Not A Diet Book


Title: Not A Diet Book

Author: James Smith

Year: 2020

Genre: Self Help, Health and Fitness

Not A Diet Book is the debut self-help book by personal trainer and fitness influencer, James Smith. The book was written back in 2020 and I have seen it in quite a few places but when it was available on Prime Reading I decided to take a look.

Also as I have recently started teaching Zumba classes at my locla leisure centre I figured I needed to take a look at my health and diet a bit more in order to improve my stamina to teach more classes in the future.

I have reviewed other self-help books before, such as Adam Peaty’s The Gladiator Mindet and I find many of these books I tend to have a take it or leave it approach to the tips given but I have to admit I did get quite a lot out of this book and it has already motivated me to make some changes in my own life.

James covers a huge amount of topics around dieting and healthy eating, from the science or pseudoscience behind faddy diets, to the different nutrient needs for losing fat and gaining muscle. There are also chapters dedicated to the importance of getting enough sleep and helping to form good habits to lose weight.

He also explains how most people’s calories are burned through the BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) – in plain English they are burned through your body’s everyday processes to kepe itself alive, and the everyday activities that we do, from walking from our cars to the shopping centre or office, cleaning, household chores.

Also he explains the vast majority of diets all work on the same principle, a calorie deficit. It is all explained in a very easy to understand way and he also comes across as a nice guy without being too preachy.

I was also impressed that the book had sections around diabetics and female fat loss. My mum is diabetic and often there is very little understanding around the condition but this has given me some tips and advice that I can pass onto her.

The female fat loss section is also interesting to read to learn how a woman’s menstrual cycle impacts on exercise and fat loss and I would recommend men and women read this part, especially couples who may go to the gym together as it definitely has useful info to learn.

Implementing what I’ve read

I think what makes many books in this genre successful is whether it leads to implementing any of it and I have to say that I am working on implementing a lot of the info in the book.

For example, I’ve worked on reinstating my old lunchtime habit of going for a walk to try to boost my NEAT instead of just stting on my phone in my car outside the office all lunch hour – it was something that I did regularly pre-lockdown but had gone out of the window with sitting at home all the time.

Also I have been trying to eat more protein to help recovery after my Zumba classes and learning from the book that it takes more calories to burn off than carbs and fat, as well as using My Fitness Pal to learn a bit more about what I’m eating each day and whether I can change things to make it a bit healthier gradually as I wanted to lose a couple of pounds to go back to aroudn 11st 4 which was my weight pre-lockdown (at the time of writing today I was 11st 9 so almost there). Whilst I’m aware this definitely will take some time to figure out to be working on it is definitely a good thing.

I’m also trying to work a bit more on my sleep schedule to try to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep. Though I have always been fairly good with my sleep there are some nights where I have chosen to stay up when that isn’t really good for me. This also partly compounded the problem of not going for a walk at lunchtime as I used some of that time to nap before going back into the offices so trying to solve one I think will help the other.

Overall I would definitely recommend giving this book a read if you are interested in health and fitness as there is a lot of so-called information in the industry which is really just marketing and the book helps cut through a lot of that and had some new things for everyone to learn.

If you have read this book, let me know donw below what you thought and if you implemented any of it – also if you have any other health and fitness books you would recommend I read.

It was also interesting to read how difficult it had been for him to get certain celebrities onboard when this type of thing hadn’t really been done before but because of it’s success his 2007 single (I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles was much easier to get people on board for.

He also talks about the unexpected complications he had for his 2010 Children In Need single which featured Peter Kay’s Animated All Star Band, composed of various children’s characters, especially as some companies were very protective over the characters and were initially reluctant to get on board which I found quite shocking considering the good cause it was for. As a result it also took nearly two years to complete the entire project.

Another show I remember wathcing him appear in (though it is more infamous) is his appearance in the Doctor Who episode Love and Monsters. I didn’t actually know he was originally offered the part of Elton, the main character in the episode but chose to be the villain character, the Abzorbaloff, due to wanting to spend time with his young family. The episode is notorious due to being quite slow, having a ridiculous ending and the villain being designed by the winner of a Blue Peter competition (which I also entered and didn’t win, sob!).

The book is entertaining and full of Peter’s wit, with some very laugh out loud situations that occured behind the scenes. Peter writes during produciton of his Comedy Shuddle series how he asked some Asian Elders to appear on a tour bus but when the bus didn’t arrive he tried to explain to them what was going on, only for their interpreter to turn up as they didn’t understand a word of English.

Also whilst making Britain’s Got The Pop Factor there’s a famous moment where Cat Deeley shouts at the audience to “F**KING SHUT UP” which was completely improvised by her as well.

It also exposed quite a lot of heart goes into Peter’s shows, with many being filmed around his hometown of Bolton and his friends and family appearing in many shows in various capacities.

It is a very fun read and a look back at the career of probably one of the most successful comedians in Britain today and it has made me want to seek out the rest of these shows to watch them back and then maybe revisit the book once again so I would definitely recommend giving it a read and it is available on Amazon here.

Share this!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *