YOU: On a Diet by Mehmet C. Oz and Michael F. Roizen

YOU on a Diet

No doubt you’ve heard of Drs. Roizen and Oz, two of Oprah’s favorite guests. The doctors have shocked and awed us with real – on the table – examples of healthy vs. unhealthy internal organs, leaving it clear as to what our lifestyle choices do to our bodies. They’ve shown us what a healthy heart looks like, and what a heart looks like after years of McAbuse. They’ve even devoted time to helping us understand our poop 😮 We can’t think of any better people to take it one step further and show us how our bodies react to dieting, and what we can do to get it right, once and for all.

The good doctors say it like only a fat chick on a diet feels: Trying to maintain willpower can be like holding our breath under water. We can do it for a while, but eventually we have to come up for a gasp of air.This, they say, is the start of a dangerous yo-yo plan. What is their solution? Learn the biology of the problem, and inject the cure. The good doctors have researched and studied, and given us all of the evidence – and their plan to work smarter, not harder, in their new book. You: On a Diet: The Owners Manual for Waist Management.

There are several major areas we will fight fat from while on YOU: On a Diet. We will learn the science behind choosing a reasonable and ideal goal. We will learn about the science in fighting and storing fat. We will explore the scientific (seeing a pattern here?) and chemical reasons for overeating, and also work on an activity plan that will teach us to eat smart and exercise smart – based on scientific research, of course! Throughout the book, we learn more about our bodies than we ever thought we would in a diet book. Roizen and Oz show us exactly what we are doing to our body by overeating, and what our bodies SHOULD look like, inside and out.

The book is full of tips and ‘YOU-reka’ moments. One particularly eye opening statement is that our body naturally wants to be at our optimum weight, but “we” keep getting in the way. How is that for intrigue? Pick up a copy and you can learn what they mean. It isn’t hard. It’s actually so much simpler than we dieters ever let it be. Portion control is hard, so why should ANY diet be easy? Well, YOU: On a Diet isn’t going to make the pounds melt off on their own, but it has definitely taught us ways to make it easier. And without pills!

No single diet is for everybody. This book, however, is personalized, so you can make it work for you. It has quizzes, tests and checklists so each of us can find out exactly where we need to be and how we can get there – plus some insight in how we got in this mess to begin with!

This is not a boring biology book. It makes the whole amazing biological and physiological process of eating, digesting, storing and burning fat – as well as what happens when we DON’T eat, very interesting, and fun to learn. Really. The doctors speak more like onion rings and cupcakes, and less like polyunsaturated fats and monosaccharides. In equally friendly tone, there is a lot of myth busting, which is busted with some of the funniest and straight to the point facts that we’ve ever read.

Ok, we’re being amazed at how our body works and we get a lot of laughs with the cute cartoons and puns throughout the book. How exactly is this going to help us lose weight?

First, we will choose our goal. The major tool of measurement is our waistline. Roizner and Oz feel so strongly about the waistline being the prime indicator of good health that they said we don’t even have to weigh on a scale. A large waist means a large center. A large center means a shorter life. But before we define our goal, we need to have a real idea of where we are at. You’re going to love this. Get naked in front of a mirror and take a good look. Now draw your shape, front and side views, and look at yourself that way, on paper. Now even better, show this to your partner and ask him/her to tell you honestly if that is an accurate drawing. We have to say we were speechless when we read that bit of shocking yet brilliant form of self awareness.

Now for the important part – the food!
This book does not give a strict plan to follow. This is for a more realistic way of eating. The doctors feel if we are set up for perfection, we will be disappointed. The guidelines are given to us for use as we see fit. No quotas or maximum amounts of fats, nuts, or creams in your coffee. The idea of YOU: On a Diet is that we need to learn to eat more like our ancestors ate, when obesity wasn’t a common affair. This is where some other diets have left dieters treading water, with nowhere to go. Those diets were big, sold millions of books, but how many people really lasted with the diet and were successful on it? "Eating until full" is easier said than done. If we all ate just until we were satisfied, and not full, we’d never get fat in the first place. This theory is a key component of other diets, including the Weight Watchers CORE plan. In a recent survey, we found the main reason people quit CORE was because "satisfaction" is about as clear as a bowl of custard.

What makes this book better? Roizner and Oz take us one step further than ‘eat from the following list of foods until satisfied’. We follow the path of food from the first hunger pain to the flush of the toilet. We are taught the consequences which we cannot see. We’re taught the tricks that our hormones are playing on our brain to make us eat more food – and it’s done with very easy to read and understand cartoons and simple explanations. We only wish high school biology class had been this easy and interesting to learn! Even though it is fun, is it enough? If not, they have armed us with a calorie counting plan to follow. If you don’t lose weight on this diet, start counting. A 14 day menu in the book is based on 1700 calories a day. Adjust your menu as necessary to cut any calories that might be needed.

If you are looking for a structured, meal by meal plan, then you aren’t going to find it in this book. What you will find, is the knowledge to know what to eat yourself, to have that power to choose and make the right decisions. By not having a list of taboo foods or an exact food plan, you aren’t going to find yourself in a situation where you are faced with cheating. Instead, you are faced with choices. (Although you do you have some calorie guidelines for a safety net.) Roizner and Oz also make it clear that this book can also serve to enhance another diet. You don’t have to follow the plan listed in this book, although it is recommended. We can follow an exact list of foods all we want, but in the real world, we’ll be faced with non stop choices. If we don’t learn this now, how will we stay at our goal once we reach it? There is a saying that goes "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still." Read this book and you can learn to master yourself. Isn’t that the better way to live your life?

Ready to learn more?
Visit our General Diet Plans forum and join in the discussion on YOU: On a Diet.
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