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!

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.

Telemedicine – Now Available at WholeHealth Chicago

In order to maintain your continuity of care, WholeHealth Chicago now offers telemedicine appointments with most of our practitioners. During a telemedicine visit, you and your healthcare provider can review medical history, discuss symptoms, arrange for prescriptions, and more. When necessary, labs and diagnostic imaging can be ordered from a facility near your home, and our Natural Apothecary can ship supplements quickly to your door.

Please contact Patient Services for details and scheduling a telemedicine appointment, or to change a regular appointment to telemedicine by calling 773-296-6700.

We’re looking forward to meeting with you in our virtual consultation room soon.

DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.

ALLERGIES

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

COLD
• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

STREP THROAT
• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

CORONAVIRUS-COVID 19
• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

Recent Health Tips

  • Your First Step For Any (Any!) Chronic Symptoms

    Here’s an unfortunate trend: more and more young people (at my age, everyone under 50 is young) are troubled by chronic physical and emotional symptoms. Sometimes there’s a diagnosis: rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s, fibromyalgia. But just as often there are plenty of symptoms and no diagnosis. I can’t count how many times patients have told me they went to multiple doctors who told them Read More

  • Surge Protection

    A confession: I’ve never done well with authority figures. Those who know me, the mildest and gentlest of souls, would never guess that years back I had issues with various medical associations and physician groups about such “controversial” notions as having conventional and alternative practitioners working together or actually treating (again, “controversial”) diagnoses like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and chronic Lyme. Believe me, I’m no Read More

  • Brain-Boosting Supplements

    In our previous two Health Tips, we discussed the most common causes of brain fog. The first of these focused on stress. When there’s so much you’re anxious about, your logical thinking, mental clarity, and memory become overwhelmed to the extent that you’ve added yet another stressor. “Is this early dementia?” you may wonder. Well at least some of you seeing the election results might Read More

Join our Discount Program

Member benefits include 10% off all your purchases. Low, one-time membership fee of $25 ($35 for family).

MORE INFORMATION

Join our Newsletter

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