The Cure for Everything
Untangling Twisted Messages About Health, Finess and Happiness
The Cure for Everything was initially intended to be an academic book that analyzed various diet and fitness theories. But once starting his research, author Timothy Caulfield - the research director of Health Law and Science Policy Group at the University of Alberta - decided he wanted to test the theories he was studying himself.
And so he began a 2-year long study that included following a strict diet, switching his workout routine to include a lot more weight lifting, and analyzing how many calories he really needed. In the process of the experiment, the author came to many realizations about health, and also lost 30 pounds.
Some of the diet and fitness truths Caulfield focuses on in the book include:
- You don't need a miracle pill to lose weight
- You can't out-train a bad diet
- Exercise should be viewed as a tool for weight management, not weight loss
- Know your caloric needs and don't exceed that
- Eat whole foods, limit portion sizes and junk, and consume at least 50 percent real fruits and vegetables
The author also shares about his experience whittling down his diet to accurately fulfill his caloric needs, keeping a diet diary, training with celebrity fitness expert Gina Lombardi, and how genetics can come into play with weight loss and getting fit.
- Written by a profesional in the health field
- Written from a subjective standpoint
- Author tested each theory himself
- Focuses on true health rather than gimmicks
- Debunks diet and exercise myths
- Promotes a balanced, whole foods diet
- Encourages readers to know their caloric needs
- Encourages exercise as a means of weight management, not weight loss
- None to speak of
Caulfield's philosophy on weight loss and weight management really is about calories in, not calories out, believing exercise isn't the key to weight loss - diet is.
The author calls detoxes, supplements and cleanses a scam, and believes instead in the simple diet approach of eating less, being more conscious of your food choices, and eating at least 50% fruits and vegetables.
While he doesn't propose an outlined diet or share recipes in the book, he preaches the simple message of a well-thought-out diet approach that aligns with each individual's caloric needs, limiting junk at all costs and focusing on fresh, filling foods.EXERCISE
Of the many fitness approaches a person can take in order to lose weight and achieve a slim, chiseled body, few of them actually live up to their claims. In The Cure for Everything Caulfield carves away the least beneficial forms of exercise, namely yoga, Pilates and aerobics, and instead points toward intense resistance training and intense interval training as the two forms of exercise that provide the most lifelong health benefits.
Caulfield proposes that the idea that people can get away with just doing aerobics is a myth. Instead, the author recommends that people should be lifting real weights, heavy weights, even up to the age of 85 for optimum health. This over aerobics, he says, is way more beneficial for longterm health.
"Before I wrote this book, I thought I was in perfect shape, had a perfect fat ratio, and was solid muscle. Wrong, wrong, wrong," he said. "I was training wrong, I was eating too much and I had way too much fat on my body."
Caulfield also believes stretching before exercise is not necessary for preventing injuries, saying it may help with soreness but won't go a long way in injury prevention.
Overall, the author believes exercise is extremely important. But If he were forced to decide, Caulfield said vigorous weight training would be his exercise of choice, because it's been found to reduce cardiovascular risk, help with weight maintenance, sleep, and sex life, and even increase your IQ, among other health benefits. "It's an incredibly important thing to make part of your lifestyle."CONCLUSION
The Cure for Everything is not only factually sound, but also a very entertaining read as the author has a way of poking fun at himself and the outlandish health myths we're fed on a daily basis.
Caulfield's primary advice to "eat small portion sizes, no junk food, and make sure that 50 percent of what goes in your mouth is a real fruit or vegetable" is sound. And this is the prominent message in the book. That, and don't think you can out-train a poor diet.
We would recommend this book for anyone looking to get back to the basics of health: staying active, eating well, knowing how many calories you need, and not exceeding that. This type of health advice will go a lot farther than any fad diet, miracle supplement or overzealous workout routine ever will.Common Misspellings
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