One the one hand, this definitely isn’t your typical diet/health/fitness book. But honestly, the title and description didn’t match what I was reading within. The book really doesn’t have anything to do with genetics and instead is based on CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and confronting/recognizing/changing habits forcefully/repetitively to create a new, better person. As such, there are no diet programs here, though a lot of the current ‘trendy’ diets (from paleo to vegan) are discussed. At heart, Reboot Your Body is about mental attitude and has very little about genes or, honestly, your body.
The book breaks down into two sections: a structural roadmap to permanent weight loss and tips, tricks, and practical guidance. Topics include: laying the foundation for success; do your research; what, why, and how; time to talk about food; exercise: move or die; set yourself up for success; step it up a notch; the final pieces of the puzzle; breaking through plateaus; all about exercise; you are how you eat; like it or not, you are in control, making it permanent.
Author Brown makes the case that the the reason there are so many diets out there is because there is no one size fits all for any person. As such, she wants every person to go through steps of accountability by writing down what they eat, when, why, how many calories, portions, examinations of whether they were hungry or not, social eating, emotional eating symptoms, what they want to get as a result of change, who they want to be at the end, what goals they can make to go to an end result, etc. Everything from positive visualization to quite a bit of positive self talking to guide people to believe they will lose weight. It really is almost a sort of self hypnotism where people will believe it if they say it enough – and then they will do it.
And therein lies the problem I had with this approach: you have to become obsessive about food and yourself and pretty much turn it into a form of a religion. It felt almost like a case of Stockholm syndrome but with food instead of a kidnapper. Admittedly, I had already had a problem when the author talked about people in South America who could handle venomous snakes and not died because they believed God would keep the snake from harming them. Perhaps I just lack the faith to walk into a pit full of venomous snakes and not be able to believe hard enough that I won’t get bitten.
One of the key points made by Brown in this book is that the one common denominator of successful and permanent weight loss is the level of belief that the person will take the weight off. That those successes had to do with creating change in behavioral patterns and creating new neural pathways that in time translate into better habits. Better habits that, if kept up, result in lifestyle changes to transform poor into healthy – and permanently rewire a body for good.
So yes, this book definitely takes on the subject from a different angle, though CBT (which always involves a lot of writing since it deals with being accountable and not letting oneself ignore the true problem(s)) is very popular right now from diets to teen problems. For many, it likely is time to recognize that the real diet involves taking off the blinders and seeing exactly where they are failing. Doing so means they can then address those problems and begin the process of fixing them – and losing weight/becoming healthier in the process.
Be prepared for a lot of hard work and honest truths, a lot of pep talks, analyzing, recording minutiae, and talking to oneself daily. If you can deal honestly with yourself, then this likely is the book for you. Certainly, I think there is a lot here for those who have tried many different diets and failed. For me, I honestly do not want to become obsessed with food, counting calories, etc. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.