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International No-Diet Day Hits and Misses

In recognition of International No-Diet Day, I present you with a
rundown of recently released diet- and weight-related books, including a
bit of the good, bad and ugly.

Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200: 200 Recipes Under 200 Calories by Lisa Lillien

Premise: Hungry? Instead of eating a balanced and healthy meal, you should focus on limiting your intake to 200 calories per sitting. It doesn't matter what you eat, just do not consume more than 200 calories! That's about the equivalent of 2 apples or if you're getting your food ideas from this book, one serving of 'I Can't Believe It's Not Potato Salad!,' 'Lean-O Ciopinno' or the 'Meaty 'n Manly Breakfast Toastie.' Or, if you don't think you can handle all 200 calories, you can whip up the '104-Calorie Creme Brulee.'  Hypoglycemia, here we come!

Corporate Sponsorship Factor: High. Branded ingredients include Fat Free Reddi-wip, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Spray, Fiber One Bran Cereal, La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Low Carb/High Fiber tortillas, Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, Bisquick Heart Smart baking mix and many more!

New York Times Bestseller Standing: Hungry Girl debuted at No. 1 in the 'Paperback Advice' category and now stands at No. 2.

How I Know This Book is for People With Vaginas and Lady Brains: Well, there's the title (keep out boys!)...and the purple font (girls only!)...and an unusual abundance of exclamation points and 'OMGs' ('cause that's how us girls talk).

This Bitch's Verdict: DIET BOOK EPIC FAIL.

 

Naturally Thin: Unleash Your Inner SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting by Bethenny Frankel

Premise: Even if you aren't naturally thin you can train youself to be naturally thin because really, everyone is naturally thin. You read that right. According to Frenkel,

You just have to make a few simple changes and let your natural thinness emerge. You will be one of those people you wished you could be in high school. You will be one of those people that others look at and wonder, "How does she stay so thin?" This book will grant you access to that world because deep down, I know that's who you are.

Did you catch that? Bethany knows that's who you are! Because apparently a woman's weight defines who she is. That's new. Oh wait...

New York Times Bestseller Standing: Naturally Thin currently holds the No. 3 spot (following Hungry Girl) in the Paperback Advice category.

One Thing I Can Get Down With: Frankel is big on healthy, unprocessed foods and she doesn't prohibit any foods but rather, advocates moderation and balance (without calorie counting). But all this gets outweighed by the fact that the end goal is thinness, not health.

This Bitch's Verdict: QUASI-DIET BOOK FAIL.

 

Lessons From the Fat-o-Sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce With Your Body by Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby

 

Premise: From the publisher,

From the leading bloggers in the fat-acceptance movement comes an empowering guide to body image no matter what the scales say.

When it comes to body image, women can be their own worst enemies,
aided and abetted by society and the media. But Harding and Kirby, the
leading bloggers in the fatosphere, an online community of the fat
acceptance movement, have written a book to help readers achieve
admiration for or at least a truce with their bodies. The authors
believe in health at every size and the idea that weight does not
necessarily determine well-being and that exercise and eating
healthfully are beneficial, regardless of whether they cause weight
loss. They point to errors in the media, misunderstood and ignored
research, as well as stories from real women around the world to
underscore their message. In the up-front and honest style that has
become the trademark of their blogs, they share with readers
twenty-seven ways to reframe notions of dieting and weight, including:
accepting that diets do not work, practicing intuitive eating, finding
body-positive doctors, not judging other women, and finding a hobby
that has nothing to do with one's weight.

Hooray.

Powell's Bestseller Standing: Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere is No. 1 at Powell's today!

This Bitch's Verdict: FAT-ACCEPTANCE WIN!

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Comments

8 comments have been made. Post a comment.

No Diet Day-bachle

You know, there's something wrong with the responses that women have been leaving at the blogs that have covered NDD. So many of them have written things like, "Yeah! I'm going to eat five cupcakes today!" Believe me, I think there's nothing wrong with doing the comfort food thing. I just think that using NDD as an excuse to binge eat (particularly if the binge eater feels like crap the day after) is probably not what the day was created for. My point is that I think a lot of people are totally missing the point and NDD is in need of a better PR campaign.

I wonder what the "survival strategies" are

The bookstore I work at has the Hungry Girls book by the register. The food inside seemed pretty unappetizing. The whole thing seems kind of like a flawed overall concept, cause more likely than not, you finish eating one of those recipes, like mayo on a stick, or Barbie-sized brownies, and you're probably like, "Hmm...something's off," and then you look at the book and you go, "oh yeah, that's right, I'm HUNGRY."

and you KNOW there are going to be spinoffs!

____________
Kjerstin Johnson, editor-in-chief
Did someone say "Comments Policy"?

One spinoff that will probably never be created...

Hungry Boy

Take note: Opinions expressed are those of their respective authors, not necessarily those of Bitch. Dig?

One spinoff that will probably need to be created...

Bloated Girl: Life in the aftermath of eating all the processed food, fake sugars and 'high fiber' products in the Hungry Girl Diet.

True, but ...

... those equally icky "Eat This and Not that" books, I believe, were based on Men's Health articles. For more, see my reply to the comment on the talk show segment about them.

Hungry Girl

All the pictures of food on the Hungry Girl cover are actually life-size depictions of the recipes inside.

This terrible morning show I

This terrible morning show I watch always has this segment called 'this for that' where they show that instead of eating 'this' fattening food you can eat aaaaaallll 'that' healthy food. most of the time its not that bad. i never actually do any of it, but one of them stuck with me. It was one about big city food, food you could get from street vendors or something. And they had their plate of delicious looking pizza and corn dogs or whatever and then they said instead of eating 'this' you could have aaaallll 'that' and this crazy nutritionist unveiled a bowl full of 25 dill pickles. Just pickles.

The only purpose these books are serving ...

... are of being shills for a paranoid junk food industry that's burning Michael Pollan books when the investigative media isn't watching. Swapping the horribly unhealthy and artificial Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for the equally horribly unhealthy and artificial Chef Boy-ar-Dee Spaghetti and Meatballs isn't exactly swapping worse for better.

Most all boxed and canned "convenience" foods are processed with more than enough blood-pressure-challenging sodium (another word for salt) and artery-clogging "bad" fat/cholesterol--which happen to come from dairy-based products of another industry that has profited by tricking people for decades into believing that consuming mucus-producing dairy foods will make their bones "strong and healthy." Guess what? Someone I know personally who bought into all of that throughout her life is presently suffering from heart disease and osteoporosis! So much for that theory.

A lot of low-calorie foods do not really taste good, either. What's the point of them? The only point I see of them, is (as I already said) for the junk food industry profiting from "impressionable" calorie-conscious dieters who are too busy, lazy, or just plain living in fear of making simple, healthier changes to their lifestyles.

There are countless better cookbooks (A personal fave: Deborah Madison - why doesn't she have a show on the Food Network, Travel Channel, or PBS?) and online resources that can help people eat better overall. I'd much rather encourage diet-crazed folks into changing their lifestyles into healthier ones that actually happen to be low-calorie and even taste good, than lure them into eating low-calorie crap that does nothing at all to help better one's health.