The Abs Diet

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Product Description

Great-looking abs are more than just a vanity goal. Guys with abs live longer. Guys with abs don't worry about back pain. And, of course, guys with abs get lots of female attention. Unfortunately, you could spend years on starvation diets and extreme exercise programs that never unearth those elusive abdominal muscles. Or you could spend 6 weeks with Dave Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men's Health magazine, and lose up to 20 pounds--releasing a washboard stomach worthy of any woman's dreams. Sound impossible? Let Zinczenko prove it can be done. As editor of the most important men's magazine around, he has devoted his career to showing guys how they can lose their guts and pack on muscle. Now, in The Abs Diet, he reveals his infallible formula: l 6 weeks of guy-food menus, including meals, snacks, and a restaurant dining guide focusing on foods such as steak, chicken, cheese, and nuts l A workout program that anyone can master-emphasizing strength and interval training, with a special focus on lower-body workouts (the bigger the muscles you work, the faster the weight loss) l 12 'superfoods' that will change your life l A simple maintenance plan to keep your abs from disappearing. In just 6 weeks you can develop the superior strength and sexy symmetry every man--and woman!--lusts after. Let Men's Health show you how.

Customer Reviews:

  • Change your life!
    I highly recommend this book. I have changed my eating and exercise patterns and look and feel great. Really opens your eyes to how your body processes food and turns you off to eating the junk we have become accustomed to. The biggest downfall is that you become so enthused that you preach to others about how poorly they are eating. ...more info
  • More effective than liposuction
    A lifestyle guide to winning the battle of the bulge - safer, cheaper and more effective than liposuction. Great for men....more info
  • The Abs Diet
    Thsi book is terrific. It contains quite a bit of detailed information with lots of menus and examples to help you get on the right track with a sustainable diet and an exercise program. It is a diet that you can follow and still function normally, which sets it apart from some other diet plans. I am losing 1-2 pounds per week and am pleased with the results....more info
  • Good ideas need to be organized
    The author has good overall ideas on weight loss, but needs to organize his program into a step by step method. The book is too hodge podge considering the fact that what he says is not overwhelming....more info
  • Mixed bag at best
    A few observations after two six week runs on the diet, in no particular order:

    1) The book has a lot of filler and could be narrowed down to about 50 pages
    2) The diet guidelines are sensible, especially the what to avoid parts.
    3) The book basically throws away the notion of portion control - this is a huge mistake. You must count calories to lose wieght, period. I wasted an entire run of 6 weeks on this diet and didn't lose anything.
    4) The abs recommendations are too lenient - 5 excercises 3 times a week for 10-15 reps using body weight won't cut it. Throw some wieght plates into your crunches and maybe you'll get something out of it. Personally I use another 10 minute ab workout thats far more intense.
    5) I am seriously concerned that full body weight training 3 times a week is overtraining. Pro bodybuilders do NOT train each muscle group NEARLY that often even when they are cutting wieght for competition, which they frequently must do.

    All in all my progress on this diet is mixed at best. No where near the 15 pounds in 6 weeks claims, but at least the excercise helped get me into shape....more info
  • The ABS Diet
    This is an excellent book that couples good eating with great exercise plans focsed on removing that annoying belly fat. It couples recipes with nutritional information while at the same time comparing the plan with the other widely known diet plans. Giving you a well rounded approach to weight loss and fitness....more info
  • i'd enjoy showing my body in the beach
    this really a usefull books to program my daily activities both exercise in gym n eat daily meal, all the menus is really to get n to cook. That's why i don't need any personal trainer service in gym cos i've many fitness n diet phylosopy trough this reliable book.
    what u waiting for dude....more info
  • Bad Science, Bad Advice
    While there are some good things in this book, its overall message is based on some bad science and its recommendations may lead you to gain weight, not lose it. The fundamental flaws are that the author basically ignores the central role of calories, over-hypes weight training, and discourages cardio.

    (A) Calories: Short of surgery, losing weight requires you to burn more calories than you eat. Period. The author completely glosses over this central truth and, in fact, encourages you to ignore calories and just focus on eating certain "power foods", which he thinks will get you to consume fewer calories overall. Well, that may be true for some people but not for others. If you check the other one star reviews of this book, you will find people who actually gained weight following his recommendations. If you want to lose weight, you need to figure out what your baseline, sedentary calorie usage is, which you can figure out from a variety of online sources (Google the simply named "Lose Weight Diet" for one, look for the calculator on the second page, and set activity level to sedentary). Then confirm the number by trying to eat that many calories for several days in a row and monitor your weight. If it stays flat, that is your baseline. From there you need to create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories and burning more by exercising more, and preferably both. A deficit of 500 calories per day will drop you one pound of fat (as opposed to water weight) per week, and that is a healthy and sustainable rate of loss.

    From a diet point of view, the author is right to encourage you to eat fewer simple carbs like rice, bread, pasta, and cereals. They heighten insulin, contain a ton of calories, and are too quickly digested and thus don't make you full for very long. Eat more meat and vegetables, some fruit and dairy, and check out the other power foods the author recommends. Throw in a daily vitamin and fish oil or flax supplement for good measure.

    But remember that these are means to the end, which is creating a healthy, but sustainable calorie deficit. Buy a decent calorie book and keep track of what and how many calories you eat (and burn) in a diet log. You should also track your protein intake and shoot for 0.8-1.0 grams of protein per pound of desired weight to maintain and build muscle, with the protein intake spread as evenly throughout the day as possible (protein is not easily stored in the body, unlike carbs and fat).

    While you do not need to track every single calorie and gram of protein that enters your mouth forever, you should do it for a while to get a real handle on what you are actually eating (vs. what you think you are). After that, use calorie counts to create a daily and weekly meal plan. Once that's in place, forget counting calories and just stick to the plan. Yes, you will occasionally stray, especially when you are out being social. But return to the plan as soon as possible and stick to it as often as possible.

    (B) Weight Training vs. Steady State Cardio: The author is right to encourage weight training. But if you are trying to lose fat, he is wrong to say that is all you need, exercise wise. And he uses some bad science to justify his arguments. First, he argues that weight training burns more calories overall than steady state cardio (i.e. walking, jogging), once you add in the effect of after burn and muscle building over the next 24-48 hours. Research indicates that the calorie usage of after burn is actually quite low (1). Overall, even with after-burn, an hour of vigorous weight training will consume fewer calories (200-400) than an hour of vigorous cardio (up to 600 if you run a 10 minute mile). But to lose fat, you really need both.

