Review: Kate Swann and Kristina Mamrot – Do You Really Want to Lose Weight?

Do You Really Want to Lose Weight?
Kate Swann and Kristina Mamrot

This book is a new guide to losing weight – mainly without massive immediate diet changes and unrealistic goals. Instead, it looks at the psychological side of losing weight. I’d actually highly recommend it as a good book of its type, and in combination with another healthy eating guide, I think it could be a step in the right direction for people with weight-loss problems.

22696682You might be thinking to yourself ‘Why is Rose reviewing diet books?”. Well, I don’t need to lose weight. But I do enjoy the stories of other people being successful in their weight loss goals, and when I was approached to read this novel, it’s the only reason I agreed.

I really liked this book. It has some sound practical advice, and some powerful messages that readers may or may not be able to apply by themselves. There is certainly a link between psychology and weight gain/loss. Go out there, buy it, and share it with a friend. Take notes on the things that resonate with you, and pass on the ones that don’t.

This is a short review – mainly because I want you to go read it for yourself. It’s well written, I enjoyed the stories and I could tell that there were real people behind those anonymous fronts. What more can I say?

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Review: Michelle Baumgartner – Diet and Weight Loss Lies

Diet and Weight Loss Lies
Michelle Baumgartner
Michelle writes from her own perspective on exercise and anorexia, and finding your way out of the dieting hole. Backed up with science and a couple of relevant university Degrees, Michelle sets down planning for a new you in 8 weeks. Reminds me of the 12 week program touted by someone else…
Did I learn anything new from this? No, I didn’t really. I’ve read other books like this before, and find many of them the same. That being said, one of the diet books I read was completely a fad, and I couldn’t recommend it to anyone. See here for my rather ripping-apart review. This book is a reasonable source of information, and is certainly not a ‘fad diet’.
I loved the recipe section at the back. It’s a good formula for people who don’t feel comfortable working out what they should be eating from a random list of ‘allowed’ foods. There are some random lists in this book that you can skip over if so desired. I only wish that the menu plans had come with a total list of what you needed for the recipes.
Some fad diets come up with diets based on blood type, which is completely absurd. Instead, this guide uses your body shape. I think the overall view is good, but don’t shackle yourself into sticking to one body type meal. The main thing is being sensible about what you eat, and how much you eat!
I don’t agree with putting only a fist-full of food in your stomach at one time. For people working 9-5 hours, it’s simply not possible to fit in 5 meals. As it is, the earliest time we can have dinner is at 6pm. If you work from home like I do sometimes, I would strongly suggest packaging up your portions for the day, and eating them when you get hungry. If not, it is likely you will just snack from the fridge and not get far on anything.

A non-nonsense guide. I think I’d actually recommend this one. The only thing that let me down were the limited case studies – I always find that part the most fascinating.

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Review: Shauna Reid – The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl

The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl
Shauna Reid
Diet girl is too fat for the scales. No, really, so fat that even if she loses weight, she can’t see it on the bathroom scales at home. Instead she joins Weight Watchers, watches what she eats, begins to try exercise more, and get herself out into the wide world.
I read the blog on which this novel was based years ago, in 2012/13. I loved the blog, and I believe I may have reread it once or twice. When I saw that Shauna had a couple of copies to send away, that ignited my curiosity to read the actual novel. I found myself let-down by the novel. Yes, it was formatted more nicely, yes, it followed a neat, linear plot line, but no, it didn’t have the same immediacy and drive of the blog.
On to the story. Simply, this is a self-discovery novel about what you can gain from losing weight, but also understanding what triggers you have. For Shauna, it is depression that can derail her weightloss, and it’s not even her fault.
The funny anecdotes, such as those involving the Mothership and the early courting with Gareth, were the highlights as always. Everything I say is going to be comparing it to the blog, so there isn’t much I can actually say about this novel as a stand-alone.
Is this just another success story, which pretends to give sage advice about losing weight in a ploy to get you to buy it? No, it’s a true story that is inspiring all in its own way, while not actually dieting, only being more careful with your lifestyle.
If you love the allure of a paperback novel, and you don’t have the drive to read through the blogging archives, this would suit you to a T. If you don’t want the paperback copy though, I don’t think you need to buy a Kindle version – you might as well read the blog.

