I enjoyed this book and its approach a lot. Things I liked that I haven't found anywhere else:
* Mixing cereals to come up with a different taste. I guess I'm just not creative, but this was a cool idea I've incorporated into my diet. * Starting out without any restrictions. Every other diet approach I've read recently starts you out with phase one being the most restrictive. This phase one is just the phase, helpful for me because it gave me time to read the rest of the book while not jumping into a diet AND exercise program right away. * He gives a great list of exactly what friuts and veggies help which health conditions. Good reference page. * Oprah's recipes-- they were easier and more doable than the others in the book. Especially the turkey burgers. A lot of the recipes just took regular recipes and made them healthier, replacing ground beef with ground turkey and refined flour with whole grain flour. * He helps you take a look at WHY you overeat. I find myself asking "am I hungry? or am I just stuffing my face because I can't find another way to deal with the frustration of my 4-month-old daughter screaming?" It's usually the second, so I stop eating and say a lil' prayer. * His emphasis on fiber. This is often neglected in a lot of health-conscious circles, but is vital to the correct long-term functioning of the innards.
I think he hits the nail right on the head with this book the most though. Weight loss is something that has to start first with your issues in life and with this book he helps you go from phase to phase as you progress along in your struggles with weight loss. I think he has a good out look on what it takes to loss weight and I think this is his best book yet.
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The Best Life Diet is one of the best books by Bob Green, although I found some repetitions from his previous books. Another book that I highly recommend, especially for people trying to lose weitht, is "Can We Live 150 Years?"
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
390 of 399 people found the following review helpful
I'd say this is a solid 4 1/2 star book...Dec 28 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
If I could have ranked this book 4 1/2 stars, I would have. It contains solid information that would certainly benefit anyone and lead to slow and steady weight loss, but I would take off 1/2 a star since none of this information is groundbreaking or innovative. What I do like about this book, compared to Bob Greene's previously released Total Body Makeover book, is that this program is more doable by someone who has a life outside the gym, which is extremely important, since many Americans go on diets, but very few stay on them.
The program is divided into 3 phases. The first phase is basically designed to ease you into a program of healthier eating habits (focused more on the habits, like snacking, not eating within a few hours before bedtime, etc., rather than on limiting foods) and increased movement. Nothing extreme here - I like this aspect of this phase, as for most people, starting right up with a perfectly clean diet and an hour or more of exercise each day is too much (hence my problem with Greene's Total Body Makeover). The second phase is the real weight-loss phase with increased emphasis on "clean eating" by eliminating 6 empty or problem foods from your diet. Again, I like this approach because it makes it much more doable than cutting out all of your bad habits (I'm assuming that most of us have more than 6 - I certainly do) cold turkey. Increased activity is also an important aspect of phase 2. Finally, phase 3 is the "lifestyle" phase of the diet, which is more a lifetime fitness and eating plan than a diet. Recommended daily eating plans (including a 7-day diet diary of Oprah), and some tasty recipes (with lovely photos) are also included.
Finally, as with all of Bob Greene's books, there is direction for focusing in on your reasons for overeating, being overweight, and eating the wrong foods, i.e., the "emotional eating" aspect of weight problems. I particularly agree with Greene's assertion early in the book that in order to address your weight, you must first address your life. I know from my own experience, that when I find myself eating poorly, or eating in excess, or not exercising consistently, it is because of what is going on in my head, and not what is going on in my body.
Ultimately, I think this book is a great addition to one's health and fitness library. In my opinion, it takes the best of Bob Greene's earlier books and puts them into one, concise and doable program, which will provide weight loss and weight management that lasts and not merely a quick and temporary fix.
217 of 220 people found the following review helpful
Bob's Laughing All The Way To The BankJan. 31 2007
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After reading The Best Life Diet, I felt one of it's main purposes was to drive the reader to Bob's pay-for-information website. At his website, for $19.95 per month, you can get the "great array" of tips he doesn't give you in his book. I was disappointed on page 48 under STRATEGIES FOR INCREASING YOUR ACTIVITY, Bob writes "These are some basic guidelines for bumping up your activity level. To tap into a great array of strength-training exercises, cardio-workout ideas, and motivating tips, check out the complete exercise library at [...]."
I checked out his website, as much as I could without paying. You get very little information unless you join & pay: one short page of information under each topic such as Diet, Fitness, Recipes. Bob Green doesn't even give you the full sample recipe on his website--he only lists the ingredients. You have to pay for the directions to make the sample recipe! It says, "Sign up for the full recipe and many others." Yes, sign up and pay $19.95 a month.
This book gets you totally amped at the beginning, then let's you down by repeatedly mentioning the website as another tool for the diet. I'm disappointed that The Best Life Diet is really not that different from his other books. I think the main difference is now he's trying to milk you for extra money by joining his Pay Only website to get all the "great array" of tips he didn't include in his book.
A book I'd recommend instead is "YOU: On a Diet" by Dr. Roizen & Dr. Oz. The two gentleman who wrote it seem genuinely interested in teaching you how to lose weight, packing the book full of great health & exercise information, plus recipes. "YOU: On a Diet" has been much more helpful to me much more than Bob's book.
