Supersized Lies, subtitle (How Myths about Weight Loss are Keeping us Fat -And the Truth About what Really Works) is the fourth book from the author Robert J. Davis who runs the healthyskeptic.com website.
I was not previously familiar with the authors work, but was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this soon to be released book. As you can see from the attached book cover, it has a very catchy graphic to go along with the emotionally charged title.
My readers and followers will be aware of my own skepticism around many things in the “health” field including those surrounding diet and nutrition. I even briefly discuss some of them in my webinar. So I was very interested to read what the author had to say.
This was a very easy to read book at less than 200 pages and organized into eight main chapters. I was easily able to digest it in essentially two days. I nice break from some of the tombs I tend to get myself into. Teaser: Look for a review of one of these coming in the fall.
The book is laid out with each chapter representing a main theme like: The Calorie Fallacy or Exercise Illusions, and each chapter having 4 main components: 1. A few Myth or Truth arguments, 2. A short story about a person’s personal journey surrounding the myth(s) being discussed, 3. The supporting argument around the discussed Myth or Truth and lastly, 4. The authors What to Do or their recommendations for the chapter topic.
As the title suggests, this book is focused on primarily weight loss myths and tactics, so one needs to keep that in mind. While exercise has its own chapter, other lifestyle factors do not get as much attention as I would have personally liked. However, while maintaining a healthy weight is part of being healthy overall, one does need to keep in mind the topic at hand is weight loss myths not Health, Performance or Longevity that I usually focus on.
I am glad that the author states in the first chapter that “there’s no single best diet for everyone”, which is what I whole heartedly believe, as nutrition can be very nuanced for optimal health, including weight loss.
I counted 21 Myth or Truths in the book. I agreed with 11 of them, I did not disagree with any, but found that 10 were more nuanced or incomplete in my opinion. Again, I look through the lens differently than just from a weight loss perspective, which is the focus of this book.
I am not going to spoil the read for all of you and give away all the authors “What to Do’s”, but I did want to highlight three that I agree with, and that I believe everyone can benefit from:
- Minimize highly processed foods
- Make gradual changes. It takes time to adjust.
- Try to keep after dinner eating to a minimum
When I work with a new client, whether their goal includes weight loss or not, I always have them complete a two-week food log, along with some qualitative observations, in order to get a baseline of how they eat, what may be affecting their health and where we can begin to make incremental changes. An idea that the author presented that I am going to begin using myself go forward is to include observations on where the client was, who they were with and what they were doing while they were having their meals. I think this information can help explain some of the patterns that may be helping or hindering not only healthy eating, but other health and lifestyle factors as well.
I feel that inflammation, and that can come from many sources including our nutrition, plays a big role in our overall health, including weight loss and or weight gain. That has certainly been my experience with myself and with my clients. If there was an idea that was missing from this book, that would probably be it.
That being said, if someone is concerned with weight loss and wants to filter through a lot of the noise out there on their own without working with a professional than this book is a great place to start. Supersized Lies is being released in September 2021 and you can find it everywhere books are sold.
I have reached out to Mr. Davis to see if he would be up for an interview regarding this book. We are trying to find a time that works, so stay tuned on social media to find out.