on November 2, 2011
I agreed with all the other glowing reviews until I read the whole book. Towards the end, she advocates taking huge doses of just about every vitamin and mineral known to man, and claims she takes them herself, and tells us not to worry about the skin flush and rash that comes from huge doses of Niacin [it's actually fun, she tells us]. I got worried when she said we should take pep pills [illegal in some situations and dangerous in all situations] to help us lose weight, and I deleted the book from my Kindle when she said she takes 3 different anti-depressants at the same time. Given these opinions, I have to question her common sense and I have my doubts about her as a source of accurate information. Some other low or zero carb advocates say you only need vitamin supplements in a high carb situation, because it's the carbs that block absorption of the vitamins and you actually get all the vitamins you need from the meat etc. Atkins recommends minimal supplements. Nobody but Dana advocates taking pep pills under any circumstances.
on July 1, 2002
This book earned the dubious distinction of being the only one I ever returned to Amazon. As a nutrition writer, I was disturbed by some of the errors contained in this book. While written in a chatty, readable style, many health and nutrition claims are unsupported and some information is erroneous. For example, the author recommends a single supplement of 25,000 IU's of vitamin A, an amount five times the RDA for a fat-soluble vitamin which has toxic effects at high doses. I am a strong proponent of low-carb eating, but you can find more accurate information and advice in The Atkins Diet or The Formula (which contains a more moderate, lower fat approach -- highly recommended.)
on September 3, 2003
I went from a large to a medium and from a size 34 to size 32 doing low carb. I got so incensed by John Paree's negative review (below) that I felt the need to post a rebuttal. I haven't read this book of Dana's (I do have her cookbook, which is great). Unlike Paree, however, at least I have the cojones to be up front about it.
Let's take his concerns in turn.
-(1) Yes, you will lose weight-mostly water weight-and don't even think about
-going off the diet once you've started to lose weight!!! You'll watch those
-pounds come back twice as fast!
You lose real weight on this diet. I did. The water comes off first, then the fat. The thing is, you have to stay on it! You can't do it for a couple of weeks and expect that to be it. Fortunately, it's _very_ easy to stay on since Atkins (the version I'm on) not only allows but insists that you eat lots of fruits and veggies, heart-healthy tuna and salmon and olive oil, and even (in its later stages) healthy carbs like whole grains and legumes. Plus, if you're craving some kind of sweet treat, you can go down to your local grocery/drugstore/online center and get lowcarb candy bars, protein bars, shakes, ice cream, pasta, etc. etc. etc.
(2) Bet you can't wait for the halitosis, fatigue, constipation, mood swings,
-light-headedness and trouble focusing-not to mention an increase in risk of
-kidney disease and heart disease due to the increase in keytone and
-cholesterol production. All this while you starve your meat filled cadaver of
-essential fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals!!!!
Like I said, the meat-egg-cheese only portion of Atkins is for two weeks only (it's not even rcommended for people who have just a few pounds to lose, and even when you go the hardcore route you MUST eat a couple of salads a day). That alone gives you more phytochemicals than most Americans ever get, much less the very next phase when you eat four, five, six servings of vegetables and low sugar fruits--a lot more than even most gym rats eat! Get constipation during the early phase? Eat a fiber supplement--it's good for you anyway, and in Atkins they talk about this issue. (It goes away in the later phases.) It's all on the website. Light-headedness and moodswings? They talk about that too--it happens when you're breaking your carb addiction and lasts 3 days to a week. Would you go through a few rough days to give up smoking? Same deal.
I can't believe this reviewer's temerity! Most people live on chips, fries, and burgers with huge white flour buns, and the occasional tiny wilted iceberg salad, yet he's saying this incredibly fruit- and vegetable-rich, nutrition-dense, phytochemical packed diet is a step _down_? Give me a break the size of milwaukee!
3) the only truly effective way to lose weight and stay healthy is to eat a WELL-
-BALANCED diet-rich mainly in fruits vegetables, and yes carbohydrates. No
-doubt, protien is also important, but you don't need it as your main staple
-much less from fatty, grease ladden sources such as hamburgers and 20oz
-steaks. And don't forget the most important tid-bit- Exercise regularly
-nobody likes to hear that one, but it really is the only way to keep yourself in
-shape and feeling fit and trim for the long term.
Well, I can't deny it--it's all true. It's also all on the Atkins website! They recommend all this stuff, from exercise, to eating fruits/veggies/healthy carbs (the healthy carbs start after the first two weeks, unless you're only slightly overweight), to not making your main protein source greasy food like steaks and burgers. This is all, by the way a major change from the typical American lifestyle we all grew up doing.
4)Ask a reputable dietician or consult a health information website like WebMD or the AMA.
The medical establishment is extremely conservative and oftentimes quite primitive and behind the times. Why do you think alternative therapies are so hot? Insurance companies have only recently discovered they work (which is why they're now covered under a lot of plans). Doctors don't want to get sued... they won't recommend something unless it's been around fifty years, by which time it's already dated. Fortunately, a lot of doctors are finally coming out of their Rip Van Winkle cocoons and reading the latest research on low carb.
