Monday, February 1, 2010

The Body Fat Solution (Book Review) and a GIVEAWAY

Several weeks ago the publisher of The Body Fat Solution: 5 Principles for Burning Fat, Building Lean Muscle, Ending Emotional Eating, and Maintaining Your Perfect Weight, written by Tom Venuto, contacted me and asked if I was interested in reviewing the book. I said yes, and they sent me a copy. [Please note that I am interested in healthy living, eating and exercising, but I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or personal trainer. In this review I share my personal opinions.]

I have to say that the title seemed a bit catchy to me, and I’m not sure I would have picked up the book if I had seen it in a bookstore. I am a bit skeptical when it comes to “solutions” as they remind me of quick fixes. However, this book is not about quick fixes at all, just the opposite. In the introduction to the book, Venuto summarizes the approach he advocates throughout the book quite well and states, “If you’re sincere about getting lean and staying lean, then this endeavor shouldn’t be a race, but a journey of learning and gradual self-improvement” (p. xxvi). Throughout the book he provides the reader with facts and information to achieve gradual change from the inside out. I particular like the attention he pays to the “inside,” or emotional and psychological part of achieving and maintaining the body one wants.

Venuto looks at many weight loss myths and why people believe them. And his explanations make sense. He also talks about the importance of attitudes and beliefs when it comes to weight loss. He stresses that attitude is a choice and states, “Anybody can be positive when the results are good, but successful people choose a positive attitude when it counts the most – in the face of difficulty” (p. 45). He talks about changing how we look at the world by using reframing. One can see things as problems or challenges, frustration or fascination, confusion or curiosity, shoulds or musts. Exercise can be seen as a chore or an opportunity. Venuto encourages the reader to stop limiting belief and to instead install success beliefs (such as, “It’s achievable,” “I' am able,” “I deserve it,” and, “I want it”). I believe one can use these principles to make all aspects of one’s life better.

In the chapter on emotional eating, Venuto addresses that we eat for many reasons other than physical hunger and leads the reader through his A.W.A.R.E. Formula (become aware, watch out, arrest the behavior pattern, replace the old emotional eating behavior, establish new beliefs). He wants the reader to view food as building material, fuel, nourishment, and as stoking the metabolic fire.

Venuto stresses that losing weight depends on a calorie deficit. He makes it very clear that while one can lose weight by achieving a calorie deficit, one can choose foods that do not lead to good health. He states that it is important to strike the right combination of calorie quantity (to achieve a deficit) and calorie quality to be healthy. He advocates eating whole, unprocessed, real food and tells the reader to ask the following question when selecting food, “DID THIS FOOD come directly from a tree, from a plant, from out of the ground, or did it walk, fly, or swim?” (p. 128). I like these criteria for selecting food very much as I try to select natural, unprocessed foods whenever I can.

Venuto discusses how to maximize your metabolism, and addresses things like resting metabolic rate, weight training, cardio, thermic effect of food, and nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). He discusses the advantages of HIIT (high-intensity interval training)  and  stresses the importance of NEAT to burn more fat. He also goes over the importance of weight training and gives lots of tips and useful information. There are several pages that describe various exercises that include pictures.

Finally, Venuto addresses the importance of a supportive social network. He asks  readers to take a good look at the people close to them and decide whether they help them move closer to their goal or bring them further away from their goal. One should then decide whom to spend more or less time with. He acknowledges that one cannot eliminate all negativity and provides strategies for building “immunity” to negative people.

The last part of the book talks about how readers can take all the information in the book and come up with their own plan. Venuto addresses things like menu planning, grocery shopping, planning for eating out, weekends, special occasions, and trips. He also addresses how to monitor progress, be accountable and deal with a plateau.

I think this is a good book for people who are trying to lose or maintain weight and are looking for a comprehensive way to look at their lives and want to find lasting solutions. I especially liked that the book quite thoroughly addresses the emotional and psychological aspects of weight, eating, and living a healthy life. I also liked that many aspects of the book can be applied to areas outside of weight loss and/or maintenance, such as the power beliefs and our social surroundings have on our lives.

And now to the GIVEAWAY. One of my readers has the chance to win a copy of The Body Fat Solution. You can get a total of up to five entries:
  1. Leave a comment on this post and share one healthy living tip. This will get you one entry.
  2. For an additional entry, link back to this giveaway from your blog and leave me a comment telling me you did so. If you don’t have a blog, spread the word about the giveaway to your friends, and tell me in a comment.
  3. Follow me on twitter: @wellandrea and leave another comment stating that you do.
  4. Tweet about the giveaway and let me know in the comments.Use "@wellandrea is giving away the book The Body Fat Solution by Tom Venuto http://bit.ly/9kuWbD"
  5. Post about this giveaway on your Facebook page and let me know in a comment.
The giveaway is open until Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 9:00 p.m. PST. I will hire the toddler again to pick the winner…

Be well,
Andrea

45 comments:

  1. what a great review! I like that it doesn't seem like a fix-it book but has great information to offer!

