Anti Diet Review

Editor's Review: 3.8 / 5.0

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Eat Smart: The Zen Anti-Diet was written by Aaron Hoopes. Hoopes is a Tai Chi and yoga instructor as well as a martial artist. He also has a degree in Asian history with a focus on Japanese culture. He has taught a variety of classes at various universities and has written several books that focus on yoga, meditation, and healthful practices. He draws on his training and education for the advice found in his anti-diet book.

Hoopes believes diets do not work as a permanent solution to weight loss because they focus on outside messages. Instead, his anti-diet focuses on paying attention to the cues given by our bodies. He encourages readers to pay attention to how different foods affect their body each time they eat or drink something. He contends that learning what makes the body feel good and healthy will ultimately lead to weight loss and the ability to maintain a healthy weight.

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Readers are advised to eat food slowly in order to give the body time to convey a message of satiety. Additionally, one should avoid eating where there are distractions that could make it more difficult to pay attention what the body is saying. Small frequent meals are encouraged in order to control appetite, increase nutrient absorption, boost metabolism, and stabilize blood sugar levels. Finally, the non-diet advocates organic food and highlights the problems associated with processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and food additives. Some of the foods that are recommended include fresh vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Increasing one’s water intake is also recommended. Exercise is mentioned as being an important part of living a healthy life but no specific guidelines are given, rather an increase of movement is encouraged.

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  • Offers a gradual approach to weight loss.
  • Helps increase awareness of eating habits.


  • No clear guidelines are given for exercise.
  • No information on how to create healthy meals.
  • Very little structure.
  • Available only as an ebook.


The overall advice of Eat Smart: The Zen Anti-Diet is good, but it is also basic and can be found in most diet plans. The fact that there is very little specific information in regards to what to eat is another drawback for this anti-diet. While the author clearly understands sound nutritional principles such as fewer refined foods, smaller meals, and mindful eating he does not offer concrete suggestions for putting these principles in place. This may be useful for someone who is just beginning a weight loss or healthy eating journey, but it would not be especially useful for someone who has been trying to lose weight unsuccessfully for any period of time.

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One User Review about Anti Diet

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    Aaron Hoopes

    THe Zen Anti-Diet has been expanded and updated for 2010.
    It includes new chapters and and guidelines for putting the Zen Anti-Diet into practice.
    -author Aaron Hoopes