(And How to Get Thin Forever)
By Jackie Warner
$24.99, hard cover, 307 pages, 978-0-446-54860-1 (2010)
On the one hand, I'm a sucker for the impossible promise. "Learn a new language in your sleep." "Grow hair instantly." "Get whiter teeth in just minutes."
So when I read the copy on this book by Jackie Warner (the book describes her as a "fitness expert, gym owner, television star, and entrepreneur" but I confess that I'd never heard of her before), and the book jacket said: "Eat more, cheat more, lose more – and keep it off," I was hooked.
On the other hand, age, if nothing else, has made me skeptical of these claims. But still. "Eat more," that sounds like me; "cheat more," that's definitely me; and "lose more" – um, not so much. This is where the skepticism begins.
Jackie makes lots of promises in this book and she doesn't mince words. "Being fat isn't your fault," she says at one point, "staying fat is." Ouch. Was she ever an Army drill sergeant?
But just when she tears you down, there she is with more of those guilty promises:
CHEATING IS ALLOWED: Eat clean for 5 days, and then indulge over the weekend!
SKIP THE CRUNCHES: They just build muscle under the fat. Discover the fastest way to burn calories, tone muscle, and spark your metabolism for rapid weight loss.
LESS (EXERCISE) IS MORE: Workouts shouldn't take over your day – give Jackie 20 minutes and you'll see results.
Once again, she's talking my language.
But just when you think it's going to be easy, Jackie is back with the tough-love. Sugar not only makes you fat, she writes, but it also grows cancer. Sugar increases the likelihood of breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer, and endometrial cancer. (I didn't even know I had an endometrial.)
Sugar makes you fat, and may increase your risk of cancer ... but if that's not bad enough: sugar ages your skin and causes wrinkles. Want more bad news? Sugar also kills your immune system and contributes to short-term memory impairment.
Jackie asks in the book if you're a sugar addict. To see if you are, she has the following questionnaire in her book:
1. Do you snack frequently on sweet foods or drink sweet beverages between meals?
2. Do you often feel shaky, weak, or irritable after eating sugary foods?
3. Do you eat sugary desserts most days of the week?
4. Would you describe yourself as chronically tired most days of the week?
5. Do you usually put sugar in coffee or tea?
6. Do you use sweet condiments (jams, jellies, syrups, and the like) daily?
7. At parties, do you gravitate toward the sweets?
8. When you were a kid, did your parents give you sweets for being good?
9. After eating sweets, do you feel euphoric, only to have your mood plunge afterward?
10. When you get cravings, are they mostly for bread or sweets?
11. Do you suffer from frequent headaches?
12. Do you usually grab a doughnut or bagel for breakfast?
13. Do you drink soft drinks almost daily?
14. When you go to the snack counter at the movies, do you usually buy candy?
15. If you order an alcoholic beverage, is it usually something sweet like a piña colada or frozen margarita?
After taking this questionnaire, I was proud of the fact that I said "no" to over half of the questions. Unfortunately, if you answered yes to just three or more questions, the chances are that you are a sugar addict. Oh crap.
Jackie goes on to explain how to stop the sugar blues by getting rid of sugary treats and purchasing fruits, berries, and citrus foods instead. She then goes on to explain that another reason you're getting fat is your organs: an overworked liver, a sluggish thyroid, and exhausted adrenals. (So that's my problem -- my adrenal gland is a wuss.)
The final parts of the book are filled with ways to eat healthy. Suggestions like keeping a food journal, drinking less alcohol, reading labels, and purchasing mostly raw, fresh and preferably organic vegetables all make good sense.
Her section on exercising has programs for the treadmill, elliptical, stair climber, indoor bike, swimming, and walking or hiking. Jackie also believes that gaining muscle is the quickest way to lose weight. She suggests resistance training for both men and women. She provides exercises for home or the gym, and includes helpful pictures of the various exercises to be sure that you do them correctly. She also lists various resistance routines that incorporate cardio workouts.
Finally Jackie has a complete appendix of healthy meal plans and recipes, as well as a sample food journal and a training log. On the whole, this is a book filled with good advice about exercise and sound suggestions on eating healthy. Although perhaps not as exciting as "Lose 2 pounds daily without diet or exercise," following the guidelines in this book would appear to do just what it promises: make you thin forever.
Buy it here on Amazon.