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The New York Times bestselling author of Tomatoland test drives the most popular diets of our time, investigating the diet gurus, contradictory advice, and science behind the programs to reveal how we should--and shouldn't--be dieting. "Essential reading . . . This will completely change your ideas about what you should be eating."--Ruth Reichl, author of Save Me the Plums I The New York Times bestselling author of Tomatoland test drives the most popular diets of our time, investigating the diet gurus, contradictory advice, and science behind the programs to reveal how we should--and shouldn't--be dieting. "Essential reading . . . This will completely change your ideas about what you should be eating."--Ruth Reichl, author of Save Me the Plums Investigative journalist Barry Estabrook was often on the receiving end of his doctor's scowl. Realizing he had two options--take more medication or lose weight--Estabrook chose the latter, but was paralyzed by the options. Which diet would keep the weight off? What program could he maintain over time? What diet works best--or even at all? Over the course of three years, Estabrook tried the regimens behind the most popular diets of the past forty years--from paleo, keto, gluten-free, and veganism to the Master Cleanse, Whole30, Atkins, Weight Watchers--examining the people, claims, and science behind the fads, all while recording his mental and physical experience of following each one. Along the way, he discovered that all the branded programs are derived from just three diets. There are effective, scientifically valid takeaways to be cherry-picked . . . and the rest is just marketing. Perhaps most alarming, Estabrook uncovered how short-term weight loss can do long-term health damage that may go undetected for years. Estabrook contextualizes his reporting with an analysis of our culture's bizarre dieting history, dating back to the late 1800s, to create a thorough--and thoroughly entertaining--look at what specific diets do to our bodies, why some are more effective than others, and why our relationship with food is so fraught. Estabrook's account is a relatable, pragmatic look into the ways we try to improve our health through dieting, revealing the answer may be to just eat.


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The New York Times bestselling author of Tomatoland test drives the most popular diets of our time, investigating the diet gurus, contradictory advice, and science behind the programs to reveal how we should--and shouldn't--be dieting. "Essential reading . . . This will completely change your ideas about what you should be eating."--Ruth Reichl, author of Save Me the Plums I The New York Times bestselling author of Tomatoland test drives the most popular diets of our time, investigating the diet gurus, contradictory advice, and science behind the programs to reveal how we should--and shouldn't--be dieting. "Essential reading . . . This will completely change your ideas about what you should be eating."--Ruth Reichl, author of Save Me the Plums Investigative journalist Barry Estabrook was often on the receiving end of his doctor's scowl. Realizing he had two options--take more medication or lose weight--Estabrook chose the latter, but was paralyzed by the options. Which diet would keep the weight off? What program could he maintain over time? What diet works best--or even at all? Over the course of three years, Estabrook tried the regimens behind the most popular diets of the past forty years--from paleo, keto, gluten-free, and veganism to the Master Cleanse, Whole30, Atkins, Weight Watchers--examining the people, claims, and science behind the fads, all while recording his mental and physical experience of following each one. Along the way, he discovered that all the branded programs are derived from just three diets. There are effective, scientifically valid takeaways to be cherry-picked . . . and the rest is just marketing. Perhaps most alarming, Estabrook uncovered how short-term weight loss can do long-term health damage that may go undetected for years. Estabrook contextualizes his reporting with an analysis of our culture's bizarre dieting history, dating back to the late 1800s, to create a thorough--and thoroughly entertaining--look at what specific diets do to our bodies, why some are more effective than others, and why our relationship with food is so fraught. Estabrook's account is a relatable, pragmatic look into the ways we try to improve our health through dieting, revealing the answer may be to just eat.

