How Not to Diet by Michael Greger MD
  • Title: How Not to Diet
  • Subtitle: The Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss
  • Author(s): Michael Greger MD
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Year: 2019-12-12
  • ISBN-10: 1509893075
  • ISBN-13: 9781509893072


How Not to Diet” by Michael Greger is a groundbreaking and comprehensive guide that focuses on evidence-based approaches to weight loss and healthy eating. In this book, Greger combines his expertise as a physician, nutritionist, and public speaker to debunk common dieting myths and shed light on the most effective strategies for sustained weight management. Through extensive research and analysis, Greger presents an array of scientific studies and practical tips that empower individuals to make informed choices about their diet.

The book delves into various aspects of nutrition, covering topics such as the impact of different foods on metabolism, the role of gut health in weight regulation, and strategies to prevent cravings and overeating. Greger also emphasizes the importance of incorporating lifestyle changes instead of relying solely on short-term diets. With his engaging writing style and use of compelling anecdotes, Greger succeeds in making complex scientific concepts accessible and engaging for readers of all backgrounds. “How Not to Diet” is a must-read for anyone seeking a factual and proven approach to weight loss that prioritizes long-term health and well-being.

Book Review

A Scientific and Informative Guide to Healthy and Sustainable Weight Loss

In “How Not to Diet,” Michael Greger presents an extensive and comprehensive exploration of evidence-based strategies for effective weight loss and healthy eating. As a physician, nutritionist, and public speaker, Greger combines his expertise with a passion for empowering individuals to make informed choices about their diets, leading to long-term health and well-being.

One of the key strengths of this book lies in Greger’s commitment to scientific research. He thoroughly examines a multitude of studies and presents their findings in a compelling and accessible manner. He emphasizes the importance of sourcing reliable and unbiased information, urging readers to be skeptical of fad diets and pseudoscientific claims. Throughout the book, Greger provides numerous examples to support his arguments. For instance, he highlights studies that demonstrate how incorporating whole plant foods into our diets can effectively reduce body weight while improving overall health.

Greger also debunks common myths surrounding weight loss. He challenges the popular notion that calories are the sole determinant of weight gain or loss, demonstrating that factors such as food composition, gut microbiota, and metabolism play crucial roles. With engaging anecdotes, he shares stories of individuals who successfully lost weight by adopting a high-fiber, plant-based diet and emphasizes the benefits of consuming foods that enhance satiety, such as whole grains, legumes, and fruits.

The book also delves into the fascinating world of gut health and weight regulation. Greger explains how our microbiome affects our metabolism and discusses the impact of different foods on the gut microbiota. He provides examples of studies that demonstrate how prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods can help maintain a healthy weight. Greger’s attention to scientific research is evident throughout the book, ensuring that readers have access to reliable data while navigating this complex topic.

Furthermore, what sets this book apart is Greger’s focus on sustainable, long-term lifestyle changes instead of quick-fix diets. He emphasizes the importance of incorporating healthy habits into our routines to ensure weight management. Rather than providing a rigid meal plan, Greger offers practical advice and actionable steps for readers to implement in their daily lives. For example, he provides guidance on portion control, meal timing, and strategies to prevent overeating by managing hunger hormones.

The book’s writing style is engaging and highly accessible, making it easy for readers without a scientific background to understand complex concepts. Greger’s use of humor and storytelling brings the material to life, making the book an enjoyable read. Moreover, the inclusion of helpful charts, tables, and diagrams enhances comprehension and serves as a valuable reference for readers seeking quick information on specific topics.

Despite its numerous strengths, “How Not to Diet” can occasionally feel overwhelming due to the sheer volume of information presented. As readers navigate chapters filled with research and case studies, they might find it challenging to absorb and apply all the knowledge. However, the book’s comprehensive index and chapter summaries provide useful tools for locating specific information and revisiting key concepts.

