“How Not to Diet” – my rating 2 out of 5

First, let me point out I am a big fan (pun intended) of Dr. Greger, and his first book, “How not to Die”, which inspired me to get back on the whole food plant-based bandwagon.

After getting back, I have lost 103 pounds, and just need to lose another 13 or so to get down to a normal BMI. All my blood test values are fantastic, and I believe getting back on WFPB turned my life around for the better.

I cannot imagine leaving the WFPB way of life, and I have turned into sort of a WFPB evangelist among my friends, some who tolerate it, and some who have actually been inspired by Dr. Greger’s first book and have started WFPB journeys of their own.

I was hoping his new book would have some more information on the best ways to lose the weight I still need to lose. However, like the song “Windmills of the Mind”, there are circles within circles, spirals within spirals, tunnels leading to tunnels of their own, and really not much conclusive, even after reading almost 600 pages.

I am glad he pointed out that calories are important for losing weight. Of course I did know that. And I am glad he confirmed my suspicion that intermittent fasting is no more useful for weight loss than general calorie restriction. But overall, I really didn’t learn much new.

His style of writing makes quick skimming all but impossible. That’s because he loves teasing you with possible scenarios, and then talking them down with his research analysis results. It’s hard following his train of thought sometimes. And his endless use of analogies drives me crazy. I keep on thinking, “get to the point already!”

The only thing new I really learned was that he feels that front-loading your food by eating your large meals earlier in the day and having a light dinner seems to change the way calories are metabolized. Chef AJ has been saying that for some time, but he presented research supporting that idea.

And he also claims that we should stop eating after 7 pm and that, too, somehow helps with net calorie reduction and metabolism.

But beyond those two points – in nearly 600 pages of convoluted discussion – I didn’t find much useful in the book, to be honest.

A friend of mine asked me yesterday if she should get the new book because she wanted to start WFPB and needs to lose 60 lb. I think I was fair in my reply that she should start with the original “How Not to Die”, which is much more informative, and then tweak from there, as I have done.

There are probably lots of you who will disagree with me. But that’s my conclusion after reading both books.

“How Not To Die” is an A+!

“How Not to Diet” is a C (to me).

Just released – “How Not To Diet”

I went ahead and bought Dr. Michael Greger’s just released, “How Not To Diet” (Kindle edition) after reading the free sample, even though there was an extremely weird passage about obesity skeptics (see below).

After all, “How Not to Die” inspired me to get back in the WFPB (whole food plant based) groove a year ago September, and I’m now down a total of about 104 lb, without about 14 lb to go to a “normal BMI.” And my blood sugar is normal, cholesterol fantastic, and things are going very well.

I’m looking forward to diet (s o r r y – “not diet” advice) to get me across my final goal. The free sample was overall interesting. I did want to mention my buying experience though.

  • You can’t purchase the Kindle book from inside the Kindle app.
  • You can’t purchase the Kindle book from inside the Amazon app.
  • You can purchase it from iPhone Safari at the Amazon site, but it’s like $25.
  • You can buy it from a computer web browser going to the Amazon site, and that way it’s $16.99, which is what I did. Why is it so much less expensive from my Mac’s web browser than it is from my iPhone’s web browser?
  • At the Amazon site, when making the Kindle purchase it says it comes with the free audio book. I don’t like audio books, but I figured, “If it’s free, why not?” So I chose that option. At which point the purchase price jumped to over $40! So I dropped that and just bought the Kindle version and had it delivered to my iPad.
  • After making the purchase, it said the audio book was available for free download now, so I clicked that. But it said there was a problem delivering that.
  • Then I opened the Kindle book, which works very nicely on my iPad. I noticed there was an audio play button at the bottom, and I touched it. Sure enough Dr. Greger’s (rather annoying) voice was narrating the page I was looking at in real time. So I have the audio narration anyway. So what was all that business about getting the audio book? Anyway, I turned off the narration because I’d rather just read it.

I’m reading the book now, but was just wondering – why all the confusion about how to purchase, and the vastly differing purchase prices depending on what device you are doing it on? Am I the only one to experience that?Anyway, the Kindle price is $16.99. So be sure you are paying the right price.

And here was that really weird passage about obesity skeptics I read in the free sample. It created quite a conversation in the Whole Food Plants Based group on Facebook:

Health at Any Size?

There are “obesity skeptics” who argue that the health consequences of obesity are unclear or even greatly exaggerated. They are a motley bunch of unlikely bedfellows, ranging from feminists, queer theorists, and new ageists to “far right wing, pro-gun, pro-America websites where the idea [is] that obesity alarmists are nanny-state communists who simply want to stop us from having fun.”

“How Not to Diet” by Dr. Michael Greger, page 47.

Strange, yes? Controversial language? He certainly could have written that better. But he just feels strongly about the health dangers of obesity and so I think was being intentionally provocative. Still, feminists and queer theorists (whoever they are) in bed with far-right gun nuts?

Anyway, I look forward to reading the book to see whether there is actually new, useful information in it as I am (very) slowly continuing my weight loss quest.