30 review for Just Eat: One Reporter's Quest for a Weight-Loss Regimen That Works

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Bayer

    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 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ashleigh Spicy Geek

    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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

    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 NetGal 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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    *thank you to Netgalley, Barry Estabrook and Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* 4 stars. Is this yet another typical 'diet' book where the author swears that 'this' diet in particular is the cure all? No. Instead this book goes over a whole heap of different diets that are out there and it has the authors personally experience with them. The pros and cons. He goes from one to the next to the next. The end result? Well, I won't say but I can sa *thank you to Netgalley, Barry Estabrook and Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* 4 stars. Is this yet another typical 'diet' book where the author swears that 'this' diet in particular is the cure all? No. Instead this book goes over a whole heap of different diets that are out there and it has the authors personally experience with them. The pros and cons. He goes from one to the next to the next. The end result? Well, I won't say but I can say that I'm not at all surprised. I am extremely familiar with food and the mind/body connection has. I felt that it was also written in a way that made it rather interesting to read. It wasn't boring like so many books like that can be, so I can say I was pleasantly surprised by that. I think people can learn alot from this book and if they really read it, it could hopefully, change their lives. Chronic dieters who are stuck in the cycle of losing weight and then gaining it all back, then losing it again, only to, yet again, gain it back. Once you understand the very basics as to why this happens, then you can make the right changes and be done with the neverending and very damaging cycle. Highly recommended this.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

    Who knew a book about diets could be so engaging. Barry Estabrook captured my attention with not just his subject matter, but his wit that accompanied it. Reading about any topic is always enhanced for me if it contains some humor, especially one of the drier topics like dieting. Estabrook covers many of the top diets unleashed upon us in the last several decades. He also talks about the origins of these diets which I found quite interesting. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Whole30, Weigh Who knew a book about diets could be so engaging. Barry Estabrook captured my attention with not just his subject matter, but his wit that accompanied it. Reading about any topic is always enhanced for me if it contains some humor, especially one of the drier topics like dieting. Estabrook covers many of the top diets unleashed upon us in the last several decades. He also talks about the origins of these diets which I found quite interesting. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Whole30, Weight Watchers and the Loma Linda crowd (forget the name of that one). I love this quote at the very beginning by Samuel Beckett: "Probably nothing in the world arouses more false hopes than the first four hours of a diet." How true, how true! The book was inspiring and my biggest takeaway was this: the best diet plan for me is going to be the one that I can live with on a daily basis. For me this means I cannot live with a diet that prohibits meat or dairy. Ain't happening'!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Barry Estabrook is a writer with the rare talent of making whatever subject he addresses more interesting than you’d ever thought possible, and this book is no exception. This clear-eyed, thoughtful, and very personal reportage about the history of the diet industrial complex in the US, and its impact on anyone who has considered following a specific plan for weight loss, is fascinating.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    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, eliminatin 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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: December 10, 2020 Publication date: February 2, 2021 When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is once again closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book Date reviewed/posted: December 10, 2020 Publication date: February 2, 2021 When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is once again closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. The New York Times bestselling author of Tomatoland test drives the most popular diets of our time, investigating the diet gurus, contradictory advice, and science behind the programs to reveal how we should—and shouldn’t—be dieting. “Essential reading . . . This will completely change your ideas about what you should be eating.”—Ruth Reichl, author of Save Me the Plums Investigative journalist Barry Estabrook was often on the receiving end of his doctor’s scowl. Realizing he had two options—take more medication or lose weight—Estabrook chose the latter, but was paralyzed by the options. Which diet would keep the weight off? What program could he maintain over time? What diet works best—or even at all? Over the course of three years, Estabrook tried the regimens behind the most popular diets of the past forty years—from paleo, keto, gluten-free, and veganism to the Master Cleanse, Whole30, Atkins, Weight Watchers—examining the people, claims, and science behind the fads, all while recording his mental and physical experience of following each one. Along the way, he discovered that all the branded programs are derived from just three diets. There are effective, scientifically valid takeaways to be cherry-picked . . . and the rest is just marketing. Perhaps most alarming, Estabrook uncovered how short-term weight loss can do long-term health damage that may go undetected for years. Estabrook contextualizes his reporting with an analysis of our culture’s bizarre dieting history, dating back to the late 1800s, to create a thorough—and thoroughly entertaining—look at what specific diets do to our bodies, why some are more effective than others, and why our relationship with food is so fraught. Estabrook’s account is a relatable, pragmatic look into the ways we try to improve our health through dieting, revealing the answer may be to just eat. Oh, dieting - this past year has been bad for me being home for almost 10 months now in social isolation I have gained all the weight I lost back and gotten totally out of shape - unlike Rebel Wilson, it was not my year of health. (I am hoping that 2021 will be better - I will still be socially isolating but hubby and I made a walking pact which will certainly help!) The author names the one best/only/supreme diet that works...but remember, that is for him and his body - I know that I can only lose on Keto but that is me. I love all of Mr. Estabrook's books and re-read them often - this book did not disappoint, per se. I have often wondered what the "best" diet for me is and this book was a lot of, well, food for thought. Again, no one diet works for everyone and reading this, and reading this perhaps twice will help you work towards what hopefully will work for you and KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF which is 99% of the battle as the advertisements are so pervasive and compelling and alluring. Enjoyable to read, this will get you ready for bikini season after your NYE resolution goes to pot...just don't eat it while inhaling Valentine's Day candy. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it ⚖ ⚖ ⚖ ⚖ (the only scales I could find...)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    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-base 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

