The following is the complete Kirkus review of How I Did It. The original review can be found on the Kirkus website by clicking here.
Losing weight and getting healthy are all about the numbers, according to a self-proclaimed “fitness nerd.”
Forget fad diets and fitness crazes: Shedding pounds isn’t as complicated as some people make it out to be, argues Clark in this debut guide. You just need to burn more calories than you consume. Those who want to get off “the weight-loss roller coaster” can do so, but it will require discipline, plus some basic math skills. Drawing on his own experience, the author explains how he decided to “ignore the never-ending stream of bullshit fitness products people try to sell me” and embrace a simpler, more effective way to transform his physique. In frank and often funny language, Clark encourages readers to take charge of their lives and bodies, to set goals that make sense for them, and to not get discouraged by setbacks. Using an inverted pyramid approach, he begins with advice on how to change your mental approach to diet and fitness. He then tackles calorie counting and macros, strength training, and cardiovascular exercise. The suggestions get more complicated as the book progresses. Readers who can handle counting calories and weighing food may find themselves overwhelmed by more detailed instructions on how to measure body-fat percentage and track strength-training gains. Still, the author clearly explains his strategy. He firmly believes that “data from our small, daily goals keeps us excited, responsible, and in control of our trajectory.” By focusing on quantifiable data and measuring daily progress, people can achieve their goals since the fundamental “secret” to weight loss is creating a calorie deficit—“energy out must be greater than energy in.” Yet that deficit has to be achieved in a sustainable, consistent way. Quick fixes in the form of crash diets and severe calorie restriction might work in the short term, but “your body will wage a secret war to sabotage your efforts, and eventually it will win.” Clark also deftly explains why it’s nearly impossible to exercise away extra calories while illustrating how building muscle helps with long-term weight-loss goals.
An accessible approach to weight loss delivered in the voice of a supportive coach.