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Book Review: Size 2 For Life by Ashley Marriott and Marc L. Paulsen, MD

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When oh when will diet and fitness books stop saying anywhere on the cover that they are simple, new, and different from anything else on the market? I long for a day when everyone will admit that losing weight actually requires some hard work and discipline, that in the end you must watch what you eat and exercise.

So when I turned Size 2 for Life over and saw the proclamation — "The amazingly simple new diet and fitness program that can make and keep almost any woman a frame-adjusted size 2" — I wanted to scream. Just seeing the words "amazing," "simple," "new," and "diet and fitness" in the same sentence was enough to put me off my feed for the afternoon (wait, is that how I can be a size 2?).

Even at my slimmest semi-anorexic moments of 600 calorie a day and crazy exercise madness I was never a size 2. A 6 or 8 was it for me. And while it is true that clothing manufacturers have been increasing the actual measurements of each size, I still find it hard to believe that a current size 12 is an old size 6. If so, I would be the same size I was when I was 13!

The information in the book is good. The authors go through diet and exercise myths, discuss unhealthy ways to lose weight, and offer up their plan. Just be aware that the plan is not easy: At least an hour of exercise every day including cardio and strength training along with a pretty stringent diet of 1200-1500 calories a day.

Now, I can promise you that if you eat only 1200-1500 calories a day and you exercise at least an hour every day you will lose weight! But this is not any news, nor is it amazing or simple. In fact, this is exactly what we all know about weight loss.

The fitness component is decent, with options given for weight workouts in a gym, non-equipment workouts at home, and workouts involving easy to buy small pieces such as a ball or elastic tubing. And the diet is fine, with even a section on fast food alternatives for when you are stuck in a Burger King.

So if you are looking for a well laid out diet and exercise plan that you can follow and lose weight, Size 2 for Life delivers. Just know that what it is offering is no great and amazing simple program. Your weight loss will still involve hard work and self control.

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