The 10 Step Plan to Eat (and cheat) Your Way to the Body You Want
Upon seeing this book, I just had to check it out and do a review on it. Just the wording on the cover along with the book title had me busting at the seams with curiosity at just what kind of absurdities could the author be spreading. If you believe that cheating on a diet is going to get you the body you want, I might just have a bridge to sell you…
In the introduction, you are introduced to a couple partaking in adult drinks on the beach when another woman walks up on them. This woman, Sharon, sits down with the couple and finishes off her mojito, and states that she is “trying to relax”. However, she is having a difficult time doing so and shares her story with the couple why.
It turns out she and her husband are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary, but were not finding too much joy out of it. Sharon goes on to explain that she was feeling fat after dinner and didn’t feel comfortable getting naked in front of her husband. He got upset, and she raided the refrigerator after he fell asleep – instead of making her feel better, she only felt a crushing guilt.
After these opening paragraphs, the author introduces herself and relates how as a model from South Africa with a petite build, she would also eat until she felt shame for doing so. And as millions of people do every day, she made herself pay through calorie restrictions and more miles run on her treadmill.
My friends, millions of women and men around the world go through this scenario each and every day. It truly is a vicious cycle, and the books author Melissa Milne goes on to explain about body shame and states the common theme Brenda Sue and I have heard from some of our followers too. “Guilt makes us want to be good. And that’s exactly why you should be naughty”. Ms. Milne tells the reader that the Naughty Diet means:
- You’ll never have to worry about willpower, guilt, or perilous perfectionism.
- You’ll never have to feel like you let yourself down.
- You’ll never have to feel bad about what you ate.
- You’ll never have to fail again.
- And you’ll be your healthiest, happiest self ever.
Now look, I am sure that Ms. Milne’s intentions are good, but there is no doubt in my mind (especially after reading this book) that she is terribly misguided and has zero business giving anybody diet advice. While there are places in the book where she does give decent advice, it’s akin to a broken clock being right twice a day. This book and diet is not going to give anyone lasting success with their diet, but it is going to appeal to those who ignorantly believe they can lose weight while retaining some of their unhealthy eating habits. Guess what – it doesn’t work that way for 95% of dieters. If it did, the rate for failed dieters would not stand at that 95%.
Embrace the four naughty mantras.
Old Rule: Be good – or feel bad.
New Way: Don’t be good, or bad – be Naughty!
Melissa goes on to explain that the crux of the Naughty Diet is “granting yourself permission to find pleasure when eating that pizza”. “It’s granting you permission to be naughty”. She then explains that “naughty” is somewhere between “perfect” and “nasty”, and that nastiness is what makes us fat. Naughtiness is going to be found somewhere in the middle of perfection and nastiness so she says. Naughty is going to be living healthy while allowing yourself indulgences.
Now for the reality check. Most of us who have had troubles with our weight have also suffered from an addiction to simple carbohydrates. We also have not been able to control our eating which is what got us fat in the first place. While we can acknowledge that there are some people who can do this, the vast majority of us who have suffered obesity cannot. We got fat simply because we lacked self control with the way we ate. If you are obese, you know this to be true as well as I do because I too have been obese.
Ms. Milne has some illogical thinking in that she tells her readers that “when we try to control our body and our life by controlling calories we set ourselves up not just for failure, but for true damage – physical and emotional”.
Her logic does have some truth to it, but it is seriously flawed. We gain weight when we consume too many calories. And the only way to lose weight is to not eat as many calories as it takes to maintain your current weight. None of us can change this basic truth of thermodynamics. You have to know how much you are eating in order to lose! I surmise that a sizable percentage of people who suffer from obesity already also suffer from physical and emotional pain. It just begins manifesting more openly when we are not eating to hide our pain since we turn to food for comfort.
Four Core Naughty Mantras:
- I will not count calories.
- I will not make myself go hungry.
- I will commit to the single-best source for my food.
- I will no longer feel shame.
I have already stated that to control how much you consume, you need to track your calories in order to lose weight. Without tracking, you have no idea how many calories you eat in any given day, therefore you are setting yourself up for failure if you truly want a fitter, trimmer, and healthier body.
I would also instruct you to not go hungry, however it is difficult to go hungry when you only fill yourself up on foods that are low in calories while being nutrient dense. The flaw in not allowing yourself to go hungry for many people is they often confuse thirst for hunger, they feel hungry when they are stressed or bored. And most people who suffer from obesity are going to snack on junk foods for their hunger before they actually snack on healthy choices.
It is easy to agree with her third point of committing to the single-best source for food, but then her next point is questionable at best in my opinion. I don’t believe that anyone should eat themselves up with shame. However, if you are knowingly and willingly doing something that is going to derail yourself from achieving a healthier body, maybe you should feel a bit of shame. Shame is your minds way of letting you know that you are doing yourself wrong. Some people might not like that shame is a natural part of our existence, but it is there for a reason. You know this, as well as I do too.
Now, before anyone wants to beat me up over my stance on shame, I am not referring to the destructive full on assault of shame that brings about mental anguish and pain. Basically, I am referring to the use of your own moral compass in regards to how you treat yourself from day to day. Or in other words, you know wrong from right in how you treat your body. When we stray from treating ourselves right, we are only harming ourselves in the present, or in the future.
