Le Dean’s debut self-help book, cleverly disguised as a diet book, makes a case for transforming one’s body through a series of gradual, sustainable changes.
Le Dean strikes a note of balance right from the start, explaining that her mission is to “reclaim the original definition of ‘diet’—simply, the food and drink a person regularly consumes.” She encourages readers to architect their own one-way journeys toward weight loss, recommending gradual, sustainable changes over drastic, desperate measures. “There is no real ‘finish line,’ ” she writes. “Your ideal weight is an admirable goal to aspire to, but the greater goal is to try to enjoy the process.” Her tools for easing said process range from incremental food substitutions to a Red-Yellow-Green-light food chart for those who’d rather follow set guidelines than read labels. Le Dean’s writing is grounded, authoritative and thoroughly approachable—she captures the charisma of a motivational speaker without the corniness. Her only bobble is the Red-Yellow-Green food chart; the foods don’t seem to occupy any particular order, making it difficult to find what you’re looking for quickly. Directions to “scroll through” the chart make sense in the electronic version but are awkward in print. Chart notwithstanding, Le Dean provides all the tools to recognize, own and finally transform one’s relationship with food. She also couldn’t make her approach any less cookie-cutter; she dodges some hot-topic issues like whether artificial sweeteners help or hinder weight loss, but she isn’t shy about bucking popular opinion in other areas, as when she suggests getting on the scale every single day. But unlike many other diet-book authors, she always explains exactly where she’s coming from and why, leaving it up to the reader to make the final judgment.
Le Dean skillfully guides readers on a journey through weight loss while maintaining a healthy perspective.