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book reviews



Yoga to the Rescue Books Provide Light-Hearted Relief for the Modern Woman

I am often asked by women in need of a little stress relief if I can recommend a book that will help them incorporate yoga into their crazy and hectic lives. I realize how many yoga books on the market are not speaking to the modern woman (one who is pulled in so many different directions without a chance to catch her breath), but instead seem to be appealing to a population that is seeking to completely abandon the to-do list in favor of adopting a pure and perfect lifestyle.

Just recently, I discovered two fun, light-hearted books that explain how to enjoy the benefits of yoga without having to give up everything in hopes of someday being flawless.

yoga to rescue

Amy Luwis of RescueGirl and the author of these wonderful books explains how you can make yoga fit perfectly into your perhaps not-so-perfect lifestyle.

Clever illustrations don each page, including tips from adorable dogs, birds, cats, and other “little helpers” making this book such a wonderful joy to read. Health advice ranges from dieting to detoxing and is presented in a clear manner by Luwis, who is not only passionate about yoga, but also well informed about the proper way to do a pose and why yoga is of great benefit.
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Denise Austin’s Side Effect: Skinny Redefines What Skinny Means

When it comes to fitness and wellness, there’s not much Denise Austin hasn’t done in her more than 30-year career. Last night, we were thrilled to be part of a rare first – a Twitter chat. While one of the country’s most renowned and beloved fitness experts is active on the social media channel, she’d yet to get up close and personal with her followers like she did in a chat hosted by DietsInReview.

We were thrilled to lead that conversation and introduce thousands of people to Denise and her new book, Side Effect: Skinny. “My goal is to redefine what skinny means — strong, fit, healthy, and energetic! A trimmer, healthier you!,” tweeted Denise about the direction of her book.

The idea behind Side Effect: Skinny is to help you create habits that can lead to lasting health, fitness, and even weight loss, and during the chat we discussed the key components of that plan. Calorie confusion, increasing metabolism, eating “skinny foods,” and overnight fasting were all answered by Denise during the one-hour chat.



The Four-Star Diet is Not a Book for People Who are Attracted to Fad Diets

I would never guess by her images on Google that Laura Wellington used to struggle with her weight. But she uses diet-talk to describe her former mindset when she says, “I’m just in my self-destructive mode, but I can always go back on a diet.” Eventually, Laura does change her perspective in many small ways that add up to a critical mass when she becomes fundamentally changed. Exactly how she did it is not the point. Laura is simply writing about the lessons she learned for living a meaningful life along the way.

Somehow, Laura, a young widow, mother of four, owner of a TV show and brand, turned it all around. In trying to explain how she did it, she was inspired by a presentation, A Leadership Primer, on victory in business and life made by General Colin Powell. She applied Powell’s twenty principles for business to a weight-controlled life, and she sprinkled her new book, The Four Star Diet, with personal anecdotes and advice from inspirational leaders like Gandhi and Einstein. The book has only 136 pages and you don’t have to read it in order.

Laura Wellington believes that weight control is about taking personal responsibility for choices in less than optimum circumstances.  As a result, she asks you to “reflect daily,” “look below the surface,” and “live fearlessly!” When General Powell asserts, “Endeavors succeed and fail because of the people involved,” Laura interprets it as, “Birds of a feather flock together,” and then explains how positive role models provide invaluable visual lessons, while toxic people in your life must change or perish. She takes no prisoners, in the best possible way.
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Find the Right Diet for Your Personality in “Who Are You Meant To Be”

Every year, more new diets pop up claiming to be revolutionary and suitable for everyone. And every year, millions try them out, hoping that they’ll finally find the solution to losing weight.

Dr. Anne Dranitsaris, PhD and Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard believe that this model is not how weight loss should be approached. In their new book, Who Are You Meant to Be?, released January 1, 2013, they outline how an individual’s personality affects their behavior and, in turn, their dieting styles.

“We’re looking at [dieting] through a different lens than most. What is it that’s driving our behaviors? Why do we people behave like we do around food?” said Dranitsaris-Hilliard.

The mother-and-daughter team’s book is not a diet guide, but it may be applied toward eating styles as part of an integrated look at human behavior. Through their research, they have identified eight different “striving styles” and find most individuals fall under one of these.
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100 Ways to Boost Your Energy in Syd Hoffman’s New Book

All-Day Energy: 100 Ways to Boost Your Energy…Now! was written by Syd Hoffman, a former elementary school principal who was fascinated by the endless energy in her students. She started making changes and found a dramatic difference in her energy to the point of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. She found that “it doesn’t take hours of exercise or spending a lot of money on special products to feel energetic. For most people, having all day energy is simply a matter of tweaking what you’re already doing.”

All-Day Energy is 100 quick tips written with a positive spin. It is a way to help you determine which of these exercises you enjoy; however, you may not know what works best for you unless you try each for a period of time. All-Day Energy is missing any plan or advice for integration; it is primarily inspirational with minimal effort at convincing readers to try each tip. While the suggestions are not in categories or any particular order, they do address all four types of energy – physical, emotional, intellectual, and existential.

I believe nearly all of the tips in All-Day Energy could be positive choices to improve energy, physical and mental health. There does seem to be some science and research missing that could explain and convince some people more. For example, there has been research that suggests visualization might actually decrease energy. I am also not sure I agree that taking vitamins is a healthy physical choice based on other things I have read. The variety of tips is interesting to me nonetheless.
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