I received a free copy of this ebook via Booksprout after the author contacted me. I had never heard of Booksprout before but I found it relatively easy to use. This review is based on the review I left on Booksprout but expanded.
Di Marco covers the basics of nutrition after comprehensively discussing the many modern diet plans on the market. He clearly favours the ‘Mediterranean Diet’, unsurprisingly, as he is Italian. At one point, when he discusses different diets, it seems he really likes Weight Watchers, and because I’m fairly conscientious about this stuff I emailed Benjamin to find out if he had any professional relationship with WW. He replied thus:
Speaking about Weight Watchers is a diet that I know very well. It has been an object of my studies, but I am not a big fan of, in fact I created my own everyday diet based on what I have simplified in Let’s Spill the Beans. I think the right knowledge of our body and the right choice for the food we eat is the key to living longer and healthily.Personal email
The author discusses the psychological barriers to a healthy diet and exercise, and busts some myths. This book is not a prescriptive diet plan but a guide to healthy food and making good choices. It is an vast improvement on the ‘diet books’ I have read in the past, emphasising a growth mindset, freedom from fear of food, restrictive eating, and the ‘failure’ that inevitably comes when the food plan is too harsh. Di Marco’s emphasis is on lifestyle change, too. The book is a simplified version of his own daily diet.
The book is written with passion and in layman’s terms to make it accessible.
Now, on to some of my other thoughts.
Di Marco uses English idiosyncratically, and his Italian accent comes through in his writing. I emailed him, mentioning some parsing issues and he has let me know that he has contacted an editor to make his writing scan for an English-speaking audience, so I suspect by the time the final version of this book is published it will be fluent.
As some of my readers know, I’m a fat person (woman sometimes), I have done Weight Watchers and Slimming World several times each, with limited success and a tendency to obsessiveness that makes them unhealthy for me. I have a problem with yoyo dieting and compulsive behaviours around food, so I have to be careful when reading ‘diet books’. Even things like the advertising for ‘Veganuary’ can heavily influence me – it has already. I don’t mind but it gets expensive sometimes when I impulsively buy things. Yeah, it’s a problem. Not going to complain about the plant-based mince and tinned mixed beans I bought this week though, I made a marvellous chilli with them.
Luckily, because this book is not a traditional diet book but a book about healthy eating and lifestyle change, without prescriptive plans and fat-shaming. This made it possible for me to read it without too much food anxiety. There were things I wasn’t comfortable with, like references to ‘clean eating’ and some of the language is reminiscent of Weight Watchers material, but I could overlook it.
I’m reading about the ‘Health at Every Size’ movement at the moment, which is making me look at diet plans in a different way, as ‘The F*ck It Diet’ did. There was some conflict between what I read in ‘Spill the Beans’, and ‘Health At Every Size’, by Dr Linda Bacon (review coming soon). I’m going to keep reading that book and see if the conflicts are resolved.