Cover Image: Just Eat

Just Eat

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Member Reviews

I found this book fascinating in some places and boring in others.  The author was personally motivated to lose weight.  He tried just about every diet yesterday can think of, with various degrees of success.  
It was an enlightening read, but keep in mind that we all react differently to diets, and what works for one person may not work for you.  4 stars.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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This sounds like it’s going to be a book about one person’s experiences on various famous/trendy diets, and at one level it is.  More than that, it reads like a series of feature articles on the histories of various diets and the personalities of their creators.  If you are interested in the history of modern diets and comparisons among them, you will find that this book does a good job of describing their origins and then listing their similarities and differences.  If you’re looking for advice on what finally worked for the author, you’re going to find this book unnecessarily long, as the successful weight loss method could probably be summed up in three sentences.  Save yourself some time and skip to the last chapter, and prepare to be unsurprised that the sensible advice given there is exactly what you thought it would be.   

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a digital advance review copy.
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An interesting and extensive look at well known (and lesser well known) diets and the author’s experiences of dieting. Not a quick read but if you want to know about not only what you can eat on particular diets then you might enjoy it. Personally I found myself skim reading.  Nothing wrong with the content other than that there’s a lot of it.
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When Barry Estabrook’s doctor told him that he needed to lose 40 pounds in order to take care of his health, he knew it was time to take it seriously. As a journalist, his forte is research and reporting, not dieting. But, he thought, what if he used his journalistic chops to find the best diet? So he set about to find the best way to lose weight in an informed and methodical fashion. 

He started with the Whole30. It’s not so much a diet as it is a way to cleanse your system and reset, eliminating all potentially problematic food groups for 30 days and then slowly adding them back in to your normal diet, so you can see which food groups cause you problems. It’s a tough regime—you have to give up all sugar, dairy, alcohol, and grains/legumes. And there is no room for error. Any small slip-ups in those first 30 days, and you have to start al over. He did lose 12 pounds on the Whole30, but he suffered sleepiness, dizziness, and gastrointestinal distress. 

Next he went for the Master Cleanse, which involves 40 days of no solid food. You simply drink 6-12 glasses of lemonade a day, spiked with cayenne pepper, and an herbal tea laxative. It worked for Beyonce, but it did not work for Barry E. He lost some pounds, but he felt faint and was afraid to be far from a bathroom. But after his, he did decide to lose the fad diets. 

From there, Estabrook took a deep dive into the diet world. Researching this, he discovered that despite the time and energy millions of people put into dieting, despite the billions of dollars that dieters spend ($72 billion in 2019 alone), 83% of dieters gain the weight back in two years, often with extra pounds. He goes back through the long history of dieting in the United States, to talk about Horace Fletcher, who touted chewing food until it was liquified. Or James Henry Salisbury, whose daily diet was made up of 3 pounds of rump steak, 1 pound of codfish, and 3 quarts of hot water. The Hollywood diet had housewives all over eating grapefruit and little else. 

Modern dieting, though, really comes down to 3 diets. There is the diet that restricts carbohydrates (like Atkins, Paleo, South Beach, Keto), the diet that restricts proteins (like Ornish, Pritikin, Seventh Day Adventists), and the diet that restricts calories (like Weight Watchers). Estabrook tried all three with mixed results but eventually realized none of them were quite right for him. 

Where to next? To Greece, if you can. Estabrook traveled to Kea to find out more about how the other half of the world eats. After eating a delicious meal made entirely of fresh vegetables cooked well in good olive oil, he discovered just how delicious the Mediterranean diet can be. And then it’s off to France to see how a country that is so enamored of its food, even breads and cheeses and wines, can still be healthy. And he found that a lot of the health benefits of French food come with the lifestyle. They enjoy eating. They set everything else aside to enjoy the moments they eat. There are no phones, no televisions, just family and friends and joy. 

In the end, Estabrook takes the parts of each diet that resonated with him and fashioned a way of eating for himself that was healthier but also filled with joy. He limited meats, choosing more seasonal vegetables and preparing them with the olive oil and herbs of the Mediterranean. He took note of his “Big Sins'“ (a term from Weight Watchers, where a dieter’s “Big Sins” were the foods that were most likely to cause them to fall off their plans), and tried to restrict cheese and alcohol to smaller, more flavorful portions. 

