The Diet Fix: A Dietitian’s Review
Reviewed by: Kelly Whalen, RD
Before I begin to review The Diet Fix, I must confess my bias. I am a huge Yoni Freedhoff fan, and read his blog “Weighty Matters” almost every day. I have a strong connection with his no nonsense approach to nutrition in Canada, so naturally when I heard there was a book coming out, I promptly ordered my copy and waited impatiently for it to arrive.
Diets don’t work, we know this, yet it seems every month I have a new diet dropped onto my desk. Clients, patients, co-workers tell me about their cleanses, not eating carbs past 6, or starting to eat for their blood type. I usually give them an exasperated sigh and end up directing them to evidence based information on how to follow a balanced diet. Now I find myself quoting The Diet Fix to help them better understand their own struggle. This book is very clear that there is no one diet that can be used for everyone, which is why there is no master plan to help you drop all your weight.
It strengthens and empowers you, and then guides you to the “healthiest life you can enjoy".
I realized that I may have too much of a focus on what doesn’t work – and perhaps I should have been giving more guidance toward what does. The Diet Fix addresses dieting in a fantastic way – dieting 7 deadly sins; hunger, sacrifice, willpower, blind restriction, sweat, perfectionism, and denial. It is a nearly perfect portrayal of all the internal struggles that one may face with a diet plan. It tears down the walls, and helps you to appreciate that trying to lose weight isn’t easy. It strengthens and empowers you, and then guides you to the “healthiest life you can enjoy”. I love that the measurement of success doesn’t come from the numbers on the scale, but from quality of life.
The core of the book is focused around the “Ten Day Reset” theme that is designed to reset your behaviors, in the hopes of creating some lasting change. Freedhoff promotes the classic idea that in order to make permanent changes to your weight, you must commit to permanent changes in your life. The ten days of the reset are: Gearing Up, The Food Diary, Banishing Hunger (my personal favorite), Cook, Think, Exercise (being very clear about the fact that you can’t outrun your fork, and that some is good – more is better – and everything counts), Indulge, Eat Out, Goal Setting, and Troubleshoot.
I must end on my favorite part of this book. Throughout the book Freedhoff busts many common nutrition and weight loss related myths with just plain evidence based facts, my honorable mentions:
Low carb, low fat, Paleo diets can all be acceptable…if they can be sustained for life, and as long as calories are balanced. Freedhoff argues against demonizing any food (even chocolate has its place, he says) and cautions that your diet must be sustainable.
Dietary fats are not the enemy. Saturated fat does not hold the health risk it was once believed to. Unsaturated fats may offer health benefits.
There is no magic pill/shake/meal replacement/bar/fizz pop for weight loss
You can’t outrun your fork – exercise is for so much more than weight loss/maintenance.
There are no forbidden foods. Food is meant to be enjoyed
Raising healthy eaters is important! You need to teach your children how to live a healthy life.
The Diet Fix is a book for everyone. This makes a great resource for anyone who wants to teach healthy habits to their children, if you’re a doctor or a dietitian, or just looking to take charge of your health.
Verdict: Read it!
I realized that I may have too much of a focus on what doesn’t work – and perhaps I should have been giving more guidance toward what does.