Thursday, February 11, 2016

Winter Reading 2016 The 4 x 4 Diet

I've never read a diet book before, but this one makes a lot of sense. Erin explains how she developed her approach, what she means by "clean and lean," and even talks about excuses and how to overcome them. In the section on eating clean, she lays out the reasons for the 4 foods she targets and why it is important to control them. She doesn't advocate eliminating any of them, just limiting them and choosing your indulgences. Then she shares tips on kitchen tools and ingredients, and provides recipes for meals, snacks, and even desserts. In the next section she describes the tabata approach to exercise, lists equipment you will need, and gives sample workouts for beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. The final section of the book puts it all together with a 4-week plan of menus and workouts.

I appreciate the detail Erin gives and the way she confronts and debunks excuses right from the start. The recipes offer various flavors and there are also variations and substitutions at the end of that section. The exercise section includes pointers for how to work around injuries and ailments, and she stresses that it is okay to move between the levels as needed. Her comment, "you don't have to put in 100 percent when you're not feeling 100 percent," is so sensible. (So if you have a cold and feel rotten, you may not be up to doing an advanced workout - but you can get up off the couch and at least go for a walk.) And I really appreciate the 4-week plan to get started. Having it all laid out so that beginners don't have to try and map out meals and workouts and worry about getting a good balance is great. It allows you to ease into the routine, working on one clean eating habit per week and gradually increasing the difficulty of the exercise so that you feel progress rather than frustration.

With the option to squeeze in these short 4-minute workouts throughout the day (if you can't do them all in one session), and plenty of recipes to choose from, as well as suggestions to make your own recipes a healthier version, there really aren't any excuses left. Guess I better get away from the computer and get moving!

I would recommend this to anyone who wants to create a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their families. Erin's writing style makes it seem you are talking with a friend whose energy and fitness you admire. The photos with the exercises show good form for the movements. And I can't wait to give some of these recipes a try. I'll report back in 4 weeks and tell you how it's going.

Visit the author bio or the book's information page to find out more. You may also find the author on Twitter or Facebook.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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