Book Review: 101 Things To Do Before You Diet

Here we go again.

Spring’s finally arrived. It’s time to come out from under our winter layers and access the damage left by:

1. Too much couch
2. Too much food

Those figure-killing, twin disasters probably have you Googling diets and munching celery for lunch.

Or perhaps not…

Maybe you’re over the diet yo-yo (or just old enough to realize life is too short to live tied to the scale) and ready for a non-diet.

If so, you may be interested in a book I just finished (and loved!) 101 Things to Do Before You Diet: Because Looking Great Isn't Just about Losing Weight by Mimi Spencer.

Some of the 101 tips we’ve all heard before, some are new. All are really good. I’ve been out of school way too long to do a book report, so I’m going to highlight just a few of the tips that really hit home for me.

12. Eat meals not snacks. I grew up on three hot meals a day. Candy, chips and cookies were treats, not a daily thing. Back then a can of Pringles lasted me two weeks, now they barely last two minutes.

I’m working hard to get back into the swing of sitting down to meals and eschewing packaged snacks.

16. Give food your undivided attention. Don’t read, watch tv, text, drive or juggle when you eat. I’m a compulsive reader, and love sneaking a book to the dinner table. However, Spencer is dead on about it making you lose track of your actual hunger and how much you ate.

23. Get fitted for a new bra. Like you, I’ve heard or read this tip a bazillion times. This time I actually took the advice and got fitted at Nordstrom’s lingerie department.

WOW!!!! If I told you, y’all wouldn’t believe how off I was on my bra size – so I won’t tell. Anyhoo, my new bras took make me look at least 10 pounds thinner.

33. Buy more food that has no label. As in potatoes, not fries or chips. Chicken, not nuggets. Fish; not fish sticks (and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE fish sticks!!!) Apples, not apple pie. You get the picture. Just say no to a box or can.

100. In extremis, knit. This tip reminded me to unearth my knitting bag and long-forgotten projects from the closet. Knitting, especially during your favorite television shows, keeps your hands busy and out of the snacks.

There are a lot more great tips in this book. I highlighted and scribbled all over the margins of my copy.

So if a diet isn’t for you this spring. This non-diet approach to weight loss is worth a look.


  1. Sounds like a good book. Unbelievable but I'm back on the diet train. Just in time for Spring.

  2. I'm liking these tips, Phyllis. I've been trying to "buy more food without labels." Not only is it healthier, but it's cheaper, too!

  3. Fish sticks. Yum I love them too. Gave them up when I saw I was eating more stick than fish.

    Will pick this book up pronto.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. I do not diet but I wholehearted agree @ Number 16. I cannot read a book, especially a good book, without snacking on something. It becomes mandatory as far as I am concerned. Ha!

    Also, PB, you have me over here cracking up at the comment you left. You are a writer and a comedian. Absolutely love the sense of humor!

  6. Sounds like a great book, Phyllis! As an ex-dieter who knows diets don't work, that part about buying more foods without labels (in other words, whole foods) really resonates with me. Of course, if I pour all the M&Ms out of the package, they'll no longer have a label, no? LOL!! Anyway, EXCELLENT advice, my friend!

  7. Love this blog entry today! It is really coming to me at a good time, just as I'm really getting frustrated with the endless up and down of the scale - too much up here recently. I will consider these tips. I an seriously thinking of setting the alarm and getting myself to a WW meeting tomorrow morning. I've been slipping lately and it's annoying, as you say, just in time to start shedding heavy clothes. I want to shed pounds and inches too.

  8. Thanks for visiting, everyone!

    I dunno? It seems like every time I think I've eliminated the "weight issue", it - and the pounds - creep up on me again.

    @Chelle - as you know, I've dropped weight on WW, but that program is like a part-time JOB! I don't know if I'm up for it.

    I'm really going to try to stick to just eating three meals a day. I don't really like desserts, but chocolate candy and potato chips are a hard habit to break.

  9. Phyllis - great review! I agree with quite a few of these "nondiet" suggestions. I've read several "French paradox" articles by Mimi Spencer and loved them all. I had no idea she had a book coming out! Thanks so much for letting your readers know about it.

  10. 所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債......................................................

  11. These are great tips. This book looks like a great read.