a book by Michael Roizen, M.D., & Mehmet Oz, M.D., 2006
These authors absolve you of responsibility if you are fat: the problem is a brain chemical imbalance. Take the authors’ weight-loss advice, and they promise to balance the chemicals, without hunger, without thinking about how much you’re eating. Roizen and Oz recommend eating whole grain products, fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive and vegetable oils, fish, eggs, chicken, and low-fat dairy. Alcohol and specific commercial fast foods are allowed. This is healthy, Mediterranean-style eating. The foods are readily available and easy to prepare. Forty-two recipes are provided. No beef, pork, potatoes, or peas. Other forbidden or strictly limited items are simple sugars, high fructose corn syrup, enriched/refined flour, transfats, and saturated fats. The authors tell you what to eat daily for one week. Week two is the same, and helps to establish new habits. Variety is limited by design. They say that too much variety leads to overeating. You choose from among four different breakfasts and four lunches. Seven different evening meals are spelled out for you, taking 30 minutes or less to prepare. You repeat the pattern until you reach the authors’ healthy goal: waist circumferences of 32.5 inches or less for women, 35 or less for men. Weight is not important in this scheme. Although never divulged by the authors, I estimate you are allowed 1450 calories per day. There is no allowance for your sex or baseline weight. Roizen and Oz don’t want you to focus on calories. Incredibly, they don’t address what you do after you reach your goal waist size. Just add more of the same foods? How much? Can you ever again eat beef or potatoes? Maintenance of weight loss is certainly problematic, but that’s no reason to ignore it.
The authors make several controversial claims without offering supportive documents such as scientific references or a bibliography. I guess we are supposed to just trust them since they are medical doctors. Examples: 1. Having sex will curb your appetite, 2. Aluminum in deodorants promotes weight gain, 3. ½ tsp of cinnamon daily will help you lose weight, 4. Red pepper helps with weight loss, 5. Willpower is not important because it always fails, 6. Eating 70 calories of nuts 20 minutes before meals will help you avoid overeating. Roizen and Oz provide great information on the process of digestion and the importance of exercise. Their exercise program is detailed and readily achievable: 30 minutes of daily walking, along with strength training. The book is a quick, easy read. The cutesy style will amuse some readers, irritate others. Lots of pop celebrity references. And neologisms, such as “YOU-reka!” Sexual intercourse in mentioned more than average. Bottom line: This is a fair program for most overweight women. After they reach their goal waist size, however, they are left without guidance. This is worrisome. For women over 210 pounds, and for nearly all overweight men, 1450 calories per day is not enough. These folks won’t be able to follow the diet for more than four days—their hunger will be too great. For men and heavier women, a similar but effective diet program is my Advanced Mediterranean Diet. The Advanced Mediterranean Diet provides four different levels of calorie intake—1100, 1500, 1900, and 2300—based on sex and weight, along with a clear strategy for keeping the lost weight off after you reach your goal.
All matters regarding your health require supervision by a personal physician or other appropriate health professional familiar with your current health status. Always consult your personal physician before making any dietary or exercise changes.