    I also love the ask yourself where did your food come from! good stuff.

    healthy living tip huh?
    floss regularly! hahaha (btw are you still flossing?)

    i miss your regular reminders!

    I will def. link back on today's post. This book sounds like a great one!
    Happy Monday

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great review. Healthy living tip,
    do not compare yourself to others, be happy with who you are and smile. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds interesting and not too off the wall or antyhing like that. I am curious about his background, schooling, education and research.

    One one healthy tip: balance and moderation...for everything.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds like a great book - thanks for sharing all the helpful hints! We try and cook all our own meals and limit meals out to once a month - I always feel like making your own food is healthier, cheaper and smaller portions!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Andrea this book sounds wonderful. Great review!

    Healthy living tip - always carry a bottle of water with you, that way you can sip on it throughout the day and keep yourself well hydrated.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice review of the book! My tip is to take the stairs whenever you can and park far from the grocery store or walk there if you can - every little bit helps.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I follow you on twitter as cygirl88

    ReplyDelete
  8. I tweeted for you :-). http://twitter.com/cygirl88/status/8513223289

    ReplyDelete
  9. My healthy living tip is to not attempt to be perfect with your eating - that will just set yourself up to binge! Just try to eat healthy 80% of the time and left yourself indulge when you need to!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't have a blog but I'm spreading the word around the office about this giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This sounds like a great book! I would be especially interested in the section on emotional eating.
    My classic get well tip is to drink water! No matter how much you're drinking, I think a litle more will always do some good!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, and I am already following you on Twitter :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am spreading the word!
    http://twitter.com/ThinspiredBlog/status/8519989867

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sounds like a good book although I agree with you on the catchy title. I would also be interested in the author's background.

    Healthy tip: Don't skip meals!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sounds great! My tip is to make sure you eat a heatly and filling breakfast every morning!

    ReplyDelete
  16. healthy living tip = eat green veggies every day no matter what

    ReplyDelete
  17. This sounds like a fantastic read! hat's for the opportunity to win. I tweeted about it, and I'll post about it on my blog.

    One healthy living tip: Make realistic goals, always. If you want to start eating more fruits and veggies, for example, start by adding one more per week, rather than one more per day. Baby steps are the key, as long as you eventually reach your goal!

    ReplyDelete
  18. One healthy living tip...regular exercise! Find something you love and do it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. linking back tomorrow morning (it's scheduled to post in the AM) -- link will be: http://preventionrd.com/2010/02/02/qa-another-new-recipe/

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hee, I'm trying to GAIN fat. I wish there were books on those.
    But I liked his message on the importance of positivity in the face of difficulties...that's so true!

    ReplyDelete
  21. One health living tip: focus on whole foods that don't require packaging



    awn.claud AT mycleaninbox.net

    ReplyDelete
  22. great booK!!! one healthy living tip...Smile and always be positive. Happiness is infectious and you always want to look at the glass half full :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I ADORE this book.

    Its on my desk and practically falling apart from use :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. My healthy living tip is eat breakfast to jumpstart your metabolism and give you energy for the day!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am now following you on Twitter!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Very intresting...

    Healthy living tip - eat fresh as much as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I would love to win this!! My healthy living tip is...Don't be afraid to TREAT yourself to non-food "rewards" like a new gym bag or cute gym clothes to motivate you or reward yourself!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Healthy living tip: throw green into a smoothie - great way to get some fruits and veggies in :)

    -Ashlei

    ReplyDelete
  29. I tweeted :)

    https://twitter.com/the_vegster/status/8574413578

    -Ashlei

    ReplyDelete
  30. Great book review. My resolution for 2010 is to lose weight and understand my emotional eating so I picked up a book called "Obesity Free Forever-Losing Weight from the Inside Out". Here's a tip from the book: Healthy living is a lifestyle not just a diet and it should be tailored to YOUR lifestyle.
    Hope the toddler picks me:)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I try to drink 3 L of water everyday.It's energizing and helps with appetite.cc

    ReplyDelete
  32. I linked from my blog :)

    http://thevegster.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/oh-my-chard/

    -Ashlei

    ReplyDelete
  33. Join a sustainable agriculture group. You'll never be so excited about veggies!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I would love to win this book - Love Tom Venuto!

    A healthy tip: add a lean protein to every meal and snack to help build lean muscle and avoid energy dips. The protein/carb combo keeps you satiated the longest!

    ReplyDelete
  35. One healthy living tip--EAT, even if you're dieting!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Always drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and you will eat less as your stomach will be full.

    ReplyDelete