by Amelia Gordon
I was somewhat apprehensive when I set out to review this book as I had not realized at the outset that it is directed at body builders. I am definitely not a body builder, however, I discovered that Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle, 2nd edition of a very popular book of the same name by body builder Tom Venuto is an eminently sane guide to good nutrition and exercise. As a reader of many diet and exercise books over the last 30 years, I can attest that this is no fad diet. It is a program that recommends all food groups, including starchy vegetables, and meal compositions remind you of those family meals of your youth – each meal containing a complete protein (often meat) a starchy vegetable (potatoes, rice) and a green vegetable. The diet does not eschew dairy or fruit, as many diets now do and gives you enough science to interest you, but not so much that your eyes glaze over. All healthy food groups, including fat have a place in the food program in this book.
The book also distinguishes among simple carbohydrates (least nutritious), starchy carbohydrates and fibrous carbohydrates and tells you (and provides examples) how to make substitutions to ensure maximum fat loss and optimize lean body mass.
Venuto also provides sensible exercise for everyone, giving examples of cardio traing, including walking, an ideal exercise for the beginner and the overweight. It goes on to include exercise for the dedicated aficionado of body building, but most of the book, in fact all of it, is relevant to the normal individual just interested in maximizing health. The author states, as do physicians, that BOTH diet and exercise are necessary to maintain a lean physique, and most important of all, the first chapter of the book deals with attitude, the absolutely key element in any plan of action. In fact he focuses on action and states at the outset that the program requires commitment and hard work. As many of us know, it is attitude that is the killer of our best plans. If we can’t commit, we won’t get there. A former body builder friend looked into this book and confirmed that there is a lot of “good stuff” in it. This reviewer agrees.