In his book The Smarter Science of Slim
Jonathan Bailor presents much more than advice on lifestyle and diet.
This is a complete argument relating themes of nutrition, exercise,
digestion and food to their associated consequence, weight. Unlike many
works in the area of diet, The Smarter Science of Slim presents informed
consideration of the subject, offers no quick fix, no formulaic or
unsubstantiated, quasi-religious claims. What the book does do is argue
a coherent, rationally-constructed and evidence-justified position which
identifies an approach to diet and lifestyle rather than a prescription.
It is to the author’s credit that the book achieves its aims in a
fluent, readable style that engages and entertains as well as informs.
Jonathan Bailor begins with a criticism of
current approaches, a corpus of advice that represents something of an
establishment position. It’s a diet he labels INSANE. It’s not quite an
acronym, but it gets the point across. The consequences of this diet are
obesity. Yes, we are being officially advised into a state of obesity.
In contrast, the SANE approach allows you to eat just about as much as
you want. What’s more, it’s better nutritionally and your weight will
stabilise at a lower level. Does this sound too good to be true?
To prove the case the author cites research
findings and extensive data to identify a diet that is roughly equally
shared between protein, carbohydrate and fat. On the face of it, this
may not seem to be such a radical departure from the current received
position, except in relation to fats. But The Smarter Science of Slim
approach differs markedly in the foodstuffs identified in each category.
Jonathan Bailor thus declares war on starch! Out go grains, flour,
potatoes, rice and pasta, for example. In comes as much water-rich
vegetable as you want to eat. Crucial to Jonathan Bailor’s argument is
that these fill you up and thus satiate, while simultaneously providing
all essential nutrients alongside low calorific values. He is also
confident that eating more proteins will restrict the appetite that
currently craves more starch because it is fat and protein deficient.
The argument then moves on to the concept of a
person’s natural body weight. The norm can change and can be changed,
but the human body always tries to maintain what the brain perceives an
optimal or normal weight. The problem is that this norm is influenced by
the digestive load that the diet presents. When this is changed, then
the perceived norm can be changed. INSANE diets raise the norm and hence
promote obesity, while SANE approaches encourage stabilisation at lower
But The Smarter Science of Slim goes beyond
this. It also suggests exercise routines that don’t take all day, are
efficient at burning energy and keep the body fit and trim. And all of
this can be accomplished in just twenty minutes a couple of times a
Cooks will be disappointed with Jonathan
Bailor’s approach to meals that adhere to his SANE principles. But the
ingredient list is extremely long and even five minutes in the kitchen
would produce something palatable, tasty and also SANE, certainly
something a tad more appetising than a veggie smoothie. The Smarter
Science of Slim allows, even encourages consumption of almost anything
you want in the line of meat or fish. Since fats are not outlawed, you
can even take a slab of cheese. But you will have to make your sandwich
with cabbage leaves, rather than bread.
Anyone who has feelings of guilt or even mere
concerns about weight, diet or lifestyle could profit greatly from
reading The Smarter Science of Slim. The book illustrates that there is
nothing to be afraid of, that there are multitudes of wholesome and
tasty foods that can be eaten with abandon without fear of obesity or
ill health. As a consequence of The Smarter Science of Slim’s SANE
approach, these things will look after themselves, leaving you to get on
with living life rather than worrying about it. Then you can read The
Smarter Science of Slim again to admire the book’s style, scholarship