    Second, he says that muscle tissue consumes 50 calories per pound of muscle per day (actually he says "up to," but that is easy to miss). This is so central that it is the basis of the book's title. But the real number is more like 6 calories per pound per day (2). Fat tissue also consumes about 2 calories per pound per day (3), so as you add muscle and lose fat, you will only make tiny changes in your daily calorie usage. And that daily calorie usage may very well drop, not increase, if you are losing a lot of fat.

    Third, he neglects to tell you how difficult it is to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. It requires almost perfectly timed protein and carb boosts (those whey shakes) before and immediately after weight training, and even then, simply focusing on either muscle building or fat loss at one time, and switching back and forth (called bulking and cutting by body builders), may get you there faster. Successful muscle building generally requires a calorie surplus, while fat loss requires a calorie deficit. Usually, when trimming down, maintaining muscle is the most you can really hope for, but weight training is critical to that.

    Fourth, he says that cardio can actually hurt you by destroying needed muscle. If your primary objective is building muscle, avoiding cardio is fine. But if your primary objective is losing fat, cardio may be critical to achieving the calorie deficit you need. Associated muscle loss can be minimized or avoided completely by not creating too severe a calorie deficit in your diet alone (no more than 15-20% below baseline metabolism), eating sufficient protein (0.8-1.0 grams per pound of your desired weight spread evenly throughout the day, and tuna and whey protein, which the author recommends, help a lot here), and weight training. Weight training is critical because dieting + cardio alone may indeed be a recipe for muscle loss, and that will just leave you looking skinny and unhealthy rather than healthy and fit. But cardio is a critical addition. It is worth noting that even the author admits running every day after advising against cardio. Interesting.

    So what's the answer? To lose fat, trim your calories slightly below maintenance, make sure you eat enough protein throughout the day, and slowly build toward incorporating an hour of weight training and cardio into your day - either alternating between them from one day to the next or doing both on one day and resting the day in between - to create a daily calorie deficit of about 500 calories, which will result in a pound of fat loss per week. When you are ready to shift from fat loss to muscle gain, lose the cardio, keep the weight training, and adopt a slight calorie surplus of 200-400 calories per day. That's it.

    The basic problem with this and many other diet books is that it is only loosely based on real science. Any book that says "studies say" without giving you actual references to peer reviewed scientific literature is suspect. Detailed footnotes and references are a good thing. I have provided references for my comments below.

    (1) LaForgia J et. al. Effects of exercise intensity and duration on the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. J Sports Sci. 2006 Dec;24(12):1247-64. [...]
    (2) Wang, Z., Heshka, S., Zhang, K., Boozer, C.N., & Heymsfield, S.B. (2001). Resting energy expenditure: systematic organization and critique of prediction methods. Obesity Research, 9, 331-336. [...]

    (3) Ibid.

    ...more info
  • Good Insight

    I like the fact that the authors explain how things work in our bodies (how protein intake relates to the increased metabolism resulting from the workout, and to the muscle growth; which foods are good for metabolism; which of them aid in weight loss or lowering cholesterol levels). Although the idea of having six meals a day does not always fit my busy schedule, the one of snacking with fruits and/or nuts between main meals does seem to be effective in my case. What I like most about the book is the well balance diet that does not exclude any food groups. I am a great believer in the nourishment based on natural foods and The Abs Diet fully supports this belief. Dr. Tombak in the book "Can We Live 150 Year" farther explains proper food combination and its effect on our bodies. For that reason his book is a very good addition to The Abs Diet.
    ...more info
  • Great Book But I'll Let You In On a Secret!
    The Abs Diet book is great. It's simple and not really a diet. Just change the way you eat and incorporate some simple exercises and you'll change. It's already working for me but I will give you all a hint: Most of the information including recipes, workout schedules and workout depictions/pictures can all be found on the Men's Health website very easily. I found this out after the fact. Still, worth picking up. ...more info
  • After 10 days......
    So far on the Abs Diet I have lost 4.5 pounds in 10 days. If you keep the food simple it makes this "diet" so much easier. And I have really not started to exercise. June 19 will be 6 weeks so be interested to see what I look like.

    Even 4.5 is pretty good since I am not really that heavy. I started at 194.5 and I am 5'11". Like to get around 178....more info
  • A comparison of Diet Books
    Like many of you, I found myself wondering what the differences were between the various diet programs. What I discovered is that all of the major diet books are well written and share many similarities. None of them offered an "silver bullet" to weight loss - it primarily comes down to keeping your calories burned greater than your calories eaten. There are theories presented about glycemic index, good vs. bad carbs, etc., but at the end of the day it's about calories and exercise.

    In this review, I've summarized Consumer Reports evaluations to offer brief summaries of each diet book/program in hopes that it might help you pick out the one that would work best for you. Don't pay too much attention to the number of stars, as it's my own subjective rating based on effectiveness, ease of use, and ability to stick with the diet. Instead, try to discern which diet might fit your lifestyle better.

    The Abs Diet, ****
    This book is written by David Zinczenko, the editor of Men's Health Magazine. The diet likes the number 6 - promising "6 pack abs in 6 weeks," by eating 6 meals a day. Each meal is built around the "power 12" foods. There is a strong emphasis on whey supplements. The fitness program was easy to follow but perhaps too strenuous for beginners and seemed better suited to men. Strong points are excellent nutritional content and strong exercise. Weak points are questionable claims about rapid weight loss and "6 pack" abs, and mediocre meal plans. Average recommended daily calories are 1,890, with 7 fruits and vegetable servings.

    The South Beach Diet ****
    The SB Diet is a slightly more permissive version of the Atkins low-carb diet. It is based on the premise that eating low-glycemic foods (foods that raise blood sugar) decreases cravings for sugar and refined carbs. Like many of the diets, there are two phases. In the first phase, fruits, sugar, and grains are banned outright. Phase 2 allows some fruit, high-fiber grains, and dark chocolate. The simplicity of the diet might appeal to many busy dieters. However the emphasis on the glycemic index and insufficient exercise sections are a drawback. Recipes are easy to prepare, but some called for unusual ingredients (a clever cook could make substitutions). Average recommended daily calories are a mere 1,340, with 13 fruits and vegetable servings (mostly veggies).

