Book Review: UltraMetabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss by Mark Hyman, MD

Book Review: UltraMetabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss by Mark Hyman, MD

UltraMetabolism by Mark Hyman, MD ~ book review from

2015 is a big year for me and My Person. We’re overhauling how we eat to lead a healthier life together. To promote better habits, we decided to see a nutritionist, who is this incredibly positive force of a woman.

Ultrametabolism is the second book she recommended to us. In Defense of Food was the first book she had us read.

After listening to the book once, I took and scored the quizzes/questionnaires on the pdf download. Then I listened for a second time.

If you don’t want to listen twice, maybe take the quizzes/questionnaires as you read/listen or before you begin. I just found it inconvenient to stop listening to take a quiz. Most of my listening happens as I cook. I can’t just let carrots and onions burn.

The audiobook version of this book is four hours and seven minutes, which makes it easy to breeze through, even twice!

But what I like even more is that this book is simple. The concepts are ideas I’ve heard before, but Hyman presents them in a logical framework that I could easily follow. He debunks common myths about weight loss and explains why certain habits are detrimental to losing weight.

He offers practical, actionable steps anyone can take to nourish their body, reset their metabolism, and lose weight.

Hyman narrates his own text, so sometimes he does sound out of breath. I’m fine with his style. Even though he’s not a professional voice actor, I could hear how earnestly he wanted people to listen to his simple tenets to boost metabolism.

While most of his advice centers around eating whole foods more frequently in smaller portions, he also offers advice about a number of different supplements. Some are for appetite control, others for stimulating metabolism

I was surprised to learn that the only two proven strategies that lead to long-term weight loss are eating breakfast and exercising. 

While 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five times a week will achieve many health benefits, if you want to lose weight, you need 60 minutes of aerobic exercise five times a week.

Not that anyone needs to begin with 60 minutes of exercise. Hyman suggests getting a step counter and trying to achieve the goal of 10,000 steps a day. If you've been leading a sedentary lifestyle, start with ten minutes of aerobic exercise and work your way up. But start exercising.

By the last section of the book, he's given his reader enough information to implement his prescription plan. This plan has three phases.

There's one week of prep work where you eliminate caffeine, processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, alcohol, and sugar.

Then you detox for three weeks. By  eliminating gluten, dairy, eggs, and saturated fats, Hyman says you're essentially rebooting your body.

The last phase is where you rebalance your metabolism and then maintain that balance. The foods here are much more varied. He suggests reintroducing gluten, dairy, eggs, and saturated fats in stages. Notice if you're sensitive to any of these foods.  

The pdf file that accompanies the audiobook has great information in it. While the book is not a diet, he offers menus, shopping lists, suggestions, and guidelines that will help anyone heal and repair their dysfunctional metabolism throughout his entire prescription plan.

My Person and I have already eliminated the processed foods in our pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. We're grocery shopping together, buying whole foods and ingredients, and even cooking together! 

UltraMetabolism is a useful starting point for anyone serious about weight loss. While I'm implementing numerous strategies now, I know I'll be referring to the pdf resources for months to come. This book has truly motivated me to stay on a healthy path. And now I can't want to see what the nutritionist recommends next!

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