Wake up. Eat within one hour. Eat again every three hours. Lose weight. Yes, It’s that easy or, at least this is what fitness expert and The 3-Hour Diet: How Low-Carb Diets Make You Fat and Timing Makes You Thin author Jorge Cruise would like you to believe. It is this simplistic concept that is the basis for the latest diet book leaping off the bookstore shelves.
Just like in virtually all other diet books, Cruise instructs plan followers to eat balanced meals comprised of appropriate portion sizes. However, the new twist this book brings to weight loss table is the critical component of timing. Specifically, Cruise says that eating every three hours is the key to weight loss success. He says that eating small portions throughout the day will enable dieters to lose up to two pounds a week and to keep it off. By consistently feeding your body, you will jumpstart your metabolism, keep it elevated, and prevent your body from moving into starvation mode which is a common hindrance to losing weight.
As far as what to eat, the book provides some rudimentary information on food choices such as the need to limit high-fat foods (particularly those high in saturated fat) and eat vegetables freely. In terms of portion control, the book focuses on a straightforward visualization strategy suggesting that each of your three main meals include a portion of carbohydrates the size of a Rubik’s cube, a portion of protein that resembles a deck of cards, a serving of oil measured using a water bottle cap, and a pile of vegetables that resembles three dvd cases. Other than these general guidelines, the overriding is message is to eat as you wish as long as the timing is consistent with the stringent three-hour rule.
The book spends little time explaining the plan itself probably because, in part, just a description of it alone would be more conducive to a pamphlet than a $24.95 best-seller. The details of the plan, in fact, are barely addressed until page forty-five of this book. Instead, the initial chapters explain what is wrong with the current diet fads and centers on the rejection of the low-carbohydrate diets sweeping the country. After debunking the common myths related to the existing plans, the book offers scientific research that supports Cruise’s contention that timing will guarantee consistent weight loss. This information, although scientific at its core, is presented in a straightforward manner that is easy to understand. In addition, what makes this otherwise bland information more appealing are the success stories (including before and after pictures) weight loss statistics, and tips and advice from plan followers that are dispersed throughout.
One disappointing component of the book is the “28-Day Success Planner” which, in its current form, serves no real purpose other than to add thirty pages to this book. It includes twenty-eight pages of daily aspirations and visualizations along with blanks to fill in the foods you eat along with the time of the day you consume them. Although such an arrangement may provide the structure some dieters need, it seems a little disingenuous to suggest that dieters selecting to read this book will come to this section (in the middle of the book), skip over it, and return to it every three hours to record the time food is consumed as well each morning to read the daily affirmations or visualizations.
Whether this book is a valuable tool for dieters will depend upon their approach to starting a new dieting regime. If you want a quick fix, then eat three balanced meals and a few snacks at three-hour intervals throughout the day and you should be on your way to consistent and long-lasting weight loss success. If you are a cynical dieter and want to know the scientific explanation as to why a plan may work (or fail) then this book may be just what the doctor (or even fitness guru) ordered.