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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
"If anyone tells you that weight loss is easy, walk away," cautions Today show medical correspondent Ian Smith in this solid addition to the weight loss literature. Smith offers many such nuggets of advice throughout the book, as he encourages readers to be mentally prepared, set realistic expectations, make more conscious lifestyle choices, and carefully examine their motives for losing weight. The overall goal is to make "fundamental changes for lifelong benefits," and for readers who are not already convinced of the necessity of such changes, Smith provides a startling rundown of the dangers and health risks related to obesity, yo-yo dieting, and generally poor nutrition.
Because the Take Control Diet goes against the trend of strictly regimented eating and exercise plans, it is both easier and harder than the quick-fix diets to which some people have become accustomed. The good news is that you don't have to eliminate any one food group entirely. Recommended meals and snacks are grouped by their caloric value -- making it easy to keep track of daily intake -- and include a variety of grains, veggies, proteins, and even sweets.
The bad news, for those of us who avoid the treadmill, is that in addition to committing to a balanced intake of nutritious foods, readers must exercise. Smith is vehement on this point and urges both increased everyday physical activity and planned periods of exercise. But rather than recommending a specific workout, Smith provides the information for readers to tailor their own program of activity and exercise.
Extensive appendices with information on nutritional content of foods, caloric expenditure for activities, recommended dietary intakes, and more supplement the flexibility of the Take Control Diet. The result should be a weight loss plan so attuned to the reader's lifestyle, preferences, and schedule that it is both livable and successful. (Karen Burns)