As usual, I will start with the shortcomings, as I see them.
All two of them 😉
First, I found the list of weight loss tactics tiresome, especially the long list of benefits attached to each of them. I think my problem was that I knew most of them.
I also felt they could have been better ordered; sometimes some minor points were right in the middle of something really impactful. However, the author was quick to advise not attempting to implement all, or even most of the points.
I recommend you read the book till Tactic #5, then read introductions to each of the further section, and study the Table of Contents. Pick one tactic only—perhaps two—from the further sections and try to apply them. Finish with Section 5 which summarizes the book and is definitely worth reading.
By the way, “The Action Diet” can serve you as a guidebook in your weight loss. Once you successfully implement one tactic, go back to the book and find another tactic you can implement in your life.
Secondly, the book is a little shallow on the subject of habit formation. Jordan advises having fun—as a way of avoiding boredom—as a remedy for inconsistency. While it’s not the worst advice I’ve ever had, it’s not also the best.
In today’s ‘ instant gratification’ world, I can easily imagine the allure of one “interesting” weight loss activity after another. Isn’t this the reason why people chase new diets all the time instead of focusing on something that really works for them over a long period of time? But if you chase multiple targets, you’ll never develop lasting habits that could provide your desired results.
Practice, not theory
On the other hand, Jordan’s lack of knowledge in this regard only proves my gut feeling: you don’t need to know the science behind habits to apply their power in your life. Charles Duhigg’s claim was that knowledge about habit science helps manage your habits. Yeah, maybe, but this knowledge is not necessary.
Jordan didn’t use any of elements of habit cue, but he nailed breaking bad habits (Tactic #28). If you are a practitioner, you know what works through experience and the ‘theory of it’ is less important.
“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” – Yogi Bear
I heard about some elements of habit science almost a year into my transformation. Apparently I did some things in complete opposition to the recommendations of authorities, such as developing multiple habits at a time, or agreeing to big commitments instead of small ones. And yet I succeeded.
A small amount of practice is worth a big mountain of theory.
End of reservations. This book was a blast.
First of all: I’ve already lost excess weight and I appreciate the wisdom condensed in “The Action Diet”. From “you cannot outwork a crappy diet” to “stress is an enemy”, Jordan confirmed my experiences many times throughout the book.
Of course our experiences differ slightly. But the basics are the same. Eat less, move more, activate your thinking, don’t just blindly rush and, over all, stay consistent. As our stories prove, it’s an effective approach.
It’s so down to earth that you can smell the mud
I struggle with explaining High Intensive Interval Training almost every time I mention my workout routine. Jordan found a perfect illustration that can be grasped by a five year old: “If you end the minute and you can still talk to someone in a full sentence without taking a breath, it’s time to up your game and push yourself harder.”
It might be a stroke of genius, but I’m more inclined to think that he simply is a genius, as well as a superhero.
I very much enjoyed the beginning of the book, because it so simplified weight loss. Focus, drink water, eat fiber, lose weight. End of story.
Well, not exactly, but if you enact that strategy every day and apply Jordan’s advice, you will experience results very fast. It takes all the headache and guesswork from weight loss, rightfully so. If common clueless guys like Jordan and I can do it, everybody can.
The nutrition and fitness industry is making simple things overly complicated, because in today’s noisy marketing world you need to shock to be noticed.
However, receiving a shock doesn’t mean you’ll get results. Use common sense.
You can take the first four chapters, apply Fiber Guardian’s simple advice and go back to the book for more techniques in 3 month’s time.
I like Jordan’s emphasis on implementation. He instances 35 techniques, but suggests it’s unwise to try all of them at once. Some of them will definitely not be suitable for you. For example, I don’t enjoy walking and passionately HATE running. Fiber Guardian’s answer: explore all the options on your own, test them and pick those that provide the best ROI.
Weight loss is never about reading, it’s about doing. Our superhero gently encourages you to take action throughout the whole book. He even dedicates the whole last section to this very issue: applying what you’ve learned.
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the short inserts of Fiber Guardian’s story at the end of particular chapters.
Usually I despise fiction in non-fiction book. I am so to-the-point that it borders boring. I’ve never understood people who enjoyed “The Richest Man in Babylon” or “The Greatest Miracle in the World” and I hated the guts of Robert Kiyosaki when I discovered that “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” was a fiction story.
But fiction inserts in “The Action Diet” are humorous, short and relevant to the content. They improve the book and brought me closer to the author. Who doesn’t dream about becoming a superhero?
This is a solid book. It not only will show you what to do and how, you have the whole Web full of info. It will show you a role model, a guy like you who has done what you want to do.
Jordan is approachable. You can reach out to him or simply lurk on his blog which is full of resources. There is next to no hype in “The Action Diet” and a lot of sound advice and wise encouragement.