Dear Reader by Lisa Tillinger Johansen

The Writer’s Life newest feature, Dear Reader, gives authors a chance to talk to their readers - YOU!  
Today's guest is Lisa Tillinger Johansen, author of the nonfiction/nutrition/health book, Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off!.


Dear Reader,

I hope this letter finds you well. Summer is upon us and it’s been a busy one for me. I’m in the process of promoting my new book, Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off!, and while it’s fun to do, it takes a lot of time.

It’s likely you’re busy too. These days, who isn’t? If you are, I hope that you’re getting some summer fun in. The days are hot, the sun is bright and leisure activities beckon. What are your
favorite warm-weather things to do? Are you a traveler, swimmer, boater, skier, hiker, sun worshiper, barbecue enthusiast or a combination of some or all of these? I’m in the swimming and barbecue camp. But my most favorite thing to do, year round, is reading books and I think we have something in common there.

To me there’s almost no better entertainment than curling up on the couch (or deck chair) with a good book. Whether we favor scary novels, suspenseful thrillers, feel good stories, informative nonfiction or something else, we’re affected in some way by the written word. Rain or shine, a good read is a trip worth taking.

So if one of the books you choose to read this summer is mine, first and foremost I appreciate your taking the time to do so. A lot of heart and soul, sweat and maybe even a few tears went into it. But I’m proud of it and I know that it’s a book that will help people. I hope you benefit from it as well.

What do I hope you’ll gain from reading my book?  Knowledge. And a healthy eating road map for moving forward. Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off! examines a lot of the fad diets that we all hear so much about. Many of us have tried them with varying rates of success. I discuss the things that these diets can do to our bodies, our health, both good and bad. Some of this may surprise you. The later chapters will help you embark on a healthy eating plan for life. While a lot of it is common sense and contains information you may already know, there are explanations, interesting fact and figures, and valuable tools to implement positive change in your own life.  I’ve been told it is illuminating and inspiring. I believe that when you get to the end and close the book, you’ll be energized and prepared to take the good nutrition path to better health (and let’s face it, if we need to lose weight and we drop a few pounds while bathing suit season is in full swing, more power to us!).

So reader, I hope you enjoy your summer. And as we look to the months ahead, I know that Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off! will help you navigate your healthy diet and fitness routine no matter the season.

Take care and enjoy.

Yours Truly,

Lisa Tillinger Johansen, MS, RD, author of Stop The Diet, I Want, To Get Off!

About the Author:

LISA TILLINGER JOHANSEN, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian who counsels clients on a wide range of health issues. Her debut nutrition book, Fast Food Vindication, received the Discovery Award (sponsored by USA Today, Kirkus and The Huffington Post).  She lives in Southern California.

Her latest book is the nonfiction/nutrution/health book, Stop the Diet, I Want To Get Off!

For More Information
About the Book:

Title: Stop the Diet, I Want To Get Off!
Author: Lisa Tillinger Johansen
Publisher: J. Murray Press
Pages: 350
Genre: Nonfiction/Nutrition/Health

The Paleo.  The Zone.  The Gluten-free.  Another day, another diet.  We’re caught in a never-ending merry-go-round of weight loss plans, fueled by celebrity endorsers, TV doctors and companies angling for a piece of a $60 billion industry.  But do these diets really work?  And how healthy are they?

Registered Dietitian Lisa Tillinger Johansen examines dozens of the most wildly popular diets based on medical facts, not hype.  And along the way, she reveals tried-and-true weight loss strategies, relying on her years of hospital experience, weight-loss seminars and community outreach efforts.  With insight and humor, Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off shows that the best answer is often not a trendy celebrity-endorsed diet, but easy-to-follow guidelines that are best for our health and our waistlines.

For More Information

  • Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off! is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:

The idea for this book began at a wedding.

Who doesn’t love a good wedding? The clothes, the flowers, the romance, the food…

Ah, the food. As we moved into the banquet hall, the culinary feast was on everyone’s minds. It was all anyone seemed talk about. But for some reason, guests weren’t conversing about the dishes being served; they were swapping stories of diets they had heard about from friends, magazine articles, even celebrities on talk shows.

I’m a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutritional science and years of clinical and health education experience. I’ve counseled thousands of patients and clients on all of these diets. But hearing the guests only momentarily distracted me from my horrible faux pas of wearing white (gasp!) to a friend’s wedding.

“I’m on the Blood Type Diet,” said a woman with an impossibly high bouffant hairdo. “You’ve heard of that, haven’t you? It’s the one where you choose your foods based on your blood type. I’m an AB, so I’ll be having the fish.”

“Really?” her friend replied. “I swear by the gluten-free diet. I’m on it, my daughter’s on it, and my granddaughter’s on it.”

I happened to know her granddaughter was six and didn’t have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
Then there was the stocky guy who was trying to impress one of the bridesmaids. “I’m a paleo man myself,” he said, piling his plate high with beef kebabs. “It gives me more stamina, know what I mean? It puts me in touch with my inner caveman. There’s a restaurant near my apartment that’s paleo friendly. Maybe we can grab a bite there sometime, or…Hey wait, where are you going?”

And there were three Weight Watchers sisters who typed furiously on their phones and argued over their meals’ point values. Apparently there was some discrepancy between their various apps, and the sisters’ discussion was becoming more heated by the moment.

I’m past the point of being surprised by the wide range of weight-loss strategies—
some worthless, some crazy, some quite reasonable—being tossed around. In the past few years, there has been a tidal wave of diets washing up on the shores of our nutritional consciousness. 

Celebrities prance across our screens, promoting a variety of weight-loss schemes on talk shows and infomercials. Medical doctors star in their own syndicated television programs, exposing millions to weight-loss techniques, often unsupported by medical research. Other diets get traction on the Internet, racing all over the globe in social media posts, YouTube videos, and annoying spam e-mails. It’s hard to walk past a shopping center vitamin store without being approached by salespeople trying to pitch the latest weight-loss supplements. It seems that everyone wants a piece of the pie; the American diet industry tops $60 billion annually.

It’s classic information overload. You can’t blame people for being confused by all the diets out there, even as crazy as some of them may sound. I didn’t speak up to my fellow wedding guests that day, but it occurred to me they would benefit from some hard facts about the diets they so ardently follow.
So during the toasts, I thought to myself, I should write a book.

I counsel clients on these matters each week, giving them information they need to make the best choices for their health and waistlines. I find that all too often there’s nothing to the diets that are presented to me in my counseling sessions and classes. They just plain don’t work, particularly over the long term. And some of them are harmful, even potentially lethal. But it’s also unhealthy to carry extra weight on our frames. So how do we separate good diets from the bad?

In the chapters to come, we’ll take a good, hard look at the various weight-loss plans out there. I’ll pull no punches in my professional evaluation of some of the most wildly popular diets, both bad and good, of the past few years. And along the way, I’ll explore tried-and-true strategies for losing weight, based on my years of hospital experience, weight-loss seminars, and community outreach efforts. More often than not, the best answer is not a trendy celebrity-endorsed diet, but instead a few easy-to-follow guidelines that I’ve seen work in literally thousands of cases.
Enough is enough. It’s time for the madness—and the diets—to stop.

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