How Not to Diet - Dr Michael Greger | Viva! - The Vegan Charity
How Not to Diet - Dr Michael Greger

World-renowned vegan health expert, Dr Michael Greger talks about his new book, 'How Not to Diet'.

I’m beyond thrilled I’ve just signed off on the final page proofs of my new book, 'How Not to Diet'.

'How Not to Diet' synthesizes—for the first time—all of the best science on effective weight loss. Without a doubt, this has been the largest single research project I’ve ever taken on. There are more than half a million scientific papers in the medical literature on obesity, and a hundred new ones are published every day. No wonder no one had yet ventured to put it all together…until now.

I wanted to dive deep into the literature to see if there was a safe, simple, side effect–free solution to obesity that had been buried, just as Dr. Dean Ornish’s monumental discovery that one of our leading causes of death could be reversed with a plant-based diet and lifestyle has been largely ignored for decades. So, like heart disease, might there already be a cure for obesity? That’s what I intended to uncover.

Here’s the problem: I hate diet books. Furthermore, I hate diet books that purport to hate diet books yet relish in all the same absurdities. 'How Not to Diet' is for those who want facts, not filler, fantasy, or fluff. If you want testimonials and before-and-after pictures, you’ve come to the wrong place. You don’t need anecdotes when you have evidence.

I went into this project with the aim of creating a distillation of all the best science, but to my delight, I discovered all sorts of exciting new tools and tricks along the way. Whether you’re morbidly obese, overweight, or at your ideal weight and wanting to keep it that way, my goal was to give you every possible tweak and technique I could find to build the optimal weight-control solution from the ground up.

In 'How Not to Diet', I cover everything from cultivating a healthy microbiome in your gut to manipulating your metabolism through chronobiology, matching meal timing to your circadian rhythms. Every section could have been a book in its own right. I certainly attempted book-length research on each subject and then tried to distill down the most compelling, actionable takeaways from each of the most promising strategies. To that end, this is really more like forty books packed into one.

In Part I, I explain the cause of the obesity epidemic. What exactly happened in the late 1970s that triggered the global crisis? In Part II, I construct the ideal weight-loss diet, identifying seventeen different ingredients for optimal weight control. Then, in Part III, I go through specific foods proven in randomized, controlled trials to enhance weight loss by acting as everything from fat blockers and fat burners to appetite suppressants and metabolic boosters. And it’s not just what you eat, but how and when, which brings us to Part IV, where I detail nineteen weight-loss boosters for fast-tracking weight loss. I arrange the boosters in a simple daily checklist so you can pick and choose a portfolio of techniques that works best for you. In the final section, I give you my Twenty-One Tweaks, which will complement my Daily Dozen first introduced in How Not to Die, and lay to rest all the burning questions on burning fat: What are the best ways to exercise to achieve maximum weight loss? How can you safely boost your metabolism? What is the optimum amount of sleep? What does the science say about ketogenic diets, intermittent fasting, and high-intensity interval training?

When I started this project, I thought I would just end up railing against all the gimmicky snake oil out there and put out much of the same standard advice on trimming calories and hitting the gym. I imagined what would set this work apart would be its comprehensiveness and strict grounding in science. I figured this book would distinguish itself—but more as a book of reference than revolution. I certainly never thought I’d stumble across

some novel weight-loss strategy. I just didn’t realize how many new paths would be opened up by our newfound transformations in understanding of so many fields of human physiology. It’s been thrilling to weave together all these cutting-edge threads to design a weight-loss protocol based on the best available evidence.


Order How Not to Diet here.


Buy tickets to his talks:

  • Birmingham - Monday 27 April 2020 @ 6PM - £12
  • London - Tuesday 28 April 2020 @ 6PM - £12

About the Author

This is a guest blog written by Dr Michael Greger.  Michael Greger M.D. FACLM, is the Honorary Scientific Advisor of Viva!. He is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognised professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before the US Congress, appeared on The Dr Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial. Michael founded and runs the website,

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