The No Crave Diet
Dr. Penny Kendall-Reed and Dr. Stephen Reed Virgin Books (2008) Reviewed by: Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD
This book explains what, how and when to eat in order to reduce your desire to snack; arms you with a host of tips for switching off food cravings in any situation; reveals how managing stress, sleep and exercise will reduce cravings; enables you to increase your body's ability to burn fat, even when you are sleeping; recommends simple exercises, recipes, therapies and supplements to reduce cravings; teaches you how to indulge safely, so you can enjoy a treat without fear of relapsing into bad habits; introduces the most effective weight loss and health plan to date and is suitable for anyone including children, adolescents and the elderly.
Synopsis of the Diet Plan:
Written by an orthopedic surgeon and a naturopathic doctor -- specialties not generally associated with weight-loss or nutrition expertise -- this book centers on the philosophy that certain carbohydrates, even high-fiber, healthy ones, raise blood sugar and will increase cravings. The first phase lasts six to eight weeks and limits carbohydrates, except for vegetables. No snacking is allowed during this phase and the authors warn that during Phase 1, dieters may feel hungry, light-headed, irritable or nauseous. Phase 2 is slightly more flexible and re-introduces some healthy carbohydrates.
Nutritional Pros and Cons:
Phase 1 is unnecessarily extreme and many nutritious, low-calorie, high-fiber foods are not allowed or severely limited. For instance, vegetables are unlimited but one is only allowed two fruits (no bananas) per day. And foods such as legumes, beets and waxy beans are limited to two tablespoons every other day, as the authors claim they're too sugary. The book also recommend many supplements, some of which are not proven scientifically to be helpful. Phase 2 promotes an unnecessarily complicated "carbohydrates reintroduction order."
Where the authors are at their best is the behavioral area: helping dieters with stressmanagement, environmental control, aromatherapy, keeping food records, enlisting buddies and getting enough sleep.
The authors' own warning that during Phase 1dieters may feel hungry, light-headed, irritable or nauseous seems to undermine the whole "No-Crave" premise. I would not recommend this book.