Alpert’s The Diet Detox contains most of the findings about diet and nutrition that we come to expect: avoid sugars, avoid carbs, get away from processed foods, eat smarter. In addition, there are exercises and lifestyle changes such as not eating/snacking late at night and getting rid of the awful cravings that send people to the fridge or pantry for sweet snacks. Where this differs is that she takes a very no-nonsense and direct approach which is refreshing. While we have doctors with strict diets or nutritionists with more soothing tones, Alpert cuts through all of that and lays it all down for you: a starter one week plan to get you going and then the lifestyle changes to get you off the yo yo dieting roller coaster.
The book breaks down as follows: The Diet Takedown, Give Me One Week: The Kick Starter, Let’s Get Started, The 10 Rules (eat protein and fiber at every meal, check your starches, clock your meals, eat fat, watch the sugar, indulge intentionally, supplement smartly, get some sleep, drink water, exercise), Real-Life Applications, Diet Plan Review (recipes, shopping list and serving size guide, references, index). As can be seen from the contents list, everything is explicitly laid out, from what to buy, how to use it, and every step of getting healthier. Unlike so many books, Alpert doesn’t go into a lot of background on current health and nutrition findings and reports/studies. Instead, she lays it all out and says, “here’s how to do it, here’s why to do it and why it works – go for it!”
It’s probably most telling that her clients are usually former Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. It feels like she deals with a mostly female client base who are frustrated with programs that don’t work and just want someone to simplify and provide a clear avenue to lose weight or get healthier. That means no more powdered packets or frozen meals and instead knowing what to eat and how to eat it. She does include supplements such as fiber and gives recommended brand names of products you can use/purchase (mostly in the US, of course) which I find really helpful.
Interspersed throughout are motivational tales from various clients on how the plan worked for them as well as case studies of people who have particular issues/problems (maybe one emotionally eats, another snacks too much at odd hours, etc.) Case studies were of both genders. But the chunk of the book is explaining the rules to follow for lifelong health (as listed above in the contents section). There are also sections for dealing with real life social situations appropriately so that you don’t find yourself eating poorly again due to peer pressure.
The exercise section is fairly basic, no images, and just descriptions using items like dumbells or doing HIIT exercises. The exercises really do seem to require a gym membership for access to all the balls (kettle and dumbbells) as well as machines such as rowers.
The plan comes with a chart of what to eat, when to eat it, and whether it is protein, fiber or starch for that one-week kick starter. Alpert really requires you to stick to it strictly for the initial detox to work. After that are the recipes with the usual candidates. Items like chili-lime chicken strips, spiced beef burger, sesame ahi tuna steak, spiced applesauce, etc. The recipes have no images, come with a brief introduction, serving size, bulleted ingredients list, and then short numbered directions. Each seems very easy and uncomplicated and the foods don’t feel too exotic or hard to make.
At the end there is an easy to use checklist for shopping, broken down by type (protein, starch, fat, cooking essentials, etc.). Also included are brand name products recommendations.
In all, this is laid out to take all the questions and guesswork out of the equation of learning to eat better. First you detox for a week with simple but solid and satisfying healthier foods you make yourself. Then you follow the 10 rules when choosing meals and eating to ensure that you are making the right choices for your body and yourself. Those are combined with supplements like fiber and an exercise program to further ensure a healthier lifestyle. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.