Austere diet plans fail in the long run; people shed weight under any number of differing regimens then plateau or lose willpower because constant self-denial is not fun. Before long most rebound heavier than ever and weaker as well. The culprit is the metabolism which reduces a body’s equilibrium point when consistently starved. The Part-Time Diet Approach is a little counterintuitive: After determining the quantity of calories a person burns maintaining their weight dieters eat foods which meet that total some days in a week then consume a fraction (perhaps half) of those calories other days in conjunction with exercise to preserve muscle-mass. By alternating between stasis and reduction the metabolism is fooled into keeping the same caloric set point and the weight gradually comes off.
Useful tools in this book are four illustrated weightlifting routines a target calorie table based on metabolism height weight and age and an index of calorie ranges in commonly eaten foods. A substantial positive: constructed example figures with a detailed story built around them who take on a measure of reality. Hogan uses a youngish widow named Gloria to show both how the diet is undertaken and just as importantly to demonstrate its place in a cautiously expanding life. The author makes readers care about these symbolic composites—no easy task.
The encouraging (but not annoying) tone turns playful without falling into flat-out zaniness. This is vividly illustrated by a condemnation of the dieter’s staunchest enemy all-you-can-eat establishments: “…a very credible supermarket tabloid reported that one man ate so much at a buffet style restaurant that he collapsed in on himself black hole style and actually fell out of this universe only to pop up in an alternate universe where spinach is eaten for dessert.”
While Hogan’s program for lightening up on the scale seems pretty likely to accomplish that objective he neglects to adequately tailor it for consistency with optimum cardiac health. That means the less health-savvy may get wrong impressions like that ham is less harmful than chicken or that peanut oil is just as smart a choice as olive oil. He does stress the wisdom of consulting a physician before beginning to diet but those who don’t could make poor choices based on the calories list and manage to slim down but hasten a heart attack.
The author is a physical therapist whose occupation led him to understand that the majority of skeletal and muscular maladies are caused by excess poundage. This diet recommended to clinic clients contributes to the improvement of the conditions many of them present with. Its unorthodox approach should appeal to those who hate other plans which deprive them forever of their favorite foods and those who find that constant hunger eventually makes the disadvantages of obesity appear tolerable. The Part-Time Diet Approach probably works but whether it is a net contributor to overall health is uncertain.