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Weekly Review: Skinny B*tch

Sorry this weekly review is running a few days late! Hopefully we will get back on track by next Wednesday for Kevin’s review of the weekly exercise plan. Anyway, on to the Review!

Skinny B*tch

Before I make any other comments about this book, let me first say that this is by far the most brilliant marketing scheme for a diet book I have ever seen. When you look at the cover, you see a drawing of a skinny, sexy woman; that mean girl you were always jealous of in high school and you get yourself ready for some tough love to become that person you always dreamt about. Who would have thought that this book is actually a strict vegan diet, and the authors are only concerned with you eating a natural, healthy diet and barely even consider whether that diet will cause you to lose weight?  Most people would never pick up a book about being a vegan, but millions of American women wanted to know how to be a Skinny B*tch. Brilliant.

The Good: Alright, so now let’s actually get into the content. Basically, this book is advocating a pretty standard vegan diet. They suggest a diet high in fruits and veggies and whole grain with absolutely no animal products whatsoever. This means not only no meat or fish, but no milk, eggs or cheese as well. Becoming a vegan isn’t all bad. If you know what you’re doing, this diet can actually be quite healthy; you’ll be getting plenty of fruits and vegetables, which means plenty of nutrients, vitamins and minerals and you’ll be eliminating excess saturated fat and processed foods. You do need to make sure that if you want to become a vegetarian or a vegan that you eat healthy choices and get a variety of vegetables and protein sources. Try to eat all the colors of the rainbow in fruits and veggies each week and try multiple sources of protein such as beans, lentils, soy and tofu.

The Bad: There is absolutely no evidence that this diet will cause you do lose weight. None.  It greatly depends on what your current diet is and how many calories you intake on a vegan diet. It’s going to be hard to balance out protein and carbohydrates with a vegan diet and you may end up increasing your total calorie intake just because you aren’t full after your meals. The key there is to consume some healthy fats along with your fruits and veggies such as avocados, nuts and olive oil. Now, if you eat Big Macs three times a day, then this diet certainly could help you lose weight, and it will definitely reduce your risk of chronic disease, but if you’re reasonably healthy already and trying to lose that last 10 pounds, this may not be the diet for you.

The Ugly: The writers of this book make some pretty outstanding claims in order to make a point and have done really sloppy research to back it up. Their list of references is poorly done and when I kept flipping to the back of the book to figure out how they made these wild accusations, most of their sources were secondary sources like newspaper or magazine articles. They had very few actual peer review research references which seriously diminishes the validity of their claims. If you are interested in the actual research about either weight loss or the effects of different nutrients on the body, let me know and I can direct you to some well controlled, legitimate research.

So, overall, if you’d like to become healthier and think you might be able to handle becoming a vegetarian or a vegan, this book may be for you. However, be prepared to be yelled at. A lot. The theme of this book is “tough love” and they call you all sorts of names that I won’t repeat here. If you’re just looking for a new weight loss plan, though, this book probably isn’t for you.

Have any of you ever read this book or tried becoming a vegan?

-Sara

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by sue omanson on November 20, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Nice review, Sara! Good points and writng style and very informative.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Catherine on November 20, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Great review – a few comments however:

    To those reading this book remember that if you are completely vegan you will need to talk to your doctor about Vitamin B12 – since you only consume this vitamin from animal products.

    Also be careful not to read this book as the bible. The authors are a former modeling agent and model –> not health practitioners. Like anything read with caution. Their are several inaccuracies and false claims within this book.

    Reply

    • Thanks Catherine! For all of those reading, Catherine is a registered dietitian so she is a great resource if you have any dietary questions. 🙂 Hopefully I can convince her to do a guest blog soon as well!

      Reply

  3. I read this book and was totally shocked! I grew up on farm but I didn’t know how butcher farms worked. I really felt a lot of pressure from the authors to do exactly what they think is right. And it worked….for about a month I was totally vegan but eventually I caved for a chicken wrap from Red Robin! haha

    Reply

    • What’s interesting I think about that book is that there definitely are some sigificant health benefits to a vegan diet, especially pertaining to cancer and heart disease, but the arguments they use in this book are very poorly researched.

      Reply

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