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christa Van

    Estabrook got the word from his doc, all his numbers were bad and changes had to be made. Needing to lose 40 pounds, Estabrook started a round-robin trial of diets and learning more about how to improve his health. After losing the pounds SEVERAL times but always gaining them back, he finally found a method that worked for him. As expected, a restrictive diet can certainly improve health and lead to losing pounds, the restrictions are often too difficult for people to keep indefinitely. Life-sty Estabrook got the word from his doc, all his numbers were bad and changes had to be made. Needing to lose 40 pounds, Estabrook started a round-robin trial of diets and learning more about how to improve his health. After losing the pounds SEVERAL times but always gaining them back, he finally found a method that worked for him. As expected, a restrictive diet can certainly improve health and lead to losing pounds, the restrictions are often too difficult for people to keep indefinitely. Life-style changes that are sustainable are more likely to have a better effect. It was interesting learning about Estabrook's journey and how well he could follow just about any diet...for a couple of months. He really has a great way of telling his story and is very honest about his struggles while filling us in on the history of diets and taking you through the current fads and why there is less obesity in some other countries.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cari

    I read the article in Eating Well magazine that basically encapsulates this book. Depending on what you want to get from it, you may not need to read it - the article gives all the salient points. But the history of dieting and where the many diets come from was very interesting here. I didn't put this in my update feed because I don't want to trigger anyone, and I wouldn't recommend this book if diets and eating trigger you. I definitely have some disordered eating in my past, but for me, this I read the article in Eating Well magazine that basically encapsulates this book. Depending on what you want to get from it, you may not need to read it - the article gives all the salient points. But the history of dieting and where the many diets come from was very interesting here. I didn't put this in my update feed because I don't want to trigger anyone, and I wouldn't recommend this book if diets and eating trigger you. I definitely have some disordered eating in my past, but for me, this book helped sort out the facts about the different diets and gave me some ideas to prioritize. It doesn't cover the emotional trauma brought by the many diets or by dieting in general, but it sticks to the facts and brings back some good data about what to eat and how to enjoy eating.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Deirdre Keating

    I have way too many opinions about this book. I bought it solely due to the Ruth Reichl blurb, and my own battle with the bulge. His writing is strong and I read though it all quickly on an e-reader (while riding my stationary bike, no less). I find it ironic though that he was willing to meet with so many of the creators of all these different diets but never met with Melissa Urban, and is probably most condescending of the Whole30. Ironically, in the end, after trying Dean Ornish and South Beach I have way too many opinions about this book. I bought it solely due to the Ruth Reichl blurb, and my own battle with the bulge. His writing is strong and I read though it all quickly on an e-reader (while riding my stationary bike, no less). I find it ironic though that he was willing to meet with so many of the creators of all these different diets but never met with Melissa Urban, and is probably most condescending of the Whole30. Ironically, in the end, after trying Dean Ornish and South Beach, Mediterranean and WW, the solution the author arrives at is closer to Whole30 than anything else. He’s stopped drinking, and chooses to eat less and more high quality food. He’s identified his “gremlins” like potato chips and homemade bread, and found “Food Freedom”—the real goal of Whole30.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Nixon