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
crass commercialism 90%, 10% info you can get anywhereJan. 16 2007
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More than 90% of this book appears to be an advertisment for Mr. Greene's pay website, and for the products he has become a spokesperson for. The diet info in here seems regurgitated from dozens of others diet books, many written far better, with more wit. Same no-magic is the truism; generally increase moving and cut back calories, eat healthy, more veggies, drink water, learn a few new recipes, weigh yourself. That's it. The brand names, just speaking for myself, the sodium and sugar in Slim Fast Mr Greene recommends are way too high, not to mention all the chemicals in it. That stuff makes me break out. If y ou follow the book, I would recommend you read labels and compare, whether Mr. Greene's face is on the carton or not. Sparkpeople is good for tracking exercise, food consumption and learning food content. The book Volumetrics and more than a handful of diet books that place emphasis on foods that are healthy and taste really good, are, I think, far better than this book.
74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
A little disappointedJune 6 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
While I'm sure I'll gain some useful information from this book, and can appreciate the approach it takes toward health and weight loss, I am over 50% through the book and am struggling to plow past all the product recommendations and the repeated plugs for Bob Greene's website. I've quickly grown weary of reading "You can find out more about this at *****.com" (I refuse to plug it again in my review !!!). Isn't putting it on the cover of the book adequate? And sure --- many of us don't have the time to identify specific products that incorporate the recommended nutrients, fiber content, etc. and all of us may appreciate more specific recommendation of actual brand names --- but aren't they usually included in an appendix or concluding chapter on "Where to find stuff" to avoid globbing up the text?
While another reviewer mentioned that Bob recommends exercise as part of the program, which is true, if you want to actually find any examples other than cardio --- surprise --- you're sent to the website. The Best Life Website is brought up over and over again with it's more detailed information (ie quitting smoking, communication boards for emotional support, etc.), so curiosity got the better of me and I logged on this afternoon before writing this review... Unless I'm unbelievably inept at navigating through the site, VERY little information is available without ponying up more $$$ to join as a member.
This overall approach may be very helpful to some, and to be fair he does include a number of recipes which make up the final third of the book, but I have to say I feel slightly "taken" since the text I paid for continues to mention going to another source for more and better "stuff".
I also bought Martina Navratilova's "Shape Your Self", and am finding it far more comprehensive in scope as a diet and fitness plan. Her book includes both recipes and actual pictures of people doing exercises you can do at home, but doesn't skimp on providing plenty of information regarding the emotional and lifestyle approach to losing weight and improving your physical health. I'd say you should check that out too...
574 of 628 people found the following review helpful
A few good ideas, but a whole lot of disappointment, tooJan. 8 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
Before I say anything else, let me say I'm not typically someone who really looks forward to Bob Greene's writings and viewpoints. It's not a matter of dislike or anything; rather, it's more a matter of not finding his material particulary fresh or appealing.
But I was really anxious to read this book. I'd read reviews of it, read a few pages of it at the local superstore, and wanted to get a copy for myself, so I ordered it from Amazon and eagerly awaited its arrival.
I do very much like his attitude toward dieting and changing eating habits. He is honest but not uncompassionate. It's clear he wants his readers to make strong changes in their lives and to build new relationships with food and exercise. I enjoyed the first part of the book and the very realistic approach it takes to making those changes and building those new relationships. In fact, the first pages of his book motivated me to get moving on a more consistent basis. That's always a good thing!
There are some things, however, in this book that make me want to throw it against a wall. Some of them, you may find, are upsetting only to me because of my own food prejudices. I'll tell you about them anyway, and you can dismiss them as you see fit. :-)
For one, when I look at the menus and some of the recipes, I'm appalled by the fact that some of the companies Mr. Greene "hooks up with" (as in, specifically refers to and encourages people to buy products from; in fact, some of these companies will now have his formal seal of approval) are companies that routinely produce foods whose ingredients have recently come under fire. Example: high fructose corn syrup, which has started getting a whole lot of negative press, is an ingredient commonly found in Yoplait yogurts. In fact, that HFCS is the main reason I no longer buy Yoplait. I don't buy ANYthing with HFCS in it. Ditto aspartame, which is in select Yoplait yogurts, too, unless they've recently changed their formulations. With all the negative press aspartame has been getting for a while now, I'm finding it tough to stomach the idea that this particular yogurt brand is getting plugged when there are other brands who seem more committed to using healthier ingredients. (This is my "hangup," and it's a "bad" one; I admit that it made me cringe to see Mr. Greene plugging this yogurt and including coffee creamer--also notorious for its less than healthy ingredients--in at least one of the recipes.)
I must admit to really disliking it when an author chooses to "plug" different companies, then chooses those companies without regard to what their products contain.
Also, the recipes not only contain specific brands for consumers to buy, but they aren't particularly different or intriguing recipes to begin with. In other words, I didn't see much that was new or innovative in these recipes; the recipe section of the book is pretty big, so that's a large chunk of this particular book that was a waste for me.
Overall, I'd say that I like Mr. Greene's positive and caring attitude (as it relates to weight and our struggle to come to terms with the food/emotion connection), but I don't think I'll be counting on him for any food recommendations.