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The Ultimate New York Diet: The Fastest Way to a Trimmer You!    by David Kirsch order for
Ultimate New York Diet
by David Kirsch
Order:  USA  Can
McGraw-Hill, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

*   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

The New York way of life is all about fast: moving fast, thinking fast, living fast. In The Ultimate New York Diet, Kirsch tackles the problems New Yorkers face, including the lack of time to eat properly and exercise right, as well as the overabundance of fast food choices that are so easy to grab on the go. But it's not just New Yorkers who suffer from this fast-paced lifestyle and struggle with issues of weight and health. We're all pressed for time, and Kirsch endeavors to help us find a way to manage our waistlines without giving up our way of life.

In his introduction, Kirsch claims 'you can expect to lose up to 14 pounds, five inches in your waist, and a heavy (no pun intended) percentage of body fat during the first two weeks of the plan alone'. Yes, this is a rapid weight-loss plan that goes against much of what we've been told about healthy eating habits. But Kirsch is ready to argue with the naysayers and prove that his methods work better than other diets that 'take off pounds extremely quickly but fail to give you the tools needed to keep off the weight'.

How does it work? Well, it's not quite as easy as Kirsch claims. Fast results require commitment and the ability to stick to a strict dietary and exercise schedule. Unfortunately, the eating plan seems like a rehash of what we've been told for years: eat no bread, starchy carbs (such as potatoes, pasta, and just about anything found in packaged food located in 'the middle aisles of the grocery store'), dairy, or sweets. Get enough fiber and protein. And stay away from caffeine, alcohol and fruit. Fruit, you say? Yes, Kirsch tells us, 'fruit contains high amounts of fructose, a sugar', and it's not good for our waistlines.

The Ultimate New York Meal Plan is divided into three phases. For each phase, Kirsch provides menus and lists of approved snacks. In Phase 3, 'you're allowed a cheat meal once a week.' Kirsch offers suggestions, but if you're thinking that means you can indulge in a slice of chocolate cake or a solid serving of homemade lasagna, think again. Kirsch suggests foods such as a slice of pizza ('no meat toppings or extra cheese') or 'one chicken burrito with a side of black beans and salsa.'

As for exercise, Kirsch states that the ideal exercise programs requires '45 to 90 minutes of vigorous exercise' each day. However, he also recognizes that most of us don't have that kind of time, so he offers suggestions for 10-minute exercise breaks we can take at the office, or while we go about our day. Some of the exercise suggestions require special equipment, but others can be done without the need for additional items.

Celebrity testimonials are sprinkled liberally throughout the pages of this diet book, but like so many other books of its kind, the testimonials seem far removed from the day-to-day lives of non-celebrities. Likewise, the eating plan seems difficult to follow, especially for the busy moms and days with full-time jobs among us, who have difficulty finding even 10 minutes of time in which to do jumping jacks at the office. Overall, The Ultimate New York Diet seems to package together advice easily found elsewhere, but doesn't offer much new information.

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