Ryan Andrews has pretty much nailed weight loss and how to do it right - as a side effect of personal evolution leading to permanent lifestyle change.
Andrews is a registered dietitian, and strength and conditioning specialist. He's written dozens of research articles on nutrition, exercise and health, and co-authored the Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition Certification Manual.
Ryan Andrews is currently a coach with Precision Nutrition, offering life-changing, research-driven nutrition coaching for everyone.
Drop the Fat Act is essential reading for anybody with a weight problem. Or anybody who wants to adopt a healthy plant based diet and get fit. According to Ryan Andrews, you can't have one without the other.
To get people to see their food attitudes and habits and their effects, he holds up a mirror to the social norms, showing why and how the typical North American diet makes people fat, and why “overweight people outnumber average people in America” these days.
I didn't agree with everything Ryan Andrews says, or sometimes the way he says it. But I think his experience as a coach has taught him that the tough love approach is the only way to penetrate “fattitudes.” He is compassionate, understands everything, he's even funny - but he's not afraid to call an excuse an excuse and kick some butt.
Ryan Andrews knows a lot about health and nutrition, and he explains very well, in simple terms that anybody can understand, how people can be fat and at the same time starved for essential nutrients, how lack of sleep can make you fat, and why diets never work long term.
Drop the Fat Act is excellent. The one weak point (in my opinion) is that Ryan Andrews is trying to ride two horses at the same time, one horse being effective weight management through healthy diet, and the other being high-raw-vegan-save-the-planet.
I think he would have been better off saving the planet in his next book.
Andrews says in his preface that “having a lean body isn't about showing off in tight clothes, or feeling superior at the next class reunion. That's not it at all. A lean body gives you the opportunity to live a healthful, fulfilling, productive, and purposeful life - a life that betters the planet and those who reside on it.” Maybe that's his motivation, but I think it's somewhat unrealistic for most of us.
Many overweight people I know don't wear bathing suits or tight clothing because they're embarrassed about displaying their fat bodies. They skipped their high school reunions because of that. Looking good and feeling good about how they look is their prime motivation for losing the weight. Saving the planet hasn't even occurred to them or is a secondary motivation.
Although it's true, as Andrews stresses throughout his book, that you have to change your attitude before you can change your ways, I don't think that necessarily means that you have to want to save the planet in order to lose weight, and live lean - permanently.
Although I am a slim-by-nature (though only modestly fit) vegan, I also think that it's not necessary to adopt a vegan or high raw vegan diet in order to live lean. I know lean, fit people who are not vegan, or even vegetarian - although they do eat mostly plants and whole grains, never eat red meat, and exercise often.
I also know vegetarians and vegans (yes, vegans) who struggle with their weight, for various reasons - they have bodies which easily accumulate excess weight, they eat lots of sugar, high fat foods and junk food, they are couch potatoes, they're sleep deprived.
They may be saving the planet, but they aren't saving themselves. My point is that people need to save themselves first, before saving the planet can even enter their awareness. That's where I part company with Ryan Andrews.
But I highly recommend his book for those who want to reform their food habits, and incidentally, lose weight and get fit.
Do what he says, drop the fat act, and you will live lean, hopefully long, and happy.