January 28, 2007

Why this book doesn’t work

Last week, Reuters reported on the findings of a US study ...

one of the few done under controlled conditions that can actually demonstrate what happens to a human body while dieting and exercising.”

Guess what?

"Tests on overweight people show that a calorie is just a calorie, whether lost by dieting or by running."

"They found there is no way to selectively lose belly fat, for instance, or trim thighs."
"The distribution of the fat on the body was not altered by either approach -- helping prove that there is no such thing as "spot reducing."
Meanwhile, a book by Amanda Sainsbury-Salis has been released, imaginatively titled, and handily feeding into the great fat-mythology: Why Diets Don’t Work – And What to do About It”.

As is often the case with these books, Salis uses herself as “Exhibit A” for readership inspiration in her scientifically based diet-that-isn’t-a-diet, because, you can eat anything you want, whenever you want, and however much you want. [See, I told you it was seriously scientific.]

Confounded by her own yo-yo weight, Salis spent years studying, gaining a PhD in molecular science.

Salis, described as a “weight loss expert”, is set to revolutionize dieting with these astonishing tips:

  • Eat according to your physical needs.
  • Keep a diary of what you eat, when, how much it satisfied you and the exercise you did that day.
  • Each a wide variety of mainly whole foods, especially vegetables and fruit.
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Do some form of regular exercise.
  • Practice “the power of the bit” approach: move a little more and eat jus a little less (perhaps forego that second biscuit with your cup of tea).

In addition to her book, Salis runs course to teach people her “methods”. These include:

  • Gradual weight loss until you reach your ideal weight.
  • You should eat more when you feel hungry and less when you don’t feel so hungry.
  • Except for breakfast, if you’re not hungry, don’t eat, or have a light nutritious meal.

One thrilled dieter trilled: “It’s the most scientifically based program I’ve ever come across.”

A sample daily food menu – so radical and scientific it bowled me over: I’m actually typing this from a prostrate position on the floor:

Breakfast: toasted muesli with fruit.

Lunch: multigrain bread sandwich with avocado, roast turkey and cheddar cheese; watermelon or other fruit.

Afternoon snack: Plain yogurt with maple syrup. [YUCK]

Dinner: cottage pie (beef topped with potato); steamed vegetables.

Oh, did I forget to add that this is a scientific sample “fat-burning” menu?

Isn’t it new, isn’t it radical, , isn't it so scientific, isn’t it like no other diet menu you’ve ever seen before in your life? Aren’t the tips astonishing? Go on, I dare you, I double dare you – be astonished damn you!

[Via The Sunday Herald Sun, January 28, 2007 – no link]


  1. Anonymous11:10 PM

    As you and I know Caz..

    The more energy you expend the more calories you burn.

    If we all ate three meals a day and did a leetle.. bit of exercise..

    No problem!

    This is not rocket science.

    Oh.. When will common sense prevail eh?

    I am certainly astonished ..

    At how fuckin' stupid some people can be!!

    Mind you .. I have had a beer a and a few wines.

    Perhaps I'm just.. Pissed!


  2. Did they like the chicken?

  3. The verbatim verdict James:

    "Good, good."

  4. The diet industry is indefatigable Kath, without adding anything, new or useful.

    What pissed me off so much about this one was that it’s being touted as SO, SO, SO scientific. Yet, not a single lab test has been conducted, nor a trial group, a placebo group, a control group, and so on. You know, the way REAL science is conducted. Someone with a PhD should know better, but she’ll make a motza, from the book and from “teaching” people her “methods”.

    Funnily enough, the newspaper article notes that she disses other diets (well, gee, that’s a big surprise), including the CSIRO diet – why the latter, I hear you ask? – because it limits your kilojoules intake until you reach your goal. Umm, yeah, and, umm, yeah, and this would be wrong because?

    Going by the points made and the example menu, little kiddies in primary school can learn those very same principles. The meals look like a million other examples of ordinary everyday healthy eating.

    BTW – she’s doesn’t omit alcohol from her guidelines, suggesting that if a person really wants a beer, rather than a red wine, they should have a beer. Well, you and I don’t need a doctorate to work that out Kath. One should always drink and eat what takes your fancy. Why waste a meal or a drink on something you don’t want? Especially the drink! :-D

  5. Anonymous10:21 PM

    Certainly cannot argue with that logic Caz.. In fact.. I heartily concur!!

    Btw Plain yoghurt with maple syrup, sounds pretty yucky to me too!!

  6. Anonymous10:34 PM

    Oh Yeah..

    Just because I have not made any chocolate crackles..

    Don't mean that I haven't eaten a few!

    Nudge nudge.....(No, Not fudge!)

  7. Choc crackles should be a part of every balanced diet Kath.

    Had some before Xmas, but they were BABY crackles, done in the tiny little patties. They were PERFECT Kath. I'd never seen baby crackles before.