Book review: Eat to lose, eat to win

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 February, 2013, 4:31pm

How many calories does a Portobello vegan tempeh burger with mayo and pesto sauce, and a side of kale salad dressed in peanut sauce, have? The same amount as a four-piece fried chicken meal with French fries: about 1,150 calories.

Dietitian and nutrition expert Rachel Beller cuts the vegan meal down to 400 calories through some easy tweaks: put a grilled tempeh patty on half a whole wheat bun, top with some grilled Portobello slices and a spoonful of pomodoro sauce, and pair with a side of steamed kale with diced tomato and lemon.

In Eat to Lose, Eat to Win, Beller, who dishes out advice on US television show The Biggest Loser, shares other truths behind so-called healthy meals - such as sushi and salad - and offers easy advice for an immediate meal makeover.

Unlike many other dieting or weight-loss books, she focuses on what you should eat, not what you shouldn't. And fundamental to her philosophy is a diet where veggies come first, followed by lean protein, healthy fat and a modest serving of carbs. No obsessing over calories or weighing of portions.

This approach, coupled with great hunger-inducing food photography, makes Beller's 246-page full-colour book a good read for anyone seeking practical advice for weight-loss and health.

She suggests more than 30 recipes for 10 days' worth of meals, and recommends specific products to buy at the supermarket.

What I really appreciate most is that Beller backs her advice up with science, and that's what makes her and the book credible - despite her slightly overenthusiastic Los Angeles cheerleader tone.