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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A non-Evangelical Atkins, 19 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: Waist Disposal: The Ultimate Fat Loss Manual for Men (Paperback)
I picked up this book after spending about two months in the gym dedicated to a training program devised to help me lost half a stone (3kg) from 12 and a half stone (80kg). I'm only 5' 8". This involved alternating between 12.5 and 14km/hr on the running machine, one minute each, for 20 minutes, also heavy weights, etc. After two months I hadn't lost one pound. Nada. Oh, sure, some of the fat would have been converted to muscle, and I may have been more toned, but I certainly didn't get to 'look good naked' as Robbie sings in Bodies. It wasn't enough for the expense and effort entailed.

This book explains why. Put simply, going to the gym only builds an appetite while most weight loss comes from changing what you eat. Even the idea that muscle helps metabolise fat is given short shrift. So this book makes you feel rosy about where you may have recently failed in the past, the same goes if you've been stringently following a calorie control diet - Biffa knocks that into a cocked hat too.

Otherwise, yes, this is mostly the Atkins again, as it's a high-meat low carbs diet with plenty of fat. I think it works. It's not as intense as Atkins - Briffa doesn't urge you to undergo ketosis but then again he doesn't warn you off it either. This makes it easier to achieve than the Atkins, as you don't have that initial hurdle to surmount. He also advises against tinnned tuna, which explains why I found the Atkins took a while to get going with me, as that's all I ate for a week. Otherwise, pills to stop cravings, such as chronium, are advised here, as in the Atkins.

Generally I'd advise against pure Atkins. Too much protein can bring on tinnitus, at least it did for me, it's caused by a sort of run-down virus in the system that's hard to shift. The Atkins is a bit hard core, a bit extreme, so that's why I didn't keep with it indefinitely, so the weight crept back on.

There are other tips from Briffa that work: drink lots of green tea, chew your food a lot, do light exercise such as walking strenuously for 30 mins a day. Avoid fizzy drinks, it gets sugar into your system faster than food, and plays havoc with your insulin levels. Rice or oats (porridge) are healthy but not nutritional and won't help you lose weight.

On the other hand, this is also coincidentally very much like the Blood Type diet, if you're Blood Type O. With the difference that I feel some of the excess dairy Briffa recommends might be best avoided, and I'm not sure that all nuts are too good either - lose the Brazils in my case, stick to the walnuts. On the other hand, the cream in the coffee does satisfy without resorting to bad carbs, which can mess up your insulin levels.

Overall I very much recommend this book, and the recipes at the back are easy to achieve too, which makes success easier.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Apr 2011 09:48:44 BDT
Jl Adcock says:
An excellent review and summary of this book. Just working my way through this myself and think you've captured it in a nutshell. Hope it's having the positive results you were after.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Apr 2011 14:56:36 BDT
Ha ha! Thanks but no, I haven't lost any weight - that's because I haven't really been following it. So not Biffa's fault, one still has to battle one's own personal weaknesses or schedule, where you may not have time to do all this stuff and end up having a coffee and croissant to get through the day. However, I don't retract my comments, if you can stick to it without self-sabotage, this works, it's just easier to do when your life is on a regular schedule and you can nip across to a newsagent or Tesco for a 2-litre bottle of mineral water to have by your computer.

Thanks for the kind words, thought I'd overwritten it...

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Feb 2012 20:06:48 GMT
Mister G says:
You didn't overwrite your review. Thanks - I found it very helpful.

Can you - or anyone else - please tell me if you have bought Briffa's more recent book, 'Escape the Diet Trap', and if so which is better? I assume that 'Waist Disposal' is better as, even though it is older, it is written specifically for men. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Feb 2012 10:06:24 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Feb 2012 10:08:50 GMT
Thanks Mister G! I have not read the other book, I figured that he really ought to have it all in one book anyway and this should be good enough. Briffa does a weekly column for the Epoch Times, a freebie newspaper in London, worth looking out for.

