It's Week Two of My Diva Diet ($16) by Christine Lakatos. Trajano and Janetor are well into both the nitty and the gritty of this weight-loss guide. Here are our most recent thoughts and observations.
The Good: My Diva Diet would be a great book for women who don't know much about nutrition and have never really needed to lose weight before - perhaps you're anxious about baby weight, or just finished college and your adolescent super-metabolism is starting to grow up and slow down. There is a wealth of useful, applicable nutritional knowledge in the book. We particularly liked a lot of her recipes - they encourage you to incorporate more beans and legumes into your diet, which are both tasty and great for you, as well as experiment with a wide (and delicious!) variety of herbs and spices.
The Not So Good: Going through the book can feel a bit choppy - there are pop-outs, tips, tricks, highlights, FYIs, notes, and reminders galore. There's no easy narrative to follow and the layout can be a bit confusing and off putting. The diet lacks a clear starting point - the book's cover boasts that there are 7 ways to use the program, but singling out the one that's right for you is no easy task. Perhaps the My Diva Diet Compact Version ($10) is a better option, neither Trajano nor Janetor have tried it out, but perhaps it's a more user-friendly guide to the Diva Diet.
The Ugly: There are two Phases in the book - Diva Reduction and Diva Maintenance. Diva Reduction suggests eating between 1200 and 1300 calories a day, which most nutritionists suggest is the required baseline caloric consumption for survival. If you've been eating 2000+ calories/day for years and in the course of a few days cut your intake almost in half it would cause quite a shock to your system and leave you feeling starving and deprived (which usually leads to 3:30 cookie binges). She does say that a woman who exercises vigorously may require up to 2,000 calories a day, but for all the useful diet info in the book, there's no chart or guide that factors in height, age, weight, and activity level to help you find a healthy caloric intake range for your body type. The nutritional needs of a 43 year-old woman who is 5'10" and wants to lose 15 pounds are very different from those of a 5'6" 19 year-old who needs to drop 50.
The Beautiful: It's clear that Lakatos wants My Diva Diet to be sustainable for women of all ages and walks of life. She is encouraging and enthusiastic in every possible way, and her belief that all woman can lose the weight they don't want and live healthier lives is indeed inspiring. The "Society Guide" towards the end of the book is a wonderful section that focuses on the different lives that women lead, from housewives and single moms to teens and college girls. Lakatos outlines ways to eat healthy and make time for physical fitness that are reasonable for each individual lifestyle. And you can't beat her overall message - there's no fast, easy way to lose weight, but the right way is well worth it.
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