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The Italian Diet is a cookbook-style diet guide written by celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo. This beautiful, ‘coffee table style’ guide to Italian cookery is the perfect addition to the bookshelf of anyone who is looking to lose a little weight or improve general diet, whilst still eating great, tasty, adventurous food. The Mediterranean diet is famed for its health properties (and for the longevity of those who follow it), so it’s unsurprising that many diet books on the market focus on this as a starting point. Although The Italian Diet is probably not the best option if you’re looking to lose a lot of weight fast, the food tastes so great that even if you don’t follow the diet religiously, you should still see an improvement in general health and fitness.
One of the key elements of The Italian Diet is choice. While the book provides dieters with a full week’s complete menu plan and a number of additional recipes that can be substituted to form a full diet, dieters can just as easily dip in and out of the book to find healthy meals in addition to those they create themselves or find from other cookbooks. There are a number of specifically ‘diet book’ elements to The Italian Diet, not least the emphasis on smaller portions and foregoing snacks. The book was written in conjunction with a leading dietician, meaning Gino’s recipes are always supplemented with additional, helpful advice regarding healthy eating and a balanced diet. What’s more, the book makes it clear that the recipes and diet plans can be supplemented with any fitness regime in order to see better results – an option that those serious about weight loss could consider.
Although we generally liked The Italian Diet, there are a couple of things we noticed that might put dieters off a little. Firstly, this book isn’t ideal for those looking for a prescriptive diet and meal plan. Although the book does provide a full week’s worth of recipes, in the long term, even the most avid devotee of Italian cuisine could well get bored with the fayre on offer here. Secondly, the recipes themselves aren’t always consistent in terms of how many people they serve (with recipes serving just one person appearing on the same page as banquets for eight). Similarly, despite the book's apparent insistence that all of the recipes are easy and suitable for a busy lifestyle, many are not all that time practical and can take a couple of hours each to produce.
Although The Italian Diet may not be suitable for those looking for a rigid diet plan with guaranteed weight loss, it certainly has its place on any dieters’ bookshelf. The healthy, fresh and interesting food can provide welcome inspiration for those looking to supplement another diet; while the beautiful full-color illustrations make this a stylish addition to any coffee table!
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