eat, move, think, feel


March 2, 2009

Diet Book Giveaway: The Instinct Diet

At the beginning of this year, the New York Times ran an article featuring the “best of the new diet books.”  After reading the piece, I ordered two of them, The Beck Diet Solution and The Instinct Diet. I’ve gone fairly bonkers for the Beck book, but the other one didn’t speak to me as much. Somebody out there might really like it though.

The New York Times article explains that the author of the Instinct Diet…

explains how natural hard-wired instincts to eat in response to hunger, availability, caloric density, familiarity and variety, which served us well in paleolithic times (and until the mid-20th century), have been compromised by changes in the kinds, amounts and constancy of foods in the modern world. These changes, in turn, undermine the ability of many people to maintain a normal weight.

The book guides readers to alternative approaches to fulfilling the demands of these instincts in ways that can help them lose weight and, at the same time, adopt a more wholesome, nutritious and healthful eating plan that can be adapted to anyone’s lifestyle. Though the instinct diet is rather prescriptive for the first two weeks, it offers a reasonable number of options to accommodate different tastes and eating schedules. The next six weeks of the eight-week program enable dieters to adopt and adapt eating plans that can result in permanent weight loss and improve health.

Amazon readers also seemed to like it a lot; it has an average of five (the highest) stars. Some reader reviews:

  • How well did the diet work? In short, it worked. It’s still working. I didn’t start off heavy, but I needed to lose some weight, somewhere in the ballpark of 15 pounds – a result of spending more time behind a computer at work. I lost the weight over the course of a month and some change, and without starving myself. The recipes and meal plans from the Instinct Diet helped me make changes in the way I eat. I still eat hearty meals, this book’s recipes are tasty and filling. I think that’s the key here – people need to enjoy what they are eating. This book finds the intersection between healthy and tasty, and gives you a plan for changing your eating habits to hit that intersection and stay there.
  • It works! I’ve tried other diets, and although I might lose weight for a while, it’s always been incredibly hard work and they didn’t stop my weight gradually creeping upwards over the years. I saw this book in the store and thought it looked interesting because it isn’t just some fad diet that promises the world but doesn’t actually work. Instead this is an intelligent book that is written by a scientist and tells you about strategies that have actually been shown to work by research. That makes it an interesting book to read – in fact I’d have been interested to read it even if I wasn’t trying to lose weight. And using it for weight loss is not complicated or difficult.
  • I seriously can’t believe it, but I’m not hungry on this diet. I’ve only been eating the menu for four days now, but ever since day 2 I’ve been totally satisfied. At first glance I thought the portions were very small (I mean, who eats 4 pecan halfs?), but they are really keeping me full. I even went to a party last night and passed on dessert! Believe me, that’s not my usual thing.

So… I’m probably not going to be using this book but I am offering it as a giveaway, randomly chosen, for readers of this blog who leave a comment. Just answer the following question:

What has been the most challenging aspect of losing weight for you, and how have you faced or solved that challenge?

I’ll pick a giveaway winner on March 10th, and contact you for your mailing address to send you the book. So make sure to include your email in your comment!

Exercise Motivator: Get Really Cold

Today I spent about four hours standing outside in cold rain, watching my daughter’s crew race. (she was colder than I was!) When I got home, I was really chilled to the bone; my shoes had soaked through, my feet were freezing and I could not warm up. I figure I had three alternatives: crank the heat to 80 (nix that one!), take a hot bath or shower, or I could exercise! I decided to erg for 20 minutes, since I had not done this in a few days. It heated me up and quick!! I was happy to say that I brought my average time (“split”) down another five seconds, to 2:45.8. (last time was 2:50) It is so nice to see real tangible, objective progress. And I was dripping hot after those 20 minutes. Plus I had the image of all those young rowers out on the water to inspire me. All good.

This afternoon I met up with a diet buddy who has already read the Beck book and is dipping her toe in for a go at it. We both promised to write up our Motivating Reasons and email them to each other. I have read this entire book and gotten great things from it, but have not yet DONE any of the suggested exercises. So this is a start.

Also: Went to my one-week weigh in at Weight Watchers this morning, and according to them, lost 3 lbs since last week! I think this may have been a bit of a fudge since my clothes were lighter I think, but I do think I lost between 2-3 lbs. Yay. This was the shakeup I was looking for.

I also bought one of their food scales. I have never in my life weighed a speck of food, and frankly have been afraid of doing so. It has seemed like a really over-the-top thing to do. Like, REALLY? But I realized that I am actually curious about the difference in my eyeball “guestimates” and what food actually weighs/is.  So I’m going to give it a try.  Also, I’ve been looking at the recipes at Biggest Diabetic Loser’s blog and think, how on earth does she lose weight eating this stuff? Some of it just seems too… decadent. But then I think it may have to do with food amounts. She is pretty meticulous about weighing her food. So… we shall see. Something new.

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