    3.5 stars This book is casual and conversational, as only a reporter can write. The audible version felt like a malcom gladwell podcast. This author also worked at the magazine eating well, which primed him for knowing how to write for his audience—he editorialized beautifully. Overall, each chapter is a summary of the most popular diets, plus his interviews with their creators. As a summary for every diet out there, this book is superb, thought if you’re looking for diet advice or “which is best” 3.5 stars This book is casual and conversational, as only a reporter can write. The audible version felt like a malcom gladwell podcast. This author also worked at the magazine eating well, which primed him for knowing how to write for his audience—he editorialized beautifully. Overall, each chapter is a summary of the most popular diets, plus his interviews with their creators. As a summary for every diet out there, this book is superb, thought if you’re looking for diet advice or “which is best” you will not find it. I give his “research” a 4. As a memoir this is a 3. I was engaged and enjoyed his stories but also found it sometimes left me wanting. The “moral of the story” is he took aspects of each diet/expert advice and that’s how he finally lost 40lbs.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    This is a great book for s/o like me - and like the author - who struggles with weight and has tried everything to slim down; not even to "model thin," but just kind of normal sized w/o the extra plump. It's the first book I've read about eating / dieting (shudder at that word) that is survey of diets, dieting, healthy and healthful eating, and approaches to eating and staying healthy. Ultimately the author takes a little bit from here and a little bit from there and a little bit from the other This is a great book for s/o like me - and like the author - who struggles with weight and has tried everything to slim down; not even to "model thin," but just kind of normal sized w/o the extra plump. It's the first book I've read about eating / dieting (shudder at that word) that is survey of diets, dieting, healthy and healthful eating, and approaches to eating and staying healthy. Ultimately the author takes a little bit from here and a little bit from there and a little bit from the other thing, all different approaches to eating, to figure out what works for him. This might seem pretty basic and obvious to some, but to me it was something of a revelation. Another plus is that this isn't a preachy book - just a well written exploration of and approach to eating.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    JUST EAT provides a world tour and history lesson in the art and science of dieting. Although clearly some of the diets are the result of happenstance and wishful thinking, author Barry Eastabrook takes his reporter’s curiosity and his desire for a smaller waistline into the nooks and crannies of diet land. The tour is fascinating, although well-covered in part in other books, for other reasons. The author finds some success at the end of his journey. Will it work for others? Ah, there’s the rub JUST EAT provides a world tour and history lesson in the art and science of dieting. Although clearly some of the diets are the result of happenstance and wishful thinking, author Barry Eastabrook takes his reporter’s curiosity and his desire for a smaller waistline into the nooks and crannies of diet land. The tour is fascinating, although well-covered in part in other books, for other reasons. The author finds some success at the end of his journey. Will it work for others? Ah, there’s the rub. As the author notes, the journey is always a personal one. But this book provides enormous information for the traveler. I received my copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Homerun2

    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 gu 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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sara Hill

    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 recei 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.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carter Hemphill

    The premise of the book was better than the execution. The author provides an interesting tour through the various diets, although the chapters are short, and the author quickly downplays certain diets based on his own personal preferences. He does that to get to the book's main thesis, which is to seek a diet of moderation, elimination of sugar, alcohol, and processed foods, and exercise. I especially liked the chapter about the eating habits of the French. Overall, it was a fun and informative The premise of the book was better than the execution. The author provides an interesting tour through the various diets, although the chapters are short, and the author quickly downplays certain diets based on his own personal preferences. He does that to get to the book's main thesis, which is to seek a diet of moderation, elimination of sugar, alcohol, and processed foods, and exercise. I especially liked the chapter about the eating habits of the French. Overall, it was a fun and informative book, yet not something I would go back to reread.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Lohan

    I am a Registered Licensed Dietitian and was very interested in reading Just Eat. As a journalist, he reviews many diets, listing their pros and cons for himself and their reported long term success for others. I agree with his conclusion; it was my goal with each of my clients to discover what worked for them to achieve a healthy happy body. We are all wired differently and need to approach weight loss with a plan that we can live with and it is possible!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Kay

    While wordy, this "not diet" book takes a good look at the diet world and how to lose weight without dieting. I particularly liked that he whittled the myriad of diets down to three basic ones and then described how you'd lose weight on all of them but are most likely to gain the weight back when you go off the diet. Instead, be mindful about what you eat and how you treat your body. I'm glad that I read this book. While wordy, this "not diet" book takes a good look at the diet world and how to lose weight without dieting. I particularly liked that he whittled the myriad of diets down to three basic ones and then described how you'd lose weight on all of them but are most likely to gain the weight back when you go off the diet. Instead, be mindful about what you eat and how you treat your body. I'm glad that I read this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Terri T

