‘It’s the Calories, Not the Carbs’
One diet book claims readers can lose weight by slurping up unlimited amounts of bland-tasting cabbage soup. Another says eat an entire cow — but no bread — and you will be on your way to weight-loss success.
Truth be told, as the number of fad diet books on store shelves has increased, so have Americans’ waistlines. No matter what the latest claim, calories do count, and the more than 60 percent of overweight or obese Americans have found this out the hard way.
Introducing “It’s the Calories, Not the Carbs,” a new book designed to debunk fad diet myths and set the record straight about healthful eating.
Authors Glenn Gaesser, U.Va. professor of exercise physiology, and Karin Kratina, a nutritionist who specializes in eating disorders, use scientific research to show that eating well — and living well — is about each individual getting the nutrients necessary for optimal mental and physical performance and emotional balance.
“Too many consumers continue to buy in to the fad diet rhetoric, the latest of which has been the low-carb craze,” said Gaesser, who directs the kinesiology program in the Curry School of Education.
“Unfortunately, when consumers cut carbohydrates, they’re eliminating an entire food group that not only can assist with weight loss, but also provides many important health benefits.”
The authors also go the next step, providing readers with a more livable, workable solution to their weight-loss goals. As Gaesser and Kratina explain, a person’s needs and health goals are completely unique and depend on a complete host of factors, from the strengths and weaknesses they were born with to the environmental conditions they may be facing. The book gives readers general guidelines they can adapt to their individual needs and realities.
“Whether your personal health goal is to lose weight, maintain your current weight, become more active, have more energy, or just improve your overall health and fitness, we show you how to listen to your body and make healthful lifestyle changes for long-term health and wellness,” said Kratina, who is in private practice in Gainesville, Fla., and is an eating disorders specialist at the University of Florida.
In his research at U.Va., Gaesser studies the impact of exercise and diet on health and fitness. A fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, he co-authored the organization’s 1998 position stand, “The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, and flexibility in healthy adults.”
The Wheat Foods Council, a nonprofit organization, commissioned Gaesser and Kratina to write “It’s the Calories, Not the Carbs,” a new edition which originally came out in 2000 under a different title.
Gaesser’s books for general audiences include “Big Fat Lies: The Truth About Your Weight and Your Health,” published in 1996 and updated in 2001, and “The Spark: The Revolutionary New Plan to Get Fit and Lose Weight 10 Minutes at a Time,” co-authored with Karla Dougherty and published in 2001. A popular speaker, Gaesser has lectured on the subject of fitness, body weight and health at numerous national and international meetings and on dozens of radio and TV shows in North America.