by Laura Thomas PhD
I had mixed feelings about this book. The premise is sound. A qualified nutritionist is advising to escape 'diet mentality' and stop obsessing about food. Great! But there's rather a lot of swearing which makes it sound unprofessional and hinders the 'authority' of the author's voice, despite the PhD after her name.
She makes a lot of good points about the detrimental obsession over weight and food, but at times she seems to be saying that people who are overweight should just accept it as normal and make no effort to lose health-destroying obesity. I can see her advice being wonderful for those who obsess over 10-20 lbs of natural weight gain and for rejecting the rail-thin ideal of popular magazines, but someone who is 100-200 lbs overweight can't rely on 'intuitive eating' to lose enough to be a healthy weight! Diabetes and heart disease from excessive weight are a real thing!
Not to mention increased mobility and energy if someone does it a healthy way rather than through fad diets (don't even mention Keto to me! I equate it with Scientology.)
There is a chapter on 'gentle nutrition' and some extensive nutrition information near the end, but the author seems to assume that anyone who stops obsessing over food will naturally gravitate towards healthy eating. I don't believe that. I know people who would happily live on pizza and tacos forever and never touch another vegetable if they weren't paying attention to nutrition and quite honestly, I'm one of them. I spent my late teenage and early 20s years eating whatever I liked and the fruit/vegetable category didn't feature! The occasional banana maybe. And assuming I would EVER put vegetables on a pizza is just fantasy. I'm a meat feast girl and don't want my flavors diluted with nasty vegetables!
There are several mentions of Instagram and a specific hashtag that give me the impression that the author is assuming everybody has the same attitudes and assumptions about food and dieting as a particular group on that network. I'm not on instagram and don't know anyone among my real life family/friends/acquaintances/work colleagues who is, or who has the exact mindset as the author is working from.
I know a lot of people who consider themselves to be overweight to one degree or another and a few who have successfully lost weight through healthy diet programs. One thing we have in common is that given free reign to eat anything we want as the author suggests, certain Easter sweets in the stores right now would push those vegetables off our plates as far as our budgets could take it!
There are a lot of good nuggets of information in this book but I don't feel I can recommend it to anyone except those who keep obsessing over 10-20 lbs over the BMI charts. True those are outdated and imperfect, but someone seriously obese could easily see this as giving them permission to ignore the very real health dangers and put it down to stressing over food, as the author theorizes. Accepting your body shape isn't going to get you to fit into seats on planes or at entertainment venues and as much as I might agree that fat shaming and discrimination is wrong, it still happens.
I don't swallow that nature makes some people naturally fat in the extreme. Processed foods and high sugar content might have made it the new normal, but eating a nutritious diet will find the biological norm.
I've never one starred a book on Netgalley before but I think apart from the unprofessional delivery, the advice in this book is actually dangerous to people at risk of diabetes and heart disease through excessive weight.