Originally the very first diet I ever heard of that had the “audacity” to suggest eating fat as a means of losing weight was the 3 week diet and because that was the first time I ever heard it, I was on board with the idea, but not completely into it, not until I finished reading this one.
Anyway, I will explain to you the basic idea of the Eat Fat, Get Thin book, personally review the dieting style itself and let you judge whether or not you should do it.
What is this dieting book about?
Well in terms of the basic idea, the title says it, but the depth to which Mark Hyman goes into it is by far the deepest inside look into a subject I’ve ever read on dieting.
There is actually a plan within it where you eat for 21 days, one way that is outlined and then you’ll have 2-3 options of how to “exit” out of the plan into a long term lifestyle.
In terms of weight loss, there is a page inside the book which says that most people lose about 7 pounds in the 21 days with exceptions going farther.
The biggest thing to take from this diet:
If nothing else, then the “fear” you have about fat should be put to rest. Mark devotes nearly half the book into explaining why we fear this word and the food that causes it and why it’s a misleading term.
In short, there are many different types of fats, and as it turns out, most of them are actually good for you as Mark explains. There just needs to be a distinguishing factor to understand it and well…
It’s very complicated. There’s different types of fat: saturated. monounsaturated, poly saturated and trans and the last one is the one which without any doubt is the worst, so there’s 1 distinction there.
As for the others, Mark explains when and how they are good for you by explaining which foods to eat and things such as:
Not looking at the single nutritional aspects of the food you’re eating, but the overall food itself because in many cases, what you eat may provide both healthy and unhealthy fats, but as long as there’s more good ones than bad ones, you get the benefits from it.
Ah the benefits, what can they actually be from eating like this?
Well again, this is something I already knew thanks to the 3 week diet, but this book went much deeper into the specific health benefits:
For one, healthy fats can actually reduce the risk of particularly 2 diseases: Cancer and diabetes. How? Well to understand that, we need to understand Mark’s position on where those diseases arise from:
Eating unhealthy amounts of carbs is what may cause these epidemics:
Mark cites a bunch of studies (really, there’s A LOT of studies) that prove how consuming too many carbs which is what many people in the western world do directly leads to higher insulin levels being produced as well as not enough nutrients being fed to the body and obesity arising because carbs when overeaten actually get turned into BAD fat.
Considering how this over consumption is done in the western world by many and the fact (And Mark explains this) that the food pyramid in at least the United States points to eating more carbs as being healthy and adding to that the overwhelmingly high statistics of cancer/diabetes and other conditions rising in the country, one of the culprits may indeed be carbs.
So that being said, where does fat segway back into this?
Well by eating the right kinds, Mark says it will help you burn off the BAD fat inside your body, feed the brain (lots of the foods inside this diet plan have healthy cholesterol that is said to provide benefits to muscles and the brain), lower insulin levels and basically steer an unhealthy person who has overeaten carbs and is suffering from their effects to backtrack and improve their health. The detailed story and science is inside the Eat Fat, Get Thin book.
This is where we get into the weight loss:
As I said earlier, this plan is 21 days long and as you may have guessed, you’re eating a mainly high fat diet. Now what goes into this?
Well the plan works like this:
For 21 days, you eat 3 main meals a day with 2 optional snacks provided. Water is allowed and barely a little bit of fruit such as berries are allowed.
Now in terms of sample foods, there’s ones with high fat and low carbs that are allowed but basically, there’s about 50 main foods for the 3 meals you’re eating and a little over 50 for the snacks.
One thing about this plan is that there is no calorie counting from what I saw because Mark points out that calories are not all the same and considering what types of foods you eat, they burn away differently.
So back to the sample foods:
For the main meals: Anything typically with protein and fat is allowed such as chicken, elk, beef, bison, eggs, herring and other types of fish.
For the sample snacks, you’re looking at various nuts, chia seeds, ginger, and just small things that are meant to help you get to the next main meal.
Now vegetables are interesting in this diet because as I personally learned, many of them actually have starches and those get turned into…carbs.
Mark provides a list of vegetables with…healthy carbs, basically those that don’t raise insulin from my understanding and provide you nutritional benefit, things like avocados, broccoli, asparagus and even sweet potato was something I saw in one of the meal plans.
But while the examples here are few, in the book, you will get an index of all the foods that are available to you as well as a WHOLE bunch of meal plans you can create to diversify your diet.
Post diet choices…
I think I saw in the beginning of the book that there were 3 choices or paths you can take post diet, but I only read about 2 of them:
The first choice is to continue the same meal plan PAST the 21 day period and that is recommended if you have more weight to lose or haven’t reached the target goal you set.
The second is what Mark calls the “Pegan diet” which is a combination of eating in a vegan/paleo style for the long term for which there is a part of this book that devotes several sections and stages to explain how it works.
Mark says he is a big fan of the Pegan diet because it can offer long term benefits.
Eat Fat, Get Thin Diet Score:
3.5 out of 5 stars. With all the evidence provided for it, there is little doubt this diet works and/or is healthy for you. It is a strongly recommended try because it basically goes in the opposite diet suggestions that have been around for years, but have still seemingly not provided a decrease in obesity and other conditions.
Is this diet recommended? And if so, for who?
I would say that anyone who has excessive weight issues, obesity, diabetes, the likelihood of heart disease and other conditions at least look over this plan and consider following it, especially if the current things you’ve been doing have not worked.
Is there anyone for whom this diet will not be suited for? Better solutions?
Well I believe everyone who does it will lose weight and if that is the priority and the goal is ONLY that, and a lot of it, then you may want to try a diet plan that has 10 options (I briefly talked about this above), all of which are great for fat burning.
One of the methods also uses the same style of eating fat, but in addition has 9 other methods I’ve personally used to increase results a lot more. So you basically get the benefits of the Eat Fat, Get Thin diet plan + more proven options added to the mix for a much more powerful overall plan:
I absolutely love both plans and strongly recommend either of them. You will lose weight by eating fat from both plans, but one will provide faster results.
Both plans function on a similar, none orthodox understanding of why people can’t lose weight easily and how to solve it and that makes them both special plans worth checking out.
After reading both of these plans, I have completely rethought what I think and know about the subject of fat and recently repurchased myself a bottle flaxseed oil and the seeds themselves so I can eat them, among other food choices that people would think would add weight to me, but I have full confidence in that it won’t and will only improve my health thanks to the knowledge from this plan (and the other too).