S.P.E.E.D. The Only Weight Loss Book Worth Reading!
by Jeff Thiboutot MS, CN and Matt Schoeneberger MS, CES
Reason Productions, LLC
S.P.E.E.D. stands for sleep, psychology, exercise, environment and diet. It is always dangerous to make acronyms like this because I will be tempted to provide my own words for the letters. I’ll try to resist this time. In chapter one we are told that studies show weight is strongly affected by genetics but that the recent, rapid gain many Americans have been experiencing is probably not genetic. I would agree that such a large increase in less than 50 years can’t be genetic.
Toward the end of the book is a discussion on critical thinking which brings up some good points. One example is ad hominem. Telling someone they are ugly and their mama dresses them funny may be emotionally satisfying but not a relevant argument. I would also say that age of a study (an argument we hear a lot) is irrelevant and betrays a certain naïveté about how much modern science has been corrupted by corporate agendas.
The authors eventually get around to talking about calorie restriction and tell us 20-40 percent restriction is necessary for weight loss. This is followed by a long list of benefits to calorie restriction. Lower insulin tops the list. There is no explanation of the fact that calories from carbohydrates tend to spike insulin levels while calories from fat tend not to. So, is calorie restriction a radically new idea? I don’t think so.
Calorie restriction has been tried from every angle for many decades now. It can give you short term results but unless you have the willpower to starve yourself for the rest of your life, those lost pounds will be back with their friends. Calorie restriction has been literally tried to death. Is the population thinner as a result? I don’t think so.
The advice starts to get really dizzy after this point. The authors mention the importance of sleep prominently on the front cover and elsewhere in the book. They also say caffeine is a good way to lose weight. Do they also mention it is a good way to lose adrenal function? And sleep? I don’t think so.
They go on to say stevia is the best sweetener and their second choice is a good, old-fashioned, traditional. . . artificial sweetener? We are going from dizzy to scary now. We are also led to believe canola oil is a good oil. Oh, and try the Zero Impact bars too. I never heard of them so I looked them up. The listed ingredients include yummies like maltitol, glycerin, low DE corn syrup, brown rice syrup and xanthan gum. Elsewhere on the same page they say the bar has no maltitol. Other sites say erythritol, which is a similar sugar alcohol. Are these things components of traditional diets? I don’t think so.
The appendix provides a list of other protein bars, which I looked over. Jay bars have agave syrup, hydrolyzed whey protein, xylitol and natural flavors. Elev8me bars have whey protein isolate, low fat and high fiber. Fuco Protein Chocolate Macadamia Nut Crunch bars have soy lecithin and so on. Should I give this book a thumbs up? I don’t think so.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2010.