How the Rich Get Thin: Park Avenue's Top Diet Doctor Reveals the Secrets to Losing Weight and Feeling Great Hardcover – Dec 27 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Klauer's diet plan isn't revolutionary, but her approach is noteworthy. The author, a research fellow at St. Luke's–Roosevelt Hospital with a practice on Park Avenue, has a clientele comprising primarily successful businessmen and -women, "ladies who lunch" and celebrities—people with the drive to do whatever it takes to succeed, in the boardroom, in social circles or on the gym floor. They understand and practice Klauer's "nonnegotiables": daily exercise, the consumption of protein and calcium, the management of food cravings and the elimination of processed food. Although some readers won't be able to follow all of Klauer's advice—a personal trainer isn't within everyone's budget, nor can everyone choose the healthy Manhattan chain Better Burger over McDonald's—but there are many useful suggestions here. Try grilled shrimp over lentils with a cup of steamed broccoli for dinner, with a side of mineral water, and when traveling, beware the hotel minibar (the Park Avenue mindset creeps in with such lines as "better groups, such as... the Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons, allow special meal requests that can be preordered"). Sticking to Klauer's strict regimen isn't easy, but neither is life on Park Avenue.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--The New York Post
"A healthy alternative for busy people."
--Maria Bartiromo, managing editor and host, The Wall Street Journal Report
"A practical plan for healthy weight loss."
"Deprivation level: Nothing a new Balenciaga suit can't cure."
--New York Magazine
"Eat less but eat well."
"A high-calcium, high-protein diet...[that] can work even for those without a Park Avenue budget."
"Whether you're rich or poor, it takes work, no excuses."
--Salt Lake Tribune
"A simple plan that, within a mere few days, will make anyone look--and feel--like a million bucks."
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The title to the book sounded a bit gimmicky so I was surprised as I read the book to read alot of solid information. She stresses the importance of daily exercise, how protein can help suppress appetite, why calcium can increase your metabolism, how prescription drugs can cause weight gain and more. There is a lot of good information in this book and Dr. Klauer spells it out; weightloss takes effort and determination. She also includes a simple method to help with cravings that can really come in handy. (Set a stopwatch for 15 minutes, drink water, eat protein to normalize your blood sugar and wait it out.)
But despite the excellent information Klauer shares, the bottomline is "How The Rich Get Thin" is a high protein, low carb diet that will be very difficult to stay on. There are two phases. Phase 1 is the "Get It Done Phase". You follow this phase till you are within 5 pounds of your goal weight. Typical day: Breakfast: 2 omega 3 eggs with 1 ounce of low fat cheese and 1/2 cup of berries, coffee or tea. Midmorning: A cup of green tea. Lunch: A large mesclun salad with 4 grilled shrimp and lemon juice, tea, water. Afternoon snack: Caprese Salad, water, green tea. Dinner: Mixed green salad with 2oz Parmesan cheese and lemon juice, 4-5 oz red snapper, steamed asparagus, yogurt with cinnamon for desert. Phase 2 maintenance adds in some carbs but not many.
Not a lot of food. And you are also expected to exercise for 1 hour each day. My guess is anyone who can follow this plan is either already thin or will likely regain any weight they lose from following it. It's simply too restrictive.
Dr. Klauer intersperses her text with little quips and Park Avenue tales..these range from interesting to pretty silly.
For example she tells how embarrased one of her patients, Amber, was when she told her date to order dinner for her and then left to use the restroom when he ordered. When she returned she complimented him on his choice of the salmon only to be told it was not salmon but was a very rare, expensive wild Arctic char fish. "Amber was mortified and for the rest of the evening said very little to avoid making any other faux pas". Seems to me that a grown women who is "mortified" by mistaking one fish for another needs a little head examination..not a weight loss doctor.
Dr.Klauer also suggests you reach for the very fine quality food items and avoid processed foods. I am fine with this but as an example she would have you reach for the "20 gram presentation of Caviar Tsar Imperial Beluga" instead of the lumpfish from a tin. When I took a peek at prices for the Imperial Beluga..well lets just say that at $175 for a 50gram serving, most of us will be sticking with Chicken of the Sea tuna.
