Thursday, March 21, 2013
The Cure for Everything has a similar, though different, approach to the book I reviewed yesterday. This university professor addresses the "big stuff" of health: fitness, diet, and genetics, and also devotes too much time to "remedies" (diatribe against homeopathy and Big Pharma). He tries to be funny, but he's a lawyer and an academic, so he's not as funny as a writer for Esquire (yesterday's book).
As an academic, he had access to top researchers in Canada (where he lives), the UK and the US. He strongly believes in doing things that are backed by research... and not doing things that aren't. His frame of reference, I think, is for people who are of normal weight. He bikes to work and seems pretty healthy, and it seems to me that he is talking to people are also healthy. I liked the first two chapters on fitness and diet the most.
On fitness: My big takeaway from the book is that lifting weights is extremely important. He says it's even more important than cardio! But of course, he recommends both. For cardio, he recommends HIIT (high intensive interval training), which saves time and gets great results over hours and hours of cardio. He says that exercising does not help to lose weight, only maintain it.
On diet: He lost quite a lot of weight in his one year of researching and writing this book -- about 25 pounds. (Compare that to yesterday's author who lost 16 pounds over 2 years.) He did it through pretty serious calorie constriction and said he was hungry all the time. That sounds like a miserable way to live.
Overall, he said that to be healthy we should get enough sleep, exercise, and eat well (make half your plate fruits and veggies). "Everything else is just fiddling with the margins."
I just finished reading the book and haven't implemented any of the recommendations he makes in the book, but I am going to starting using the weights at the gym!