Foreword Review — Nov / Dec 2000
Eat a low-fat, healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains. Decrease the fat in your diet. Exercise, or at least stay active. Make it a part of your life. Do not use the word diet. Change your attitude and your habits.
None of these are dramatically new, but they’re all in this book. It is a concise, clear, logical, and rational approach to changing one’s relationship to food in order to achieve a healthy, reasonable and permanent weight loss. It’s everything one would expect from the Mayo Clinic.
Heavy on logic and low on inspiration, Dr. Hensrud takes the reader through three sections: Getting Motivated, How to Lose Weight and When You Need More Help. Part 1: Getting Motivated deals with the facts of being overweight, the health concerns, the odds of taking weight off and keeping it off. The text is clear and low-key, very much like a physician talking to a patient.
Part 2: How To Lose Weight is concerned with the practical aspects of the book, discussing calories, portion control, menu planning, and various psychological approaches to changing your lifestyle. Most refreshing is the notion that the reader should calmly evaluate their life and not attempt major changes when they’re not ready for them: during high periods of stress, during holidays, divorce, changing jobs, etc.
The only really new information here involves Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Weight Pyramid. Designed like the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid, the Mayo Clinic’s Pyramid offers three major differences. One, its focus is on low-energy-dense foods, which reportedly assists in weight loss. Two, it emphasizes healthy choices within each food group, and three, the base of the Pyramid is made up of the Fruit and Vegetable Group. Mayo’s plan allows for unlimited portions of whole vegetables and fruits, something that research has found helps promote weight loss.
Part 3: When You Need More Help discusses medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, that are sometimes used for weight loss, and different types of surgery. It clearly evaluates the risks and benefits as well as the side effects.
If someone is tired of yo-yo dieting and just wants a sound, healthy way to regain control of both their eating and their health, this book is a good resource. (December