    The Sonoma Diet ****
    The Sonoma Diet is an updated low-carb diet with a Mediterranean theme. Again, it is broken into two phases, called "waves." In "Wave 1," the dieter is banned from eating most sweet or refined foods. The much longer "Wave 2" permits fruits and wine. It has a unique method of calculating portions by filling sectors of small plates with specified food categories. The diet is healthy but complex. It is also very restrictive, which makes it more difficult to stay on. Also, the book doesn't offer enough on exercise. The recipes were tasty but elaborate to prepare. Average recommended daily calories are a mere 1,390, with 10 fruits and vegetable servings.

    Ultra-Metabolism ***
    The Ultra-Metabolism Diet is designed around the assertion that people get fat because their body's systems become toxic, inflamed, and imbalanced. Again, this is a two phase diet. Phase 1 is an initial "detox" period. The longer Phase 2 is a "rebalancing" period. Overall, the dieter must eliminate white rice, refined grains, most red meats, and caffeinated beverages. The theory of your body requiring detoxification goes beyond any scientific evidence and rings a bit of late night television "miracle detox bowel-cleansing pills." The diet is fairly restrictive and complicated. The exercise section was brief but practical. Average recommended daily calories are 1,660, with 12 fruits and vegetable servings.

    Volumetrics, ****
    The Volumetrics Diet is based on Penn State research. It aims to maximize the amount of food you can eat for a given caloric intake. This is done primarily by eating reduced-fat products, adding in lots of vegetables, and using low-fat cooking techniques. It encourages eating a first course of broth-based soup or low-calorie salad (not heavily laden with dressing, cheese or bacon) to take the edge off your appetite. Recent clinical studies have shown this diet to be very effective. The recipes are appetizing but time consuming. Average recommended daily calories are 1,500, with 14 fruits and vegetable servings.

    The Zone Diet, ****
    The Zone Diet was designed to keep your blood sugar and hormones at optimal levels so that you can better fight obesity and diseases. It requires that each meal consist of 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbs (based on calories). The diet allows many fruits, but almost no grains except oatmeal. The meals are simple to prepare and nutritionally balanced. But having to keep to the 30/30/40 balance is very tedious and requires lots of preplanning. Recent studies showed that the overall weight loss was below average. Average recommended daily calories are 1,660, with 17 fruits and vegetable servings.

    Eat More, Weigh Less, ***
    The Eat More, Weigh Less (Ornish) Diet is a low-fat vegetarian diet that bans all meat, fish, oils, alcohol, sugar, and white flour. Their clinical studies suggest that strictly following the diet can prevent or reverse some diseases. Ornish argues that it is easier to make drastic changes to diet rather than small ones. The diet offers the most food per calorie of any of the diets. It is actually lower in fat than current USDA guidelines recommend. Studies have shown good long term weight loss, but a relatively high drop-out rate. Average recommended daily calories are 1,520, with 17 fruits and vegetable servings.

    Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, ***
    The Atkins Diet is the grand daddy of them all. As with many of the other diets, it is divided into two phases. The first phase is a two week induction period that bans nearly all carbs. The second phase is only slightly less restrictive, but does slowly add more vegetables, fruit, and wine. Research has suggested that Atkins' dieters are less hungry than on many other diets. But the diet is difficult to adhere to and has a high drop-out rate. Long term weight loss has been shown to be average. The single most glaring concern with the Atkins diet is that the nutritional profile is far outside conventional dietary guidelines. (We've all known people eating handfuls of bacon, eggs, and cheese for breakfast, claiming they were on a diet). Average recommended daily calories are 1,520, with 6 fruits and vegetable servings.

    Again, please don't worry too much about my ranking of the diet books - it's completely subjective. My suggestion is to simply find a program that seems to fit your lifestyle best.

    Please be kind enough to indicate if reviews are helpful.

    Written by Arthur Bradley, author of "Process of Elimination" - an intense thriller in which a martial artist, a greedy corporate attorney, and a sexy conspiracy theorist team up to stop a world-class sniper from killing presidential candidates....more info
  • Comprehensive!
    This book is really effective for anyone who has hit a plateau in their diet and excercise regimen and needs something "more" to stoke their metabolism. The program outlined in this book is step by step and includes a variety of foods from the different food groups to keep your diet and lifestyle balanced and healthy. I would suggest adding a "cheat log" to your program in which for the 6 weeks you monitor the times you indulge in foods that are inappropriate to aid with staying on track as much as possible. I've read about keeping food diaries recently in the news and health magazines and it really works!! I narrowed mine down to one allowable "X" on my chart per week and it has acted like a trigger for me whenever I'm tempted by my favorite, but counterproductive foods. Great read, invaluable information....more info
  • A Practical, Common Sense Diet with An Easy-To-Follow Plan
    A Note About the Kindle Edition:
    First off, I should say that I read the Amazon Kindle edition of this book and it's worth mentioning because there are a few typos and strangely formatted areas as it pertains to the version. For instance, the segments that highlight success stories seem to be broken up awkwardly in such a way that the segment text and chapter text, although clearly distinct, interrupt each other. Perhaps this works well in a book, where a reader can see two pages at once, but it's disruptive to the way things are read on the Kindle.

    Thankfully, the errors are few and forgivable.

    The Book:
    When I first saw The Abs Diet, I thought to myself "great, another gimmicky diet. This one probably has you doing sit-ups every day or something until you have rock-hard abs," or some other silly, psuedo-science-based diet. Of course, being the always gullible overweight man that I am, I downloaded it right to my Kindle and tried to control my gut-instinct to place on top of the 4 ft. tall pile of diet books gathering dust in a corner of my house.

    I would say a good portion of the book (around 90%) has nothing directly to do with the diet and is instead dedicated to the crazy state of our health in America, the devilish food manufacturers and their sneaky ways, why other diets just don't work, and why this one will (and there are many instances where Zinczenko is just repeating himself in case we didn't catch it the first three times); however, mixed into that is quite a lot of useful information, especially about food, nutrition, and the health benefits and ailments gained from eating the right and wrong stuff.

