2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

48,328 Diet Books

Posted 02/02/2010

That’s the number of titles that pops up when you enter “diet books” into amazon.com, and this reflects only books still in print. Diet books have been regularly published for more than 100 years, including such gems as the Cigarette Diet (“Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet”), The Drinking Man’s Diet, The Beautiful People’s Diet, and even The Eskimo Diet.

Click here for a look at more diet books from the past.

My own first diet book (sadly, many would follow) was the immensely popular, early-1960s Calories Don’t Count, whose author was later jailed for mail fraud. On this gem of a diet, you could eat as much pure protein as you wanted (and I did just that, gorging on meat and cottage cheese) washed down with three ounces of safflower oil daily. To this day, I can’t look at cottage cheese without feeling slightly ill. I also tried the Scarsdale Diet , whose physician-author was later gunned down by his mistress. Based on these admittedly limited experiences, it’s probably risky for any author to send me a diet book to test.

The Eat Right 4 Your (Blood) Type diet has also been very popular, but it’s about as scientific as eating right for your zip code. Is there any known “best” diet book? No. It’s really all up to you: many diets work when you’re following them and virtually all fail when you stop. If you want to lose anything, lose your diet book.

What about diet drugs?
Various diet pills were first introduced in the 1930s and none worked except the famous fen-phen of the 1990s, even as it wrecked your heart valves. Most diet pills of the past either suppressed appetite, sped up metabolism, or both, but our human bodies outsmarted the pills every time and the drugs would stop working after a month or so.

The modern prescription drug Meridia is supposed to work on the brain’s appetite control centers, but was banned in Europe just last week (though not in the US) because of an unacceptable number of strokes and heart attacks among its users. Orlistat (Xenical, Alli) blocks fat absorption and its most notorious side effect, fecal leakage, is better imagined than described.

What about gizmos?
A century’s worth of diet books has managed to do little except eliminate a great many trees. A smart ecological alternative is the iPhone app called Lose It!, which calculates how many calories you can consume each day (based on your current weight, target weight, and other stats) to start moving toward Weight Loss City. My editor and her partner lost a collective 65 pounds last year using it, reminding us that calories do count and portion size rules the day.

Seven steps to weight loss
We all know that being overweight can render us susceptible to a wide variety of chronic illnesses. Here are seven steps you can take to start losing weight. Gentle reminder: gratefully enjoy every mouthful you eat.
1. Donate all 11-inch plates to a resale shop. Never eat another meal off anything larger than a 9-inch plate and you’ll immediately reduce calories by 20%.
2. When you’re done preparing a meal, place portions on your 9-inch plates and leftovers in the fridge (nothing like cold food to chill a desire for second helpings).
3. Never bring a serving platter to the table unless it’s piled high with fresh fruit and veggies. These are “free” foods you can–and should–load up on daily.
4. Read all labels and never buy or eat any food containing refined wheat flour, white flour, or high fructose corn syrup.
5. Prepare most of your own food to avoid the excesses of packaged foods and eating out. When you cook use mostly whole foods–fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
6. If you do eat out: when your meal arrives, divide it in half and for half to be wrapped right then to take home.
7. Increase your calorie burn by doing more walking, stair climbing, weight-lifting, and biking.

And really, that’s it.

Ending with some cheery news, a study showed that a daily 1.5-ounce portion of dark chocolate was effective in reducing brain chemicals linked to chronic stress. If you’re stressing about your weight, calm yourself with a tasty bit of dark chocolate, but do please keep it to a small bite, since 1.5 ounces is worth about 240 calories. And yes, repeating myself, calories do count.

 

Leave a Comment


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops

**Pain Relief with Myofascial Balls
Tuesday, October 29, 6-8pm
With Renee Zambo, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist

Course Fee: $65.00
(includes WholeHealth Chicago Myofascial Release Kit, $40 value)

Does that same spot in your neck, shoulders, back or hips seem to bother you every day? Do you have joint aches and pains in the hands and feet? Would you like to learn ways to alleviate that pain and tension?

Join WholeHealth Chicago’s Yoga and Movement Therapist Renee Zambo for an evening of muscle tension release with myofascial therapy balls.

Space is limited and registration is required.
Please register online.
Call the Center for additional information at (773) 296-6700
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • Dandruff, Fungi, and Cancer of the Pancreas

    It’s an eye-catching title, I’ll admit. But the links are quite real and further research may guide medicine in new directions of cancer prevention and treatment. It all starts in your gut microbiome, the totality of microorganisms–bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi–present in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, mouth to anus. Until recently, researchers and clinical physicians alike paid virtually no attention to the microbiome and the Read More

  • New Hope For Sinus Sufferers

    When osteopath Dr. Rob Ivker moved to Colorado in the 1980s to set up his family practice, he had no idea that when he stepped off the plane he’d succumb to symptoms of chronic sinusitis that just wouldn’t go away: stuffy nose, thick mucus, pressure behind his cheekbones and above his eyebrows, dull aching headache, and thick goopy drainage in the back of his throat. Read More

  • Director of IV Therapies Katie McManigal, BSN, ANP

    Most people at some point in their lives have had an intravenous (IV) line. An adept nurse warned you about the tiny pinch of the needle as it was smoothly inserted and taped in place.  Then the  fluid dangling above your head slowly started making its way through a tube and into your body. IVs are all over the place in hospitals. They’re seen in Read More

October Sale – Save 20% off UltraMeal Rice

UltraMeal RICE is a tasty, non-dairy, nutritionally fortified, powdered meal replacement for those who want to support healthy body composition but may be sensitive to soy.

Click here to take advantage of this month’s promotion!