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!