    Thankfully, Zinczenko has a good wit about him and keeps things moving briskly. The only issue I had the book itself is that while the author cites dozens of studies, no citations to those studies are ever given (which is pretty common in diet books).

    The Diet:
    As for the diet itself, I am happy to say that it is not based on psuedo-science, as I feared. Much of what Zinczenko had to offer has been well-known for years, but Zinczenko has placed it all in a format that he hopes will be accessible to most if not everyone in the form of practicality. Gone are the days where cooking elaborate meals, counting every calorie you've consumed, or going hungry until you're next meal. Zinczenko's diet is based on the principle that says "if it's too hard, you won't do it."

    The plan is two-fold, first there is the nutritional aspect. Zinczenko wants you to eat six times a day (three meals, three snacks) with foods based on what he calls the "ABS POWER 12" (capitalized because it's an acronym for the 12 food types that are really healthy to consume). He wants you to eat even if you're not hungry. To help maintain your sanity, the diet allows you to eat anything you want (a slice of pizza, deep fried chicken, etc.) for one meal a week.

    The second part of the plan is the exercise. Yes, he wants you to exercise, but he doesn't want you to spend a lot of time doing it. Instead, three times a week he wants you to do a quickly paced circuit routine that focuses on building muscle (especially your abs). The routine usually doesn't last me more than 20 minutes to get through, and I'm a pretty slow poke when it comes to weightlifting. Also, don't worry about getting a membership at the gym (although it really helps), you can do all the recommended exercises with a pair of dumbbells and some steps.

    That's all there is to it, exercise and eat right, and you've got the Abs Diet. Maybe you don't really need a book to tell you this, but if you're like me you'll appreciate having a plan to go with the principles....more info
  • Easy to read & an eyeopener!
    This book was recommended to me when I started on my weight loss journey. I had been a yo-yo dieter for years but this book really opened my eyes. It was easy to read and just a revelation. I truly feel it helped me to be successful... in understanding food and making better choices. I've now lost 70 lbs and I think reading this book really helped get me started. ...more info
  • The Abs Diet
    Excellent advise on condensed work out(circuit training). The work out is able to be done in 30-35 minutes 3-4 times per week. Also very good advice on a feasible diet that will work. The diet is balanced and promotes muslce growth using correct types of protein(lean protein). ...more info
  • Please read this book, you'll love it!
    I don't want to write so many lines here to recommend this book, everything the other people wrote about it... IT'S TRUE!

    I just love it now, it's become my bible. I ask you to please read it and that's it, you'll life is another after reading. It will make tons of good thing in your life....more info
  • I got fatter than ever on this so called 'diet'
    I suppose if your lifestyle is sitting at a desk all day, eating chicken wings and Big Macs this book may do you some good. For me, I've struggled with weight gain all my life, had already made dietary and exercise adjustments but wanted to try something a little different.

    I found that many of the concepts about eating I had already incorporated into my lifestyle (whole grain carbs, avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup) but shifted myself into the 6 small meals a day regimen, with smoothies for 2 of the 6 meals, sticking to the 12 "power foods' recommended. I shifted my workout routine from an hour of cardio 3-4 days a week with a brief (30 min) weight training 2 times a week to their recommended 3 days of more intense strength training with one day of interval cardio, 2 days of light cardio, one day off.

    After a week of this, I did start to feel my muscles tightening, but my pants now were tighter. I figured I'd stick with it, so decided to continue to forge through.

    And my pants got tighter and tighter.

    After the 4th week, I quit. Like the book promised, my abs did begin to show - flopping right over my belt! I researched the nutritional/medical literature as well as talked to friends in the fitness industry, and the bottom line is that a diet like this is unlikely to result in fat loss for all, particularly those with a disorder called metabolic syndrome. You can use this to bulk up while working out BEFORE dieting down for a fitness competition, but I certainly didn't need the bulk.

    Here is the problem - everyone's metabolism works differently and much of the research quoted buy Zinczenko are flawed studies and junk science. This program may work for some, but certainly not all. It does not emphasize the importance of portion control, which is crucial. Zinczenko claims more food = more muscle = less flab. Sounds good on paper, but if you take in more than you burn, you are going to gain weight regardless, even if you are eating 100% healthy foods all the time. It's that simple. It is a myth that the 'power foods' will shrink your gut as promised in this book. It also is crucial for many to incorporate a more intense cardio routine to keep the balance of calories out over calories in to lose weight.

    How can you gain weight on this diet? Very easily. Even with trying to control your portions, the whey protein, peanut butter, low fat milk, nuts, etc. six times a day can quickly pack on the calories and fat, even though you may finish meals less than satisfied.

    In summary, proceed with caution. Much of this info is well known and not revolutionary. If you area eating junk food and not working out at all, this may help. Otherwise, reconsider. What and how to eat is important, and if you are already trying to eat healthy and exercise, this diet adds nothing....more info
  • lost 33
    I lost 33 pounds using the abs diet and its the first one that is a realistic lifestyle change. Its not easy as you must workout and eat right but it works and is very health unlike the the low carb diets....more info
  • Blueprint for success
    This is a great book to include in your arsenal for fighting the battle of the bulge. Although I don't adhere to the book strictly so I can't testify to it's complete effectiveness. However, I was able to get some new valuable information which is all I was looking for, well, maybe those abs too. The exercises for the various regions of the abs, including the upper ,lower, obliques, transverse abdominals and lower back are excellent and what I was looking for. The suggestions on the order of exercise was very helpful too. Some of the exercises I have been able to incorporate into my gym routines while others I have tried at home;the exercise plan is one of the book's strengths. I liked the sensible approach to eating and got some reinforcement on my own eating habits and some new insights into the no-no's. I also found the nutritional charts with glycemic loads be very helpful. Again, I don't diet but rather like to get information on the best foods to consume for an active lifestyle. This book is great for achieveing your dreams of strength and health. Rather than six-weeks I prefer to look at this book as reference material for a lifestyle. Recommended for all....more info
  • Like this book needs another review...
    I just finished reading this book, and I have to say this is unlike the other diets I'm familiar with -- it's actually something I can see working! I love eating, and the Abs Diet promotes even more of that to help raise your metabolism. The foods it suggests are quick and easy to prepare, and it gives you several recipes if you would like to get into that part of it.

