Vbary's Reviews > Calorie Wars: Fat, Fact and Fiction

Calorie Wars by Larry Deutsch
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U 50x66
's review
Nov 30, 2011

really liked it
Read in November, 2011

The subtitle of this brief tome might just as easily been "It Ain't Rocket Science". As the authors make clear, a calorie is a measure of energy, and a calorie is a calorie regardless of what fuel is burned (iceberg lettuce or ice cream). Given your height and gender, your body needs a certain number of calories for basic housekeeping chores (metabolic functions) and additional ones for the demands of the musculo-skeletal system. If the input of calories is less than those requirements, the body recruits stored fat (and ultimately muscle tissue) to make up the deficit, and you lose weight. If there your caloric intake exceeds the body's current demands, the body will store the excess as fat for later conversion into energy when and if needed, and you'll gain weight. Balance the caloric input with the caloric needs and you will neither rain nor lose weight. Mystery solved, without the intervention of the multi-billion dollar Diet Industry.

Clearly, physical activity - the one way to increase the body's need for additional caloric input - has secondary benefits for good health (aerobic capacity, greater ratio of muscle/fat, etc.) and the authors recommend it - entered into slowly and moderately, then increased as the body is able. They counsel that results come slowly but at an increasing rate as the body are able to undertake increasing physical demands. Likewise, the choice of foods you eat can have various health benefits, and the authors recommended fresh fruit and vegetables, certain fish, meat and nuts - as opposed to various processed foods - for their benefits from fiber and mono and poly unsaturated fats. But this is all about arterial and colon health. From the weight gain perspective, 1 calorie of broccoli is the same as 1 calorie from red meat.

The book's four simple rules: eat less, choose well, get active, restructure your relationship to food and the acronym ELMO (East Less More Often) provide nice, easy to remember set of principles. The book has a section with a number of on-line resources about food and exercise and tracking both. It also lists healthy foods found in 'the Mediterranean diet' and high caloric versus low caloric demand activities. I could have used a few fewer references to Dr. Larry's hypnotherapy successes and products.

In the final analysis Drs Deutch and Schweitzer have taken a simple subject and made it simple once again in an easy and quick to read format.
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