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The New Lean for Life

Book Review

The New Lean for Life
By Cynthia Stamper Graff and Reginald Allouche, MD
Harlequin (2014)
Reviewed by Sonya Angelone, MS, RDN, CLT


The New Lean for Life weight-loss program explains in a step-by-step manner how to retrain your brain, body and gut to think and act lean. The program is organized into a four-phase process that involves three days of preparation, 28 days of rapid weight loss, 14 days of recalibrating your metabolism and strategies for staying lean for life.

Synopsis of the Diet Plan

Based on data collected from the Lindora medical weight loss clinics for the past four decades, the New Lean for Life weight-loss approach is basically a ketogenic diet, which is low in carbohydrates and higher in protein and fat. Since ketones are produced when the body metabolizes fat, the ketogenic diet forces the body to use fat for energy instead of glucose since carbohydrates (therefore glucose) intake is severely restricted. The plan combines a cognitive behavioral approach to weight management with dietary changes to help retrain the body to lose fat, manage cravings and stop overeating.

Nutritional Pros and Cons

While the meals are fairly easy to plan based on the recommendations, which include shopping guides and suggestions for vegetarians, the diet focuses on protein-rich foods at the expense of nutrient-rich foods — such as fruits, vegetables and legumes — that enhance healthy gut flora and promote wellness. In addition, drastic dietary changes, like those in a ketogenic diet, are difficult to maintain and often lead to regain of the weight loss in the long term, especially if the low-carbohydrate eating plan is not maintained.

A ketogenic diet may be beneficial for some people in the short term, especially those who have medical complications from obesity, such as insulin resistance. The rapid weight loss may also help people with short-term reinforcement of changes. However, a ketogenic diet may not be appropriate for everyone and may even be harmful for some.

The authors promote Lean for Life products, including supplements and online programs. With many QR codes throughout the book that contain information which can only be accessed by using a smartphone, it can be a disappointment for anyone without this device.

Bottom Line

The New Lean for Life includes some helpful, basic tips for weight loss and packages it in a structured program that reinforces long-term behavior and eating changes. However, the basic ketogenic diet is difficult for many people to adhere to and doesn’t provide for the variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other beneficial substances found in a plant-based diet, which is beneficial for weight management and long-term health.