I will not count calories.
Ms. Milne writes: “In the fight for a rich physical life, calories are like dollar bills”. “If you just sit around counting them all day, they are not going to be doing what you want them to do – which is to work for you”. “Counting calories is for chumps”.
This attitude towards food intake is quite flawed to say the least. If you are suffering from the effects of obesity and want to lose weight, you must be accountable for everything that you eat in a day. If you need to lose one pound of body fat per week, you have to cut your daily intake of calories by 500 calories per day. It is incumbent upon you to know how many calories is required for you to maintain a steady weight, and then reduce that by 500. And then when you plateau with your weight loss, you are going to need to cut them once again by another 500 calories to maintain that one pound per week loss. If you are not measuring and weighing your foods, and tracking your calories, you are doomed to failure with your weight loss. It is a simple fact that people will almost always under-estimate how much they are eating. You can not just wing it with estimations and think you will lose weight – you have to be accountable to yourself. Additionally, her comparison of equating the counting of dollars and counting calories of being the same – she is comparing pennies to apples. It doesn’t work like that.
Ms. Milne cites a study which she does not name, which allegedly claims that there isn’t a correlation between weight gain and diabetes. My friends, people with weight problems usually consume too many sugary foods and drinks which do correlate with diabetes. She does correctly state that there is a rise of diabetes risk when you drink sugary drinks, but she really downplays the role of too many calories on your body fat levels. I believe that she may be cherry picking articles to back her own way of thinking, but I could be wrong…
Ms. Milne does cite a study from Cambridge University that is actually quite good and informative. It is titled “How Calorie-Focused Thinking about Obesity and Related Diseases May Mislead and Harm Public Health”. She tells the reader that the researchers explains that “the problem with eating low-calorie food is that you are also getting low-nutrient food”. The problem besides that which is clearly obvious, this statement is absurd, it does not actually exist in this study. You can read it from top to bottom, and not find these words. The reality is that there are plenty of low-calorie nutrient dense foods that will provide your nutritional needs while also satisfying your appetite.
In the last paragraph of the “I Will Not Count Calories” section she writes: “And yet 72% of the women I surveyed said that calorie intake affects whether you’ve had a good or bad day, and a third of them admitted they count calories to feel in control”. Without knowing how many women she surveyed, it might have only been ten – who knows.
I understand and know there are “studies” which might confirm for some people that they should not count calories because it might cause them disordered eating. But here is reality for you – if you are over-weight, you already suffer from disordered eating. If you are sincere about wanting to lose weight, and getting to a healthy body fat percentage – you have to account for what you put into your mouth. If you eat more than you burn, you will not lose weight and keep it off. To be successful, you have to be accountable to yourself.
For the remainder of this chapter where Ms. Milne explains her “Naughty Girl” mantra, she explains about how she will not make herself go hungry, and that she will commit to the “single best source of food”. I agree with these concepts. When we eat lower calorie, nutrient dense foods, we never have to worry about going hungry and nor so much about over-eating. Nutrient dense foods are satiating and fill you up, while junk foods only leave you hungry after a couple of hours or so.
Committing to only the single best source of food is also a no-brainer when you are wanting to lose weight and improve your health.
In the last section of this first chapter she writes that “I Will No Longer Feel Shame”.
My friends, no one should walk around feeling shame about themselves. Too much shame that comes with failed diets is harmful to our mental health to say the least. However, her premise would be the same as telling a smoker they should not feel shame about their tobacco use. Or, someone who gets drunk and does stupid things which hurts themselves should not feel any shame.
For those two circumstances, these people should feel some shame since they are doing things which are harmful not only to themselves, but to their friends and loved ones as well.
When you over-eat, especially if you ever become gluttonous, you should experience some feelings of guilt and shame. By not controlling what you consume, you are setting yourself up for future health problems just the same as a smoker or a drinker. You can go about thinking that it is of no business of anyone else -but when your health eventually fails and God forbid you die too young, then your unhealthy ways become the business of someone else. This becomes even more true when someone else has to help you with toileting, personal hygiene, and dressing you to name just a few. It is never just about you, our actions will always affect someone else at some point in life…
The rest of this book is nothing more than instructions on how to fail at a diet. Ms. Milne may not intend it to be that way – but, her book is not going to help you in the least with healthy weight loss. While she does delve into the unhealthy aspects of body dysmorphia, this book does nothing to help that problem either.
If we are to be real about weight loss, and caring for our bodies, we have to be accountable to do right for ourselves. This book insists the best way is to allow yourself those little naughty indulgences.
If you are over-weight, it is because you have already been allowing yourself those naughty indulgences.
If you are over-weight, it is because you have not been mindful of how you eat.
The rest of this book is full of gobbledy-gook which is not helpful to anyone looking for healthy, and lasting weight loss. Ms’ Milnes states that she does not give meal plans, and then proceeds to give meal recipes in a manner that appears to be like a meal plan. While she does occasionally make a few good points about a few things, most of this book is utter non-sense to serious people desiring to get a healthier body. I personally cannot recommend “The Naughty Diet ” to anyone.