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The Instinct Diet: Use Your Five Food…
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The Instinct Diet: Use Your Five Food Instincts to Lose Weight and Keep it…

by Susan B. Roberts Ph.D

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was provided to me by the publisher, Workman Publishing, through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.

The Instinct Diet is a weight-loss plan that touts the five natural food instincts as a way to lose weight. I've spent most of my adult life embroiled in the Battle of the Bulge, so I'm always looking for new ways to lose weight and new weight-loss programs. I've been on Weight Watchers at least twice, and it is, in my opinion, the gold standard of weight-loss programs. I've always been successful when I've stuck to the program, but after a while, I seem to get sidetracked and cease following it, which is when disaster strikes and I gain all the weight back. The Instinct Diet, like most diets, is supposed to make it easy to lose the weight and to keep it off.

Some of the tenets of the Instinct Diet were familiar to me, as they are common in most weight-loss regimes: get rid of the "bad" foods in the house (if they're not there, you can't eat them), make sure you get enough fiber and protein (so you feel satisfied and less inclined to snack). But the program is more than that. There are three other food instincts addressed by this specific diet. And the Instinct Diet does not really focus on exercise. Dr. Roberts says that you really don't NEED to exercise in order to lose weight, if you follow her plan to a T.

I have to say, while I wanted to buy into it, I don't see the Instinct Diet as a program I could successfully follow. The lists of high-fiber foods that are available during the eight-week weight loss portion of the diet (as opposed to the maintenance portion, which lasts as long as you want to keep the weight off) sound completely disgusting to me. And the portions recommended do not seem substantial enough to provide adequate nourishment for me. Granted, I am not a dietician or scientist like Dr. Roberts is, so maybe I just don't know what I'm talking about, but I can honestly say there is no way in hell that I would be satisfied with a turkey sandwich containing exactly one piece of turkey lunchmeat. That just seems crazy to me! I wanted to try the diet as part of my review of the book, but I couldn't open my mind enough to want to eat the things that are required eating during the first two weeks of the diet. Perhaps this is merely a motivation issue for me, and once I am again motivated to lose weight maybe I'll try it. It certainly seems like the science behind the plan is sound; it's just a matter of personal choice for me that I would prefer a plan with more freedom of choice.

Some of the recipes sound good, though, and I plan to keep the book and try some of them out. Overall, I'd give the book two and a half out of five Whatevers. It was interesting information, some of which I already knew, but it was nothing stunning, and the diet itself seemed unworkable, at least for me. ( )
  Lexi2008 | Sep 18, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I haven't done a lot of dieting but a few years ago my partner & I experimented with a different diet each month, following it strictly for 10 days, then loosening up a bit for the next 10 days, & eating as desired for the last 10 days. It isn't too hard to follow a diet for 10 days. The ones that seemed to work the best were low glycemic & low carb (which are fairly similar). I gained the weight back later though when I went to work in an area that has many wonderful lunch choices! So it may be time to think again about dieting & happily I received 'The Instinct Diet' from LibraryThing's fantastic Early Reviewer program (though in my case it seems to be becoming more of a "Late Reviewer" program....)

Anyway the author of 'The Instinct Diet' is a professor of nutrition who backs up her plan with solid scientific research, which is greatly appreciated. The 5 instincts discussed are hunger, availability, calorie density, familiarity, & variety. Though it sounds like it will be complicated, the book offers a lot of commonsense advice, a 3-stage diet plan and lots of recipes.
  albanyhill | Feb 27, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Let’s get this out up front: I’m not interested in “diets", and diet books. My college nutrition professor used to repeatedly lament that there was no subject on earth plagued with more misinformation than nutrition. Thirty years later, I have yet to disagree.

Roberts’ book however is based on credible science, not opinion and fad. She demystifies weight management, and bases her program on using the “five food instincts” to lose weight and keep it off -- permanently. She is realistic about the challenges involved, but also offers proven and specific strategies.

While not as motivational and entertaining as Covert Bailey’s “Fit or Fat” works, "The Instinct Diet” is highly readable – a pleasant surprise. The last 2/3 of the volume is devoted to recipes. But, for Fast Food Queens like me, Roberts also offers healthy options. A very worthwhile book – I’ve already implemented several of her strategies. ( )
  MtnSk8tr | Sep 11, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
There is much common sense in The Instinct Diet, and like many other common sense eating plans out there, it will probably work if the user exercises self-discipline. The book explains the rationale behind the plan clearly and has a nice variety of menu plans and recipes, including vegetarian options. I do have a problem with too many of the recipes and meal plans calling for sugar-free foods and artificial sugar substitutes. ( )
1 vote indianajane | Jul 15, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The thing I like most about this book is that it meshes so well with the way we already eat in my family. I also appreciate that vegetarians are treated to full menus and recipes, not just "leave out the meat".
  poolays | Jul 10, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0761150196, Hardcover)

Satisfying our hardwired instincts has been critical to our survival for as long as we have been human. That's why we eat when food is available, choose the most calorie-dense foods, and hate the feeling of hunger. Today, these same drives are leading millions down the path of obesity. But Dr. Susan B. Roberts, an internationally recognized nutrition researcher at Tufts University, shows how to turn our food instincts into an engine for permanent, healthy weight loss.

The Instinct Diet—the "I" diet—is a pleasure to follow: a diet based on impeccable research, a diet where the dieter never goes hungry, a diet that's unequivocally healthy, thoroughly grounded in the metabolic, genetic, and psychological workings of the human body. Essentially, it shows how you can control the controls. Through its focus on delicious, deeply satisfying dishes like Orange Crumbed French Toast, Pork and Lemongrass Soup, Watercress and Citrus Salad with Parmesan Toast, and Chocolate Bread Pudding, plus proven behavioral modifications (Dr. Roberts is a professor of nutrition and professor of psychiatry), the diet is a fat-burning marvel. At Tufts, 85 percent of participants in Dr. Roberts' research program lost 10 to 50 pounds in the first six months, and 90 percent of them kept the weight off for at least a year. The Instinct Diet shares everything learned by Dr. Roberts over 17 years and more: better ways to lose weight whatever you eat; also a three-stage diet plan; over 100 recipes; eight weeks of menus (with vegetarian and "non-cook" options throughout); and dozens of ideas and strategies for how to retrain our bodies—how to combat the "Gulping Syndrome," use the "Sandwich Technique," why tapping your forehead is an emergency measure to reduce food cravings, and more.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:05 -0400)

Satisfying our hardwired instincts has been critical to our survival for as long as we have been human. That's why we eat when food is available, choose the most calorie-dense foods, and hate the feeling of hunger. Today, these same drives are leading millions down the path of obesity. Here, nutrition researcher Dr. Susan B. Roberts shows how to turn our food instincts into an engine for permanent, healthy weight loss. The "I" diet is a pleasure to follow: a diet based on impeccable research, a diet where the dieter never goes hungry, a diet that's unequivocally healthy, thoroughly grounded in the metabolic, genetic, and psychological workings of the human body. Essentially, it shows how you can control the controls. Through its focus on deeply satisfying dishes plus proven behavioral modifications, the diet is a fat-burning marvel.--From publisher description.… (more)

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