Book Corner 2022.4

by Barry Estabrook

First, the takeaway: “You should lead a diet, not follow one.”

The author is a former editor of Eating Well magazine and a Vermonter (yay). He goes on the Ornish diet, the South Beach diet, the Mediterranean diet, Weight Watchers, and some others. No, not all at the same time, a la Bridget Jones! He eventually does lose and keep off some weight. Here’s what he concludes:

“I will never go on [a diet] again.”

But seriously, the reason is: “You should lead a diet, not follow one. What you eat and how you do so are deeply personal activities, right up there with sex. They’re nobody’s damn business… For me, successful weight loss began when I examined what I ate and how I ate it, then started making changes…”

I will always have a place in my heart for WW; and while doing a post-mortem at book’s end, Estabrook concludes: “Although I dropped out of Weight Watchers after a couple of months, the point-tracking app… made it abundantly clear that I would never lose weight unless I cut way back on how much cheese I snacked on.” WW left me also with life-altering insights and habits. Now I munch on apples & carrots every single day; and for me, it wasn’t cheese, but french fries and pie crust I learned were unsafe in any dose. “The point is,” he continues, “there are useful weight-loss tips between the covers of diet books,” or in a point-tracking app.

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