The New Abs Diet: The Six-Week Plan to Flatten Your Stomach and Keep You Lean for Life by David Zinczenko, Editor-In-Chief of “Men’s Health” is a good basic book on diet and exercise that was written with Ted Spiker. The book was a New York Times Bestseller and does provide a simple plan for losing fat and flattening your stomach. There is nothing real earth shattering for those that are well read on nutrition and exercise, and in fact, many well read in this area may find this book to simple and will seek more advanced sources of information. This book really is for the person who is overweight, doesn’t know what to eat and lives on fast food and junk food, and who doesn’t exercise at all.
It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the book, or that I didn’t find it useful. For those who are really out of shape and don’t know how to eat or exercise, this guide may be just the book to get them started on the road of being in shape and looking good. For the athlete or fitness buff, not much new here, and rather simple.
The book starts with an introduction that is motivational and lets you know if you follow the diet and exercise plan in this book you will find your long lost abs. The author discusses a few of the popular diets that have sold many books and describes what he feels is wrong with them and why this diet is better. (I happen to agree with much of his reasoning)
The diet itself is based around what the author calls the “power 12.” These are more 12 categories than only 12 foods. They are: almonds and other nuts, beans and pulses, spinach and other green vegetables, dairy (skimmed milk, fat-free or low fat yogurt and cheese), instant hot oat cereal, eggs, turkey and other lean meats, peanut butter, olive oil, wholegrain breads and cereals, extra protein (whey) powder, and raspberries and other berries. Overall, a very good list of categories to eat from, and that is what Zinczenko encourages. Eating primarily from this list is what the diet is about, but please do read the book and get the why and how much behind the categories. Zinczenko, however, also allows you to eat other stuff. In fact, one good thing about this diet is it is not super strict or something that will be difficult to follow. (Well, any diet will be difficult if you are used to eating only junk and fast foods.)
The book provides menus and recipes to help you eat from the power 12. The book then includes the other important ingredient to find those lost abs. You must exercise, and not just aerobic exercise, but muscle building exercise. Zinczenko explains why, and provides a very basic and simple program to follow. Again, not much for the person who actively exercises, but for the couch potato, this program is a good basic place to start.
The book concludes with a section that explains and illustrates 56 different ab exercises. They are in five categories for you to mix them up and keep your ab workouts varied. I do believe if you follow the guidelines in this book, both eating and exercising, you will lose weight and start to see your abs. How long it will take will depend on your starting point and how faithful you are and how much you put into your exercises. For a basic book on eating healthy and exercising to lose weight, this is a good book.