Pros: well-documented, sound advice, fascinating
Cons: very short
There are only five sound rules to follow in order to keep in balance (or bring back into balance) your master hormone leptin. They seem sound to me because Byron Richards, a board-certified clinical nutritionist with plenty of medical journal articles backing him up, makes them sound very sound in his 2006 book, The Leptin Diet, that follows his groundbreaking 2002 book, Mastering Leptin. I havent read his first book yet and may find it more fascinating than his second, but a girlfriend discovered the one book and Ill have to find the other.
Before I give you the five rules, let me mention that leptin controls whether you will carry excess weight or not, how much you need to eat before feeling satisfied, how youre going to spend energy (food as fuel), how all other hormones in your body function, how your immune system responds, how healthy and clear-headed you will be, how well you (if female) will be able to sustain a pregnancy and create a healthy child, and lets not forget that it helps you to sleep well and not ache in your bones and joints. Its therefore quite essential that we understand how to make leptin work with, not against us.
Richards explains in detail how leptin may become confused because of our eating habits and work in ways that are not of benefit to us. There are five modes of leptin operation: balanced-leptin mode, leptin-resistance mode, starvation mode, famine-recovery mode and fat-burning mode. Today more and more people are caught in a cycle involving the middle three modes that is caused by overeating, poor quality of food, weight problems and yo-yo dieting. Richards vehemently disagrees with the popular advice these days to eat many small meals a day and/or to snack. This only cripples leptin efficiency and traps people in the cycle mentioned above. It has perpetuated the epidemic of obesity, but its very important for everyone, not just dieters, to be in balance-leptin mode.
You may check out his website, truthinwellness.com, to take a test to determine what mode you are in, but if you have abnormal fatigue, depression, irritability, the inability to focus, poor metabolism, flawed immune function, problems extracting energy from a normal amount of food, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, anorexia, reproductive-function problems and so on, please pay attention to the five easy rules for this diet or rather this new eating approach. Details are found in The Leptin Diet.
1. Never eat after dinner.
2. Eat three meals a day (four is temporarily permitted if medically necessary)
3. Do not eat large meals
4. Eat a breakfast containing protein
5. Reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat
While Richards does explain these rules in depth, its more like guidelines rather than specifics. He understands that overweight people need a new eating lifestyle they can apply themselves, rather than a fad diet, a calorie-manipulation scheme or a starvation routine masquerading as a diet. There are no recipes and just a few suggestions for breakfast. He mentions wise food choices like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, lean grass-fed meats, organic dairy products, eggs. I dont remember fish being mentioned, but he stresses that people eat within their heritage. Id go along with that, but youll never stop me from eating coconut products! Beef lard might be in my Nebraska heritage, too, but that doesnt mean Ill use it.
I enjoyed this little book immensely because learning about nutrition is one of my favorite hobbies. Richards well-documented science of leptin is something I wasnt familiar with and so it fascinated me. He may have made a small splash in the news six years ago as the first person to write a book about leptin, but not many people seem to be following his sensible advice. People just love to snack and its so simple to overeat if you eat out or use food as a crutch. Hopefully you will appreciate The Leptin Diet as much as I have.
There are eleven chapters to organize the short just-over-100 page book. The Appendix with its medical journal article links was informative, just like the rest of the book. You will understand after reading it that when you eat or dont is as important as what you eat and it should help you to slowly regain control of your health.
I promise to get to his first book, Mastering Leptin, before too long.