The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook by Lyle McDonald has become quite popular on the internet so I decided to do a little review on it and put in my 2 cents. As the title reads “Rapid Fat Loss Handbook” you guessed right if you thought the book was about losing weight quick.
The book is pretty much about crash dieting your way to weight and fat loss. This can be very unhealthy, from both a physiological and psychological point of view and I’m glad Lyle warns his readers of that at the beginning of the book. If it weren’t for the fact that he continuously warns against crash dieting as a long term fat loss plan throughout the book I would’ve thought the book to be dangerously misleading.
His goal with this book is to teach his readers how to crash diet in a way that doesn’t negatively affect the health of the dieter. I like the fact that he discusses the difference between weight loss vs fat loss as it seems that everybody’s hung up on losing weight without realizing that weight lost doesn’t always translate into fat lost. Depending on how that weight is lost it can consist of lost fat, water, or muscle tissue. And neither of the latter lead to a more attractive look.
The theory behind the book is based on a “protein-sparing modified fast” recommended by surgeons to patients who needed to lose weight quickly before surgery. Surprisingly the handbook has sound advice on how to follow such a crash diet safely. He advices against heavy exercise until you go back to eating normally, and if you hadn’t been working out to begin with he advices you not to start a workout routine until after the completion of the diet. These crash diets can be very stressful on the body and because of that strenuous work of any kind is contraindicated.
On multiple occasions he reminds the reader that a crash diet is to be done exactly as the book describes and that one shouldn’t under any circumstances stay on a crash diet for long periods of time due to the negative health implications of doing so. Something I found respectable was that he discussed the “bounce back” or “yo-yo” effect that these crash diets can have. Most authors of “crash diet” type books don’t normally do this.
So It seems that many people gain the weight back soon after going off these kinds of diets. In the book Lyle discusses ways to transition back into a more normal eating style while still keeping the lost fat and weight off.
All in all I think it’s a good read but when it comes down to it. The best fat loss program is one that is sustainable for the long term and one that actually empowers you to feel not only good about your body but to feel good on the inside as well. The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook is not that program.
Having said that it’s a good read and for those select few that need this type of resource(athletes that need to make weight, ladies wanting to lose weight before a wedding) and are willing to do it right this is a good book.
I must say though proceed with caution. Most people are interested in the quick fix at the expense of their health. People that don’t exercise moderation and don’t follow Lyle’s guidelines in the Rapid Fat Loss Handbook could end up in some sticky waters as far as their health is concerned.