Top positive review
73 people found this helpful
Was expecting more celeb pap, got a book of genuinely useful information instead!
on 20 December 2011
Much as I love the Biggest Loser as an entertaining show, I wasn't really expecting this book to be any good and bought it off the back of the reviews. I definitely was not hoping for shoddy 'Dr' Gillian McKeith style science.
HOwever I was really pleasantly surprised. I had bought it because of recurring issues with reproductive hormones which the doctors seem to be at a loss with, if a contraceptive pill or anti-depressant doesn't change it, they don't seem to know what else to look at. So I am doing some reading.
What I liked about it was that it explained the biological mechanisms behind the advice. Some people might not like that level of detail if they are looking for essentially a diet book, but for me it is essential to know why someone is suggesting something. I am married to a bio-medic and he's very skeptical of this sort of thing. However when I have asked him to look at certain parts of the book he has agreed that the mechanisms she describes are as he understands. As he doesn't work in endocrinology I am not trying to suggest that therefore he is endorsing all the science in it and some of the information about how the hormones interact with each other was new to him but we have both found it really interesting.
Gillian assumes that your main reason for reading is likely to be weight loss and general lack of well-being so concentrates on those hormones which have an effect on the parts of metabolism which may affect weight, but doesn't narrowly stick to those. Instead she explains how a raft of them interdepend, interact and interfere with each other, and then how your actions can tip one or two over the edge and set off a chain reaction which goes way beyond the initial effect.
The recommendations she gives are fairly simple and global, and there are no quick fixes for the short-cut seeker. In essence it is an anti-diet book, in the sense of warning against diet plans which cut out food groups or rely on diet foods. It's essentially wholefoods in the right proportions at the right times. But firstly it is useful to know why you're doing that, and secondly there ARE some specifics which are easy to apply as rules. Such as not eating carbs within an hour or two of going to sleep because the raised insulin needed to deal with them can interfere with a nocturnal pulse of Human Growth Hormone, the biggest shot we get in a day. Or how hormone levels over the course of a day can inform how best to spread your intake of food over the day to get the maximum benefit. Or why you just shouldn't ever (EVER) drink diet drinks. (Really).
There is so much general "clear the crap out, eat right, sleep more and exercise more" advice out there but sometimes it's hard to know why exactly you should be doing it and whether it will really make a difference. This book gave me good logical reasons to follow a certain path, and amazingly gave my scientifically skeptical, chocaholic husband enough evidence convince him to volunteer to join me.