    What I like best is the simplicity and sensibleness of this program. I am a single mother and I don't usually take the time to take proper care of my health. There are simply too many other things that take priority over eating healthy, and spending 2 hrs every day preparing food. The author understands this and works with it. It takes a whole 45 seconds to make a smoothie, 10 seconds to grab a fruit and a handful of nuts, or about a minute to make a bowl of instant oatmeal. Eating often makes sense, eating healthier makes sense, and even the exercise program he suggests makes sense (tho I haven't gone that far yet).

    I really like his approach, and I am anxious to see if I can actually make it work. If it does I will certainly plan to come back w/ an update and change this to a 5 star review.

    PS. Oh, and one more thing.. I've been raving about the plan, but I really did enjoy David's writing style and odd names for his recipes as well. ...more info
  • Great Book
    This was a fantastic book. I don't like to call it a diet because it's really more of a lifestyle change.

    What's great? The recipes and what to eat and how to eat.

    What's even better? The excercises.

    Why is this book important? Diet alone is not good enough. The wrong excercise are good, but will not get you there. Follow this program and you'll be amazed.

    My biggest problem is my spare tire... I don't need to focus on arms and legs, those are easy to build up. I also had no idea how much strength one can generate from their core. Understand that and you will do everything better - from sports to sex.

    PS - You'll be amazed how tasty and filling protein shakes are. Speaking of which, that's how I stumbled across this program. A local natural and healthful smoothie shop was promoting this program....more info
  • The best HEALTHY LIVING guide out there
    I started the Abs Diet shortly after New Years. After a rough holiday season, and a year and a half of college eating nothing but junk, it took my body about a week to adjusting to eating healthy. Since then I have lost 35 pounds (it is now April 4), and packed on several pounds of muscle. This book is clear and consise, and offers a way to lose weight by being healthy rather than following some fad diet. The diet is easy to follow. I am rarely hungry and love the foods I eat. No matter what I am craving I can find a power food to meet my needs. I seriously recommend this book to anyone who wants to lose weight and start a healthy life....more info
  • Don't bother
    I absolutely loved alot of his healthy eating ideas, but I never lost ANY weight or inches. I stuck to it for 3 months. I really wanted it to work. I think maybe if you are not overweight, it won't work for you. I was just trying to lose some inches...and tone up my midsection. ...more info
  • Abs Diet
    The word "diet" shouldn't even be in the title of this book because it's not really a diet. The book explains what you should be eating the most of and what you should stay away from, but not in a 'diet' sort of way by limiting your daily intake. He basically says to eat all you want of the healthy foods nature has to offer! Great book for those who are frustrated with yo-yo dieting and other eating plans that you cannot keep up with for a lifetime. This one can!!...more info
  • Excellent Program and Info, But Audio Edition Not Recommended
    I think if I had not been reviewing the audio edition of "The Abs Diet" by David Zinczenko, I would probably add a star to my rating. Although the reader did a good job of keeping me interested in the book, and read it with a dry touch of humor(as I think intended by the Author), I felt like I had missed quite a bit. Especially going from disc 3 to 4. I felt like I missed some of the diet regime.I also wish it would have come with some sort of convienient booklet with the diet plan to follow daily. Having said that, this book is worth the price of admission as it is a gold mine of facts on health and nutrional information. the good, bad and ugly of it all.

    Zinczenko, Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health magazine, gives an excellent look at what's good for you and what's bad for you. You probably already knew about trans-fat, but you'll never eat anything with even the slightest amount of it again after you hear what it does to your system. Among others, the other thing I learned was really, really bad is anything with High-Fructose Corn syrup..Yikes, so glad I read this book, I will certainly look alot closer at the labels now. He also delves into some of the other diets out there, that may help you lose weight, but it in the long run may be more harmful(low and no carb diets among those), and really blasts a couple of them. The program concentrates of building muscle and burning fat.

    Foods that work towards this process are discussed. Lean meats and certain fish, almonds, garbonzo beans, yogurt,low fat milk(or no fat) healthy smoothies and the all important Flax are some of the foods approved. He even allows for a once a week, eat whatever, yes that's WHATEVER, you want meal, the emphasis being that for 6 days you have trained yourself to eat well. It's a diet that makes sense,let's you eat 6 times a day, and one I could tell you, after trying it out, will produce results, and teach good eating habits. My only reservation would be that the Diet is not universal for everyone. Vegetarians, Vegans and those like me, who's relationship with Dairy Products is almost as bad as my relationship with my mother-in-law, will have to find substitutions. For example I use soy milk in place of milk or yogurt in my smoothies.

    The work out program is not something you will have to dread getting into. As a matter of fact, he says, if you have never worked out, or it's been a while, just take the first two weeks to adjust to the diet. Although, if you can't wait to get started, you can work light and build up. Many great tips are given for your work out, with the main emphasis being on building muscle that burn more calories and fat, even at rest then say a program that is only aerobic.Rotation of muscle groups, importantly adding leg workouts(large muscle groups), is one of the keys. Of course, also, working your abs properly is gone over as well.

    This book goes into the benefits this program will give you in every aspect of your life(including the romance department), I would recommend it for anyone wanting to really makes changes for the better. It's a program I can live with, but I would suggest the hardcover or paperback editions to get the entire program.

    Oh and yes ladies..this program is for everyone...just work within your own limits.

    Remember to Breathe, Eat Healthy, and Enjoy....Laurie

    some work outs to help you get going:THE FIX -A DANCE WORKOUT - includes aerobic style to help burn fat as well as floor excercises with a little ab work
    Start up with Jane Fonda will ease you back into working out
    ...more info
  • Didn't work for me, but provides great information
    After following the diet plan for a few months, the scale didn't budge and my skin was in distress. I realized that I was allergic to some of the foods suggested and that consuming dairy (skim milk and yogurt), though I feel that it improved my performance during workouts, bloated me. I did appreciate the basic food information that the book provides and used that information as a jumping off point for a sensible eating plan that works for me....more info
  • I'm so grateful to this book!
    First about me -- nobody who would see me on the street would have ever called me fat. However, if I were to remove the loose-fiting shirts that I wore, folks would have seen two decent "love-handles," which have, since I was a teenager, effectively undermined my attempts to gain a healthy body-image.

