Non-Fiction: Health

You On A Diet

The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management

Written by: Michael F. Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D.

Published By: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


             Reading the title of this book, you are probably wondering how it is possible for a book about dieting to be considered as a form of entertainment.  In fact, just the word “diet” probably induces an involuntary moan of agony.  But You on a Diet, by Doctors Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz, somehow manages to come off as very entertaining, in spite of the subject matter.

            You on a Diet is not simply a book about dieting.  The writers of the book are bound and determined to teach their readers a bit about their bodies so that they will understand how the body works, how foods are digested, where nutrients, etc. from these foods go, etc.  With a better understanding of how food is broken down in the body, how certain ingredients are stored, how the way our ancestors ate affects our digestive routines today and more, readers can better understand how to create a diet that works for them. 

            The book teaches you what to look for when buying foods, but unlike some diet books, You on a Diet actually explains why you must be wary of these ingredients.  Readers discover that foods in with high fructose levels are more likely to make us feel hungry because of the way the body digests them.  They learn the difference between good and bad cholesterol, the storage and consumption of fat, and more.  By understanding how their body responds to stimuli, readers get a better understanding as to why diets that cut out foods or deplete them have little success.

            I’ve explained how informative the book is, but you are probably still wondering how a book on dieting is entertaining.  In fact, you’re probably thinking that I am some sort of diet freak who craves books of this sort.  Actually, this is probably the first diet book I have ever read.  What I found so interesting about this book is that the authors know damn well that their subject matter could indeed get boring and complex.  In order to keep the readers’ interest, they decided to spice things up a bit.  Points made throughout the book are illustrated via amusing pictures and diagrams.  The writing style used in You on a Diet is designed not to be a droll collection of facts and figures.  Instead, the book is written in layman’s terms with humor interspersed throughout

            You on a Diet provides an exercise and diet plan designed to help you lose inches – yes, inches.  As the doctors explain, it’s not the digits on the scale that you should be obsessed with, but the size of your waist.  Scale weight doesn’t adequately tell the story of your body.  The exercise plan is big on walking and stretching and using your own body weight to exercise.  The use of your own body weight, rather than gym weights, keeps the dieter from making excuses about lack of gym funds, lack of equipment and/or lack of time.  These are exercises that can be done in a matter of minutes without any equipment whatsoever.  My only beef…if you’ll pardon the pun…with the book is the diet plan.  I simply don’t like the foods listed and need more variety in my meals.

            Despite my problem with the actual diet itself, I must say that I learned quite a bit about how my body works, how it reacts to certain ingredients in foods, how fat is burned and stored and more.  And I learned all this in a manner that was most enjoyable and often times outright funny.  You on a Diet teaches readers about their bodies and about dieting in a more effective way than other diet books because it does so in an entertaining manner.  But don’t take my word for it – check it out for yourself and see if you don’t actually enjoy reading a diet book for the first time in your life. 



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