That said, I have not really looked at the book lately. I have gotten into shape, mainly through these things:

1) Get your vitamins in.
Most 'diets' fail because if you've been eating unnutritional rubbish, your body won't be strong enough to cope with the abrupt switch in diet and it will crash. So I took vitamins such as 1) Selenium ACE by Wassen 2) Magnesuium by Wassen, this helps curb chocolate cravings 3) CoEnzyme Q10 by Wassen, an energy pill often given to those over 40 or so. These 3 you can get from Boots Chemist on 3 for 2. Also, 4) Cronium Piccolate by Solgar to beat cravings, as Briffa recommends 5) Folic Acid by Solgar to lift moods 6) Cold Liver Oil by Holland & Barrett as it works as a Vit D supplement in winter months.

Quite a lot, I know, but it helps smooth over the rugged edges of a diet change. In theory you can get these from veg (broccoli helps curb choc cravings too I understand) but then you're heading out to a supermarket with all the tasty treat tempations on offer, and if you're not in the habit of healthy eating, this is all a hassle. Popping a pill over your breakfast just seems to work for me, though I'm not saying don't do veg at all.

2) I used mini-dumbbells for stretching exercises. Only 1Kg each, hardly anything at all, but if you do slow windmill arm movements with them in front of a mirror and a variety of such exercises if beats the hassle of going to the gym and takes literally five minutes. It does tone me up more than the gym ever did. Briffa is right when he says that the gym doesn't really make you lose weight. To be honest, this doesn't either, but in terms of getting your kit off and not feeling bad when you look in the mirror, the mini-dumbbells work much better.

3) Full English breakfast each morning, make up a ham and cheese roll for hunger pangs at noon.
The Full English is highly calorific but highly satisfying - the protein curbs hunger pangs and these are calories you can burn off during the day, whereas a latte and a croissant or KitKat hastily grabbed at the station are bad cals that wreak havoc with sugar levels. Best however to find a cafe that does a Full English or buffet breadfast somewhere if you can to save time.

Also get a cheap Pilates DVD on eBay and make sure your mattress is fairly firm, posture counts for a lot.
Oh, and know your poison. Mine is chocolate, but I knew one guy who was drinking a litre bottle of Diet Coke a day and didn't realise that was bad.
Work your way through a 1.5 litre botte of mineral water (or tap water) on your desk during the day.

And here's the thing that may have you logging out with disgust! All this notwithstanding, I haven't actually lost much weight doing this! I'm still 12 and a half stone, though I was knocked back by Xmas when I was just over 12 stone, I'm heading in the right direction again. The key thing is though, I look better starkers in the mirror (my main objective), I don't have a horrible nasty gut, it is all toned and presentable - so the idea of losing weight as a goal in itself, turning it into a battle with yourself and putting the body into shutdown mode - may all be thoroughly misleading. The dumbells really do help avoid that awful deflated balloon look you can get when weight starts to come off your arms and chest while your gut remains as seemingly even larger than ever.

Sorry for the essay (unlike the review, this one is overwritten) hope it helps a bit though!

Posted on 10 Sep 2012 12:18:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2013 19:11:29 GMT
Will just add, now down to 11 1/2 stone or 73 kg, so have lost a stone since last post. This is largely down to two Briffa suggestions that don't seem to be in his book - I found them elsewhere. Firstly, Vit D3 supplements, at 25 micrograms. Get them at Holland & Barret. These raise serotonin levels it seems and makes chocolate less appealing as a lift. English sunshine (such as it is) won't do it. Secondly, Krill Oil in 1000mg dosage. This is also from Holland & Barret but is relatively expensive actually, around £13 for a month's supply, you may prefer to take fish oil capsules. Anyway, since taking these the weight loss has kicked in. Avoid the gym, especially 30-min sessions on the treadmill which actually lower your metabolism, but do maybe use it for interval training - 15 mins on the treadmill - alternate between sprinting and jogging each minute at a push of a button on the machine (look for the button named 'Interval training'). I do one minute at about 8km/hr then one minute at 12.5km/hr. But don't kill yourself over it, and don't feel you have to do it too often.

For full English, bacon is much healthier than sausage, and skimp on the beans.

Edit: Now down to 11 stone (69.5kg) by 12 October and again, it's using the above tips such as Vitamin D3 from Holland & Barrett (dosage of 25 micrograms) and other tips. The Food Focus Permanent Weight Loss site (www.foodfocus.co.uk) helps too, in terms of the amount of calorie reduction needed to ensure you lose the flab. You don't have to register to fill out the form of your height etc, on the right of the page.
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