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  Diet Review

Diet Evolution
Eat Great, Lose Weight
Eating Thin for Life
Enter the Zone
Idiot's Guide
Sugar Busters!
The Atkins Diet
The Balancing Act
Total Health Makeover

Suzanne Somers' Eat Great, Lose Weight
by Suzanne Somers, foreword by Barbara M. Dixon, LDN, RD

THE GOOD: Somers' plan offers a wide choice of foods to be included in meal plans, menus and recipes. All food groups are included and many of the suggested items are natural and fibrous foods -- fresh produce, beans, grains and fresh herbs. Water is the beverage of choice (including decaf coffee and tea), as the author feels other low calorie beverages (such as sodas and drink mixes) have too many chemicals. The "Somersize" plan includes Level One for initial weight loss and Level Two for maintenance. The book begins with a smart foreword by Dixon, nutritionist, author and health educator. Dixon admits that Somers is a picture of physical health, and that what Suzanne is doing works for Suzanne (more or less). However, she never openly supports food combining. In fact, she directs readers to the RDAs and Food Guide Pyramid for info on meeting daily nutritional needs.

THE BAD: Eat Great, Lose Weight is more a food journal (of what the author eats) and family photo album than a resource for weight loss. And with close to two-thirds of the pages dedicated to recipes, it may better serve as a cookbook. Somers' categories of "Funky Foods" eliminate sugars, some starches, caffeine and alcohol and "bad combo foods" (nuts, olives and avocados). Level Two, while more lenient, seems to contradict a majority of the Somersize rules established at Level One. (And you thought the Food Guide Pyramid was confusing?!) Overall, the rules of this eating plan seem to be a mix of Sugar Busters! and food combining, neither of which have any scientific basis.

THE UGLY: The Somersize plan is just another low-calorie diet from another pretty face. Although no portion sizes are provided and the recipes have no nutritional analysis, a sample menu on Level Two provides only 1,200 calories per day. (That includes wine and dessert!) This calorie level is low enough to result in weight loss for most individuals. Our queen of the ThighMaster barely commits one page to exercise. Her motto, "be fit, not fanatic" is not all bad -- Somers does hike, bike and walk. But other statements, "I never go to the gym. I've never been to a gym!" could leave readers with unrealistic expectations. It is also evident that Somers has a poor understanding of special nutritional needs. She boasts about her Sugarless Cheesecake, created for a diabetic aunt, but warns those with heart disease and high cholesterol. In fact, more people with diabetes die of heart disease than from any other complication, so sugar content is not the only criteria that diabetics should consider when choosing food items in their diet.





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