Dr. Klauer makes the case for avoiding processed foods and also encourages you to add more calcium to your diet. She says many of her patients enjoy Viactiv calcium chews. Main ingredient in the chews, corn syrup. Second ingredient, high fructose corn syrup. Not a good choice for one avoiding faux foods.
The 268 page book includes recipes such as Lauren's Marinated Tuna, Black Soybean Salsa with Cod, Greek Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Tahini Salad, Baked Pears with Walnuts and Figs and Yogurt Cheesecake. Her preference would be you use organic eggs, fresh herbs and spices and and whole wheat flour when called for. It should be noted that splenda is used instead of sugar in the recipes.
The back of the book lists resources including mercury levels in fish, also restaurants and shops in New York where you can purchase high quality foods and there is reference section.
Bottomline..good overall information but unreasonably strict diet for the short or long haul no matter how much money you have.
Now, as for the plan. The reason I gave this book only 4 stars is because the author does advocate giving up certain foods such as bread and dried pasta. Yes, this is a high-protein diet and carbs are restricted, even though the author never comes right out and says this.
The author suggests that you put forth a plan of action for losing weight, which includes exercising at least an hour per day and adhering to her minimum amount of calcium per day (note that you have to space out your consumption of calcium during the day due to our bodies natural tendency to only absorb a maximum of 500 mg at any one time...a little tidbit explained in the nutritional section, so please read it!). All processed foods are OUT. The author advises you to purge your fridge and cupboard of anything processed and anything that has ingredients you cannot pronounce. She also advises you to throw out all dried herbs and use only fresh herbs. Costly, yes. However, according to the author, your health is worth the added expense.
All in all, this book was a great read for me and I will be incorporating the plan into my lifestyle. The author's tone is friendly, authoritative and encouraging without being too overbearing. Anyone who has read and enjoyed books on the French lifestyle (i.e. Fat Fallacy, FWDGF, etc) will find that this book fits nicely into their library - it will even put to use those yogurt machines we all purchased after reading French Women Don't Get Fat!
After a few years of attempting the other Dr. "Klauer's" (Clower's) French diet, where slow eating small portions and no snacking supposedly add up to more pleasure and a smaller waistline, I found this Park Avenue Dr. Klauer's phase 1 diet to be flush with good choices (of course only real food prevails here-no processed foods allowed) that more than adequately satisfied both my nutritional needs and food satiety for the day. Plus, a strategy actually exists that takes into account what we know about nutrition today; instead of epitomizing the clueless American merely observing the French who apparently luck out on their eating alternatives, Klauer tells you why certain combinations will work for you and provides menus that allow you to accomplish your goal with greater understanding that hopefully will offer no-brainer, non-weight increasing options while you are in the maintenance phase.
Yes, some of the reviews have deemed this plan to be stringent and some of the food ideas exorbitantly expensive, but I think you need to judge that and the results for yourself and simply substitute less lavish food selections. A three day "jump-start" kicks off the diet with the objective of driving your metabolism into high gear while shedding some of the bloat and maintaining muscle mass. An all-important hour's worth of exercise performed before eating breakfast gets your body moving even if you are only willing or able to walk. Strictly high protein, this three days of omega-3 eggs, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese, canned tuna, fresh grilled or baked fish, salad, water, green tea and raw vegetables will ready your body for the longer "Get It Done" Phase 1 of the Diet.
