Weighing In on Weight Loss

Fresh takes for weighing in – and there’s even an app for that.

— David Kirchhoff offers the male perspective in Weight Loss Boss, including a profile of Weight Watchers spokesperson Charles Barkley. Kirchhoff is the points-pinching program’s president and CEO. The book also details Kirchhoff’s decade-long struggle after being diagnosed as clinically obese and shares the healthy habits and routine he relies on. A study from Baruch College at the City University of New York found Weight Watchers offered weight loss results comparable or better than programs led by a health-care professional.

— Dr. Ali Zentner of CBC’s Village on a Diet fame wrote The Weight-Loss Prescription as a guide for developing a healthy relationship with food, using simple tips like downsizing the daily cappuccino from large to medium to save about 1,800 calories a week. Zentner recommends food diaries to monitor calories and includes examples from her patients with healthier alternatives.

— Dr. Caroline Apovian’s The Overnight Diet offers a plan to lose weight quickly for good. After 24 hours, she says you’ll lose up to two pounds of water weight, which also reduces insulin levels and improves insulin sensitivity. As director of Boston Medical’s nutrition and weight management center, Apovian benefits from up-to-date research to avoid risk factors for conditions including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and sarcopenia (muscle loss that can occur when your body isn’t getting enough fuel from food, causing it to rob your muscles for energy).

— Those with specific health concerns benefit from increasing specificity with The DASH Diet: Weight Loss Solution, in which registered dietitian Marla Heller provides a program based on the DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) strategy to reduce body fat, improve strength and cardiovascular health speed up metabolism, as well as lower cholesterol and blood pressure. If high blood sugar is your bane, The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook is a companion to Dr. Mark Hyman’s bestselling manifesto for curing “diabesity” (blood sugar and insulin imbalance that can lead to weight gain and Type 2 diabetes). Recipes, including desserts, are intended to reduce dependence on medication, increase energy, improve mood and strengthen sex drive.

— Dr. Robert Lustig, who helped incite a war on sugar south of the border with his YouTube video Sugar: The Bitter Truth, continues to espouse the dangers of “the most successful food additive known to man.” In Fat Chance, he writes that world sugar consumption has tripled in the last 50 years, and too much fructose (what makes sugar sweet) and too little fibre is resulting in hormone imbalance (insulin resistance), a hallmark for metabolic syndrome (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer and dementia). Lustig provides tools to face the sweet scourge including colour-coded shopping lists.

Take your diet online

Based on the benefits of keeping food and exercise journals, MyFitnessPal.com lets you log what you eat and your activity to track calories consumed and expended. Set your goal and deadline, and the free web-based program and mobile app sets your caloric intake. Report weigh-ins for your cumulative progress. If you find yourself needing public encouragement, share your progress with fellow users because maybe it does take a village.