By Weight Watchers and James M. Rippe, M.D.
Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated (December 2004)
We’ve all heard it before. Willpower is the key to weight loss. You can’t lose weight if you have the wrong metabolism or genes. Calories don’t matter – avoid fats or carbs to lose weight successfully. These are just three of the 10 myths that are busted in Weight Loss That Lasts, and you don’t have to be a member of Weight Watchers to learn from this book.
Weight Watchers joined forces with Dr. James M. Rippe, a cardiologist, to show us why the goal should be a healthier lifestyle, instead of just shedding the extra pounds. To reach that conclusion, we look at the common myths of the weight loss industry, and learn that the solution to each is common sense, healthy living.
The 10 Big Diet Myths
- MYTH #1 You can’t lose weight and keep it off
- MYTH #2 A few extra pounds don’t matter
- MYTH #3 Willpower is the key to successful weight loss
- MYTH #4 You can lose weight with exercise alone
- MYTH #5 Calories don’t matter-avoid fats or carbs to lose weight successfully
- MYTH #6 You can’t lose weight if you have the wrong metabolism or genes
- MYTH #7 You can boost your metabolism by what, how, and when you eat
- MYTH #8 It doesn’t matter how you take the weight off; you can think about keeping it off later
- MYTH #9 There is only one right approach to losing weight
- MYTH #10 Your weight is your problem and you need to solve it on your own
According to the authors, there is a kernel of truth to each of these myths, but they have been misinterpreted and distorted. For example, in Myth #8 It doesn’t matter how you take the weight off; you can think about keeping it off later, we see how common it is for people to think that it’s ok to take drastic measures to lose weight quickly, and the long term benefits outweigh the short term damage. The kernel of truth here is that weight loss does bring health benefits, such as reduced cholesterol and blood pressure levels. The whole truth, however, teaches us that early weight loss is more water than fat. Continued fast weight loss equals muscle loss. Other problems may include hair loss, dry skin, irritability, and gallstones. Once the weight IS lost, you may also be more likely to regain it, because you didn’t learn proper eating methods, and your old habits return.
Weight loss success stories, complete with before and after photos, were always our favorite part of Weight Watchers magazine. This book carries on the tradition, and inspires us to follow the advice within the pages. Sometimes, they read like Weight Watchers advertisements, and it feels like a cheesy, hard sell. We realize that this IS a Weight Watchers book, but we couldn’t escape the feeling that they were trying to get us to join the program. No one likes to pay for an advertisement.
All of the advice in the book can easily apply to everyone, regardless of your chosen diet plan. The only exception would be the Myth #5, Calories don’t matter-avoid fats or carbs to lose weight successfully. Hard core low-carbers may want to skip this chapter. We are advised to consume at least 120 grams of carbohydrates per day, to support the human need for glucose. Carbs also provide much needed micronutrients that protect us against a variety of health risks, including heart disease and cancer. The lesson learned in this chapter is that carbohydrates are essential, and a balanced diet is best.
Overall, we learned a lot from this book, and highly recommend it. Our only peeve was what we perceived to be a sales pitch, but who could blame them Read, learn, then go lose some weight!