Flip the Switch, Lose the Weight: Proven Strategies to Fuel Your Metabolism and Burn Fat 24 Hours a Day
By Robert K. Cooper, PhD Rodale Books 2007
Reviewer: Marisa Moore, RD, LD
Losing weight is as simple as flipping a switch. The author emphasizes strategies to increase metabolism by maximizing metabolic thermostat or Meta-Stat or MS. When the MS switch is activated, the author claims, the body can continuously burn fat and generate energy 24 hours a day.
The book focuses on the body's innate ability to burn fat and on ways to activate the MS switches. The author identifies 12 switches that vary from getting more sunlight to increasing oxygen intake.
The book's eating plan allows three meals and four snacks daily. It includes four days of sample menus without portion sizes or calorie counts. Though it states meals should not exceed 600 calories and snacks should not be more than 250 calories, the reader is encouraged to rely on the "principle of biochemical individuality" and allow one's body to determine how much food is needed.
Most of the menus include complex carbohydrates, non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy and healthy fats, but are somewhat low in fruit. The book contains more than 100 pages of recipes that can fit into a healthy diet.
The book provides a Meta-Stat Success Map to tie it all together. The reader can monitor the switches they activate as they track goals, food and fluid intake, energy level and exercise daily.
The author outlines strategies that may help boost metabolism including such healthy behaviors as getting adequate sleep, eating breakfast and doing muscle toning exercise. However, many claims are not based on evidence in research, such as asserting that sipping ice cold water can cure cravings for high-fat foods and rev up fat burning.
The author encourages physical activity throughout the day including doing small things like moving the trash can farther from your chair. But some claims are extreme, such as stating that sitting more than 30 minutes at a time "throws your hormones out of whack," causing an increase in fat production. The author recommends no more than 20 minutes of aerobic activity three times a week.
The book offers some effective ideas for meals and useful tips to increase overall activity; however, many of the claims are not grounded in evidence-based research. Therefore, I would not recommend this book because consumers would not be able to discern fact from conjecture.
Additionally, the menus do not address portion control or calories (the eating plan allows for 2,600 calories to 2,800 calories a day) and the average reader would likely not succeed at weight loss following this plan.