Impressively modern in design, The No-Grain Diet
brings a realistic viewpoint to the problems of weight loss in a genuine effort to improve the health of an ever-growing number of obese Americans. Offering a variety of "food plans," along with a set of techniques aimed at controlling emotional eating and cravings for "bad" foods, Dr. Joseph Mercola clearly understands how to motivate us--in one section, he suggests that rather than "living by the scale," we measure our success in relation to the fit of our favorite pair of slightly-too-snug jeans. Many recipes are included, most of which are free of the boring flavor substitutes so common in diet books. The diet itself combines several familiar concepts. The "no grain" model emphasizes organic vegetables and quality protein, with limited fruits and absolutely no simple carbs. Mercola's idea of "quality protein" is somewhat startling--he is deeply concerned about toxins, and urges grass-fed beef over potentially mercury-filled fish. His main point is frequently reinforced: refined grains of any type are basically deadly and eating them should be viewed as an unhealthy addiction. Here, the book veers off in a new direction: rather than gently nudging our habits in a new direction, he suggests we break what he insists is an addictive cycle with a method called "EFT," or "Emotional Freedom Technique." As a way to avoid surrendering to desires, his system of tapping acupressure points and repeating affirmations is used to overcome them. While repeat dieters will understand the necessity of examining emotional ties to food, Mercola's voice becomes a tad strident, and possibly downright offensive to those with a different opinion on what constitutes an addiction. --Jill Lightner
From Publishers Weekly
"Don't be surprised if you never again want to eat starches, sweets, and grains!" Osteopathic physician Mercola stands on the shoulders of Atkins (and gives a nod to Gary Taubes, author of the New York Times Magazine cover article many believe blew the lid off high-carb, low-fat diets forever) to make big claims in this guide for overweight readers. Mercola's diet, which he's honed for over a decade at his Illinois wellness center, offers "near miraculous results," and will allow its followers to "permanently conquer food cravings," he says. The secret to lasting weight loss, according to Mercola, is to cut out starches, sweets and grains entirely. (Dieters on the maintenance program are allowed "healthy" grains-buckwheat, quinoa, etc.) But though Mercola offers three different eating plans (The Booster, The Core and The Advanced Food plan) and plenty of no-grain recipes, his program goes beyond mere dieting: Mercola is a proponent of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a kind of "psychological acupressure" that he says is "the equivalent of AA for grain addiction." Developed by Gary Craig, EFT involves tapping on pressure points in the face and upper body while repeating a healing, key phrase, such as "Even though I want to have pizza, I deeply and completely accept myself." Mercola's course for weight loss is an intensive one, with rigorous rules and plenty of additional components-lifestyle changes, supplements and self-affirmations-that take a lot more energy than calorie counting. But that's the whole point, Mercola says, because cutting back on calories or carbs alone leads to temporary weight loss at best. For those willing to dedicate themselves to such a program, Mercola's guide may offer real results, and the case studies he includes should certainly help with motivation.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.