    In January I considered lyposuction; however, I decided to first try this book and all I can say is "Wow!" I'm now in my fifth week of following the plan, and I have lost 10 pounds. Ten pounds may not sound like a lot, but I'm a 5'10 male who weighed 170 when I started (again, I wasn't really fat, just had love handles). Not only have I lost weight, but the weight that I've lost has been primarily from my waist. While I can't see my abs yet, I can easily feel them. Plus, those fitted tee's are now looking great on me!

    However, I was surprised in that I thought I wouldn't enjoy the diet. In the past when I've tried stuff, even if I got through it, I always felt like I was limping to the finish line. However, with what you eat on this diet and the frequency at which you consume it, I have so much energy and just feel great. I like it so much, I've actually had to force myself to do the "free meal" the last few weeks as I know the high-fat food will lower my energy level a bit.

    I should say, however, that I followed this eating program exactly. If he says "2 ounces," I measured out two ounces on the food scale. Also, if he says eat at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., then I was eating at those times. For me, it was best to plan out what I was going to eat for the next couple of days, then go to the grocery store and make sure that I had all the ingredients necessary.

    My only suggestion to the author would be for him to start a website where those following the diet can ask questions as sometimes I have questions about certain foods....more info
  • A real diet for men
    This book was definitely worth buying. I've been on the plan for 5 weeks now, and I feel stronger, I feel full (more than before I started the diet), I eat a big fatty pizza once a week, and amazingly, my fat has been slowly draining away. The author is editor of Men's Health magazine; part of his job is to read all of the studies anywhere that have been done about nutrition, health, weight loss, and strength gain. He basically took all that information and made up his own diet plan.

    I really like the plan. It's got two components: food, and exercise, mostly weight lifting. The food component relatively simple to implement, and he gives a lot of good examples of how it works out in practice, and how it can be fit into every day life. It's designed to be something you can keep up for the next 50 years, not something you "go on" until you're down to the weight you want. The best thing is that I feel full most of the day. (As he explains in the book, feeling really hungry and then eating a big meal is really counter-productive for losing weight.) I also really enjoy weight lifting. I had done lifting before, but his emphasis on gaining "lean muscle mass" is nice.

    And yes, he also has 36 different exercises for the abdominal region; but no matter how toned your abs are, they're not very sexy if they're under a 2-inch layer of fat. The total-body workout is to help with the weight-loss part.

    The writing is good too - fun and informative. Other reviewers complained that he kept trying to "sell" the diet instead of just getting to it. I think that "selling" the diet itself was still a key component in motivating people to actually stick with it. It's not over-done at all; if you're already 100% sold, you can just skip those chapters.

    Overall, a great book; I wish I'd found it 5 years ago....more info
  • It is truly NOT a diet book!
    Please know that I meant to check FIVE stars! Somehow, I only managed to check three! Unfortunately, it won't let me edit that part!

    My husband receives emails from Men's Health on occasion, and the one advertising this book, caught MY eye. I read all the fabulous reviews and decided to buy the book. I bought it in conjunction with "The Abs Diet Eat Right Every Time" book which has tons and tons of recipes (I rated this book also). It appears as thought most of the reviewers are/were men; however, one or two caught my eye stating the man's wife went on it with him, or from a woman herself saying how successful she was. My husband and I are not overweight. We struggle with losing, and keeping off, ten pounds or so. This diet (and the author is right; it shouldn't be called a "diet") is wonderful! We actually had the majority of food already in our home. We are pretty healthy eaters ~ it's the portion size that gets us! Eating six times a day is great. The combination of foods keeps you full and you are eating healthy.

    The recipes in this book! My, oh my! They are simple, yummy and, the best thing, is that there is always enough left over to freeze for later, or have the next day as a snack, or lunch, or whatever! You can mix and match anything as long as you try to get as many of the "power foods" in each meal as you can. It's so easy to follow!

    The weight loss? Oh yes, that happens! Both my husband and I have lost 7 lbs. so far. This "diet" includes a cheat night ~ you will read more about that in the book, but one night a week, the author INSISTS you have whatever you want for dinner...buffalo wings and beer, pizza, whatever you choose!

    I get a chuckle on nearly every one of the author's pages in this book. It's a fun book, enjoyable to read and easy to follow. This is something you can do for life. Really, it is!
    ...more info
  • Easy, informative reading
    This book is a valuble tool to understanding food, nutrition and dieting. It reads as educational and yet very entertaining and makes much sense. I look forward to trying this and hoping to adopt this as a lifestyle change (for the better)....more info
  • Great For Beginners Or The Experienced
    I read this book when I first started getting serious about my workouts and it really was informative and great! It provides some great workouts for males and females and the diet aspect is easy to follow but you are always satisfied. I have recommended this to many clients and friends. I do not think you will be disappointed!...more info
  • Awesome Ab's
    I am so excited about this book. It is the first real sound nutrition and exercise advice I have read. The book is easy to read. Fun to read and very inspiring stories. I have been working out and eating healthy ( so has my family) for the last two weeks and we all feel great. I recommend this book to everyone. This time I am going to reach my goals!...more info
  • The first book that worked for me
    This is truly the first diet/nutrition/exercise book that worked for me. I went from weighing 132 to 109. I first started in the fall of 2005 and now May of 2008 and I'm still at 109! There's no starvation because he encourages you to eat small meals often. He'll tell you the really bad stuff to avoid like high fructose corn syrup but none of the food you'll be eating will be voodoo/hard to find in the grocery store items. It's really about combining foods to keep you full (like apples + peanut butter)

