This little book is pretty great. The writing and content is excellent and the book is also very well organised and designed. It must have taken a lotThis little book is pretty great. The writing and content is excellent and the book is also very well organised and designed. It must have taken a lot of editing to get so much information packed into a mere 150 pages.
This book summarises dozens of excellent health books. It also does so in a way that honours these authors prominently along the way and happily gives them credit for their work and recommends people check out their books if they want to know more. It’s so great to read an excellent diet and health plan book where the author doesn’t spend every second paragraph obnoxiously telling you how wonderful and unique they are and how they alone can save your life!
DSFL explains why ‘calories in, calories out’ and ‘just eat less and move more!’ doesn’t work and why following the food pyramid makes so many of us overweight and sick. The book busts many myths about what makes up a healthy diet and explains why we have been so grossly misinformed for decades.
The author Sean Croxton recommends starting by just eating real food (JERF) for 30 days. A simple chart is given which explains which food goes in which category. All grains and legumes are omitted and the 30 day plan is gluten free although it does include raw dairy products after day 8. Only free-range/grassfed meats are recommended. Fruit is limited to 2-3 pieces a day and it is recommended that starchy vegetables be eaten in small amounts only. Non-starchy vegetables can be eaten liberally and healthy fats can be eaten until satiety.
I wasn’t sure if the recommendation was too high carb for some people, including myself, at first. But after reading on a bit I saw that the author recommends adjusting the amount of carbs you eat by seeing how you feel after each meal. If you feel really hungry after your decent sized meal then you should experiment with eating a bit less fruit or starchy vegetables and see how you feel after that meal. Tuning up the way you eat based on how YOUR body responds to your meals just makes so much sense and the author makes it pretty simple to work out how to do.
Probably my only criticism is the inclusion of raw dairy on the plan. So many people react to it for various reasons and it is also a cross reactor with gluten. The sections on avoiding gluten in this book are excellent. This book explains that 7/10 of us have a sensitivity to gluten. To me avoiding dairy goes hand in hand with avoiding gluten. The fact that only raw dairy is recommended doesn’t change this. I’d probably also omit peanuts as well due to the mould and legume-y issues, but maybe that’s just being too picky.
The book includes brief sidebars throughout summarising the work and biographies of a handful of nutritional and health experts and pioneers and directing the reader about where to read more about their work. At the end of each chapter a list of recommended books and also free podcasts with many of the authors of those books is given. If you can’t or wont read much, or have no money to buy books it’s great that you can instead listen to a free podcast where Croxton interviews the book’s author and has them summarise the main points of the book for you.
Another great book for newbies that are not feeling great and may be overweight is Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint book. Much of the content of the two books is similar and the recommended diet is very similar. While Sisson’s book does talk about health a lot, it is also a plan focused on weight loss to a significant degree. Weighing yourself is recommended as is fasting and calorie counting (to some extent) to increase weight loss.
Sean Croxton’s DSFL book is focused above all on health. It is a healthy plan that will likely see people lose weight on it as a side effect of course, but weighing yourself is not recommended and nor is weighing your food or aiming for some perfect exact macronutrient ratio. The book also has lots of extra health information on the need to soak nuts and seeds, avoiding chemical stress, gut health importance, food intolerances, elimination diets, and the benefits of eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut for example. Information that Sisson’s book omits.
I prefer an approach primarily based on health rather than weight loss but I do think the weight loss focus of Sisson’s book makes it a good one to give to struggling friends and family members who are reluctant readers and may get a lot more motivated at first by the healthy/no-hunger weight loss idea than ‘just’ the health improvement idea. Each book serves well for a different type of person probably.
I learned a few new things reading this book though, even though I’ve read well over 50% of the recommended extra reading books it lists. Some of the later parts of the book on finding the motivation for sticking to an eating plan and on sleep and stress reduction were particularly good.
Readers should note that this book contains zero information on supplements of any kind, nor any information on detoxification methods and importance. It also does not directly instruct you in any particular exercise regime as the Primal Blueprint book does. (For me that last omission was a big plus!) Some of the books recommended as further reading in DSFL do cover these topics well however. But if you are seriously ill this book should be seen as an introduction to the foundations of health only, and getting some high-quality information on intelligent supplementation and detoxification once you have these foundations in place is a MUST! (e.g. Detoxify or Die and Primal Body, Primal Mind etc.)
Overall this book is an excellent introduction to healthy eating and a healthy life for anyone. The writing is easy to understand and the book is quite brief and so very accessible to almost everyone. It’s engaging and interesting right from the start too.
Sean Croxton has done an amazing job with this book and I thank him for writing it. I hope it gets as widely read as it deserves!
"I’ve discovered that the majority of weight loss information that is out there isn’t just making you fat – it’s KILLING you. And I’d like to share all of my learnings with you – but only if you agree to one condition. You need to forget everything that you think you know about diet, health, fitness, and fat loss and have an open mind to what you are about to read. Because if you’re attached to the idea that fat loss is simply a matter of calories in vs. calories out, or that saturated fat is going to give you a heart attack, then you may be surprised by what I have to say.
This is not for the “magic bullet” seekers and the “quick fix” people. There is no “magic” inside of this book. The Dark Side of Fat Loss is a complete lifestyle change. You WILL be required to do work. It can be considered “hard”. But the lifestyle improvements you will gain make it more than worth it."
Jodi Bassett, The Hummingbirds' Foundation for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Health Healing and Hummingbirds ...more