Not a Diet Book
Read in 14 min.
Listen in 18 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by James Smith

Not a Diet Book

The key principles for adopting a healthier lifestyle

James Smith, one of the most popular personal trainers on the web and social media, has written Not a Diet Book for everyone who finds themselves obsessing over the number on the scale, and struggling to stick to a balanced diet plan, or lacking in self-esteem because they are not happy with what they see in the mirror. Chapter by chapter, this book debunks all the myths related to nutrition and training, providing valuable advice on topics such as weight loss, metabolism, calorie tracking, the importance of sleep and habit formation, and much more. The goal of the book is to help readers understand more about their body, which in turn will help them achieve their goals more easily.

Not a Diet Book
Read in 14 min.
Listen in 18 min.

Instead of being supportive and helping us get motivated, the fitness industry often leaves us confused

Ideally, the role of the entire fitness industry is to motivate people to reach their full potential by showing them what the human body is capable of under the right conditions. We should all acknowledge that the body is the only casing we are going to spend the rest of our lives in, and as such, we need to treat it with respect. In the same way that we are aware of our finances, we should all have a basic knowledge of the caloric value of most foods, so that we can manage our meals to get the best out of our daily commitments and lifestyle.

Unfortunately, the fitness industry today does not allow for this. The basic problem is that there are no big rules to respect in fitness, which means that almost anyone can become a makeshift fitness guru. It also means that there are far too many false myths about nutrition and exercise. Meanwhile, more and more people are getting sick, and the obesity rate is rising among both adults and children.

When it comes to weight loss (understood as the loss of fat mass) the only truly effective principle is the calorie deficit. Yet, the fitness industry hides this principle behind a series of methods, diets, and shortcuts, from the ketogenic diet, to intermittent fasting and beyond, sugar coating the real work that must be done every day to improve our fitness.

In a time when being overweight is thought of as the worst possible thing that could happen to a person, many people feel compelled to follow diets that are extremely low in fat, when fat is actually a macronutrient which is key to the optimal functioning of our body. The aim of this book is to provide the reader with the necessary tools to defend themselves from over-information, and to build a lifestyle that will help them achieve their goals in a sustainable and lasting way.

Before we move on to which tools you need, it is absolutely essential that you fall in love with your particular objective, which should be about performance rather than aesthetics. Losing weight doesn't mean looking better, but rather having the strength and energy to run with your children in the park, or be happy to take the stairs when the lift is full. It's about no longer worrying about what to eat when you go out to dinner with friends, feeling free to wear what you like, looking in the mirror with a smile, and feeling neither pity nor guilt. Let’s not forget that losing body fat also greatly decreases our risk of developing serious chronic diseases, and safeguards our physical and mental health.

Ideally, we would all have a healthy relationship with food, and our meals would leave no aftertaste of shame and insecurity when we walk away from the table. Ideally, we would all be able to make informed decisions about nutrition and training, lifestyle, and attitude. It is important to realise that gaining and losing weight is a cyclical process, and is completely normal. The most important thing is to feel comfortable with ourselves, both physically and psychologically, and to know how to get back on track if our resolve should waver.


The key ideas of "Not a Diet Book"

Instead of being supportive and helping us get motivated, the fitness industry often leaves us confused
Calorie deficit is the only true method for losing fat mass
Going to the gym is not the only way to burn calories
Sleep and vitamin D: two key ingredients for healthy living
Improvements in our physical condition also impact on our psychological well being
False myths in the gym: from excessive training to the bro split
The most common meal myths: cheat meals, breakfast, female weight loss
Take-home message
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