    I didn't follow the nutrition part to the T but I took the basic principles and applied it to myself. I really enjoyed the exercise plan and it made a big difference. Some people say the title is misnomer but honestly even though it's not just about abs, it's a comprehensive plan (how can you really only focus on just abs without strengthening and toning everything else?) and it only took a few weeks before i started seeing tone and definition in my abs. I highly recommend this book if you're looking to jumpstart your body....more info
  • It's working!
    I started to read this book at the beginning of March and I weighed 246 pounds (height: 6'5''). I've never been super fat but I don't remember seeing my stomach muscles since the 6th grade. I followed this book's principles pretty well. It is now May 12th and I weigh 227. More importantly, I feel better. This is not a gimmick diet. I'm not a huge fan of the title because it sounds superficial and the word diet doesn't do it justice. A lot of people lose weight but keep the same shape. This plan really helps you lose belly fat and it is practical enough that you can do it for life. I recommend this to everyone. I'm still a couple months away from seeing my abs but I'm still motivated....more info
  • Slow going
    I just started my fourth week and have only lost about 1 lb per week. I've stuck to the diet, replacing my breakfast and lunch with the "oatmeal shake" and I've been walking 3 miles every day. The weight is coming off...just not as fast as I'd like. The thing I liked least about this was ordering from Amazon and expecting the book to arrive within 3 to 5 days as advertised. Three weeks seemed a bit excessive. Aside from that however, the things you can eat are easy enough to live with....more info
  • Changed my life
    I have never been in great shape. My weight was never too far out of control (more flabby than fat), but I never seemed to be able to focus long enough to make a real difference. Coming out of college I drank too much, ate too much (especially of the wrong foods), and generally felt bad about myself all the time. (5'8, 185lbs mostly in my stomach and chest) When I pulled the Abs Diet off the shelf I was looking for more than just a diet, and I found it. This book literally reprogrammed the way I think about food. I still eat for pleasure, there are tons of great foods that are also great for you, but I see food as fuel now. I eat 6 times a day, I'm never hungry, but I eat to keep my metabolism going strong.

    My drinking habitat has disappeared because I have new priorities, I'm exercising, eating right, and getting in better shape than I ever thought possible.

    If you consider yourself slightly "adrift" and can never seem to stick with something. If you are always feeling disappointed in yourself because you promised yourself you would follow through, but just couldn't, then this book is for you. The plan isn't difficult to follow because the results are almost immediately apparent, you'll look better and feel better. I'm beginning to believe my ADD was just a symptom of poor diet, I feel awake and sharp through the whole day now and jump out of bed when my alarm goes off.

    Couple of recommendations: 1.) Count calories (to a degree), the diet will work regardless, but it will work a lot better if you keep the calories close to your weight x 10 or 11. 2.) Make your workouts and carbio count, push it! (1 minute after i finish i feel terrible, 10 minutes after i finish i feel fantastic, it's worth it) plus, the more calories you burn the more calories you can eat

    My status now (about 8 weeks in) is 165lbs and about 4 inches off my waist, my arms and legs are more "cut" than they have ever been and my abs are really starting to show (especially in the morning)...more info
  • Protein Diet
    This book is in reality, in my opinion, just a book that helps you loose weight by telling you to eat mostly protein. It also explains why protein is good for weight loss and also how it works. It is an easy to read book with many excercises at the end to assist in flattening your stomach. Without a little sweat however, I dont believe one can achieve 6-pack abs by simply eating correctly....more info
  • Awsome -- highly reccomend it
    easy to learn nutrition techniques. Personally I lost only a few pounds but I am turning fat into muscle. I would recommend some sort of fat burner to help curve hunger. I used 2 boxes of astrophex

    Portion control and buying the healthier foods is the way to go - This is a life style long term dealio....more info
  • Decent health book
    The book has helped me to clean up my diet, however I haven't really lost much weight on the program so I've also started counting calories a bit. I'm impressed however by the exercise regime set out in the book. ...more info
  • Good Advice
    I'm a dietetics major and I think this book offers a lot of sound advice about food and exercise. Zinczenko does an excellent job of describing the diseases most related to food choices which is great because people generally don't know why it matters for them to know anything about disease processes.

    A knowledge of what could happen is the first step in prevention. ...more info
  • Sound Advice, Easy to Follow
    The Abs Diet offers logical, scientifically supported advice on eating properly. The plan is easy to follow -- I especially appreciated the fact that there is not an "induction phase," just principles to follow over the long-term. My husband and I have been eating this way for about 2 months now. We have found the diet simple to follow, even when eating out, and that our small children enjoy eating this way, too. That's a big bonus. We've experienced an increase in our overall health. The small digest, Abs Diet Eat Right Every Time, is a great resource when eating out. Overall an excellent guide to a healthy lifestyle....more info
  • hard work will pay off
    i bought the book, i did a little more research online and i followed the plan. in three months i have lost 54 pounds and i am in normal weight range, i feel great and i get compliments all the time. this book has all the information you need to start a new you. but it is not easy, it will take a lot of strong will power. it is not a miracle product, it really is not easy to keep with the program, but if you do you will get the results. great book, but remember it is very hard, but the only way you will succeed, you can do it!!!. a lot of the information in the book is so sensible that it is already all over online, but it is nice to have it all in one single place. but if you do a lot of research and you gather information from a number of different sights you will notice a lot of the info is the same. that is basically what this book consists of . but i would still recommend buying it. if you cant afford it, just spend a good amount of time on the internet looking for healthy weight loss plans. i found the ' discovery body challenge ' very helpful and it is free. once again that program has a lot of the same info. hope this helps you. this book is not a easy lose weight program, you really have to be dedicated. ...more info
  • Confused about the low fats
    The book overall is good, but the sections about eating fats confused me.
    First he talks about the 1980's war against fat, and he says they were wrong, and that fats are good because without fats you cannot get your fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K. I agree. But, then he says saturated fats are bad, and saturated fats are in milk and meat which is also the best protein sources. So I just want to know why he is advocating low fat when he says low fat diets are bad. He does recommend olive oil, nuts and fish because of the fats in those. I believe that whole dairy is better for you than skim, because it's more natural and less processed. Altering natural foods is what got us into trouble in the first place.

    I do understand about choosing leaner meats because we fatten the cows by feeding them way too many grains and it increases their fat deposits, which is unnatural.

    Also he recommends eating lunch meat, and lunch meat has an awful lot of chemicals, unfortunately.

