The rapid fat loss handbook by Lyle McDonald has become quite popular on the internet, so I decided to do a little review and put in my 2 cents. Since the title says “The Manual for Rapid Fat Loss”, he was right if he thought the book was about losing weight fast.
The book is more or less about crash diets to lose weight and lose fat. This can be very unhealthy, both physiologically and psychologically, and I’m glad Lyle warns readers about it early in the book. If it wasn’t for the fact that he continually warns against crash diets as a long-term fat loss plan throughout the book, I would have thought the book dangerously misleading.
His goal with this book is to teach his readers how to crash diet in a way that does not negatively affect the dieter’s health. I like the fact that it talks about the difference between weight loss and fat loss as it seems like everyone is obsessed with losing weight without realizing that weight loss doesn’t always translate to fat loss. . Depending on how you lose that weight, it may consist of loss of fat, water, or muscle tissue. And neither of the latter leads to a more attractive appearance.
The theory behind the book is based on a “modified protein-sparing fast” recommended by surgeons for patients who needed to lose weight quickly before surgery. Surprisingly, the manual has good advice on how to follow such a strict diet. No danger. He advises against strenuous exercise until you’re eating normally again, and if you haven’t been exercising to begin with, he advises you not to start an exercise routine until after you complete the diet. These crash diets can be very stressful on the body and therefore strenuous work of any kind is contraindicated.
On multiple occasions, he reminds the reader that crash dieting should be done exactly as described in the book and that one should not, under any circumstances, remain on a crash diet for long periods of time due to the negative health implications that it may have. this entails. One thing I found respectable was that he discussed the “recovery” or “yo-yo” effect that these crash diets can have. Most authors of “crash diet” type books don’t normally do this.
So it seems that many people gain the weight back shortly after coming off these types of diets. In the book, Lyle discusses ways to transition back to a more normal eating style while keeping the fat and weight off.
All in all, I think it’s a good read, but when it comes down to it. The best fat loss program is one that is sustainable in the long run and truly allows you to feel not only good about your body but inside as well. The Manual for Rapid Fat Loss is not that program.
Having said that, it’s a good read and for those few who need this kind of resource (athletes who need to gain weight, ladies who want to lose weight before a wedding) and are willing to get it right, this is a good book.
I must say though proceed with caution. Most people are interested in the quick fix at the expense of their health. People who don’t exercise moderation and follow Lyle’s guidelines in The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook could end up in difficult waters when it comes to their health.