In short, Estabrook went on a variety of different diets to see what they were like. He did all that, so that we don’t have to. We don’t have to fail over and over to find out what works—we can use Estabrook’s failures and successes to help us plot our own best meal plan. In the end, he found the best advice was simple—Just Eat. With some smart choices, we can all find ways to add in healthy eating habits and lose some Big Sins without forgetting that eating is not just about sustenance. It’s about happiness and community and living your best life. 

I was fascinated by Estabrook’s journey. As a woman growing up in America, I have heard about dieting since I was young. I have seen people diet, I’ve been told I should go on a diet, I’ve tried dieting, I’ve failed at dieting. It’s easy to give up and feel like there’s too much information to wade through, and too much commercialization to all of it. But I found Just Eat to be smart, exceptionally well researched, and balanced. Estabrook doesn’t tell us how to lose weight. He just shares his journey with us and lets us figure it out for ourselves. He’s lost 26 pounds, is off his blood pressure medications, has normal cholesterol, and exercises regularly in ways he enjoys. He is happy as well as healthy. And I can’t think of a better example of a successful diet than that. 

Egalleys for Just Eat were provided by Lorena Jones Books through NetGalley, with many thanks.
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Just Eat is not a diet book, though it offers a lot of information on many different diets and their merits.  It was a lot more entertaining than I expected it to be!

I recommend Just Eat by Barry Estabrook to anyone who has dieted and regained the weight - like me- , anyone looking into a new diet to lose weight, or anyone interested in nutrition. It's a great read. 

With thanks to Barry Estabrook, Clarkson Potter and Netgalley for the digital ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Interesting approach to the topic. Enjoyed hearing about the author’s experience and results. Loved this. Would recommend to others I know who seem to always be dieting.
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By the author of Tomatoland, Barry Estabrook investigates different diet problems. He shows what you should be eating to be healthy.
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Just Eat by Barry Estabrook

If you’re looking for the right diet, author Barry Estabrook has done all the footwork for you. Don’t have a weight problem?  Then read this book for someone you know who does. 

Being a tad overweight himself, Estabrook was on a mission. For himself and this book. It all comes together in a factual, yet entertaining way. You will never be bored by these facts, but you will will look at your own eating habits and say, if he can do it, so can I. 

The author researched at least ten popular diets, all of which you’ll be familiar with, and interviewed a long list of dieticians, chefs, medical doctors and diet book authors. Which is the best? Well, Estabrook came to a brilliant conclusion. (I won’t tell you though. Read the book!)

You will learn why “bad foods” are bad, and why you should keep away. You’ll learn how your body metabolizes food, particularly sugar, and how to be a better eater. 

I’ll give this fun and factual book 5 stars as I head to the kitchen to throw away some treats I no longer want.
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Just Eat by Barry Estabrook goes over a variety of diets, kind of reviewing them, and discovers they are largely similar. It is the marketing that makes a diet popular or not. I found this book to be informative while exposing some of the misconceptions of popular diets, and even how some can be dangerous. Thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy of this book.
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Just Eat by Barry Estabrook was an interesting read about the history of the dieting. I know that sounds boring, but it was very interesting. 

It was Estabrook's quest to find the perfect diet that lead him down this very interesting journey. I've never understood the fascination with fads. Each of the majour ones gets talked about in this book along with what happens during and after. 

If you want a book about foods and diet that is interesting but not a diet, consider giving this a read. 

I received an eARC from Clarkson Potter, Ten Speed Press, and Lorena Jones Books through NetGalley. All opinions are 100% my own.
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This was an enjoyable read, even though it fell short for me in a few areas. The author is a journalist who had health and weight problems that led him to try a variety of popular diets and interview the "experts" in most of them. He starts with a fascinating look at the early diet books, which were sometimes comical and often cringe-worthy. Then he talks about the fact that almost all diets basically drastically lower either fat or carbs. From there he devotes a chapter each to all the dietary rabbit trails he went down, with very in depth information on most. I was very disappointed in the low carb chapter since he lumped paleo, Atkins, South Beach, keto and others all together with most of the focus on Atkins and South Beach. He didn't try paleo or keto, and just opted to do SB. He complained often about how much chopping he had to do for that one, which struck me as odd. We chop a ton of veggies for dinner every night and it's just part of the prep (hubby is usually my sous chef and I do the cooking). If you're going to cook with fresh veggies, you have to chop them or buy them pre-chopped (it's not as healthy and costs more, but it's an option if otherwise produce is a deal breaker). And as someone who's been on a healthy keto diet for several months and had remarkable health and weight results, I was really disappointed that he just wrote that off and then basically ruled that low carb diets don't work and are unhealthy. People who follow a paleo diet could bring up similar issues.

