Father of two, devoted husband, Clydesdale, hope to become just an age grouper someday. Former nationally ranked triathlete (sounds better than it really is, but I like the sound of it). Competing in the 50-54 bracket this year. Have done a 1/2 Ironman tri, a marathon and a bunch of sprint and oly distance races. Member of BT since 12-1-03
Picture Perfect Weight Loss: Book Review
This is NOT a diet book, but a weightloss book that has helped me change how I see food and the choices I make when I eat.
I read a book that was a big help in changing my life. The book is called Picture Perfect Weight Loss by Dr. Howard M. Shapiro. Before I started to tri, I was 25 lbs heavier. I needed all the help I could get. Now I could quote you all sorts of cool reviews inside the book, but I will tell you how I heard about it. Just after 9/11, Dr. Shapiro was on all the talk shows. He was being credited by the New York Fire Department for saving a lot of guys’ lives on 9/11. How, you ask? His office and practice are in New York. He worked with the fire fighters to help them eat better and loose weight. Many of the survivors said they were in the best shape of their lives on 9/11 and they credit the doc for helping them get in that shape. Many of the fire fighters said that without Dr. Shapiro, they would not have had the physical ability to get out of the towers that day. That was more than enough for me to take a look at the book.
Now for the meat and potatoes (pun intended). The book’s basic plan is not to count calories, but to be aware of our food choices. The book breaks down food choices in different ways. All of the examples are done with pictures so your mind can "digest" the information in the ways we tend to choose food. The main theme of the book is that this is not a diet, but a life choice. Eating heather is something you do every day, not just when you need to drop a pound or 10. Making healthier choices every day adds up. The bottom line is there are no free calories, but there are better choices.
In one chapter it shows you how, calorie for calorie, your food volume can be different. The idea is that you will never feel empty when you are eating. A good example is one sausage or 32 large dill pickles. Get the point? As a former yo-yo dieter, feeling empty was always a problem.
Other chapters compare equal portions and different calories, and getting more food for fewer calories. My favorite chapter is on Saboteurs—the hidden big punchers that will set you back hard and fast. The best example is the 1 cup of Quaker Natural cereal, which is equivalent to16 low-cal frozen fudge bars at 540 calories. Just when I thought I was making a healthy cereal choice...
Overall, this is not a diet book. All Dr. Shapiro wants you to do is know what you are eating. If you really want the Big Mac and that is all that will do, than fine, but if a bowl of air popped popcorn will suffice, than eat the popcorn. For me to try to explain this any more would be an injustice to the book. I highly recommend picking it up and reading it—it just may change how you see food.
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