By Dolvett Quince
Grand Central Publishing, $26.00, 291 pages
Losing weight isn’t rocket science, but it is something Dolvett Quince says the majority of Americans can’t seem to master. Quince, a celebrity trainer best known for his work on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, suggests it’s the cravings for comfort foods and inability to break bad habits that shortchanges many otherwise well-planned diets. His solution? Cheat.
The 3-1-2-1 Diet includes a healthy eating plan that incorporates so-called cheating into a regular diet. The idea is to prevent deprivation by eating ‘bad’ foods in moderation. Quince’s plan is simple. Eat clean for three days, then cheat one day. Eat clean for another two days, and then enjoy another cheat day. The cheat days, Quince argues, tricks the body into believing it has an abundance of food available and thus reboots metabolism by taking in more calories with “moderation and portion control.”
“You can’t be lean unless you eat clean. That means sticking to foods that are unprocessed and close to their natural state most days of the week.”
Readers may find the meal plans, which hover around 1,200 calories for women and 1,500 for men, to be a drastic cut from current eating habits. However, Quince offers a guide in relating small, medium, and large framed calorie intake suggestions. Thus, his meal plans may be tailored to appropriate calorie levels.||Perhaps the most beneficial information in this book is the breakdown of what certain ingredients in common foods can do – or not do – for weight loss. Quince discusses the variety of sweeteners found in common packaged food and which ones he avoids. He also discusses how sugars are broken down differently, what proteins are best for building muscle and boosting metabolism, and what carbs are best for the waistline.
In addition to the 21-day diet plan, which can be repeated and modified, The 3-1-2-1 Diet includes a workout plan, general health advice, and specific tips for healthy living. The best advice this book offers is in recognizing the need for flexibility for busy lifestyles and adapting plans to individual needs.
Reviewed by Lori A. May