He does take us on a really fascinating trip though, even traveling to one Mediterranean cook's Greek island home to eat her food and listen to her advice, along with visiting the homes and offices of many of our current gurus and experts. We go along with him as he tries everything from Whole 30 (he is not a fan) to Weight Watchers to vegan and more. He ends up taking a bit of the best advice from all of them and gets healthy by tailoring his eating to his own needs and the best bits from them all.

It's a great read, though not one I'd actually read for advice on any of the diets.

I read a digital ARC of this book for review.
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The cover and book description drew me in on this one. While the textbook-type information didn’t hold my attention quite as much, I did really enjoy hearing about the author’s personal experiences throughout his weight loss journey. Thanks so much to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!
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Review of eBook

Every few years, a new “diet of the moment” comes along, promising the overweight that the pounds will disappear, if only they adjust their diets. 
High fat . . . low fat . . . high carbs . . . no carbs . . . no dairy . . . no meat . . . fasting . . . what’s the right answer? 

What is the plan that will really work?

Should dieters eliminate meat, coffee, tea, yeast, and all condiments? Perhaps they should eliminate bread, dairy, sugar, potatoes, fish, and alcohol? Eat only plant-based foods and keep their fat consumption low? How about eliminating sugar, processed foods, and white flour?

 Or is it as simple as counting calories? Or altering one’s behavior? Having group support? Perhaps it’s simply exercising?

Mediterranean? Paleo? Atkins? Weight Watchers? Gluten-free? Vegan? Which diet helps the overweight take off the pounds . . . and keep them off?

Reporter Barry Estabrook, in search of the right diet to eliminate some forty pounds of unwanted weight, asked those questions. Then he tried the diets . . . every single one. Along the way, he researched scientific and cultural eating factors. Eventually, he arrived at the conclusion that there are only three diets . . . repackaged, tweaked, and rebranded . . . and the rest is simply marketing.

The result is . . . . not a diet book. Instead, this is a journal of one man’s weight loss journey. He reports candidly, telling what worked, what didn’t, and what he discovered about himself along the way. As readers might suspect, the answer is not as simple as “____ is the diet that will help dieters lose weight and keep it off.” But there is an answer. And, as readers explore the pros and cons of each diet, perhaps, they, too, will find the answer for themselves.

Recommended.

I received a free copy of this eBook from Clarkson Potter/Ten speed Press and Lorena Jones Books and NetGalley 
#JustEat #NetGalley
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The author describes many different diets and his personal experience with all of them. So is it your typical diet book? No. However, if you are searching for a different diet and want someone's opinion of how it worked, this book might be for you.
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There were some part that I found very interesting while others I just wanted to skim through because of being repetitive and boring. I did really enjoy the parts about his own health and weight loss journey and how different cultures eat.
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This book was very interesting and very in-depth about different diets and diet culture and how it can affect you. 
I found how in-depth this was that I had to skim at some points but I did find that the look into different diets was interesting and eye opening.
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A very interesting very informative look at the world of diets.The author takes us on his intimate journey of losing weight.The author tries so many diets explain step by step what they entail.Very interesting eye witness view of the world of dieting.#netgalley #tenspeedpress
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This book isn't just about different diets but also tells about the people that discovered/invented/hyped those diets. I found the whole thing fascinating.
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As a dietitian, I was very interested in reading this book.  It is written by a reporter who was told by his physician to lose weight.  He explored several different weight loss programs, trying them out to see if any worked for him.  It was well-written with a lot of good information.  Both scientific and cultural ways of eating are covered.  Unfortunately, I disagree with his conclusion.  Still, it’s a good book for people who are interested in learning about various ways of eating. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC
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3.5 stars

This book is mostly just common sense about healthy eating. But it is nicely researched and gives a lot of factual information on the main types of diet, which would be low carb, low fat, and reduced calorie. And the valuable part is the author's personal experience of the different weight loss systems. He lists pitfalls, problems, and effectiveness. Many of us have gone through this, but he synthesizes and summarizes it all and ends up listing the common sense eating philosophy that guides him and led to a significant weight loss.

Thanks to Net Galley and to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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