Book Review: Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss

Ok, folks. Here’s a book to start the week off right: “Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss,” by Dr. Mark Hyman.

Serious stuff, I know. I love Dr. Hyman–he’s a leading expert in the world of holistic health and prevention, having worked as co-medical director at Canyon Ranch in Lennox, Mass. for over ten years, and now managing his own family medical practice. He’s been widely published, and is highly revered for his dedication to bringing awareness to the field of functional medicine (a new term for alternative medicine) and healing.

For me, as a health educator, I reference Dr. Hyman’s website, books, and talks (his TED talks are excellent) nearly every day. This book is a fantastic educational resource for those trying to get healthy, detoxify their systems (winter into spring is a great time for a detox!), manage a chronic health issue (like thyroid disease) through nutrition, or for just about anyone seeking to gain a better understanding of how the body functions.

Dr. Hyman’s emphasis is on creating a lifestyle, not a “diet” — plan that will sustain one through a lifetime.  This is something that is important for parents to teach kids at an early age. He dispels a number of myths that have been created for the gain of the food industry, such as “eating fat makes you fat,” or, “all calories are created equal” (both so untrue!). The focus here is on creating an efficient “furnace,” or metabolism, so that one’s body is equipped to deal with a calorie load in a more efficient way, and then of course giving one’s body the proper “fuel” for the furnace.Good fuel sources keep our blood sugar even and not erratic, and keep us feeling fuller for longer, while also keeping our blood pressure and cholesterol in check. What sorts of fuel might fit this bill? High quality plant based fats, like coconut or cold pressed olive oils, fruits and vegetables (of course!), whole grains (think brown rice and quinoa), nuts, and legumes (beans, lentils, and peanuts).

Dr. Hyman’s message echoes my own, and that of Tiny Chefs, which is: get off the processed food train!
In doing so, one will naturally lose weight and feel better. Of course, this book’s plot line doesn’t end with food; I truly appreciate Dr. Hyman’s consideration of modern detriments like stress, environmental toxins, and lack of sleep (as a parent myself, I know how hard it can be to juggle it all!), and their direct correlation with poor health outcomes (weight gain, inflammation, cognitive decline, and the list goes on and on).

Through all of the doom and gloom of what looms in our food world, Dr. Hyman does give us hope: we are capable of turning things around and taking back our health, and he gives us lots of strategies to do so. I’d definitely recommend purchasing or borrowing this book from your local library to get some great tips to get your family’s health and wellness on the right track for the new year!