Eat this not that and make a difference to your bottom line


Sometimes we need to take a step back and just be sensible and pragmatic about how we approach our weight loss efforts. Time and again we notice how small changes in our lifestyles can account for big and sustainable changes on the scales. We all know we need to follow a balanced diet, preferably cooked at home using only natural products. Great in theory…but in practice life happens.

In the real world many of us are running around like crazy all day, and very often simply do not have the time or the energy to prepare home-cooked meals. It is also just then when everything goes pear shaped. We choose from limited options, but make the right choices. Or so we think… The truth is that unless you’ve made it yourself, you simply do not know what ingredients have been used in restaurant food, take out foods, or even supermarket products. No wonder so many people, claiming to eat well, just keep on gaining weight.

It is for this reason I absolutely love the series of books “Eat This Not That” written by David Zinchenko, editor-in-chief of Men’s Health magazine, and Matt Goulding, the food and nutrition editor of Men’s Health. These books contain a wealth of information that comes in extremely handy when faced with everyday choices. They cover just about any situation, from food choices at restaurants and fast food outlets to supermarket foods. They are also specifically tailored to different audiences, including families and kids, so you can choose that which is most applicable to your lifestyle.

Personally I found the information contained in the “Eat This Not That” series quite shocking. “No wonder!” I thought, and suddenly understood why I kept gaining weight in the past, despite my best efforts to eat healthy foods as far as possible. I have to add though, that as a somewhat time- and culinary challenged person; I love eating out, and have fast food very often, so I guess this set of books is a perfect fit for my lifestyle.

I discovered that many food items I previously regarded as healthy contain unexpected quantities of sodium, trans fats and sugars. I also found the huge variations in nutritional value of exactly the same item offered by different brands to be a huge eye opener. Just by selecting the healthier brands in each category I already notice a big difference in my daily calorie count and it doesn’t feel like a big sacrifice either.


On the back of the “Eat This Not That” guide for the Supermarket the following interesting comparisons can be found:

  • A cup of Quaker 100% Natural Granola Oats, Honey, and Raisins contains more calories than 8 chicken wings.
  • Choosing Rice Krispies Treats over Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars will cut your sugar and calorie intake nearly in half. Just with this switch, you could lose a pound every 7 weeks!
  • Regular bacon is actually better for you than turkey bacon!

In recognition of this lack of nutritional information, many restaurants, fast food outlets, and food manufacturers are starting to show the nutritional value of their foods on menus and labels. In some states in the USA legislation is paving the way for improved consumer information, and in many cases the suppliers themselves are actually starting to educate consumers and provide healthier options in response to increasing consumer pressure. Still, we are a long way off having all the necessary information we need our disposal; and until we do, having books like these around makes all the difference in the world.

The good news is that, just by improving your understanding of what you eat and applying small changes, you can bring about massive changes to your weight and health. If you consistently eat only 100 calories less every day, you will typically lose about 10 pounds a year. To reduce you calorie intake by 100 calories is easier than you think, even if you do not really change your lifestyle. Making healthier food choices as you go about your normal life can help you reduce your calorie intake by 100 calories per day!

The “Eat This Not That” series of books are easy to read and use. Although tailored for US consumers, most people in other countries should find them to be of great benefit too; due to the many foreign influences on the US food market, and the globalization of many of the US franchises and products. All the books are slim and compact, making it easy to keep in the glove box, the briefcase, or even a bigger handbag. You can easily take it along with you wherever you go.

Following these guidelines will not necessarily yield the same results than would changing to a healthy nutritional plan accompanied by exercise, but it can go a long way in helping you lose weight. Use these guides together with a food diary, and you may well find yourself losing weight faster than you ever imagined. Knowing what you eat is one of the most important factors in losing weight. Knowledge is power!

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6 Responses to “Eat this not that and make a difference to your bottom line”


  • Just wanted to let you know that I got my book and it is absolutely amazing. It feels as if a whole new world of knowledge was opened up for me. And I love the fact that it is pragmatic and takes into account real life. very few people have the luxury of time to follow a healthy diet consisting only of home-cooked meals.

  • Hi, very nice post. I have been wonder’n bout this issue,so thanks for posting

  • For a woman on the go with no time for diets this is the perfect alternative. Ordered the Eat This Not That cope for the supermarket. Already using the one for fast food and restaurants. Man what an eye-opener it was. I could not believe my eyes. And I though I was making good choices! Little did I know.

  • I bought the Supermarket copy and I am losing weight steadily at a rate of approximately .6 kg per week. No great shakes – but this is consistent. So far I’ve lost 4.2 kg. No diet, just by being aware of what I am eating. Love the books and I am using the myOBW food diary as well to make sure I eat less than is required by my MER, which the system also calculates for me…

  • Anthony,

    You’d be surprised to find that sometimes the more expensive the product, especially if labeled as “low-fat” or “heart smart”, the more sugar and salt gets added and the higher the carbs and often the calories! In my mind it goes both ways! Bottom line read the label carefully and make sure you know what you are buying. If you shop smart – it does not necessarily have to cost you an arm and a leg to eat healthy.

    Great posting. I own three of these books, and I can tell you, I had some terrible misconceptions! Losing weight at the moment, but slowly, as I am not on a diet – just watching what I eat.

  • Thanks for a great website and all the informative articles. I have seen it so many times. Since I decided to lose all this unsightly weight I started looking at the nutritional information printed on products in supermarkets and I was amazed. My conclusion is that the cheaper the product, the more sugars and salt gets added, and thus the higher the calories per 100g.

    I suppose it makes sense from a manufacturers viewpoint, but not from us consumers that need to look at our health.

    Living healthy is expensive, but worth it.

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