during Phase 1, which lasts 4 weeks. Bob wants you to get in the habit of eating 3 regular meals and a snack every day, as well as increase your activity levels. This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people skip meals or are completely inactive. Bob explains why focusing on this routine during the first 4 weeks will help you to succeed in Phase 2.
Phase 2 will help you give up your bad habits and will teach you how to deal with hunger. You’ll also learn how to make better food choices, such as choosing whole grains instead of refined grains. You won’t find a list of forbidden foods, and even the recipes in the book contain white flour and maple syrup. It’s all about moderation. You’ll have more freedom so you can choose the foods you enjoy, which will make it more likely that you’ll stick to the plan. You are provided with “Anything Goes” calories that you can use for anything you wish. You’ll be asked to limit added sugars, but not eliminate them. Hello pecan pie! You’ll also exercise more, and you’ll like it 🙂
As you can see, Bob takes the gentle approach here and encourages us to ease into a healthier lifestyle, instead of jumping head first into a restrictive diet plan. We think this will be very helpful to a lot of dieters that tend to give up quickly because they can’t live with the restrictions of most diet plans. If you are looking for instant results, you won’t find it in this book. If you are looking for a way to improve your lifestyle and get rid of the habits that contribute to your weight, then this is the book for you. Bob doesn’t yell at you, or tell you that it’s his way or the highway. Bob helps you find your own way.
What we didn’t like:
Bob refers several times to his new website thebestlife.com. He suggests we visit often, to keep updated on approved foods and to get support. The website isn’t free, you’ll be asked to subscribe for a fee. This annoyed us. We feel that if you buy the book, you should get everything you need without having to subscribe to an additional service. Bob went to great lengths to teach us how to choose our foods wisely. There are no forbidden foods, just better choices. Bob’s idea of “approved foods” isn’t like the South Beach Diet approved foods, where you can only eat certain foods and exclude others. This time it’s about specific brands that Bob prefers. So then, why do we need to view approved foods? Because Bob has entered into a deal with several food companies to put his logo on their products, and they want us to buy them. The book is spattered with brand names such as Yoplait and Slimfast. They even included a 7 day sample menu that Oprah follows, which of course includes Yoplait products and Slimfast shakes. We do think many of the suggested brands offer better quality foods, such as Muir Glen and Cascadian Farms. We just don’t think the logo and added commercialism was necessary.
Overall, we liked this book and we think you will, too. You can also purchase a companion journal to log your activity levels and hunger scale goals. If you are tired of the same old thing, strict food lists, and want to make lifestyle changes, this is the book for you.