This morning I read a nutrition article that was popping up all over my Facebook feed. The story, This is Your Brain on Gluten, which appeared in The Atlantic, covered the science behind a new book called Grain Brain. From the sound of things, the author of the article, James Hamblin, who is a medical doctor, had been hesitant to cover the book—he wasn’t sure what to make of the general hypothesis, which is that eating all grains ultimately causes mental deterioration such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. But because it’s been a best-seller since its release he finally gave it a read.
To say Hamblin remained skeptical after reading the book—and speaking with the author of Brain Grain, David Perlmutter, MD, as well as a handful of other notable researchers and physicians, including David Katz, MD—would be an understatement. He pokes holes in some of the claims and reminds readers that much of the “science” that the diet is based on is either not widely accepted or is simply speculation—a connecting of dots that can’t actually be proven.
Hamblin’s overview of the book and the scientific basis for following or eschewing this type of diet seemed spot-on, but it also felt familiar. After a quick search on DietsInReview I realized why: Our resident dietitian Mary Hartley, RD, wrote a similarly cautionary article on Grain Brain back in October!
Tom Venuto is a bodybuilder, fitness expert, and author who has gained a loyal following from fans who appreciate his “been there, done that” approach to getting in shape. His latest book, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle: Transform Your Body Forever Using the Secrets Of the Leanest People in the World is already climbing up the Amazon charts with five-star reviews. A book with a title that long has got to be chock-full of good information. We spoke with Tom about his latest project and how it differs from his previous bestseller.
Tom hasn’t always been the lean and lithe picture of health he is today. “In college, I had let myself go a little from eating junk and drinking beer, and I put 20 pounds of fat right on my gut,” he admitted. “One day in the gym I saw a small group of bodybuilders who were preparing for competition. They had the most amazing bodies I had ever seen.” When Tom asked about their training and diet regimen, they gave him a barrage of insider info. From that meeting he was inspired not only to change his own appearance, but help others, as well.
In his previous book, The Body Fat Solution, Tom approached weight loss from a mental and psychological perspective. In Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, he delves into nutrition and training. There are so many chapters devoted to nutrition that Tom has dubbed it the “nutrition bible.” And while some of the information is based in science, he assured me it’s written in a way that you don’t need a biology degree to understand it. “It’s all based on science, but it’s just me talking to you like a regular person, no technical jargon, so it’s actually fun and easy for an average person to read,” he said.
Committing 100 percent to a new diet plan can be difficult, especially when the diet excludes or removes certain foods you are used to eating. Authors Dr. Jamie Noll and Caitlin Herndon recognize the challenge that full commitment can present, and have offered a solution. Their new book, The 95% Vegan Diet and its accompanying workbook, is designed to help readers follow a realistic vegan diet plan, mostly.
The co-authors believe that a major factor that prevents diet success is guilt. You may be following your diet plan just fine, but then give in to a craving. According to Dr. Noll and Herndon, that’s nothing to feel guilty over. “The number one reason I see people fail at weight loss/attempt to become healthier is what I call the ‘guilt factor’,” Dr. Noll said. “I’ve seen it time and time again in my practice. For example: I’m going to go on the Atkins diet because I don’t care about bread anyway. The problem is they are dying for that pasta – so they have some – but then they don’t forgive themselves.”
Dr. Noll added that the reason it is the 95% Vegan Diet, and not 100%, is to allow people some wiggle room and give them permission to forgive themselves for not sticking to the diet. “I want to show people that they don’t have to be perfect. They can forgive themselves and still have excellence in good health. Five percent is the margin in good science before we consider something statistically different.” Read Full Post >
Author Dara-Lynn Weiss’ airs her dirty linen in public in a controversial new memoir, “The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet.” She shines the light on a most important topic: How can we prevent our kids from becoming overweight? The Heavy chronicles the journey of a mother’s struggle to help her young daughter to get healthy. We first met Dara-Lynn and her daughter, Bea, last April in a Vogue essay from the overbearing mom’s point of view. Bea was deprived and publically shamed. It wasn’t pretty. The blogs condemned mom.
For sure, we need extensive interventions to curb the childhood obesity epidemic, but does the solution lie in a rescue by mom as the food police? The research does not agree. Dietitian Evelyn Tribole, co-author of the bookIntuitive Eating, outlines the studies nicely in this video, Warning Dieting Causes Weight Gain.
She shows how the act of dieting, independent of genetics, is a cause of overweight. Deprivation diets can lead to food obsession, binge-eating, and more weight gain. Dieting is passed down from mothers to daughters. Dara-Lynn had strange practices of her own with frequent weigh-ins and juice cleanses to keep the numbers in line. Studies show that a mother’s over-concern about her own size is later expressed in her daughter’s negative body image and feelings of low self-worth. Read Full Post >
Fad diets or exercise products seem to come and go every year. However, there are a few names that have lasted the test of time. Denise Austin is one of those names. She has been in the fitness business for decades. This decade is no exception as she recently released a new book titled, “Side Effect: Skinny.”
Her new book deals with what she calls a “fat blast diet,” and seven “Skinny Strategies.” Since Austin provides seven strategies, we asked her seven questions about her new book.
One step instructs dieters to change up their caloric intake on various days to create calorie confusion and trick the metabolism. While many diets refer to cycling or varying intake on certain days of the week, is this how Austin has seen such long-term success? She said she’s eaten this way for the last 20 years and her work with professionals has convinced her to promote it. As she says, “variety is key.”
A second strategy is the “Fat-Blast Workout.” We were curious if it was necessary to follow Austin’s unique workout if one was already on an exercise routine. Would results still be felt without the “Fat-Blast Workout?”
“[It] is divided into two types of workouts: one is the fat-blast walk, which is an interval walking routine that can be very well integrated into any cardio workout that someone may already have established. Again, this interval program is all about changing up the routine and surprising your muscles,” said Austin. Read Full Post >