In conclusion, “How Not to Diet” by Michael Greger is a meticulously researched and engaging book that debunks weight loss myths and provides evidence-based strategies for healthy and sustainable weight management. Through his expertise as a physician and nutritionist, Greger empowers readers to make informed choices about their diets while dispelling prevailing misinformation. With its emphasis on scientific research, practical guidance, and enjoyable writing style, “How Not to Diet” is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to attain long-lasting health and well-being.

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Key Ideas

In “How Not to Diet,” Michael Greger explores a wide range of ideas centered on evidence-based strategies for healthy and sustainable weight loss. Some of the key ideas presented in the book include:

  1. Holistic Approach to Weight Loss Greger advocates for a holistic approach to weight loss that focuses on overall health and well-being rather than quick-fix diets. He emphasizes the significance of sustainable lifestyle changes, incorporating whole plant-based foods, and engaging in regular physical activity.

  2. Food Composition Greger challenges the notion that weight loss is solely determined by calories consumed and burned. He explores the impact of different foods on metabolism and satiety, highlighting the benefits of consuming whole grains, legumes, and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.

  3. Gut Health and Weight Regulation Greger explores the emerging field of gut health and its influence on weight regulation. He discusses the importance of maintaining a healthy gut microbiota and how prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods can aid in weight management.

  4. Hunger Hormones and Mindful Eating The book delves into the science behind hunger hormones and how they influence our appetite and food cravings. Greger provides strategies on how to harness these hormones through mindful eating, portion control, and effective meal timing.

  5. Debunking Dieting Myths Greger debunks common dieting myths, such as the effectiveness of certain supplements or the superiority of specific macronutrient ratios. He urges readers to critically evaluate claims and rely on evidence-based findings.

  6. Importance of Reliable Information Throughout the book, Greger emphasizes the importance of relying on reliable, evidence-based information when making dietary choices. He warns against pseudoscientific claims and fad diets, encouraging readers to seek out reliable sources of knowledge.

  7. Sustainable Weight Management Greger stresses the importance of sustainable weight management by focusing on long-term lifestyle changes rather than short-term fixes. He provides practical advice on creating healthy habits, managing cravings, and overcoming common challenges to ensure lasting success.

These key ideas form the foundation of “How Not to Diet” and provide readers with a scientifically-backed roadmap for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, while emphasizing overall health and well-being.

Target Audience

The book “How Not to Diet” by Michael Greger is targeted at a diverse audience interested in weight loss, healthy eating, and evidence-based nutrition. It is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Individuals Seeking Weight Loss This book is an invaluable resource for individuals who are looking to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Greger provides evidence-based strategies backed by scientific research, empowering readers to make informed choices about their diets.

  • Health and Nutrition Enthusiasts Those interested in health, nutrition, and the science behind weight management will find “How Not to Diet” to be a compelling and informative read. The book explores topics such as gut health, metabolism, and the impact of different foods on weight regulation.

  • Medical Professionals and Nutritionists Medical professionals, nutritionists, and healthcare practitioners can benefit from reading this book to enhance their understanding of evidence-based weight loss strategies. The extensive research and analysis presented by Greger provide valuable insights that can inform their practice.

  • Individuals Who Have Struggled with Fad Diets Those who have experienced the frustration of yo-yo dieting or have fallen victim to the promises of quick-fix diets will find “How Not to Diet” to be a refreshing perspective. Greger debunks common dieting myths and provides a science-backed approach to sustainable weight management.

  • Readers Interested in Lifestyle Changes This book is recommended for anyone looking to make long-term changes to their diet and lifestyle. Greger emphasizes the importance of adopting healthy habits and offers practical advice on incorporating them into daily routines.

In conclusion, “How Not to Diet” is highly recommended reading for individuals seeking evidence-based strategies for weight loss, nutrition enthusiasts, healthcare professionals, and those looking to make sustainable lifestyle changes. Greger’s scientific approach, engaging writing style, and practical advice make this book a valuable resource for anyone interested in maintaining a healthy weight and overall well-being.