Book Review: Living The Thin Life by Elle Meyer

14611435Title: Living The Thin Life
Author: Elle Meyer
Genre: Diet / Weight Maintenance
Publisher: Createspace
Publication Date: August 17th 2008
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Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Living the Thin Life – Creative Ways to Maintain Your Weight for Life was written to help successful dieters maintain their ideal weight. Each person is different, so everyone needs to develop his or her own personalized plan for fitness and weight maintenance. This book explains how to build that personal plan to take into account each individual’s unique eating personality. Tips for staying motivated, shaving off calories, and working exercise into an everyday routine are provided in a light-hearted manner. As an added bonus, over 50 healthy, low calorie recipes are included.

The author, Elle Meyer, successfully lost weight ten years ago and came up with her own methods for keeping the weight off. She decided to write a book to tell her story and share strategies that really work. She interviewed many people who have lost and maintained weight and included their best ideas and suggestions. These tips are from real people, for real people.

In addition to including common sense, effective diet techniques, Elle also describes some habits of her husband “Elvis” (name changed to protect his reputation). These habits provide examples of what not to do when trying to maintain a healthy weight.

Living The Thin Life is a diet/weight maintenance book that gives various tips on how to lose weight and keep it off forever. With these kinds of books – usually written by nutritionists or dietists – the author can sound condescending when explaining ways to stay healthy to the reader, but in this book that’s not the case at all. The author is not a professional in the diet industry, instead she offers the perspective from a person who lost the weight and maintained her goal weight for several years now, a perspective I personally find more interesting than that of a nutritionist. I often find that people who lose the excess weight themselves have a much better understanding of what a person goes through when losing weight and struggling not to gain it again after a diet than someone who’s never really had to go on a diet in their life.

The book is easy to read and straightforward, but well-structured. It doesn’t praise a wonder diet that may accomplish your wildest dreams, instead it gives good, healthy tips to lose those extra pounds without promising the world. As the author admits several times throughout the book, nobody can be on a ‘diet’ their entire lives, and as soon as you’re done dieting, those pounds return before you know it. What you can do however, is change your food lifestyle gradually, replace an unhealthy snack with a healthy one, replace a regular soda with a diet soda, and exercise. The author also gives valuable tips on how to exercise – variety is key – and tips on how to burn calories without you realizing it. For example, for people who lead sedentary life, fidgeting in your chair all day can make you lose up to 350 calories a day. One piece of chocolate may just be 133kcal (which isn’t that much, considering you can eat about 1600 a day if you’re a woman, and around 2000 if you’re a man), but if you eat one piece of chocolate a day for a week, that’s 931 calories, or the equivalent of running for an hour. Not to mention all the additional fat you take in.

The book also compares certain ways of dealing with food with animals, like Bunnies and Gorillas. I thought this was a fun way to distinguish between the different types of people – some eat way too much, others hardly eat anything, some like to snack, others never snack, etc. The tips also seemed doable. It wasn’t anything drastic, and in dieting, that’s a good thing. This book showed me a lifestyle I imagine I could live with for several years, if not forever.

If you’ve been thinking about going on a not-so-drastic diet that’ll still get results, even if it takes a year or more, and you want to keep the weight off, then Living The Thin Life is for you. It’s well written, there’s a good structure in the book, it has useful chards, tables and foodlogs, and is overall, an enjoyable, well-documented and well-explained read.

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