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With more than 50 skills and strategies provided nowhere else, The Way to Eat, created in cooperation with the American Dietetic Association, will make you the master of your own daily diet, weight and health.
Polar bears in the Sahara Desert are apt to find themselves in serious trouble. Not because of anything wrong with the bears. Rather, simply and obviously, because such bears in the Sahara would not be where they belong. Not being in the environment for which all of their remarkable adaptations prepare them places the polar bears in jeopardy.
Just like polar bears, human beings, Homo sapiens, are a species. And like all species, we have a native habitat and a relationship with it. We have compensated admirably for climate and terrain, using our ingenuity to devise air conditioning and heating systems, building materials, and clothes for heat and cold. But we are adapted to a particular nutritional environment, and in moving outside of it, we have not done so well.
This matters, and matters profoundly, for two reasons. First, a species in the wrong environment is a lot different from individuals lacking willpower. Individuals have blamed themselves for being overweight, beat themselves up for not eating right or exercising, and felt like failures for not staying on a "diet," but they have simply not understood the plight of the species. Polar bears are designed to retain and conserve heat. It's not their fault; it's just a fact. In the Arctic it keeps them alive. In the Sahara it would threaten their survival. We, adapted to a world where getting food was always a struggle, are designed to retain and conserve food energy (calories). In a world of subsistence, where there is barely enough, it kept us alive. In a world of constant abundance, it is threatening our well-being, and at times even our survival.
A majority of American adults are overweight. Diabetes is epidemic. Obesity causes, or contributes to, nearly four hundred thousand premature deaths annually. The chronic disease and psychological toll of an eating pattern at odds with our needs and adaptations is quite overwhelming.
The second reason this matters is that we are, as the saying goes, smarter than the average bear! And so, if we understand the specific ways in which we are designed for a world of too little food, we can apply strategies that will allow us to achieve dietary health and weight control even in a world of constant abundance.
Then & Now The mood of a Neanderthal living one hundred thousand years ago may well have risen to optimism or sunk to despair in concert with the flesh between their ribs. In that world, the struggle to survive was simply all abiding. Living was the time spent between the fear and anxiety of an empty belly, and the calm, reassuring comfort of fullness.
Now, we all struggle against the hazards of plenty with a Stone Age physiology, and persistent Stone Age attitudes and inclinations. We are still very much what the circumstances of our evolutionary past have made us, and cannot stop being who and what we have always been just because the environment has changed, any more than polar bears, set down in the Sahara, could suddenly stop being or acting like polar bears.
The creatures we are designed to be by countless evolutionary ages and the slow, steady sculpting of natural selection cannot be denied. Our ancestors adapted to a world of intense physical labor in which getting enough food was a constant struggle. And the adaptations that resulted, that enabled their survival, have been passed along to every one of us. Just as some of us are taller, shorter, darker, lighter, faster, or slower than others, so too, do we differ with regard to our metabolism and physiology. But that variation all occurs over a range designed for surviving in a world of too little food, not too much. So, until you are prepared to blame a polar bear in the desert for overheating, you cannot blame yourself for struggling to avoid overeating, to control your weight, or to optimize your health, in the modern nutritional environment.
You can overcome the challenge of the modern nutritional environment by understanding it and our relationship with it. Understanding and knowledge are the basis for power-the power to meet challenges, to surmount barriers, to convert obstacles into opportunities. We are confronted with a modern nutritional environment that is at odds with our every trait and tendency, that is in many ways toxic to us, very much like polar bears in the Sahara. But with power born of knowledge, and with will based on realistic hope, we can get home from here. There is, indeed, a way.
Is This Book for You?
Probably! The struggle with food in our modern environment is nearly universal, and very few people have the resources they need to engage in it successfully.
Many books about weight control offer approaches that ignore the essential role of diet to overall health-this one does not. So it is also for you if you have concerns about, already have, or are at risk for, any chronic ailment, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or arthritis. Because this book addresses how to eat well for overall health, it is also for you if you are healthy and would like to put nutrition to work in your efforts to remain that way.
Finally, this book is for you if you are willing to acknowledge that dietary pattern is important to health, pleasure, and weight control--and that, ideally, no one of these should be pursued at the cost of the others!....
Section One: Knowledge Step 1: Reconsider Yourself (the Plight of Polar Bears in the Sahara)
Define Your Destination Get Your Bearings
Section Two: Power Step 2: Meet the Challenge of Change
Section Three: The Way!
Step 3: Conquer Your Cravings & Master Your Metabolism!
Step 4: Dismiss Misinformation, Fend off Folklore Step 5: Traverse the Maze of Food for Mood Step 6: Negotiate the Modern Nutritional Environment If It's the Environment
Section Four: Paving the Way...to Eat Resource 1: The Way to Eat Well: Basic Principles & General Guidelines Resource 2: The Way to Navigate the Nutritional Environment Resource 3: The Way to Evaluate Your Diet Resource 4: The Way to Shop Resource 5: The Way to Stock Your Pantry Resource 6: The Way to Snack Resource 7: The Way to Include Kids in Healthful Eating Resource 8: The Way to Eat Out Resource 9: The Way to Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight Resource 10: The Way to Bake and Cook Resource 11: The Way to Plan Meals Resource 12: The Way to Find Additional Expert Help
Bibliography Index About the Authors
David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P.M., is Director of the Center for Disease Control-funded Yale Prevention Research Center. He is also Associate Clinical Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health, and Medicine, at the Yale University School of Medicine, and a Board-certified specialist in both Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine.
