The “It Starts With Food” diet book was written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig in July 2014. The premise of the book sits on the original book and diet plan they created called “Whole30” (see the review here.) With this specific book, they reveal why some foods groups are making you feel sick and causing you to gain weight. The book includes testimonials, shopping lists, menu plan templates, and recipes to choose from. The book costs roughly $15.00 plus shipping, but that does not include the actual cost of going out and getting your weekly groceries.
There is no actual customer service line to call, as this company is rather large and deals mainly with book publishing. They do however provide you with a contact page and an email address (see it here). When looking into their books overall, there is a strong “paleo” feel to them and you should cautiously enter in, versus just taking a dive into the deep end, as it could result in many stomach issues.*
Do Dieters Lose Weight On The It Starts With Food Diet?
There was a complete mix of reviews when looking into this diet book in particular. While it couples the Whole30 diet plan into an actual book, some wonder if the purchase of the book is even necessary at all. There are a lot of opinions thrown at you, with little to no scientific reasoning or evidence to support the claims.* The side effects have been gastrointestinal issues such as cramping, diarrhea, and stomach aches due to diving into the diet too aggressively.
“It was too repetitive. Everything you need to know about the Whole30 is online. Seriously. If you want recipes you can buy the Whole30 cookbook, which has enough explanations to fully understand the program. If you want science buy the Paleo Approach. ‘It Starts With Food' is not worth it.” Maria Cavallo*
Sophia Black* said, “First of all, while I appreciate the ‘tough love' standpoint, I found myself turned off by Melissa and Dallas's tone throughout the whole book. Most of the book felt very condescending and I found myself angry instead of inspired. If you are trying to get people to do something you truly believe in, you really need to inspire them. You really need to grab them. Yes, this means that you also probably have to be nice to them at sometime to get them engaged.” The bummer to reading the book was the fact that she felt like she was always being told no, and that the food choices she was making were bad, which made her feel like a child. Many of the testimonials were from extreme cases, and did not really speak to the readers in a motivational light. She mentioned, what about the people who are not on medication, exercises regularly, and eats the best they can? The authors were not very conducive to this style of life and she wished they came across as more sincere and inspirational.
“This book gives you concrete ideas of the paleo diet and how to integrate it into your life. As far as I can tell, there's no science behind it just opinions. So if the diet works for you – great! But don't start using this as reference book. Too much opinion and not enough fact.” Richard Shaw*
Is The It All Starts With Food Diet Easy To Follow?
The program itself is not hard to follow, as you essentially have to read a book then download menu templates with shopping lists. You can download those shopping lists and templates straight from the website, so what is the book for really? The book is filled with opinions and statements that are not backed by anything substantial, and the dieters who have purchased were more than annoyed with its format. This has indeed rubbed people the wrong way from the beginning, as the tone and vibe of the book just seems arrogant overall. When people are looking to lose weight that is the last tone they need to hear, and instead they should be getting encouraged along the way. Why spend money on something that is provided for free online? There is no scientific backing on their official website, or even in their book, which leaves them with a lot of empty claims.*
This book is a good example of a well thought out marketing ploy by the founders of the Whole30 Diet. Why not sell a book that can lead people through a diet that already exists? It makes sense as to why they did it (to make more money), but do you really need to purchase the diet book to see results? No. The tone in the book is of arrogance rather than education/encouragement, which does not help the fact that there really are no solid facts behind the large claims being made. The diet is not a waste of time per se, but the approach that they have taken with the diet turns me around to run the other way. The company has social media with a following, and the programs have helped people change lives through eating healthier, but I don’t always think their approach is necessarily the best.
*Please keep in mind that with any diet or weight loss program, individual results will vary.
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*Individual results will vary.