A biologist shares his struggles, research, and eventual success in achieving optimal weight in this debut memoir and health guide.
Given his height of 6 feet 9 inches, Clouse was able to “hide a lot of extra poundage, but how to get it off while maintaining my large body was a puzzle I struggled to solve.” In this guide, the biologist, now in his 40s, discusses how he was able to shed 50 pounds, allowing him to avoid “creeping into ‘obese’ territory,” and maintain what he determines is a healthy weight for his height and body type (as expressed in his title). Initially thinking he would have to focus on a high-protein diet to keep from feeling hungry while reducing calories, Clouse ended up following a friend’s advice that eating leafy plants in large amounts could actually provide the protein needed at a low caloric intake. He details how he threw out all the food in his pantry and focused on making big salads of fruit and vegetables, eventually adding complex carbs including oatmeal, while even enjoying cheating days. The result: he no longer experienced the weight bounce-backs that had occurred in previous diet attempts. Clouse also discusses his birth in Micronesia as well as later work and research studies, including in the New York region, noting, for example, that his bout with salmonella as an infant likely gave him ongoing nutritional and digestive challenges and that the diminishing dominance of nutrient-rich yams as an island staple led to increasing obesity rates. Clouse, a North Carolina–based researcher and academic who has written professional papers as well as expedition blogs for National Geographic, has produced an engaging, accessible essay highlighting his personal explorations into the science of food and diet that has applications for anyone seeking to avoid obesity and improve well-being. While the author doesn’t offer detailed menu breakdowns, he does spark the imagination—and entice the senses—by describing how “a typical salad might consist of chopped broccoli, apples, spring onions, mint leaves, kale, multi-colored carrots, and dried blueberries.” Overall, an inspiring call to arms to transform one’s diet.
Thoughtful analyses and helpful takeaways on healthy eating.