A Los Angeles physician and nutrition specialist offers customized eating plans based on individual goals and insulin status.
Refreshingly, Jampolis (The Calendar Diet, 2012) acknowledges that “there is not a single ‘best’ way to lose weight.” Instead, she argues, diets should be customized to suit criteria like age, gender, and specific health requirements. Luckily, the author’s diet, which is in three phases, has built-in flexibility. Phase 1, the 10-day “CleanStart Plan,” aims to curb hunger by having you eat protein-rich foods and cutting dry carbohydrates like pasta and cereal. Jampolis recommends three smaller meals and one or two snacks. Phase 2, the “Customize Your Carbs Plan,” is higher-calorie and has more variety. Based on a self-diagnosis of insulin resistance or responsiveness, readers are directed to separate tracks; the insulin-resistant consume slightly more fat and fewer dense carbohydrates and fruit servings. Phase 3, the “Cycle for Success Plan,” is all about “structured flexibility.” Patients alternate between adapted versions of one or both of the previous plans in a 5:2 pattern, again based on insulin status. Interspersed quizzes, questionnaires, work sheets, and sample meal plans within the text ensure that the book is not overloaded with information. The varied layout includes bullet-pointed lists, charts indicating serving sizes of suggested foods, and inset boxes with tips labeled “Clinical Pearls.” Recipes cover all the bases, from smoothies to entrees. The case studies are particularly helpful, although the heading “SOAP Notes”—with SOAP standing for the physician’s subjective and objective responses, followed by an assessment and plan—is opaque. Indeed, the book’s unenlightening title, gimmicky naming, and acronyms—quibbles common to diet books in general—may well be its only off-putting elements. For instance, NEAT, “non-exercise activity thermogenesis,” is a fancy term for adding minutes of calorie burning here and there, while HIIT, “high-intensity interval training,” is about burning more calories in less time. A chapter on changing one’s frame of mind delivers a useful reminder that food is never without emotional connotations, while another, about maintaining health gains, targets erstwhile yo-yo dieters.
A book that effectively presents a realistic, flexible diet.