Jul 22, 2009

Diet Book Review: Diet Blog -- MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book

OK, this has to be one of my favorite reviews of my book other than Alie James of Blog Critics and the Lakatos Nutrition Twins review of MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book.

Mike Howard
"Mike Howard has been actively involved in the fitness industry for the past 12 years as a Personal Trainer, lecturer and author. He has helped hundreds of individuals of varying age and experience with everything from fat loss and general health to active rehabilitation and athletic performance. Mike has an extensive background in anatomy and exercise science, and is a diligent researcher of nutritional science and the psychology of motivation. He has applied his knowledge towards helping clients as well as educating current and prospective personal trainers. He has a true passion for teaching and helping people succeed."
Review by Mike Howard of DietBlog.com
I don't know if I'm the best person to review a book that is "for Women only" although in reality, the fairer sex is the prime target for marketing of diet books/products.
Henceforth, I have toted this rather large pink-coloured book around with a certain degree of inconspicuousness - determined to unravel the secrets of "a women's last diet book".

Author Kristine Lakatos takes the reader through a comprehensive plan to help us women achieve the health and body they want. And, when I say "comprehensive", I'm not spouting hyperbole. This book is enormous and chock full of guides, charts, worksheets, quizzes, recipes, and the like.

My Diva Diet is presented in a cartoon-type fashion, with Lakatos taking on a heroine persona - creating a mascot and other cartoons to illustrate her points. I imagine the reader's response to this strategy would range from mildly entertaining to excessively irritating (I'm somewhere in the middle here).
The Diva Diet essentially has 2 phases:

Diva Reduction: Which is a lower calorie (1200-1300) plan that breaks down to 35% protein, 45% carbs and 20% fat. It has all the run-of-the-mill suggestions such as: 4-5 meals per day, eat clean, natural, fresh, organic, etc, etc. You stay in this phase for 10 weeks.

Diva Maintenance: A far more flexible plan in terms of both calories (1400-1600), and carb consumption (up to 65%).

Quick take: Reduction - the average person may call it "too low in fat", although I really don't have a problem with it, provided the dieter is getting sufficient essential fatty acids. Protein intake is sufficient, and combined with the rest of the recommendations, I have no problem with this ratio.

The maintenance phase, however in its more extreme ranges, is both too low in protein (20%), and too high in carbs (65%), unless said dieter is an endurance athlete.

Overall Impression
There is a TON of information in this book - most of which is sound information. It follows the same tenets of most of the other books out there, and covers a very wide range of topics - again mostly accurate and practical.

There may be a little information overload, and admittedly this may be my own ADD-like disposition. I think the terms "pure" and "clean" foods are a little overused, and Lakatos' definition of this expands to include organic and Kosher - which is not necessarily better from a health and/or fat loss perspective.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go file my nails and watch Grey's Anatomy!
End Review
Information overload, hmmm, probably? It is meant to be a diet book and workbook, as well as a book that you can refer to over and over! While I loved this review and respect the expertise that Mike Howard brings to the table, there are two areas that I must disagree:

#1 -- The reduction phase is more strict based on a 34/45/20 ratios and the nutrient ratio in the maintenance phase is a range not a set number -- 1400 to 1600 calories 20-35% protein, 45-65% carbs, and 20-30% fat. I give a range to allow flexibility and due to the fact that many women are different ages and sizes and have different lifestlyes and exercise habits. There is a reference chart on page 295 "Dieting Ranges for Women", in which I give highs and lows!

In fact this is where the real debate begins with fitness experts–how many grams of protein, carbs and fats? And I got "ripped" (6% body fat) by eating 100 grams protein, over 300 grams of carbs, and 10 to 15 grams of fat each day for 12 weeks--then only during the last month I dropped my carbs to just under 200 grams per day!

Paw Safe and Healthy Dieting Ranges For Women - per day
High: over 3,000
Low: under 1,000
High: over 150 grams
Low: under 60 grams
High: over 300 grams
Low : under 100 grams
Fats :
High: over 50 grams per day
Low : under 20 grams
------------------------- *These estimates are averages – every woman (and young girl) is different.

#2 -- Kosher meats and organic foods may not be relevant when you are trying to lose weight, however they ARE better choices which means a healthier body!

Thanks Mike--love your review! Thanks to all my reviewers and anyone who has purchased MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book. Would love to hear your comments too!

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