John McPhie, the author of The Slim Habit* likes to find simple solutions to complex problems, using behavioural science. In The Slim Habit he looks at health, particularly the obesity crisis and suggests the solution to losing weight is by changing long term habits, not through short term diets.
Losing weight is not a health choice, it’s a health necessity. Taking the decision to lose weight NOW could save your life.John McPhie – The Slim Habit
Why I wanted to read The Slim Habit
I was keen to read this book because I know I would be healthier if I lost some weight. Last year I worked on introducing new health related habits so thought I’d find it easy to add any habits suggested. I prefer the idea of making small incremental changes than big changes which make me miserable.
In order to make change you’re going to have to change your habits.John McPhie – The Slim Habit
My key takeaways
I really enjoyed the first section of this book and read it in one sitting. John explains how your body’s processes should work and how they deal with “junk” food in an easy-to-follow and informative manner. He really makes it clear how the wrong type of food encourages us away from healthy food.
You might think that it’s you who is making the decisions, but it’s not. It’s the type of food you eat and what you drink that’s the problem. It can cause your body processes to malfunction to such an extent that they become the driver of your decision making, nudging your preferences towards the types of food and drink which cause you to put on weight.John McPhie – The Slim Habit
Our bodies try to adapt to the food we eat, but when one system reacts to deal with extra sugar it impacts on another system and another, meaning our diet can impact our whole bodies. It is much better to work with our bodies than against them.
If you want to be in control of your weight and lead an active, healthy life, your diet and your lifestyle have to be in sync with the way your system, your body, works.John McPhie – The Slim Habit
The book also covers the impact of stress because long term stress can lead to your body telling you that you are hungry, all the time. I found this interesting as I know I certainly eat more when I’m stressed.
When the cause of you being overweight or obese is down to stress, it becomes very difficult to lose fat if you remain stressed. Identifying the causes of stress, and reducing stress has to be a priority.John McPhie – The Slim Habit
The last sections of the book cover the suggested habits to lose weight and improve your health. These cover the topics you’ll see in many books on losing weight — diet, low calorie days and exercise. These are supported by four additional habits — getting enough sleep, drinking enough, cutting out snacks and reducing portion size.
Should you read The Slim Habit
I’m not sure. I found the first section about how the body works fascinating. It really made me realise how the food we eat impacts our body. And how when we start interrupting the processes we get into a negative cycle of wanting to consume more food that is not good for us.
However, I was disappointed with the habits section of the book. I know it takes effort and behaviour change to lose weight. But having just read how hard it is to break the negative cycle once you’re in it, I was expecting the book to suggest easier habits than the usual — more sleep, more water, more exercise, less stress and less food.
So if you want to understand more about how your body works in a simple-to-follow way, than yes this book will be a good read. However, if you’re looking for some new ideas to get you out of the cycle than this is unlikely to give you that spark.
And how am I doing? Not great. I like the suggested flexibility stretches and I try to do those every night. But I’m still working on getting the other habits in place.
The Slim Habit Click to Tweet
*I was given a free digital copy of the book to read in exchange for an honest review. This post includes affiliate links which means if you buy something after following the link I will earn a proportion of the sale. But it doesn’t cost you anything extra.