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Top 10 Must-Read Health Books September 2010: #10 ‘Fat Then Fit Now’ By Dr. Joe Leonardi

Posted Sep 13 2010 8:22pm

Because there are so many diet and health books that continue to come out on a regular basis, I’d like to begin a new regular feature on the “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” blog to help you wade through all the muckity muck and gobbledygook that comes out from the publishing world. Books galore have been written and promoted sharing this, that, and everything else as it relates to the connection between nutrition, fitness, and a healthy way to lose weight forever. If you tried to read ALL of the books on this subject, then your head would probably start to spin with all the conflicting advice and ideas that are put out there by seemingly intelligent and experienced “experts” in the field. Unfortunately, this will always be true no matter what which is why I thought it would be important for me to dedicate a series of book review posts each month to cut through the hype and get right to the heart of the matter. Some months like September 2010 will feature some truly amazing new books for you to check out while other months may feature books that you may have heard about but don’t quite hit the mark of excellence according to the standards we come to expect from those espousing health principles. As always, my opinions are just that–exactly what I think about these books, good and bad. You are welcome to disagree, but hopefully what I share will help you make an informed decision about what books you’d like to add to your personal library!

Anyone who has the tenacity and determination to personally will themselves to take off a significant amount of weight after being morbidly obese and decidedly unhealthy deserves a whole heap of respect and admiration in my book. I suppose it helps that I myself have personally experienced this kind of weight loss success and know all too well how much hard work goes into reaching that goal with a plan that worked for me. And if you happen to work as a health practitioner and accomplish this amazing weight loss feat, then what an opportunity you could have to make a major impact on both your patients and everyone who is exposed to your life-changing story! That’s precisely what has happened to and enthusiastic chiropractor named Dr. Joe Leonardi which motivated him to write an 86-page book about his incredible 130-pound weight loss success called Fat Then Fit Now: A Life Beyond Weight Loss .

Dr. Leonardi is an energetic man now, but he hasn’t always been that way. Once weighing in at a robust 340 “unhealthy, unfit pounds” as he describes it, today he’s a changed man. He shares how despite his love for weight lifting he allowed himself to get out of control nutritionally. And you won’t find any finger pointing in this book because Dr. Leonardi takes full responsibility for how he got to be so fat in his life. He describes this as the “secret” to making this happen for yourself. The power to bring about change is in YOUR hands and here’s how Joe puts it: “It is not difficult at all to lose weight; however, it takes discipline, desire and determination. You must make it happen. You must change your lifestyle.” If you think anybody else is gonna do it for you, then don’t bother getting Fat Then, Fit Now. But if you’re ready for some tough love that will earnestly help you transform your life without all the “long-winded, over complicated, medical jargon,” then this is INDEED the book for you!

So you’re probably thinking Joe must have eaten in “moderation” like a rabbit, cut his calories, hours of cardiovascular exercise daily, taken diet pills, and the like. But you would be wrong. He realizes now that he didn’t want to be obese and that he needed to come up with a strategy that would be both effective and permanent to help him deal with this problem. After committing himself to no longer be fat and to CHOOSE to live a healthier lifestyle, Joe got rid of the sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fast foods, and “highly processed refined garbage” and replaced them with healthy proteins, fresh vegetables, healthy fats, low glycemic fruits and the proper dose of appropriate exercise (which he provides specific routines at the back of the book for you to make it easy peasy). And Joe knows this template for eating healthy can easily apply to school lunch programs for children as well as employee health incentive plans without wasting money on plans that just won’t work despite what “they” say. Honesty is what you get a heavy dose of from this man who knows what he’s talking about.

The chapters in this very readable book include some informative “Interlude” sections where Joe goes on some informative and entertaining rants about the state of diet and health in America. Those parts of this book alone are worth the price of admission where you get real life stories that hammer home the central points of Fat Then Fit Now. But you do get some great practical advice that tells you what you can do to lose weight like he did and you’ll learn that the changes were a lot more than physical. Realizing that a positive attitude and healthy perspective on life are as important for tapping into the energy to take on the challenges that face us–like taking off the weight that has plagued our lives for far too long. Then once you do, Joe arms you with the proper strategies about how to “stay focused” on taking it off one day at a time and then keeping it off forever.

The diet itself that Joe used to drop the pounds he describes as “a low carbohydrate, moderate fat and protein eating regime.” And he honestly believes anyone can do well on a plan like this. Unlike other popular low-carb programs like the Atkins diet, though, Joe believes you don’t need to consume as much fat since his stored body fat gave him plenty of fuel for his body. Sample menus and food suggestions are provided for each of the three stages of the Fat Then Fit Now plan. Real whole foods are “strongly encouraged and advised” preferably from “local farms” opting for “free range poultry and grass-fed red meats” when possible. And he’s no fan of the packaged low-carb products that contain sugar alcohols which have “always slowed my progress.” However, I was intrigued to see what I have described as a “planned splurge” encouraged where “one day every other week” Joe says to “enjoy your favorite foods for the day.” His reasoning is if you get right back on plan again then it won’t be a big deal. Some people believe you have to be a 100% purist about your diet in order to be successful, but Joe realizes that the real world requires a strategy that will keep you on the straight and narrow MOST of the time.

This book may be less than 100 pages long, but it is power-packed with so much good stuff that will both encourage and motivate you to be the weight loss success you so desperately desire to be. If you’re new to low-carb living, you’ve gotten stuck with no weight loss, or just want to be inspired anew in your chosen lifestyle change, then let Dr. Joe Leonardi show you what he has learned about being Fat Then Fit Now.

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