Tag Archives: weight loss

Indie Thursday: Battle of the Bulge

Last week I started a segment reviewing indie, self-published, small publisher books. Remember: THE MARTIAN was originally self-published! Fellow book bloggers, take heed of those emails in your inbox, you may have the next Matt Damon on your hands. Or something like that.

BTW: here’s Andy Weir’s “ask me anything” on reddit today.




Glenn Livingston must have seen my review of The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss (for women). This book is a more machismo, more demonstrative approach to weight loss. He determines that “ALL of your fat thinking shall be deemed “the Pig!”” and that you have to learn “to cold-heartedly ignore its squeals.” This book isn’t about acceptance or comfort, this is a book about taking control. Like a man.

Livingston takes the approach like The Diet Fix, where he doesn’t create a diet for you, but “cementing our ability to stick with the Food Plan of your choice.” He uses the metaphor of “the Pig” throughout, looking at food outside of your plan as “That’s Pig Slop…and I will Never Eat Pig Slop Again!” He wants there to be no ambiguousness in your plan. He wants to know that you will, not that you can. He wants you to “cage the Pig and let it suffer!”

He does have a section that is optional reading where he offers his learning. Mainly, “whole, unprocessed, organic plant foods–and a modest amount of organic animal protein.” Again, this is able to be skipped and not part of the theme and function of the book.

Livingston is also very generous with the plans and worksheets and extras that he offers for free on his site NeverBingeAgain.com. While I typically like the softer, more gender neutral approach to weight control and health, his techniques do prove useful for controlling my inner pig.

Though there are many days when I just want to celebrate who I am:


Philip Caravella’s book is cut-and-dry. He’s been a doctor for a long time, specializing in weight loss, health, fitness, and diabetes management. He takes all of his findings and puts them in a book. The chapters are topic to topic. There are bullets and underlines and everything is easy to digest. There’s just no pizazz. You won’t find this on Oprah.

From my research on weight loss and management, his ideas are on par. Much of the same in what I found in EAT MOVE SLEEP. The basics are:

  • Eat fewer calories than you need, or
  • Increase your current activity and eat the same, or
  • Decrease your current calories and exercise more.

Straight forward. “Moderation is key in nearly all aspects of a healthy and useful life.” He has the typical provider approach to saturated fats and carbs, despite some of the recent evidence found in books like The Big Fat Surprise. It’s all even keel.

The only thing I noted about this book is that the chapters seemed out of order. The first chapters talked about dietary options in schools and control of diabetes, then he spoke about exercise, then toward the end he talked about diet and controlled eating.

Short version: don’t over do it (even mindlessly).


Review: The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: A Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less, and Loving More

The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: A Woman's Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less, and Loving More
The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: A Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less, and Loving More by Jessica Ortner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nice try, girls. First, I found you trying to rock out with the Fit Bottomed Girls, and now I’ve found you tapping. Yeah, I’m on to you and your exclusive clubs. So, in the name of boys everywhere, I’ve snuck into the ranks and am walking way with the goodness contained within.

In other words, tapping for weight loss isn’t just for women. Yes, there are parts in here about understanding changes in the body, confidence, etc., but most of these things can be equally applied to men (hey, I wasn’t comfortable with the looks I got when my moobs developed). I get it, these things are real—many women would appreciate this—but really, men will find a ton of value here, too.

Jessica Ortner is a sly one: this isn’t just about weight loss. Tapping is for stress, fear..really, anything. And yes, I know tapping sounds weird. The author admits it sounds weird. But—it works! Since reading this book, I’ve tried it when stressed about medical appointments, and even before a crazy ride my kids wanted me to go on. Each time, it took me down a notch and made me accepting of the situation. And, when I felt like yelling at the kids? Yep, it worked then, too.

As for weight loss, I can see it working. It is about awareness and finding what causes the cravings or desires to eat. There is no calorie counting here, but it may be helpful to combine tapping with your favorite method of nutritional management, though it isn’t necessary. Again, tapping raises the awareness; the food approach is secondary.

You’ll get most of what you need in the first twenty percent of this book. Ortner goes over what tapping is, provides some of its scientific history, and details the strategies, along with providing charts. The rest of the book walks through the process for specific situations. Throughout, Ortner uses some great quotes to go along with the reviewed steps.

Long story, short: it works. Much to my surprise. One of the steps includes accessing your level (anger, stress, appetite) before and after the tapping exercise. It’s psychological, yes. But, it is an effective tool.

Thanks to Triple 7 and Hay House for the digital version of this book to review.

You can find this book and the other great reviews on Amazon: The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: A Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less, and Loving More


Review: The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work

The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work
The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work by Yoni Freedhoff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Is this a diet book? Yes. And no. If you are looking for a diet book, this may be enough for you to achieve your goal. This is also an excellent accompaniment to your already favorite weight loss tool (e.g., Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, etc.). But, as the author, Yoni Freedhoff, puts it, “at the end of the day if you don’t like the life you’re living while you’re losing weight, you’re virtually certain to gain it back.”

Lifelong enjoyment: that’s the goal here. You want to be healthy and happy at the best weight you can maintain for the rest of your life. Thanks to THE DIET FIX that’s absolutely possible. Honestly ask yourself if you can eat the way you are eating forever. Are you hungry? Do you wish you could have that piece of chocolate? Ask yourself if you are happy with your current exercise length and intensity level. You may be, but for a lot of dieters—they know they can’t sustain unhappy actions.

Freedhoff begins with a history of various diet programs and moves on to something I found interesting: the sings of dieting, the traumas of dieting, and the Post Traumatic Dieting Disorders (PTDD). He finds why certain diets don’t last, labels the pitfalls of remission, and categorizes the emotional effect of a stumbled journey. The solution, or fix, is the bread and butter of the whole book: the 10-Day Reset.

We’ve heard some of Freedhoff’s advice before, but much of it is new. Such things as shopping on the outside aisles of the grocery store and journaling your food are pretty common pieces of advice in the dieting world. What makes this book unique is the paradoxal advice mixed in. Such things like: people don’t lose and keep off weight because they aren’t eating enough; or, eat more during the day before going to a big dinner; or, “ensuring you eat enough calories is more important than ensuring you don’t eat too many.”

The end of THE DIET FIX contains reset techniques for specific diets, as well as well-supported advice for everyday life situations. Really, you could probably move forward on the first half of the book: knowing the psychological, physiological, and hedonic behaviors toward dieting, and especially the 10-Day Reset. However, if you are inclined to follow any other diet plan, Freedhoff has techniques for success with that plan. Freedhoff also includes considerations for everything else, from work conferences to vacations, and even parenting.

The walkaway advice seems simple, yet logical enough to last a lifetime. For that, I’m giving this five stars.

Check this book out at Amazon: The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work

View all my reviews