You have read it here many times before: “Fat is not the enemy”. In fact, in Fat Fiction I wrote about some of the more common misconceptions about fat and how our body deals with it. The Fitness Mantra bottom-line has always been that fat, one of the three macro-nutrients, is vital to our diet and should be a part of every well-balanced meal.
The Brown Fat Revolution: Trigger Your Body’s Good Fat to Lose Weight and Be Healthier is the new book by Dr. James R. Lyons that not only validates our belief in the goodness that is fat but also takes us further by describing the two major types of fat and explaining why one is much better than the other. Here is a Fitness Mantra Book Review of “The Brown Fat Revolution”.
Once again, a quick reminder: I am trying to standardize all future book reviews on Fitness Mantra and after referencing a lot of online examples and references, I have decided on this format. Please feel free to send me your comments and criticisms so I can improve on this.
Title: The Brown Fat Revolution: Trigger Your Body’s Good Fat to Lose Weight and Be Healthier
Author(s): Dr. James R. Lyons
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Price (10-Apr-2010): US $16.49
Preview: On Google Books
Subject: Diet, Health, Exercise and Fitness
Theme: Lose weight and be healthier by knowing about the two types of fat: the good Brown Fat and the bad Yellow Fat.
Thesis: Understanding the two types of fat, Yellow and Brown, and learning how to minimize and convert the bad Yellow Fat to the good Brown Fat is one key way to lose weight, look good and improve one’s overall health.
Disclosure: I was sent one free copy of this book by the publishers to review. As always, please be assured of completely unbiased reviews on Fitness Mantra.
Review of The Brown Fat Revolution:
Dr. James R. Lyons, the author of The Brown Fat Revolution, has worked nearly 30 years as a renowned plastic surgeon and he uses his experience to explain the effect that fat has on the way our bodies are shaped and in the way it ages over time. The book is divided into three main sections:
In the first part called “The Brown Fat Revolution Basics”, the author begins with the simple but profound statement: “Fat is your friend.” and then goes on to explain how fat, in sharp contrast to the constant vilification it receives in the media, is actually good for us and why seemingly logical statements like “Eating fat will make us fat” are downright wrong. A certain quantity (and type) of fat, he contends, is good for us and is what gives certain people their “glow” making them look years younger than they really are.
The book goes on to explain the way our body metabolizes food and converts it to energy. The initial source of energy is always glycogen which is stored in the liver and muscles but extra calories will be converted first to the good (brown) fat and any further consumption of food will lead to the secretion of bad (yellow) fat. So the key, says Dr. Lyons is to ensure a constant source of glycogen giving the body no reason to store yellow fat and the trick to devise an Eating Plan that promotes this. Finally he completes the introduction with two chapters on the crucial role played by hormones during the the twenties to forties (category one) and the fifties and older ages (category two).
Part 2 tackles the difficult but (in my view) quintessential aspect of the Eating Plan. I have always believed that no amount of exercise can overcome a poor diet and I am glad to know that Dr.Lyons feels the same way. he starts of by stating that “about 75 percent of how we look is determined by what we put in our mouths.” So well put! The primary goals of his eating plan include eating at least 6 times a day at regular intervals and getting enough protein as well as the right kind of carbohydrates. He even gives you a cheat day (in moderation, of course!). The chapters in this important part of the book form a treasure trove of information about nutrients, good eating habits and even a detailed four-week eating plan for both hormone categories.
Finally, Part 3 details the “Brown Fat Revolution Exercise Plan”. By focusing on the “core” or central area of the human body, Dr. Lyons details an exercise plan that works by strengthening the abdominal region, back, shoulder and legs. In another sign that his thinking matches closely with what I believe here at Fitness Mantra, Dr. Lyons is not a big proponent of excessive cardio. His preferred exercise? High-Intensity-Interval-Training method as applied to sprinting.
This is followed by detailed exercise guidelines using only the most minimum of equipment (just bungee cords, straps for door-anchors and ankles, metal clasps and low-weight dumbbells). The exercises are clearly demonstrated and well-explained directly under each photo. This is followed by a four-week exercise plan for both hormone categories.
In my opinion, The Brown Fat Revolution is a solid addition to any fitness enthusiast’s library and contains tons of useful information and eating/exercise plans. Yes, some of the information is already contained elsewhere and some of the ideas have already been explored by others, but Dr. Lyons has collected what he believes to be the most pertinent facts he has encountered and managed to compile them in an easy to read and easier to follow reference manual for all of us to benefit from.
I highly recommend this book for all age-groups and fitness levels.
PS: As always, I am always eager to hear your thoughts on this book if you have read it. And also let me know your opinion about this book-review format. Do post your thoughts in the Comments section.