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Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect Weight Loss    Dr. Howard M. Shapiro order for
Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect Weight Loss
by Howard M. Shapiro
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2003 (2000)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

The heading on the first page of Dr. Shapiro's book is, 'Yes, It's Okay to Eat!' -- an attention-grabbing statement, especially for people trying to lose weight -- and these days there are millions fighting that battle. The first chapter is devoted to a discussion of what he calls 'food awareness training', in which Dr. Shapiro discusses why there are no 'bad foods' or 'correct portions'. He goes on to say that while watching daily calorie intake is very essential in successful weight loss, there's no need to stick to a strict calorie-counting regime where you feel deprived twenty minutes after you've eaten.

Dr. Shapiro's simple message is this - the food choices you make are key to successful weight loss. Using bright glossy pictures he presents a food quiz that tests calorie knowledge -- and you'd be surprised at the results! Did you know that a bowl of Frosted Flakes has less calories than a bowl of Grape-Nuts? Or that an English muffin with jam comes in at 170 calories while a dry bagel has 400? And this one was really a surprise -- one fat-free sugar-free muffin has 720 calories while a 2-pound pineapple, half a cantaloupe, half a kiwi, half a papaya, 5 oz. of grapes, 2 pears and 2 whole wheat rolls had exactly the same number of calories. I had no idea -- no wonder I flunked the food quiz!

In the next chapter Dr. Shapiro discusses everything from fat-free marketing fads and why these go wrong, to the facts about natural foods, and a few words about 'gimmick diets' plus various other diet pitfalls. He outlines and presents case studies of what he calls the four classic eating profiles all of us fall into. Using more pictures he talks about and extols fibre, and explains why choosing to add more fibre-laden foods into your daily diet will not only leave you feeling satisfied but will also help shed those unwanted pounds.

The balance of the book is devoted to simple pictorial comparisons of all kinds of foods from simple to exotic, with the number of calories in a regular servings of each, and an explanation of how to add them to your diet without religiously counting calories or depriving yourself. Add to that a comfortable and enjoyable exercise plan and Dr. Shapiro maintains that slimming down can happen, and can be maintained.

Dr. Shapiro doesn't present any new diet information here -- most of us already know that a sensible diet and regular exercise are key in losing and maintaining a healthy weight. What's different about his book is the very visual approach he uses -- rather than presenting long lists of food choices, Picture Perfect Weight Loss is packed with plenty of big glossy colour photos and calorie breakdowns to help you 'get the picture' and begin making better food choices.

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