Mind Over Body Review
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Have you ever faced a grueling project at work that sends you straight to the vending machine when you’re not even hungry? Have you ever wondered why so many people are dieting, but few are getting any leaner? Nordine Zouareg, fitness coach at Miraval Life in Balance spa and resort in Tucson, Arizona and former Mr. World and Mr. Universe, maintains in his book Mind Over Body: The Key to Lasting Weight Loss Is All in Your Head, that taking hold of stress and your emotions and sustaining a positive attitude are key elements in controlling your weight.

Zouareg acknowledges that you must totally commit to this or any goal, possessing what he calls “core desire,” in order to be successful. Just holding an interest in losing weight will cause most of us to detour at the slightest inconvenience. You must also reprogram the subconscious mind. He suggests using meditation (ten minutes in the morning), visualization (of healthy behaviors, while also picturing yourself at your ultimate goal), and affirmations (positive self-talk) to accomplish this.

Sound esoteric? Not really. What makes this book so useful is that Zouareg lays out a step-by-step plan in workbook fashion to eliminate any confusion. This includes 100 examples of affirmations to keep repeating in your mind. He stresses the importance of calming your surroundings (yes, eliminating that clutter) and associating yourself with supportive people. He also explains how to avoid and even rebound from common pitfalls.

This is a complete guide to weight control. Zouareg includes the familiar weight charts and how to determine bone structure. Though most of us know what we physically need to do to lose weight (eat less, move more), he provides a simple 40/40/20 “fat-loss” eating plan. This consists of 40% of our diet as carbohydrates that are low to moderate on the glycemic index, 40% of our diet consisting of proteins of high biological value (most easily digested), and 20% heart-healthy fats. Don’t worry—he defines and gives examples of all of these terms. He also clarifies correct portion sizes. There is also a small section explaining basic exercise principles, but I recommend that one should heed his advice and consult a personal trainer. He even advises how to choose one. Also, by going to a gym, you associate yourself with like-minded people. I can personally attest to that.

This is an effective book for anyone trying to control his or her weight. It explains what I believe to be the major cause of obesity: emotional eating and negative self-talk. More importantly, Zouareg teaches readers exactly what to do about it. However, what I particularly love about Mind Over Body is that the skills taught can be used to achieve any goal, even those non weight-related. Don’t lend this book out to friends, since you’ll constantly reach for it as guidance and support, in addition to referring to your own notes. Instead, persuade them to buy their own.

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