Author Topic: Penn's weight loss book  (Read 1228 times)

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Offline superdave

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Penn's weight loss book
« on: November 14, 2018, 10:24:49 AM »
I am about halfway through Penn's book but I think I read enough to comment on it. ( I am listening to the audiobook so it's going slow, I am only listening on long drives)

He is using a technique describe by a man named ray cronise.
As far as I can tell (and I have a PhD in biomedical engineering so I think I can claim at least a tiny bit of expertise in biology and physics) this diet it more or less a controlled starvation diet followed by a focus on low calorie foods for maintenance when you get your weight down to whatever you want.
   This of course, works, in that you will definitely lose weight this way. But I really question whether or not it is safe.  It is certainly not something I would advise anyone to do unless they face a true emergency.  To Penn's credit, it does sound like he did face a true medical emergency.  His weight and blood pressure were at very dangerous highs.

That being said,  the psychology in the book was way more interesting, especially given that there was an entire episode of Bullshit that claimed that all weight was basically genetic and trying to diet to lose weight was a waste of time.  Penn has effectively recanted this stance.  He does a great job of describing how it took him an emergency to admit to himself that he really was overweight and that genetics was only a part of the problem.  He also well describes how messed up the american diet is and how obsessed we are with food as a culture.  Since starting the book, I have really thought about and tried (not very successfully) to limit absent minded and social eating.  He also describes very well how the diet really does a good job of resetting his palette.  I think this is another critical thing worth doing.  The american diet definitely desensitizes people to salt and sweet. However, an extreme starvation diet is not needed to accomplish those two worthy goals.  As a result of this book, I won't go on the cronise diet, but I do think I am going to try harder to limit salt and other sweeteners and try to appreciate more varied flavors in foods.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 10:26:52 AM by superdave »
I disavow anyone in the movement involved in any illegal,unethical, sexist, or racist behavior. However, I don't have the energy or time to investigate each person and case, and a lack of individual disavowals for each incident should not be construed as condoning such behavior.

Offline John Albert

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2018, 10:32:55 AM »
I've mostly overcome the craving for sweetness and saltiness by substituting savory and spicy flavors, and that's worked out well for the most part. The only downside is that excessive oil and spice tend to aggravate my acid reflux. So I make a point of not eating for several hours before bedtime. 

Offline Friendly Angel

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2018, 10:58:04 AM »
Penn also repeatedly warns people not to take diet/nutrician advice from him.  The book intends to show exactly what you noted... *he* was desperate,  and extreme measures were appropriate and they worked, and he is a different man now.

Amend and resubmit.

Offline superdave

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2018, 11:06:32 AM »
Penn also repeatedly warns people not to take diet/nutrician advice from him.  The book intends to show exactly what you noted... *he* was desperate,  and extreme measures were appropriate and they worked, and he is a different man now.

While of course that is all true, I think it would be a waste not to at least think about the more universal messages for all of us, no?
I disavow anyone in the movement involved in any illegal,unethical, sexist, or racist behavior. However, I don't have the energy or time to investigate each person and case, and a lack of individual disavowals for each incident should not be construed as condoning such behavior.

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2018, 03:47:18 PM »
Penn also repeatedly warns people not to take diet/nutrician advice from him.  The book intends to show exactly what you noted... *he* was desperate,  and extreme measures were appropriate and they worked, and he is a different man now.

While of course that is all true, I think it would be a waste not to at least think about the more universal messages for all of us, no?
I would say no.
His experience is an isolated anecdote told through his own fallible lense with no controls worth speaking of.

To try and extrapolate anything at all from it would not be worthwhile because we dont know if his story contains the specific insights we may be looking for or how they may apply at a population level.
The safest and smartest bet is still just to look at what the best data currently tells us about safe and sustainable weightloss and not get drawn in to the allure of a narrative.

Offline John Albert

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2018, 02:04:56 PM »
Penn also repeatedly warns people not to take diet/nutrician advice from him.

Where does he do that? In the very same book where he's giving out diet and nutritional advice?

Offline Friendly Angel

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2018, 06:51:57 PM »
It's his story,  not a "how to" book.



Amend and resubmit.

Offline superdave

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2018, 07:06:31 PM »
i beg to differ.  I try to learn lessons from everything I read, whether I agree with it or not.
I disavow anyone in the movement involved in any illegal,unethical, sexist, or racist behavior. However, I don't have the energy or time to investigate each person and case, and a lack of individual disavowals for each incident should not be construed as condoning such behavior.

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2018, 04:37:33 AM »
How can you know which lessons are relevant to you vs which may be specific to Penn as a possible outlier?
How can you be sure that even minus those differences he is not misremembering/misreporting on some details or forgetting entirely other important details?
Its a noble sentiment, but in terms of things like diet, this is exactly how people go astray into pseudoscience.