    I would have liked a recommendation of what to look for in a whey protein powder, because I had never purchased any before.
    ...more info
  • nothing new here
    The abs diet does on bring anything new to those interested in a healthy lifestyle. Eat six times a day, nothing new with that statement. Eat nuts and healthy fats, nothing new here. I find the book to be a collection of common practices you can pick up in any health magazine today. For a healthy and active person I feel this book does not add any new or creative techniques to obtain a better body. I may be bias becouse I have subscribed to health magazines for many years now....more info
  • Best diet so far, book may need editing...
    First of all, I was not overweight before starting the "diet"; I got this book as a way to eat healthier. Even though I wasn't fat, I'm sure my 6 Cokes a day and weekly trips to Wing Night weren't great for me. I've owned the book for a year, but only have recently begun to follow it more strictly with my girlfriend. I think this is the most sensible diet out there. Your weight loss is not as dramatic as starving yourself, or putting your body into an emergency weight-loss state by cutting carbs, but you know in the long term you're doing what your body needs.

    One thing that I think would make this diet more successful is accountability. Like I said, I didn't really do the diet until I was doing it with my girlfriend. I think doing it with a friend, keeping a food journal, or even just talking to someone once a week about the diet will help keep you on track. Plus, it gives you someone to enjoy your cheat meals with!

    On the downside, my girlfriend has not lost as much weight as I have, so we're looking forward to the "Abs Diet for Women" book coming out in May. I've heard this is a common complaint about this diet. Hopefully this new book will address the reasons women do not lose weight as easily as men, and not just how to prevent osteoporosis (something my 22-year old girlfriend isn't too worried about). However, both of our body fat %ages have gone down, and we've both noticed a change in the way our bodies look and how our clothes fit!

    I do agree that the book needs to be edited. Did you know that 1 pound of extra muscle burns 50 extra calories a day? Because if not, Zinczenko will remind you every 10 pages. He explains the benefits of his diet, and why other diets fail time and time (and time) again. He often restates in the text of the book the same information that you can read in the sidebars. If you really need it driven home that much, why not do what I did, just read the book twice! I'm sure part of the reason he does this is for people who do not read the book cover to cover, just flip to the chapters that look interesting, but I have to say, if you do this, then you will not get the full benefits of the diet.

    One final observation about the diet. Weight loss aside, I have noticed that I seldom get tired during the day. I used to fall asleep in classes all of the time, and I just do not notice that intense drowsiness anymore. In addition, a (somewhat strange) side-effect of the diet for the two of us, and another person I've talked to on the diet: our fingernails grow about twice as fast. I have to clip them every week, as opposed to every 2 weeks. Interesting......more info
  • Abs Diet is an easy lifestyle
    This is an easy to follow, straightforward eating and exercising lifestyle. It is not a diet, but a smart way to eat to maintain a healthy weight and great for your overall well-being. I had followed the same guidelines as outlined in Men's Health magazine and lost over bring me to a normal weight and 6% body fat....more info
  • Nice exercise book, but a middling diet
    I got this book after having great success losing weight with Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect Weight Loss: The Visual Program for Permanent Weight Loss, but finding I wasn't doing much on the exercise front and had lost a lot of muscle as well as fat. I had also picked up David Zinczenko's Eat This Not That!: Thousands of Simple Food Swaps That Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds-or More!, which I felt had a practical approach similar to Dr. Shapiro's.

    One thing that really bothers me about a diet book is when I see something in it that's just an oft-repeated myth, without vetting it. For example, the Abs Diet recommends that we drink at least eight cups of water a day. Google "eight cups water myth" and you'll see that that's pretty much a myth - check the link from [...]. That makes me even more concerned about downing whey powder, which the Abs Diet recommends, along with a recommendation to take in a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight a day - a really large amount of protein. I haven't seen good medical evidence on this one, but I do know that it's heavily promoted by every whey powder manufacturer in existence, and I bet you the original science is lost in the shuffle. Finally, we're told that a pound of muscle burns "up to" 50 additional calories per day. Even bodybuilding sites question this (maybe it depends on what is meant by "up to"), and there are studies that say the additional metabolic effect of muscle is very minimal. Those last two points throw the entire diet into question in my mind, since the diet is all about eating more protein to build more muscle to burn off more calories.

    As a recommendation - just because one scientific study or a thousand different websites say something about diet or exercise doesn't mean it's true. Scientific studies about diet and exercise are often contradictory and confusing, and there are often tens or hundreds for one particular area, making it easy for someone wanting to make an argument to cherry-pick. Websites (and people) often repeat misinformation. David Zinczenko's problem is that he repeats a lot of what he has heard without doing much vetting.

    With that said I did start following the exercise plan - which I like a lot - and got a few decent diet ideas out of the book. The exercise plan is written so you can do it with dumbbells or in a gym. You're put through a total-body circuit very quickly. The net effect is that you get cardio and strength training in a single workout.

    And the diet as a whole doesn't seem horrible depending on how you interpret it - but I think there are better diet ideas out there, including the Dr. Shapiro one above....more info
  • Excellent Book!!!
    I got the hard copy and the book is excellent. The book illustrates why people do not lose weight or perhaps show definition even if they work out frequently. The book also has schedules and foods that you should eat to improve your health. Well worth every penny in my opinion....more info
  • LESS is always more. As of this book
    This book is excellent due to its simplicity and tone of language. It gives you the basic, the tips the secrets and then it's entirely up to you. Take it or live it, if you have the determination and will this book is great for you....more info
  • Changed My Life
    My weight (& waistline) had always been a struggle for me. I had read other books about getting in shape, but I could never stick with them. Then I read this book, recommended to me by a co-worker, and it has changed my life forever.

    What blew me away was the importance of what you eat. Sure, exercise is important, but think about it: you eat more times a day than you work out, so shouldn't you be paying just as much attention (if not more) to what you eat than going to the gym?

    Other books I read stressed diet as well, but this book gave the WHY, not just the WHAT. And now, I do not look at food the way I used to. Foods I used to love, like pizza and fries, I now limit myself to them just once a week--if that.

    I cannot recommend this book enough. I just hope it works you like it has for me. For me, it took three weeks before I began noticing the changes, so this is something you will need to be patient with; this is a marathon, not a sprint....more info
  • Very Good
    I would really recommend it for eveybody.

    it is not a diet, it is more of a lifestyle. So it is not about eating less like any other regular diet, it is about eating what's right.

    I think the book looks too big! the concepts are easy and the author didn't need to repetitive!

    buy only this book and one of its workout dvds, and do not bother buying the other abs diet books (same info over and over again!)...more info


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