Summary: A great book to own!
Comment: The best was to start your new Adkins Lifestyle & the shopping guide is awesome! A must have for all on the Adkins diet!
Summary: bah...never pay real money for a glorified brochure
Comment: First off, my credentials: I lost fifty pounds on this diet. This is a review of this guide, not of the diet.
The beginning part of the book gives a brief, peppy rundown on the diet itself. It has some good information, but the tone is irritating. The phrase 'doing Atkins' may be colloquially understood, but it sounds amateurish and is heavily overused. No opportunity to pimp Atkins brand products is passed up. The result had me on edge by the time I began reading the actual shopping guide, and then it got worse.
The useful parts are those dealing with raw foods, ones that don't involve 'branding' (that's corporate newspeak for "ramming the product name into your head and keeping it there," folks): fruits, basic meats, cheeses. Gouda is gouda; tofu is tofu; beets are beets. Unfortunately, even these parts suffer from some degree of measurement inconsistency.
If you're going to compare nutritional facts from item to item, you have to use the same size portions for each item in a class. It is no good referring to 1/2 cup of most vegetables, then switching to 'half a baked potato' or 'two tablespoons'. Sure, the reader can convert, but isn't that why I bought the book? Pick a half cup and stick with it. Or an ounce. A ton. I don't care, as long as it's consistent, and the book's measurements are often so inconsistent as to be impractical for reference.
Where the book really begins to go south is when it comes to any form of 'branded' food. Atkins Nutritionals, or whichever branch of the Atkins empire put this out, has naturally listed Atkins brand products first in every category. Okay, fine, we're big kids and can read past this obvious shill; but even so, a lot of the other name brand products evaluated are going to change as the market reacts. That's going to make a big chunk of this book obsolete. Plus, the obvious placement of Atkins brand stuff first leaves a lingering suspicion: how did they choose the brands for the book? I can't find a lot of them on my local shelves. Is it possible that the ones chosen were those that would look undesirable relative to Atkins brand products? I don't know; I'm not a professional nutritionist or supermarket chain buyer. All I know is that the array of choices sure makes the Atkins stuff look like the best in every category. Funny how that worked, eh?
The problem with low-carb dieting, at this writing, is that our food providers have decided to brand a lot of their products with the 'low-carb' label, as if merely saying so will make it so. The guide states, correctly, that this stems from a lack of regulation. A balanced, professionally written guide would have been a great step forward; the message urged upon the reader from nearly every page of this book--"Just buy ours!"--is a step backward.
Like any sales brochure, this should be free. Don't pay $7.50 for it.