Dr. Katz lectures on nutrition and disease prevention throughout the United States and abroad, and directs related courses at the Yale Schools of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing. Author of a weekly preventive medicine column in the New Haven Register, and contributing health expert to O magazine, Katz has authored or coauthored five medical textbooks. Katz lives in Connecticut with his wife, Catherine, and their five children.
Maura Harrigan González, M.S., R.D., is a Registered Dietitian certified in Adult Weight Management. She has served as Head Dietitian at the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic of the New York Hospital, Chief Clinical Dietitian and Associate Director of Nutrition at Saint Vincent's Medical Center in New York City and Research Dietitian at the Yale Prevention Research Center. González lives in Connecticut with her husband, Carlos, and their two daughters.
Posted November 20, 2003
Dr Katz's book encompasses all the necessary tools for weight loss and the most important of all,sustained weight loss. This book addresses the importance of eating a well balanced diet including all foods. Can you believe it?? He teaches you how to stock your pantry, shop for groceries, eat at restaurants and prepare your favorite recipes. The book also emphasizes the importance of exercise. You know that word that keeps coming up in the news, as important for good health. How do you incorporate all of these concepts and lose weight in the process??? You will have to purchase the book to find out. Have fun while you are reading and this book will become the only live it book you will need. Who likes to diet anyway?? Enjoy!!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 29, 2003
If you're a parent, I particularly recommend the Way to Eat. It's not a diet book, but it is an informative book about the way we should be eating for our health and prevention of disease and obesity in children. I'm a school administrator, who on a daily basis sees the sugar and fat loaded lunches that young children bring to school. The information in this book contains good advise on how to pack nutritious lunches for your chldren that aren't expensive. Dr. Katz has campaigned in his children's school for better nutrition and overall health, and he has five school-aged children. Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Dr. Katz, and he truly knows what is important for children as well as adults.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 25, 2003
The Way to Eat by Dr. David Katz is by far one of the most complete guides to understanding the importance of eating healthy. Trite but true, eating healthy equals good overall health. Katz focuses more on skill acquisition rather than food deprivation, which only leads to gorging to fill the food void left after withholding our beloved food cravings. The book provides numerous ways to have your cake and eat it too, without the unwanted side effects of weight gain and guilt. Dr. Katz has a witty writing style that appeals to the intellectual and the average Joe. Several sections of the book are especially useful, The ¿Then/Now¿ approach takes us back to the origin of some of our food instincts. Armed with this knowledge empowers us to understand our food foibles. Label reading does not sound to exciting until you see how the correct interpretation of label information can contribute to success rather failure. Another gem in the book is related to the vignettes of successful people who have been where many of us are and had the ah hah experience that set them on the right track, gives you the feeling that there is hope. Finally, the book has something for everyone. It may not be gut riveting info but it¿s the healthiest reading that I have had in a while.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 24, 2003
Dr. Katz shows that having a healthier lifestyle does not have to mean bland foods and a degree in math to figure out calories and fat. Dr. Katz proposes ways to eat better without denying yourself all the things you enjoy. There are substitutes and there is gradualism. Both can ease you into better health. He a;sp includes shortcuts for determining whether foods are good for you. Fruits and vegetables and exercise are the way to go, not fad diets and the kind of self-denial that leads to failure and guilt. The great thing about the program is that weight loss is not the goal, health is. The weight loss comes naturally as you follow Dr. Katz's ideas about the way to eat.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 12, 2003
The Way To Eat is an outstanding work by nutritional authority and preventive health expert Dr. David Katz. In this persuasive and enlightening book, he dismisses both guilt and fad diets, pointing out that obesity and ill health arise from a mismatch between our stone-age hard-working calorie-conserving bodies versus the present toxic environment of food excess and zero physical activity. Katz emphasizes changing our eating habits, whether at school, supermarket, restaurant, work, or home, in order to adapt to this new and biologically challenging world. Simple and informed food choices (including how to interpret "Nutrition Facts" product labeling), healthful snacking, exercise, and nutritional guidelines for children are discussed in an enjoyable and highly readable fashion. The Way To Eat is likely to take a leading role in the vital area of diet and health, and my patients and their families have already received benefit from Dr. Katz's advice. Readers everywhere will have a similar positive experience when they open this clever, insightful, and very useful book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 13, 2002
While many books talk about "what" you should eat for good health and weight control, this one tells you "how!" There really is no doubt that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, moderate and balanced, and combined with regular physical activity, is good for your weight and your health; but how do you get there from here? The modern environment is a veritable obstacle course when it comes to eating well, and since most people don't know what or where the obstacles are, efforts at weight control are like going through an obstacle course with a blindfold on! And even worse than tripping over obstacles you can't see is blaming yourself when you fall! "The Way to Eat" takes away the blame, and takes off the blindfold. It points out more than 50 crucial obstacles to eating well, some familiar and some startling, from environmental and social factors, to deep-seated metabolic traits, and provides the skills, strategies, and knowledge for getting around, over, and past every one! You really CAN get there from here, if you know the 'way'! "The Way to Eat" is an expertly guided tour through the hazards of the modern nutritional environment. Learn this route, and you will never go on a diet again! You will simply know how to eat well for weight control, health, and contentment with food-for the rest of your lifeWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.