Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Book Review

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Mission Statement: all reviews will be my honest assesment on the material in queston. My opinion will never be influenced by personal bias or my opinion of the author.

The Metabolic Repair Manual




"If you have ever seen the frustration of a woman who hates her body to the point of starving herself and training for so many hours that it is a wonder she can walk, all in the effort to lose those "last pounds" then you might start to understand why I do what I do. I just can't let that happen anymore, not when I have the answers."

- Leigh Peele

Who is this book for?

This a book for chronic dieters that might have caused significant damage to their metabolism by years of calorie deprivation and yoyo-dieting. The book provides a practical approach with the objective of fixing a 'broken' metabolism.

What will I learn from it?

This book attempts to answer the question why you're not losing fat despite a rigid diet. You will learn the functions of various hormones and their effect on your metabolism, and you will learn how to get your fat loss back on track again.

Strong points

* Good points about some common mistakes made by everyone including experienced dieters. This video is pretty telling: Food counts.

* Although it is geared towards the 'professional dieter', male and female, it feels like this book is specifically aimed towards women. In that category it is a welcome addition, since it deals specifically with many general behaviors and issues pertaining to this group.

* Good primer on hormones and their effect on metabolism.

* The R.E.P.A.I.R program is based on sound priniciples.

Weak points

* In the chapter 4, there is a brief summary of some of the advice given in The Fat Loss Troubleshoot (another book by Leigh). The advice (goal setting, behavioral strategies etc) is generally quite sound, but the training and diet advice given here feels generic and haphazard. I get the feeling that Leigh went 'let's throw this in the mix just for the hell off it', and I suspect it may only serve to confuse the reader.

* Book layout, and even language in some areas, feels a bit lacking.

* The absence of a reference list; this seems like a bit of a cheap move considering all the research Leigh apparently put into the subject.

Overall

Albeit lacking some polish (editing mainly), my impression of this book is mostly positive. Interactions between hormones, metabolism and calorie balance is quite complex, particularily when it comes to women, yet Leigh manages to fit together the pieces quite well; I particularily liked the fact that Leigh discussed topics like water retention, periods and the effect on scale weight (a seeminly small issue which can be quite a mindfuck for some people, causing much frustration and discouragement). So, this book comes recommended for frustrated dieters and people interested in the subject of metabolism in general.

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My name is Martin Berkhan and I work as a nutritional consultant, magazine writer and personal trainer.

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