Neal D. Barnard - Foods That Cause You to Lose Weight: The Negative Calorie Effect

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Common Sense ala Vegetarian

Mar 23, 2004
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:inexpensive for a diet book and is not high protein based

Cons:should have a warning on the front that it is a vegetarian based diet

The Bottom Line: Yes. Sometimes people need a refresher course as to what healthy choices are.


Foods That Cause You to Lose Weight: The Negative Calorie Effect by Neal Barnard was another weight-loss plan to add to the growing list in 1999. I bought the book in 2001 and in reading the back cover (which is as follows) it sounded ideal and worth giving a shot.

Did you know certain foods have an incredible negative calorie effect that actually melts fat? This revolutionary approach, outlined by Neal Barnard, M.D., and proven effective by thousands of men and women who have tried it, can bring about the permanent weight control every diet promises, but seldom delivers.

Find out how, by following the negative calorie plan, you can:
- boost your metabolic rate
- burn calories more effectively
- lower dangerous cholesterol levels
- enjoy better health – and protect your heart
- eat the delicious foods you love – in the quantities you want
- watch the pounds disappear – without stressful dieting or the temptation to binge
- delicious negative calorie recipes included


The book is very vegetarian in premise. The menus and recipes in the back are 99% vegetarian. The plan includes a list of foods that can be eaten in unlimited quantities, and they are as follows:

Corn Celery
Rice Peas
Potatoes Cauliflower
Lettuce (all varieties) Tomatoes
Broccoli Cabbage
Carrots Oranges
Black beans Apples
Kidney Beans Grapefruit
Spinach Bananas

All of these foods are to be eaten without any kind of butter or margarine or oily toppings. This is also a list just meant as a starter as there are more foods beyond this 20. In reading, it obvious Barnard holds that it is not how much food you eat, but the types of food you eat.

Barnard holds that the first step to keeping your metabolic rate up is to make sure that your diet contains at least 10 calories per pound of your ideal body weight. This means that if you are aiming for a weight of 150 pounds, your daily menu should contain at least 1500 calories. Weight loss will be gradual, but you will not slow your metabolism and so, you will be able to retain your progress.

Obviously, this diet should only considered if you are willing to have a very vegetarian-style like way of eating. Don’t waste your time buying the book if you are not interested in a vegetarian-style of eating. All of the negative calorie foods are fruits and vegetables. Thus, to me, it seems to be no surprise that you would lose weight if that is all you are eating.

This book is very much common-sense. For someone who is trying to lose weight, it could be helpful it can give you ideas on how to incorporate more healthy eating choices into your diet. For example, if you are eating a diet that is mainly junk food, try to slowly ween in some of the food choices Barnard suggests for some of the bad stuff. This would be beneficial. In my opinion, if you don’t feel you can totally commit, try for a 50 percent commitment to start. Some is better than none. The only thing is, I feel a lot of this book is common sense, and your really don’t need the pages to tell you so. However, I have minor in nutrition, so what may be common sense to me, may not be to others. I would also, like to see people try this diet over a diet of high protein and fat.

All and all, the book is fairly inexpensive and may be a good read for some and not others. I follow a diet similar to it, but enjoy Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live, a bit more. If you are interested in a vegetarian diet to lose weight, this book could be somewhere to start.


Recommend this product? Yes

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