FITNESS CONFIDENTIAL: Adventures in the Weight-Loss Game

The other day while sitting in standstill traffic, and unable to find anything good on the radio, I decided to try and find a “podcast” player on my phone. A podcast is a recorded show or program that is frequently associated with iTunes. After downloading a podcast player, I decided to search for health and wellness recordings in order to see what was out there, in case there was something that caught my attention.

One of the top podcasts was called, Fat-Burning Man by Able James, so I started listening to an episode to see if it was the typical “calories in vs. calories out” model, or if it was something worth listening to for real health. I have been really impressed with the podcasts, and have tried listening to at least one a day. Able does a great job of interviewing doctors, authors, bloggers, and “regular” people from a variety of health backgrounds, including paleo, Weston A. Price, vegan, and other dietary backgrounds. Most of the shows are less than an hour, and they do a pretty good job of teaching and encouraging others to take control of their health, starting with what they eat every day.

The second or third podcast that I listened to involved Able interviewing Vinnie Tortorich, America’s Angriest Trainer. It was an entertaining interview, and it led me to want to go buy Vinnie’s book, FITNESS CONFIDENTIAL: Adventures in the Weight-Loss Game. After listening to the interview, I knew that Vinnie would talk about weight loss from a whole foods standpoint, similar to what we talk about with patients in our office, but that is not why I wanted to buy the book. Vinnie is an Italian from southern Louisiana, transplanted to Los Angeles, where he is the personal trainer for many Hollywood stars, celebrities, producers, and even soccer moms. With a background like that, I figured the book would have some entertaining stories in it, and that it would be fun to read… and it was.

Fitness Confidential by Vinnie Tortorich

Fitness Confidential by Vinnie Tortorich

The basic concept of the book is that we [a society of people looking to be healthier] have been lied to. We are told to eat whole wheat, join a gym, and exercise ourselves to death in order to lose weight and be healthy. This of course is not working, as nearly 1/3 of all American adults are overweight, and conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other metabolic problems are at an all time high.

Vinnie’s basic message throughout the book is to stop eating grains, and stop eating sugar. When his high profile clients were able to do that, then they would lose the weight that they wanted. To further his health message, he also talks about the importance of exercise, and why all of us should be better at doing it. Sounds like a simple message, because it is. While there are a few things that I disagree with in the book, for the most part Vinnie is absolutely correct when it comes to weight loss and increasing our physical activity.  In my opinion, what makes the book so good is that Vinnie tells you what he thinks though wry/semi-profane/entertaining stories, and ultimately remind the reader that when it comes to health, it is up to the reader to take charge and “cut the crap.”

When you evaluate your own health, what do you know you need to change?

What holds you back from achieving the goals you have in mind?

What are you going to do today to fix it?

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