How Not to Diet: The Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss by Michael Greger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So, I became a huge fan of Dr. Greger after reading his first book, "How Not to Die," which to me is probably one of the best books out there written on diet as it relates to health.
This book was also good, but felt a little more gimmicky in its presentation.
It starts off with a comprehensive look into the food industry and its shortcomings along with the politics of processed food. Because I happen to do a lot of reading on the subject, much of this was stuff I'd read in other books...which is not Dr. Greger's fault, but was a bummer for me.
He then goes through the various claims made about certain foods/products as they relate to weight loss. He looks at the research and discusses what is and what is not supported by the research to date.
I felt this was kind of useful, but again, kind of gimmicky, at least at times. I think the overall premise is to find easy nutrition hacks/tweaks to our diet that might assist with weight loss and weight maintenance while also promoting better health. In that sense, it succeeds.
My favorite part was a review of the literature on time restricted eating, a form of eating I've been reading a lot about and have recently adopted and had huge success with.
Like "How Not to Die," "How Not to Diet" is a lengthy book, maybe a little longer than it needed to be. That said, I love that Dr. Greger is constantly looking to the evidence as opposed to simply making claims about a particular food/diet strategy. For example, does apple cider vinegar assist with weight loss? What about drinking water? Flax seed or chia seed? Is one better at trimming our waistline? I also love that he provides links to all the cited works. Again, he makes sure we have access to the evidence so that we can decide for ourselves. I also learned some new tidbits, which is always nice. We are constantly bombarded with diet tips...eat this, not that...kind of thing, and it's nice to actually see what we have evidence for and what that evidence says.
Also, as in "How Not to Die," Greger's bias for a plant-based diet comes through. Clearly there is a lot of evidence for plant-based diets, but I think his enthusiasm goes a little beyond the science, and I'm okay with that.
Bottom line: this wasn't as good as "How Not to Die." That said, it does succeed at using the science to either support or debunk many popular diet hacks. Gregor's discussion of the politics of the food industry, while not novel, is still worth reading.
His next book due out in 2022? "How Not to Age." Will definitely be buying and reading that one, too.