We’ve always said that “diet” is a four-letter word, so to see a whole book that is based on the idea that you can be healthy, satisfied and full without dieting was like written music to our fit eyeballs. A symphony of the right-way-to-drop-pounds, in fact. And written by someone who has a unique yet extremely educated take on the subject: a board-certified general surgeon who has performed more than 3,500 bariatric surgical procedures in his career.
Author Dr. Michael A. Snyder is also the creator of Full products like FullBar Fit and FullBites, both of which we’ve reviewed and enjoyed. When I first got Full: A Life Without Dieting to review, I was concerned that the book would actually be a commercial for the Full products—so many diet books pimp a specific product or supplement these days—but it wasn’t in the least. Instead, it was filled with interesting facts, research and an inside look at how bariatric surgery works and what goes on behind the scenes to make sure that patients who go under the knife are set up for success and aren’t just looking for a magic bullet to a healthy lifestyle. You hear so many stories of botched weight-loss surgeries or those whose weight-loss doesn’t stick that it’s nice to hear a surgeon discuss all of the other education, training and therapy that goes on outside of the operating room. (Dr. Snyder is also adamant that surgery is always a last resort for those who have 100+ pounds to lose.)
While the book is filled with plenty of sane, healthy living tips such as planning your meals and your workouts, journaling your foods and hunger, being more mindful when eating and always eating a healthy breakfast, I loved how Dr. Snyder focused not on calories but on—you guessed it—fullness. And fullness isn’t just about the stomach; it’s also about our brain, hormones and whether or not we feel deprived (which many of us do on that dreaded D-I-E-T).
Fullness is also about the heart. Most of us know that it can take your stomach a full 20 minutes to register that it’s full, but did you know that the upper part of your stomach pushing up and into your heart is actually one of the ways that we “feel full”? Seriously fascinating. According to the book, you can cause your body to register fullness more easily by using this knowledge to its fullest (Get it? Fullness? Haha!). Simply eating something every three to four hours can help, as can eating a healthy soup or small salad with a full glass of water about half an hour before a meal.
The book’s bottom line is that willpower is hard to rely on day after day, diet after diet. Which is why we as a country fail at diets so often. Instead, Dr. Snyder uses real science to help you choose healthy whole foods and a way of eating that helps your body to naturally feel full and take that unreliable willpower out of the equation (read: no beating yourself up the next day for eating that extra cookie). The book still touches on emotional eating and even “prescribes” four cheat meals a week, but at the end of the day, the book is a sane and scientific way to losing weight. And you know what? Mikey, we like it! —Jenn