Eat everything. Concentrate on whole grains. Drink milk. Balance
protein with carbohydrates. Avoid processed sugars. Do some exercise.
The idea that a diet book making such proposals comes as a pleasant
surprise shows just how far afield we’ve gone in the search for new
ways to be fit. The only thing new about this diet by the
editor-in-chief of Men’s Health is its name, and this, one can presume,
is because nowadays, a book simply called “Sensible Eating” wouldn’t
sell. The book’s title is indeed misleading; only the final chapter
deals solely with abs. The rest is full of rational recommendations for
a realistic diet plan: eat more and smaller meals; have oatmeal in the
morning for a nourishing breakfast; don’t starve yourself; drink plenty
of water; and stay away from sodas and foods that contain high-fructose
corn syrup. Whether readers will, in the end, walk away with abs of
steel is not really the point. They’ll control their weight in a
healthy way, without counting calories, cutting out whole food groups
or supporting the beef futures market. Best of all, this book tells
readers why it works: increase your body’s metabolism, gain some muscle
and fat burns away. The authors make this seem like a fresh and very
I was first introduced to the book courtesy of Amazing Abs,
a just-less-than-magazine-size book from Men’s Health and the good
people at Rodale Inc.
Amazing Abs has much the same info as The Abs Diet but with a lot more
pictures. The cover screams “LOSE YOUR GUT! Exclusive! Abs Diet
Excerpt” and has a pic of a guy displaying a cover model six-pack.
I liked the humor and no-nonsense approach used in that book. Diet and
exercise plans, visually appealing with tons of pics of male and female
models demonstrating correct exercise performance. Amazing Abs is a
collection of bits and pieces of other Rodale books edited together in
a truly artful way, imo. Informative, attractive, accessible.
Enjoying that book piqued my interest in The Abs Diet. Fwiw, it’s a New
York Times bestseller. It’s written in an engaging manner,
straightforward, intelligent, and, yes, again, with humor. Early in the
book, the message “Changing the Way You Think About the Word Diet” is
offered as a headline. The book does just that. The writers say it
better than I ever could:
“For years – or maybe for all your life – you’ve probably had one
notion about what dieting needs to be. Restrict your foods, eat like a
supermodel, sweat on the treadmill, and you’ll lose fat. In reality,
those could be the very reasons why you couldn’t lose weight. It’s why
you gained back what you lost. It’s the reason why your steamboat
metabolism may have geared down to that of an anchored barge. It’s why
you don’t see much progress when you try new weight-loss programs. And
it’s why the only real recipe many diet plans offer is a recipe for
That’s some visual imagery. I like it. A lot. Yeah, it could probably
be boiled down to five or ten pages of text, but for ten bucks, this
book and its philosophy, imo, can’t be beat.
And, yes, David Zinczenko (with Ted Spiker) has a good bit of P.T.
Barnum or carnival barker in him, but, imo, this book is not for
suckers*. Zinczenko’s enthusiasm leaps from the page. Good information,
visually appealing, right price, and a motivational writing style all
equal a book I’m glad I purchased. Ymmv. ;o)
AGAIN, YMMV! HOWEVER ~*I*~ FOUND IT INTERESTING! :o)
I also picked up The Abs Diet Eat Right Every Time Guide which includes
789 of what the authors call the best on-the-go food choices. It’s
offered as a complete supermarket survival guide and contains 60
six-minute meals for a six-pack.