Throw a stone and hit someone with a book or youtube channel and a different, contradictory story.

Offline John Albert

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2018, 02:12:24 PM »
When somebody writes an inspirational memoir detailing their own weight loss experience and exalting how great it feels to be thinner, all the disclaimers in the world aren't going to stop readers from treating it as something of a how-to guide. This is especially true when the individual in question is an established celebrity with a large and enthusiastic fan base who regard him as a straight-talking expert on critical thinking.

He does have a valid point about taking medical advice from a Las Vegas magician though, especially the "just look at me" portion of the argument. He looks like a sleazy used car salesman with that mustache and pinstriped suit.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2018, 02:17:11 PM by John Albert »

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2018, 07:02:37 PM »
When somebody writes an inspirational memoir detailing their own weight loss experience and exalting how great it feels to be thinner, all the disclaimers in the world aren't going to stop readers from treating it as something of a how-to guide. This is especially true when the individual in question is an established celebrity with a large and enthusiastic fan base who regard him as a straight-talking expert on critical thinking.

He does have a valid point about taking medical advice from a Las Vegas magician though, especially the "just look at me" portion of the argument. He looks like a sleazy used car salesman with that mustache and pinstriped suit.

I wonder if anyone has actually read the book?  I have it as an audiobook, and some time or another I’ll get around to listening to it when I’m at the gym working out (it’s a long way down my list of audiobooks).
Gebt ihr ihr ihr Buch zurück?

Offline John Albert

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2018, 07:15:04 PM »
I've never read the book either, but I imagine it must be something on the order of 2+ hours of self-congratulatory bluster about weight loss. 

While I do enjoy Penn & Teller's magic show and appreciate their efforts at skeptical activism, I find Penn's egoistic libertarian preaching to be a bit much.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2018, 07:19:37 PM by John Albert »

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2018, 07:42:37 PM »
I've never read the book either, but I imagine it must be something on the order of 2+ hours of self-congratulatory bluster about weight loss. 

While I do enjoy Penn & Teller's magic show and appreciate their efforts at skeptical activism, I find Penn's egoistic libertarian preaching to be a bit much.

I’ll listen to virtually anything to occupy my mind when I’m exercising (I’ve just finished the German translations of Michael Crichton’s ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘the Forgotten World’ despite the late Crichton’s global warming denialism being personally very painful).  I don’t reject books just because the authors might have objectionable qualities.
Gebt ihr ihr ihr Buch zurück?

Offline superdave

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2018, 10:20:36 AM »
How can you know which lessons are relevant to you vs which may be specific to Penn as a possible outlier?
How can you be sure that even minus those differences he is not misremembering/misreporting on some details or forgetting entirely other important details?
Its a noble sentiment, but in terms of things like diet, this is exactly how people go astray into pseudoscience.

Throw a stone and hit someone with a book or youtube channel and a different, contradictory story.

When I say that I try to learn from anything I read it doesn't mean that I automatically agree with the ideas in the book, or that the thing I take away from the book is even an intentional message of the book.  But if you truly read things with no intention of contemplating their ideas I don't know what to say.
I disavow anyone in the movement involved in any illegal,unethical, sexist, or racist behavior. However, I don't have the energy or time to investigate each person and case, and a lack of individual disavowals for each incident should not be construed as condoning such behavior.

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Penn's weight loss book
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2018, 11:01:26 AM »
How can you know which lessons are relevant to you vs which may be specific to Penn as a possible outlier?
How can you be sure that even minus those differences he is not misremembering/misreporting on some details or forgetting entirely other important details?
Its a noble sentiment, but in terms of things like diet, this is exactly how people go astray into pseudoscience.

Throw a stone and hit someone with a book or youtube channel and a different, contradictory story.

When I say that I try to learn from anything I read it doesn't mean that I automatically agree with the ideas in the book, or that the thing I take away from the book is even an intentional message of the book.  But if you truly read things with no intention of contemplating their ideas I don't know what to say.
Well I didnt say that at all though.
If I were to read Penns book, I might find it interesting to think about how he felt emotionally during the process and might consider looking up the efficacy of whatever diet he followed.
Generally speaking though, for the reasons outlined above, its not the sort of thing I would ever read.

Not to say you shouldnt read it and enjoy it of course! Just that it seems like it could be worse than reading nothing at all if learning about effective weightloss techniques is the goal.
Maybe Im just jaded from hearing a different story and a different theory from basically everyone Ive trained with over the past 20years. I find that most people with the best results, have no real understanding of their success and advocate the most stupid stuff.

 

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