Body Respect (book review)

I am decidedly not fat, so why would I read a book on losing weight?

Actually, the health concepts that the authors of Body Respect champion in this book are not limited to losing weight. Their primary interest is health, not weight loss, and helping people develop a more balanced, sustainable, and fact based approach to eating and life in general.

And, it helps that I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. It would not have been my first choice, but when you get your books for free through random-selection giveaways, you don’t always get matched up with the best books for your blog. Still, I was interested in what this book had to say.

The Calorie is not a magical ingredient in food, nor are Calories in fats different in nature from Calories in proteins or carbs. A Calorie is simply a unit of measure for the energy that your body obtains from food, and for the energy your body expends through activity. If your body stores more Calories-worth of burnable tissue (fat, etc.) than you have reserves available for when food is scarce. Your body needs some fats at all times, too, for everyday organ functions. So, the fat=bad, carbs=bad, protein=good mantras that are popular are really not correct; they are so over simplified and based on so little scientific fact that there is no wonder we are all so unhealthy as a society.

Reading Body Respect, by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, you won’t suddenly have the whole truth at your fingertips- this book is a very simple introdcution to the ideas these women are championing, but there are some helpful bits of information in this book. If you are not fat, you’ll feel a bit left out, since this book, despite trying occasionally to address health for folks who are not fat, they really aren’t all that interested in talking to the general not-so-fat public in this book. But, anyone with half a measure of sense can extrapolate from this book principles that apply to everyone.

So, if you are someone who has been dieting and trying to lose weight, you definitely need to read this book. If you are not seeking weight loss but are simply skeptical, you might also benefit from reading this book. The basic take-aways I got from this one are that stressing over food and making abrupt changes to one’s food for the sake of weight loss are both harmful and lead to weight gain overall. Much of what leads us to overeat is psychological- we are eating more than we have actual appetite to eat, through boredom, habit, social pressures, etc. Dealing with those psychological issues will do a lot more towards making us healthier. And, the way we address health problems of overweight people is wrong when we just assume that weight is the dominant issue to address for these people. There is a lot more I am leaving out, and the authors do a fairly good job of supporting their claims. so if this stuff sounds interesting, check out their book for more.

About Ravenmount

Independent science nerd/writer/music blogger/arts enthusiast/theorist currently in Colorado.
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