    If you are a person that wonders which of the diet approaches (in a sea of them) is the best for you, this is a very good read. There is lots to learn here and it's worth your time. The author tends to find reasons why none of the diet approaches work for him which I found slightly off putting, but in the end he puts a hybrid of all approaches together to do what works for him and does realize some results in his weight battle and that is good. Just don't expect any hard answers here. If you are a person that wonders which of the diet approaches (in a sea of them) is the best for you, this is a very good read. There is lots to learn here and it's worth your time. The author tends to find reasons why none of the diet approaches work for him which I found slightly off putting, but in the end he puts a hybrid of all approaches together to do what works for him and does realize some results in his weight battle and that is good. Just don't expect any hard answers here.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Beth Allen

    I do not often read non-fiction, and, especially not diet books. However, I very much enjoyed this quick, engaging, tour of the history and evolution of popular and fad diets. I learned quite a few interesting tidbits on both absurd diets as well as differing cultural attitudes on food and how to eat for wellness. This is not a diet book or a how-to book for weight loss. It was an interesting foray into the competing ideas around eating and health.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Interesting and informative, this book does not provide a diet plan, but instead is a general history of dieting, with the author taking a few experimental forays into popular approaches. I enjoyed reading it, and appreciated the general conclusion that people should adapt plans to fit themselves, rather than adapt themselves to fit a plan. It seems that Michael Pollan's advice still holds pretty well - 'eat food, not too much, mostly plants'. Interesting and informative, this book does not provide a diet plan, but instead is a general history of dieting, with the author taking a few experimental forays into popular approaches. I enjoyed reading it, and appreciated the general conclusion that people should adapt plans to fit themselves, rather than adapt themselves to fit a plan. It seems that Michael Pollan's advice still holds pretty well - 'eat food, not too much, mostly plants'.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Dempsey

    This was a disappointing read, though I should have expected this. The author is more interested in finding something that allowed him to continue eating the unhealthful way that he always had and still lose weight. I don't understand why this would need to be a "quest"; just eat less. For anyone interested in improving their diet to be more healthful as well as losing weight, this book is a disappointment. This was a disappointing read, though I should have expected this. The author is more interested in finding something that allowed him to continue eating the unhealthful way that he always had and still lose weight. I don't understand why this would need to be a "quest"; just eat less. For anyone interested in improving their diet to be more healthful as well as losing weight, this book is a disappointment.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Buron

    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!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alisa

    I have to start with the fact that I hate the typeface of this book. Despite that, the content is very solid. I am not trying to lose weight, but to have a healthy diet and I have investigated many of the plans that are covered in this book, but I still found a lot of valuable info and a reminder of how I need to get back to my healthy eating habits.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Allison Floyd

    As someone long fascinated by our national eating disorder, this was right up my alley. If you too have long been fascinated by our national eating disorder, it's likely there isn't too much here that will be news, but it was a fun, fast read, and a worthwhile examination of our nation's collective food insanity. As someone long fascinated by our national eating disorder, this was right up my alley. If you too have long been fascinated by our national eating disorder, it's likely there isn't too much here that will be news, but it was a fun, fast read, and a worthwhile examination of our nation's collective food insanity.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jimbritt75

    I diet-skeptic’s breakdown of why basically every diet fails. The biggest takeaways for me are to target and eliminate my usual suspects, the bad actors (like sugar) that ruin my ability to lose weight; and I need to learn to take *joy* from eating, instead of *comfort.* Opt for the best ingredients, enjoy and savor mindfully. Don’t just consume food.

  29. 4 out of 5

    James Person

    Thanks for an unbiased view Estabrook has done what I only wish I could do, try firsthand a number of different diets guided by the people that developed them. His conclusion confirms what I have thought for a long time, yet I still get caught up in the smorgasbord of diets that are constantly being served. Thanks, Barry, for giving me permission to go ala carte.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lori Cox

    Good review of all the diets that have hit the media, both recently and back in Kellogg’s day. Unsurprising, the author concluded with a moderation diet, slowly losing weight that took a long time to put on. Changing habits one at a time is not glamorous or quick, but it is effective and sustaining.

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