In her second diet book, Fields (E.A.T. and Be Healthy, 1991), a longtime registered dietician and fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, offers standard weight-loss techniques, along with some of her own innovations.
Before Fields delves into the basics of planning a moderate, balanced weight-loss diet, she astutely notes that keeping weight off is often more of a struggle than losing it. It’s fitting, then, that the majority of her book focuses on helping readers train themselves to have a positive relationship with food. Fields include familiar weight-loss tips, including journaling your food intake, but her writing and expertise are at their best when she includes offbeat advice, such as how to be assertive with loved ones who don’t understand your new, healthy habits. In a genre that’s often reduced to a calories-in, calories-out mantra, she offers a welcome observation: “Weight lost or gained has no magical value by itself to make your fantasies come true or self-destruct,” she writes. “But learning how to take control of your life…can help you move on to realizing your dreams.” The book lags a bit when the author discusses the technical side of building a meal plan, presenting detailed information about nutrition content and serving sizes with little context to help readers understand how it all fits together. Fields also includes a charmingly illustrated section on exercise, although the exercises themselves—in particular, deep squats that send your knees far forward past your toes—may seem a bit antiquated. That said, although the book sometimes bogs down in details, it will likely provide some readers with the tools to make a change.
A fine diet and exercise manual, enlivened by the author’s take on body-image issues.