I purchased Dr Briffa's previous book, Waist Disposal, in January 2011. I was approaching 40, had developed an impressive middle aged spread (which somehow I managed to disguise by virtue of the fact I didn't put much weight on my face!) and had tried several times over the previous years to lose a stone (I weighed about 16st, 1 stone was not exactly ambitious). I tried the Low GI diet, I tried Atkins, I even tried the cabbage soup diet! I ramped up my exercising, and all that happened was I'd lose a few pounds in the first few weeks, then eventually put it back on, with the added bonus of some additional pounds. So I entered 2011 determined to give it one more go for the sake of my health.
Waist Disposal interested me because it seemed aimed at blokes like me. All the principles laid out in Waist Disposal are captured in Dr Briffa's new book, Escape The Diet Trap, with the latter providing more detail, more up to date evidence, and some new ideas. It's like Waist Disposal on steroids.
All I can say about Dr Briffa's principles is they work. They really really work. I write this review 12 months on from following them, and I have lost 3 stone. I look and feel fantastic. Not only have I lost weight, but I sleep better and genuinely feel healthier. I used to take headache pills once or twice a week before - now once every couple of months. The upshot of all this is that I am happier. You can't underestimate how your feelings of self esteem and happiness improve as you see yourself lose weight and become healthier, simply because you changed your eating habits. I don't consider Dr Briffa's principles a diet, that word suggests it is a temporary state, a fad - for me it's been about a lifestyle change in what and how I eat. And unlike previous attempts to shift weight, a year on I've still kept it off.
And it's not just me - my wife followed these principles, and over the last year she had lost 2 stone! What makes that particularly impressive is that she was 9st 5 to start with, so not exactly heavy, she's petite, and yet she now weighs 7 st 5. And our success has inspired many of my friends to follow Dr Briffa's principles, and they too have seen great results.
So hopefully I have provided some evidence based on my own personal experience that Dr Briffa's principles work. What about Escape the Diet Trap as a book? As I mentioned earlier, it's like Waist Disposal on steroids. It's wonderfully written and structured so that you can read it end to end, or you can pick and choose the section you're interested in. There are good summaries and recaps in each chapter and a final synposis, so it's easy to revisit bits. But most importantly, all the principles and ideas in the book are underpinned by scientific evidence, all of which can be referenced. What is genuinely shocking about the conventional advice on nutrition given to us by the Health Authorities is the really flaky basis on which it is based - our current consumption of simple carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and sugary products, is storing up a load of problems for us in later life. When you think about the fundamental premise of this book, that from an evolutionary perspective we are unchanged in millions of years, then our bodies are designed around the diet of hunter gatherers, a primal diet if you like, it then makes complete sense that a diet based on food which entered our diets only 10,000 years ago, such as grains and sugar, cannot be good for our bodies if we consume carbs to the extent we are told we should.
Waist Disposal really got me interested in the whole area of nutrition, and particuarly the carbohydrate fallacy, so I read lots of other books. Having read Escape The Diet Trap, Dr Briffa has actually added some new content, capturing many of the ideas I'd also seen elsewhere (e.g. how to deal with plateaus, how intermittent fasting can help with fat loss). So in Escape The Diet Trap, Dr Briffa has created to my mind an excellent single source on this whole area. If you buy only one book on "diet", then buy this one. Dr Briffa's ideas changed my and my wife's lives.