The Appetite Solution by Joe Colella, M.D.

The Appetite Solution is a weight loss book focusing on boosting/fixing the metabolism so fat is burned, quickly, rather than stored. To do so, blood sugar levels are stabilized through careful meal selections and an emphasis is placed on protein. As well, hunger and cravings are controlled and satiety is consistent. Participants will have to fully commit to the diet for six weeks but with a goal toward lifetime weight loss and ability to still have an occasional french fries with the knowledge that it will burn off quickly.

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The book breaks down as follows: Part 1: Why Am I Always So Hungry? (the calorie trap, metabolism mystery, your secret sugar saboteurs); part II: Your Six Week Appetite Solution (eat your fill for the next six weeks, your appetite solution meal plans, the exercise bonanza, your appetite solution fitness plans); Part III: Hungry No More (solutions for every situation, appetite pitfalls, pushing past plateaus, enjoying the metabolism of a teenager); Recipes, Resources, Measurement Legend, Notes, Index.

The author does make some bold claims about the ideas in the book never before being published but admittedly I have read about nearly all of these points in several books recently. I feel he does a decent job of putting it all together, though, into one cohesive plan. A lot of the book is about the little things causing diets to fail and/or weight loss to plateau (as simple as using the occasional use of ketchup to flavor items (which has so much corn syrup that it causes sugar spikes that create cravings and tell the system to store fat)).

I found quite a few interesting tidbits that were useful even before getting to the diet plan. E.g., don’t use lemon slices in water (they have the natural fructose sugar that causes glucose spikes); don’t blend your blueberries into a shake or you turn them into simple sugars that cause glucose spikes); avoid processing your food before eating (boiling, blending, mashing, etc. because you break down the complex sugars into simple sugars). I liked that the author put things in terms that made sense; e.g., when you process your nutritious food into soup, you ‘pre-digest’ it and so you don’t get a slow release into your digestive system, you get a carb sugar bomb. So i definitely had several “a-ha’ moments.

The diet itself is very carefully planned. As such, the author cautions to not substitute items, only whole meals. The diet has three phases, with the first phase being the most restrictive. Participants will need a food scale, measuring cups and spoons, and a careful eye since portions and amounts are strict. The results come after phase 2, when the metabolism is reset to burn rather than store food. Ultimately, the diet promises to immediately lose 15 pounds in a healthy way that is sustainable for continued weight loss, if needed.

Tips for eating out and solutions for possible appetite problems later are also provided. Two exercise routines are included – one for those new to physical exercise and those with a more active life. The exercise is moderate and to be used further into the diet plan when the body is ready through healthier eating. Both are simple 30 minute programs.

The author talks about several clients and the issues they had with their diets. Those discussions were useful because on the surface it really seemed like each was doing the right things with their diets (watching what they eat, eating healthy, portion control); but there were little things they were doing that were sabotaging the efforts and causing them to plateau.

At 161 pages, this is an easy read. One frustration is that it is not well written – the author does meander quite a lot and repeats the same points (and examples) over and over. Perhaps that repetition is for retention and to drive home the points; regardless, it became annoying and felt like filler. My personal preference is for more concise writing that gets to the point immediately. But the tone is friendly, engaging, and encouraging. The author does a great job of distilling the science into meaningful examples and metaphors.

The meal plans use common ingredients and I found them easy to prepare and follow. Shopping lists are given for each phase but admittedly I did find myself throwing away a lot of food since I only use 1-2 items out of each bag (a single whole wheat tortilla here, a boneless chicken breast there. There are only 15 recipes, though.

What I think readers will most take from the diet are the little things that add up to really sabotage a diet and plateau it. As well, the importance of keeping blood sugar regulated and all the disastrous side effects if we don’t (cravings, storing fat, overtaxing organs, etc.)

I do recommend a physical copy – the e copy I had made the charts/graphs/meal plans fairly impossible to read on either Kindle Paper White or computer. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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