S.P.E.E.D. Book Review
SPEED is an interesting concept about weight loss. The acronym stands for Sleep, Psychology, Exercise, Environment and Diet. The authors, Jeff Thiboutot and Matt Shoenberger believe these factors work together in the weight loss process and determine your level of success.
What I like about SPEED is that it doesn’t sugar coat the weight loss process or promote any weight loss products. The authors tell it like it is and give us straight information about losing weight based on research. They dispel weight loss myths in an easy to read format that can be used as a resource for dieters.
Though the book offers details about a calorie restrictive diet, it also acknowledges the idea that weight loss involves more than diet and exercise alone. In fact, SPEED claims that genetics plays a large role in how we gain and lose weight. Too often dieters are considered lazy or unwilling to change, but this is not always the case. “An inability to attain or maintain a specific weight should not be automatically viewed as having a lack of commitment or will power.” (13)
Sleep and Weight Gain
Speed details how sleep debt contributes to weight gain. Diet and exercise can only get you so far, but if your body doesn’t get enough sleep and have enough time to recharge, you are setting yourself up for failure. The authors even suggest naps as a way to get more sleep and recharge during the day.
The Psychology of Weight Loss
Thiboutot and Shoenberger note that you need a vision for motivation to lose weight. Your thinking controls your behavior, so changing your body begins with changing your thinking. Goal setting is also an important step in the weight loss process.
Exercise for Weight Loss
Though some would argue, Thiboutot and Shoenberger state that exercise is overrated. Their reasoning is that while resistance training and aerobic exercise are healthy habits, “Neither mode has been shown to be greatly effective for weight loss without dietary control.”(61) They recommend just 30 minutes of exercise most days, including 2-3 weight training sessions.
Environmental Effects on Weight Reduction
The chapter in SPEED about environment goes over everything from food, people and distractions to serving sizes and food costs. A clean environment, stocked with healthy foods and the least amount of temptations lends itself best at helping you reach your weight loss goals.
Why SPEED Recommends a Low Carb Diet for Weight Loss
Thiboutot and Shoenberger recommend a low carb, high protein, high fat diet for best weight loss results. They believe “there is much more to food than its calorie count.”(86) The basic idea here is that we don’t need carbs to function properly. They also promote eating foods in their natural form. The idea is maximize the amount of nutrients you take from the foods you eat while minimizing your caloric intake. Though controversial, the low carb diet allows dieters to maintain lean body mass while burning fat and losing weight.
Overall, SPEED is a worthwhile read. The book is filled with scientific research and studies to back the claims they make about weight loss. The authors go beyond the basics of sleep, psychology, exercise, environment and diet. They address problems with current weight loss theories, provide a 7-day sample menu, sample exercise plans and weight loss resources.