This reviewer, it seems to me, either did a low carb diet for a few days and decided, in the MOST DIFFICULT, most uncomfortable phase, that it wasn't for him (which is like an alcoholic dissing AA during his second day of quitting booze)... or he's a shill being paid by some huge corporation that makes enormous profits off refined carbs. Your call.
Do the diet for yourself. Read the Atkins website for yourself. Don't be scared by people who don't know what they're talking about.
on October 20, 2002
Carpender is not a physician, just a person with a weight problem, a solution to it, and scads of practical advice. Unlike the various M.D.'s who've written low-carb diet books, Carpender has no axes to grind, no "my diet is better than their diet" crankiness. She reviews the leading low-carb diets and opines on each, basing her conclusions on her and her friends' experiences. Evenhanded and clear, Carpender offers a synopsis of each diet so the reader can try them all and select the one that proves most beneficial. I felt like I was reading the unbiased, untendentious prose of a charming person who would get me closer to the truth of low carb dieting--and get me fitting back into those bespoke suits a client made for me thirty-five pounds ago. So far, Carpender's advice has been right on the money. Buy the other low carb books if you like, but be sure to buy this one first. It's fun to read and the information can make you healthy, fit, and slender.
on November 9, 2003
This book is the best summation I've seen on low-carb. It combines the contents of Atkins, Zone, and other low-carb diets with some tried and true wisdom. I first tried Atkins a few years ago on the advice of my doctor. After hitting 40 and being reasonably active, the pounds started to creep on. I lost about 25 pounds in 6 weeks and felt great, plus all my blood work results improved. Subsequently though, it seemed less effective. Cutting back on dairy and nuts and staying away from aspartame, as espoused in this book, led to better results. There are also other helpful suggestions for when you hit a plateau. Everyone's body chemistry is different, and the value of this book lies in the many 'tweaks' listed to make it work best for you. The author has done her homework and then some. You will also enjoy her breezy, witty conversational writing style as well. WELL worth the full...cover price.
on October 28, 2003
Before reading this book, I had already discovered low-carb, lost 35 pounds, and kept it off for 2 1/2 years. But I figured there's always something new to learn, and I learned a lot from Dana Carpender!
This is a very well researched, intelligently written book, put in interesting, fun text that we can all understand. Dana has put in the time to thoroughly research all of the current low carb plans and explains the basics of each one. I defy anyone (who's on a low fat diet that's not working) to read the FIRST CHAPTER of this book and not seriously rethink their weightloss plan!
I'll be honest, I actually got this book from my library, but I have just ordered it AND her '500 Low Carb Recipes'! I'm buying the recipe book sight unseen-I have no doubt it will be good! These are keepers! I hope to see more from Dana Carpender!
on November 30, 2002
I have read them all! I have read Atkins, Protein Power, Carbohydrate Addicts, and Sugar Busters. This may be the best one of all. Dana writes intelligently but in a friendly style. I found it to be very informative and inspiring. I thought her comparison of the various diets very helpful and really appreciated the section on the benefits of ketosis. I think if you read this along with Life Without Bread you will have pretty well covered the subject of why low-carbohydrate eating is definitely the best choice for weight management and over all health. Dana sounds like the kind of person I would like to get to know personally. I highly recommend this book! Good luck and "hold the toast".
on April 16, 2004
I recommend ANYONE on ANY sort of low-carb diet read this book. Another like this one you should also have, the first being "The Secret To Low Carb Success", by Laura Richard. Both books cover low-carbing non-scientifically, and go over the many low carb plans, adding advice from the author (a real everyday person) along the way. I don't choose one over the other. They are both that good. I haven't enjoyed reading so much in years. One of the many reasons I am applauding Dana's book is because she goes into detail about the "low carb" products and foods available to us, for example, starch blockers and meal bars. Just a great book to have, newcomer or professional low-carber alike.
on July 4, 2002
This book is by far the best of all the lowcarb books I've read! It's written in comfortable, everyday language that actually made it FUN to read--I couldn't put it down! Dana Carpender doesn't preach or lecture; she provides a wealth of nutrition, science and medical information but she manages to do it with heart and with a sense of humor--something that's definitely missing from the other lowcarb books I've read. And this book is interactive! There are no questionnaires or forms to fill out but at times you'll actually feel like you're having a conversation with the author, rather than reading a book.
By all means, I recommend this book highly. Five stars are not enough!
on August 28, 2003
I've told my friends I'm low carbing, so if they are staring at my rear end, I know why! If they are curious about my slim body, high energy, and obvious cheerfulness, I always recommend this book. It covers all the different plans, gives reasons why so many people are eating this way, and explains the science beautifully and clearly.
Another reason is because it is a fun read! A funny style and remarkably broad scope makes it a book that you can read over and over again. I've found better ways to inform people of the benefits of low carb thanks to this book. She's a natural teacher and gets your enthusiasm up all over again.