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Review: A.J. Rochester – Confessions of Reformed Dieter

Confessions of Reformed Dieter
A.J. Rochester
This is the weight-loss diary of A.J. Rochester, and is the first book beforeĀ Lazy Girl’s Guide to Losing Weight and Getting Fit which I previously reviewed. I didn’t realise that both of them were available as audiobooks, and so I listened to them out of sequence.
I’m sort of glad I did listen to them out of sequence. Not this this book was no good, but that I found the sense of humour in ‘Lazy Girl’ more to my liking. I’m just not that interested in the size of her arse!
There were a couple of bits that irked me, such as when she goes on about Pluto Pups (again?!?) and lists food items off. But I am excited for her as she goes through the plateaus and faces exercise challenges such as breaking her leg.
Rochester’s formidable personality shines through. I found it engaging to listen to, and was very sad when I got to the end. There were so many things left unanswered! I was frustrated that I didn’t know what happened to ‘the boy’, and I wanted her to find some sort of closure with Nutcase. I know it’s unrealistic to expect that in real life, but it should have avoided…
While then end of this novel is really very positive, when googling to check I spelt her name correctly, I found several less-than-flattering pictures of her more recently. She appears to have piled the weight back on, despite saying that she never would. Not very inspiring by someone who claims her new weightloss is for life!
When struggling with my own desire to thin down and get fit, inspiring books like these are just what I need. I don’t have 50 kg to lose, but knowing that someone else (on a personal level like what I felt with Rochester) has done it, and done it well is inspiring.

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Review: A.J. Rochester – The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Losing Weight and Getting Fit

The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Losing Weight and Getting Fit
A.J. Rochester
A.J. has struggled with being big all her life and when she realises she is obese she decides to get professional help – Dr. Nutcase, Crusher and a nutritionist. This book chronicles how other people can follow her process and aim towards being thinner themselves.
As a talking book read by the author herself, the expression and nuances of language were amazing. It was engaging to listen to, and although I couldn’t say the topic matter was that interesting to me personally (knowing most of the things already), I was happy to listen to it on my walks to the bus.
Something that irked me were references to Pluto Pups. What is a Pluto Pup anyway? Additionally, the subscription to eating diet yoghurt. I’m of the belief that yoghurt’s fats are good for you, because that’s the way it’s made by cows. The amount of sugar added to those things to make them palatable is going to kill your diet anyway, and could have major effects on your metabolism. So my suggestion would be to eat pot-set yoghurt, because it naturally has lower sugar, and the fats are good for you.
Another thing that didn’t work in the talking book format were the lists of allowed food (too long, couldn’t remember most of them by the end) and the listed menus (boring to listen to). The passages about what to do about food in general, the psychology element and exercise were good though, and I didn’t get bored.
If you haven’t heard/read the first book (which I’m currently in the process of listening to), then the human element is slightly missing in this novel. However, A.J. does a good job of projecting her personality into it, and there’s a good chance you’ll be hooked anyway.
I think this book is a valuable addition to any ‘dieter’s’ bookshelf, provided you actually get into it. A.J. has some super valuable points that are useful. I disagree with fat being the only enemy (added sugar is also bad), but the underlying bones of the diet – eat less, move more – are solid.
I completely support A.J.’s suggestion that if you have abuse in your life, you need to get professional help before you can do anything about your weight. I often see smokers who should be thin because of the effect cigarettes have on the body that are fat. There has to be some underlying cause there, and getting psychiatric help is a great idea. If you can prove you have a problem, Australia has a ‘Mental Health Care Plan’ that means you will be able to see a psychologist cheaply. No excuses!

