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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Zeus Defied: Mastering The Mindset Of Weight Loss is a nonfiction health and wellness book written by Rezwan Khan. In his prologue, the author recounts the story of King Sisyphus who is condemned by Zeus to eternally toil at rolling a massive boulder up a mountain. Each time he finally reaches the top, the boulder rolls back down to the bottom again. Khan sees a parallel between that mythical punishment and the superhuman efforts most dieters make to lose that extra weight, only to find that it was all for naught. He delves into the human brain and the role played by the prefrontal cortex in determining the success or failure of our efforts at self-discipline, and he demonstrates how stress or simple fatigue at the end of the day can overwhelm our brains and leave our dieting aspirations defenseless when we most need reserves of strength. In his own efforts to change his eating habits and regain some control over his weight and health, Khan formulated a Nine Phase Weight Loss program that is designed to work despite the vagaries of the prefrontal cortex. Rather than relying upon one’s powers of self-discipline, which Khan ably debunks, each phase is designed to work as something habitual, like brushing one’s teeth in the morning. When healthy habits are accomplished as a matter of course, they are far less likely to go off-track due to stress, fatigue, etc. Each phase smoothly works into the next, enabling the dieter to level their own Sisyphean mountain and regain their optimal health.
Zeus Defied is a well-written and engaging work by someone who’s been there. I was fascinated by his discussion of the brain and the role of the cortex, and was relieved to finally find out why dieting seems so impossible -- especially at the end of the day. His plan is sensible and well-constructed. I especially appreciated the information he provides on nutritional subjects such as dairy, sugars, and the benefits of switching to frequent and smaller meals. The appendices at the end of the book are also quite useful, particularly the glycemic index tables, and tables of meats by leanness. There’s also a wealth of links in his list of references. Zeus Defied: Mastering The Mindset Of Weight Loss is highly recommended.