Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Abs Diet

So my new reading is The Abs Diet, the bright orange book you've seen at the bookstore and supermarket.

The guy who wrote it is the editor-in-chief of Men's Health magazine, and it shows. The writing has the same type of "We want to seem hip so bad, we're going to show you how hip we are at least once a paragraph," writing style that litters the magazine, which wouldn't be nearly so annoying if his definition of "hip" didn't match with that of a sophomore in high school. Hip means beer and girls.

Add to that the title and the promise--washboard abs in six weeks.

That's ludicrous all the way around. People don't need abs. Abs are nice, and are a good sign you've lost weight--the guys who track this kind of stuff say that you'll see abs when your body fat gets down around 11%--but they aren't vital to good health.

And, add to that the cutesy way he tries to make the "12 authorized foods" fit his acronym "ABS DIET POWER 12." A is for "Almonds and other nuts." S is for "Spinach and other leafy greens." The list is extremely forced.

There, in a handful of paragraphs, you have my only complaints about the entire book. The nutrition is sound, the logic is good, the recipes look tasty. He also points out it isn't a diet so much as a way of eating--an important aspect of not just losing a couple quick pounds, but about changing your lifestyle.

A lot of people are skipping the big thick book and just buying the little $8 Food Guide, which includes the chapters from the book on food, along with recipes and lists of what to get when eating out.

Worth a look.

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