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Foods That Cause You to Lose Weight: The Negative Calorie Effect


More than one million copies sold!

No more counting calories—discover the foods that take the weight off and keep it off!

Did you know that certain foods have an incredible negative calorie effect that actually melts fat? This revolutionary approach, outlined by Neal Barnard, M.D., and proven effective by thousands of men and women who have ...

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More than one million copies sold!

No more counting calories—discover the foods that take the weight off and keep it off!

Did you know that certain foods have an incredible negative calorie effect that actually melts fat? This revolutionary approach, outlined by Neal Barnard, M.D., and proven effective by thousands of men and women who have tried it, can bring about the permanent weight control every diet promises but seldom delivers.

Find out how, by following the negative calorie plan, you can:

  • Boost your metabolic rate
  • Burn calories more effectively
  • Lower dangerous cholesterol levels
  • Enjoy better health—and protect your heart
  • Eat the delicious foods you love—in the quantities you want
  • Watch the pounds disappear—without stressful dieting or the temptation to binge

Delicious negative calorie recipes included

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380807970
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2011
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 218,336
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Neal Barnard, M.D., is a physician and long-time advocate for preventive medicine, higher standards in research, and improved access to medical care. In 1985 he founded the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. As president of PCRM, he has called for sweeping reform of federal nutrition policies. Dr. Barnard is the editor-in-chief of Good Medicine, PCRM's quarterly magazine, and has published editorials in The Washington Post, Medical World News, Physicians' Weekly, USA Today, The San Francisco Examiner, and scientific publications. He is the author of several books on health and nutrition.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Basic Concepts

We need to think differently about the approach to losing weight. Forget old-fashioned diets. There are very good reasons why they do not work well. Your body was not designed recently. The human body took shape millions of years ago, long before diets were invented. At that time, the lack of food meant only one thing, starvation, and if the body could not cope with the lack of food, the result was life-threatening. So we have built-in mechanisms to preserve ourselves in the face of low food intake. These defenses are automatically put to work. When you go on a low-calorie diet, you know that you are doing so to lose weight. But your body does not know that. As far as your body is concerned you are starving, and it will trigger a number of biological mechanisms to try and stop you.

To see how to avoid this problem, let's first look at how your body burns calories. The speed at which your body burns calories is called the metabolic rate. Some people have a "fast metabolism" and burn lots of calories in a short time. They are likely to stay slim. Other people have a slower metbolic rate and have a, harder time staying slim. Your metabolism is like the rate at which anautomobile uses up gas. An idling car uses up some fuel. When the car is moving it uses more, and when it accelerates up a hill it will use a lot more gas.

Our bodies work the same way. We bum some calories even when we are relaxing or asleep because it takes energy to maintain our normal body temperature and to keep our lungs, heart, brain, and other organs working. When we engage inactivities, the more strenuous they are, the more calories we burn.

Dieting Slows Your

The point to remember is that your metabolic rate can be changed. In a period of starvation or dieting, the body slows down the metabolism. The body does not understand the concept of dieting.

Remember, as far as your body is concerned, a diet is starvation, and it does not know how long the starvation period will last. So it clings to its fat like a motorist running out of gas preserves fuel. Remember the last time you were driving along the highway and suddenly noticed that the gas gauge was below empty? You tried to remember how far below "E" your gauge will go. You went easy on the accelerator, driving very smoothly, and turned off the engine at stop lights to conserve gas until you got to a station.

Your body does the same sort of thing when food is in short supply. It turns down the metabolic flame to save as much of the fat on your body as possible until the starvation period is over, because fat is the body's fuel reserve. This is very frustrating to dieters. They often find that, even though they are eating very little, their bodies do not easily shed the pounds. Even worse, the slowed metabolism can continue beyond the dieting period, sometimes for weeks, according to studies at the University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere. For that reason, fat is easily and rapidly accumulated again after the dieting period. This causes the familiar yo-yo phenomenon, in which dieters lose some weight, then rebound to a higher weight than they started with.

Here is the first step to keeping your metabolic rate up: Make sure that your diet contains at least 10 calories per pound of your ideal body weight.

This means that if you are aiming for a weight of 150 pounds, your daily menu should contain at least 1500 calories. Weight loss will be gradual, but you will not slow your metabolism and, so, you will be able to retain your progress.

Minimum Calories per day
Ideal Weight X 10 calories = Calories

120 x 10 calories = 1200 Calories
150 x 10 calories = 1500 Calories
180 x 10 calories = 1800 Calories

Avoiding Binges

There is another problem with skimpy eating. Not only does the body lower its metabolic flame to conserve energy, but it also gets ready to take maximal advantage of any food source it finds. When food becomes available, there is a tremendous tendency to binge, in what is known as the restrained-eater phenomenon. You know the pattern. You have been dieting for several days, and suddenly someone brings home a carton of ice cream. A little bit won't hurt, you decide, and before you know it you are scraping the bottom of the carton and digging around the cracks for every last bit. You then scold yourself for your "lack of willpower." The truth is that the problem was not willpower at all, but the innate biological programming of the human body. The diet turned on the "'anti-starvation" plan that is built into every human being. Your body assumed that any food in front of you might be the only calorie source you might have for a while, so it demanded a binge.

• The point to remember is binges come from diets.

It is not a question of weak will or gluttony. The human body has a built-in tendency to binge after periods of starvation.

For a similar reason, it is best not to skip meals. Skipping breakfast and lunch leads to overeating later in the day. So, eat regular meals and avoid very-low-calorie diets.

Bulimia — binge eating often followed by purging — almost always begins with a diet. And as the binging begins, shame and secrecy often follow. If this has happened to you, remember that binging is not a moral failing. It is a natural biological consequence of dieting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2008

    Read this book!

    Dr. Barnard's diet plan is one that can improve the lives of anyone who reads it. The trick is willpower, but like he says: anyone who stops eating fattening foods for a while will break the habit. This is true, for I used to be an addicted pop drinker. I quit. Sure I craved pop, but after a few weeks I stopped craving. I have never drank pop since. That was over one year ago. The science behind this book is accurate. Include exercise, and the process of weight loss can be even faster than if you follow Barnard's plan. Also, look into green tea. The catechins in green tea may assist in the burning of calories and thus resulting in weight loss. Just a thought. This book is a must for people trying to lose weight!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2000

    Realistic Diet

    I lost ten pounds in ten weeks. I felt healthy and energetic while on this diet and enjoyed the fact that I coul binge on foods included in the negative foods list and still lose my desired pound a week.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2005

    Should be called ' The Vegetarian Diet '

    I have to say that this was one of the worst books I have wasted money on. Everyone knows that if you cut meat out of your food intake you will lose weight. But get this.. the book tells you to ' limit ' alcohol ' but never eat any animal product.. this includes milk of any type..Unless you are a vergetarian to begin with.. this diet is not a good choice for you. Try Weight Watchers.., I lost 35 lbs. in less than 10 months. And this includes a little cheating here and there, like Fried Dough during those summer months. WW's is REALLY not a diet.. at least once you get the notion of it it stops feeling like one. It just teaches you the right way to eat.., without any cravings that usually kill your diet.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2000


    this is a brilliant diet! not ALL of us already knew about this plan, and it was very informative to me. barnard points out very important things and it is wise to try this plan (and get this book) if you want to lose weight!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Great Weightloss Tips

    Neal Barnard is an excellent doctor with great ideas to help people lose weight. I actually got this book when it was first published and lost 80 pounds. When I saw it was available, I had to get it again for a friend.

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    Posted April 20, 2009



    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 29, 2010

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    Posted March 28, 2010

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