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Review: Gregory Kuhn – Why Quantum Physicists Don’t Get Fat

Why Quantum Physicists Don’t Get Fat
Gregory Kuhn
This ‘novel’ is a weightloss guideline book. To clarify, I don’t actually need to lose weight, nor have I been actively trying to lose weight (other than reducing portion sizes because I now have a desk job). I have been the size I am now for the last 5 or so years, maybe longer, and I have never been overweight. I’m always interested in various weight things though, as now that I’m in my 20sĀ I don’t want to findĀ overnight I have gained a bunch of weight.
15814165I liked the way the book used a couple of headlining scientist quotes for each chapter. However I got a bit annoyed with them as time went on as it felt like they interrupted the flow of the text, and as relevant as some of them were, other just felt like filler.
Kuhn really is quite sneaky in the way he positions the reader to take his opinion on and follow his weightloss strategies. You find yourself nodding along, and then bam! He hits you with something new.Ā I loved the analogy of the browser for weight loss strategies. Neat! It explained the idea of changing the way you think to lose weight, and changing the strategies you use to do it.
The language is simple to understand and easy to read, even the moreĀ theoreticalĀ parts. I found myself 20% of the way through the book (thanks Kindle Cloud for telling me where I was up to) and not knowing how I got that far into it! Things went downhill from there though.
Chapter 9 is where the author loses me. He suddenly begins suggesting that our expectation that our parents love us makes the universe make them send us material expressions of love. Now, I agree to some extent that expectations can drive what you have been given, but also that those expectations do not magically change the cosmos.Ā He then goes on to suggest that the real you is making the decisions, which seems a littleĀ counter-intuitiveĀ  if you imagine that if that was your parents, they can’t be really making the decision sanymore, because it is you who is suggesting to them that they should give you presents.
As a scientist, I can’t accept Chapter 10 either. Those neuropeptides that do signal, which are created when you have a thought, they don’t support the evidence he just presented. Perhaps I’m clinging to old science here (and I’m sure that is what he would suggest), but I have no reason to. The suggestion that my cells have been reprogrammed by years of thinking ‘I’m smart’ to expect to be anything other than being smart is ludicrous. It’s still possible to make stupid decisions, even if you are thinking (or perhaps because you are thinking) ‘I’m smart’. I particularly have a problem with this style of thinking, because it implies that people with mental illnesses have programmed themselves to expect to be sick. If cognitive behaviour therapy (which is aimed at changing the way you intitively think) worked the way this author is suggesting fat busting works, there wouldn’t be any more mental illness.
So you can probably tell that by this point in the book I was feeling pretty irritated at the author. I kept reading though in the hopes that the second half of the book would be better because it was time for part 2.
The conversational tone of this novel made me as the reader feel like it was me alone being talked to. I can imagine that this is something that some people would like, because it brings to mind a supportive figure who is going to help you through your weight-loss goals.
Chapter 12 and 13 make excellent points, and I can understand their relevance. Feelings are aĀ thermometerĀ for your state of being! I do agree that feelings play a powerful role, but not that you can overcome everything with them as the author is suggesting. The author then suggests that because I feel that some of the things he has said are ‘silly’, I either don’t have unwanted weight, or I’m not in enough pain over my weight to try something new.
You must honestly feel good about everything you eat. If you eat the cake, you must truely appreciate it. Don’t eat it, if it doesn’t make you feel good. What this book asks of you is a complete mindset chnge, that even with a manual like this one, is very hard to achieve on your own. It is easy to continue to eat the way you always have, but you now need to feel good about whatever it is you are doing to try lose weight.
I was looking for a real rational approach to losing weight, a handbook of approach, things that I could use to prevent gaining weight. I didn’t find it here, and I didn’t really find anything here particularly worthwhile. This book really seems like another fad ‘diet’ to me – change the way you think, and the weight will magically drop off. Don’t bother reading the whole thing – skip straight to chapter 15-17 with the eating, moving and 6 Ā major points, and you will probably have gotten the most out of this book with the least effort.
This is an ebook that IĀ receivedĀ after missing out on a hard copy through Goodreads First Reads program. This has not influenced my review in any way – my opinion is my own.

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