I received this book at an odd time in my life—when I didn’t need to lose weight. I’ve been pretty lucky about staying fit; I make it a priority. Still, there have been times in my life when I needed to shed a little or gain a little. But more importantly, I struggle with eating healthy. Though I’ve been a vegetarian for thirty years, I still eat a lot of “junk.” Chips, sugar, cheese, and bread all are part of my regular intake and often replace the “healthier” choices that I should make. My mental excuse is “Why Bother? It hasn’t affected me.” Excuses, excuses.
Of course, the Mayo Clinic Diet by Donald D. Hensrud, M. D., the director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, interested me because I want to eat healthier.
I want to hear what the experts say is a balanced diet for improving health and feeling better. Yes, he’s designed this book with “weight loss” in mind, but the guiding principle is to help readers “follow an eating plan that’s low in calories yet tasty and satisfying, and to burn more calories through physical activity.” Something we all want to do—regardless of our weight goals.
What immediately arrested my attention was the “Habit Tracker.” Many of the“Add,” “Break,” and “Bonus” habits differed from what I’d understood to be healthy habits. Curious, I read on and was pleased to find I wasn’t forced to sift through a lot of medical speak to get right to the crux of it. In fact, each chapter is guided by an expert on the team and broken down by “Habit” and its “What,” “Why,” and “How.” Simple, right?
Still, what may appear simple in theory doesn’t always translate. That’s why we struggle. The unique bent of this book is the heady dose of psychology, addressing everything from changing behaviors to forgiving oneself for slipping up, going off track or making this process easy and enjoyable. I especially love the “Positive self-talk tips.” They’ve heard it a million times. Excuses and breakdowns that get in the way of adopting healthier habits are addressed and reframed throughout.
Yes, a lot of diet books also address these very topics, and they are great resources too. The unique bent of this book is the experts that are behind the advice. Medical practitioners, psychologists, behavioralists, all credential-worthy of working for one of the top medical facilities in the world, make this a book that everyone wanting a healthy lifestyle should read.
Image Courtesy of Mayo Clinic, Book Source Purchased.