Until you are within 5 to 7 pounds of your goal weight, Phase 1 expands the food selections found in the Jump-Start without any nutritional deprivation. A daily quotient of food includes the three basic meals with the addition of two snacks-one actually providing something more substantial than a cup of green tea. For example, breakfast consists of a complete meal -- berries, eggs and low-fat cheese, coffee or tea with low-fat milk if desired. A mesclun salad with balsamic vinaigrette and 4 grilled shrimp provides an adequate lunch followed by a mid-afternoon snack of mozzarella, basil and tomato salad. Dinner includes 4 to 5 ounces of grilled fish, served with salad and asparagus and finished with a dessert of low-fat yogurt spiked with cinnamon and Splenda. (Caveat: Forego the Splenda. The author's recommendation of Splenda as an engineered sugar substitute sets this reviewer's teeth on edge as this is a relatively new product and thereby unproven as safe.) Prior to bedtime two calcium citrate capsules insure at least 1200 mg of calcium absorption on a daily basis.
The author goes into such great length discussing the merits of including calcium in the form of dairy to each meal that at times I wondered if she was being funded by the American Dairy Association. I checked on her data with my own health care provider and yes, it seems that not only does added calcium in this format help to lower blood pressure and reduces cancer risk; it helps one dieting to lose weight on a significantly higher percentage level than one might expect.
Note that during phase 1 of the diet, one's protein choices are limited to fish, low-fat dairy and omega-3 eggs. When goal weight nears fruition, the introduction of other good food choices becomes paramount on a weekly basis. Week 1 substitutes some chicken, turkey and meat for the fish. Week 2 adds a piece of fruit to the mid-afternoon snack. Legumes make their reappearance in week 3 as do sweet potatoes in week 4. Week 5 reintroduces nuts - always a bone of contention with me as I love them so, but don't feel that they help me maintain my weight----Klauer provides a nice sidebar which explains the nuts per calories ration. During week 6 complex carbs like whole grains and breads may be included 2 to 3 times a week. A modicum of wine can be included only after achieving goal weight.
Klauer rounds out the dieting plan by including information-rich chapters on the drug-weight connection, exercise, stress relief, and anti-aging nutrition and finishes with nearly 70 pages of recipes, on-line organic food sources and Manhattan restaurant suggestions just in case you find yourself powering your way through the Big Apple.
Bottom line: Forget the title, the Park Avenue shmaltz and the suggestions to indulge in caviar at $200 an ounce. Follow the plan and constantly refer to the sidebars which will fill your head and stomach with good sense options that will keep your food choices from getting boring. Recommended to anyone who wants to lose weight using the most effective and sensible plan out there at any age.
UPDATE!: I have now been following Dr. Klaur's plan for 3 months and have lost 40 pounds and 4 clothes sizes. I feel great!
ANOTHER UPDATE: Ilost 60 pounds and have kept it off. It has been one year since I started following the plan in this bood.
While I read a bunch, this is my first review of any book on Amazon. I feel so positively about this author, this book and my desire to help friends, I am urging you to change your life style, as I was able to do working with this book's approach.
It's not just our lives that depend on boomers changing their habits, it's our nation's health. Klauer's book, put plainly, works. It's well-written and interesting. You will find yourself marking pages that you want to re-read to keep yourself on-track.
Maybe others have written more scientifically and elegantly, but this book makes common sense (her notions of sodium and calcium, dairy and protein). So what if there is nothing new, books are written and published every day that are a particular author's take on a subject.
Maybe the Manhattan references will bug you. Listen, I live in the country. Regardless of our addresses or income levels, we must be willing to change and change permanently to see results. My results?
I started the diet on March 9, 2006. Five months months later, I had lost 25.5 pounds. That sounds exact, but when I get up in the morning (for the last several weeks) and read the same numbers on the scale, I know that something has been accomplished by someone with someone's else help.
Oh yeah, I exercise, but not nearly as much as I used to when I was much heavier and trying to stay in good shape. I don't have to. I regularly exercise, but it is not ardous-need-a-nap-afterwards work. It's fun. My joints feel better than they have in many, many years, and I can run again. And, I have long left behind my junk food cravings.
If your stuck, willing to commit to a change in life style, want a huge accomplishment to write about in your journal, or simply know it for yourself, this book worked for me. I can't wait to see my doctor's face when I visit for my annual check-up, and personally I am interested in what my blood chemistry will look like.
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