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The Core Balance Diet: 4 Weeks to Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Weight for Good

March 16th, 2011

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Book Overview:

From the co-founder of Women to Women, one of the first clinics in the country devoted to providing health care for women by women, comes a whole new way to look at weight loss: The Core Balance Diet. Marcelle Pick draws upon decades of patient and personal experience to solve the mystery of stubborn, frustrating weight gain in women, whether you’ve just gained it or have been struggling with it for years.  This breakthrough program, which has benefited many of the thousands of women who visit the clinic each year, is rooted in cutting-edge nutritional science that explores the weblike relationship between women’s hormones, metabolism, and weight gain. In clear terms, Pick connects the dots between self-knowledge, self-care, and the ability to lose weight, extending the concept of body-mind-spirit to demonstrate why and how a woman’s biography becomes her biology. At its most basic level, The Core Balance Diet shows you how to self-diagnose one of six major biochemical imbalances that may be preventing you from losing weight. These include digestive, hormonal, adrenal, neurotransmitter, inflammatory, and detoxification imbalances. From there, Pick guides you through easy lifestyle and diet changes customized to heal your specific imbalance. Throughout, you will learn how to begin living in a manner that encourages optimal health—without a lot of deprivation and stringent dieting rules— by achieving core balance from the inside out, and, of course, weight loss for life.


Book Review

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out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12796 user reviews
Weight Loss Books From the co-founder of Women to Women, one of the first clinics in the country devoted to providing health care for women by women, comes a whole new way to look at weight loss: The Core Balance Diet. Marcelle Pick draws upon decades of patient and personal experience to solve the mystery of stubborn, frustrating weight gain in women, whether you’ve just gained it or have been struggling with it for years.  This breakthrough program, which has benefited many of the thousands of women who visit the clinic each year, is rooted in cutting-edge nutritional science that explores the weblike relationship between women’s hormones, metabolism, and weight gain. In clear terms, Pick connects the dots between self-knowledge, self-care, and the ability to lose weight, extending the concept of body-mind-spirit to demonstrate why and how a woman’s biography becomes her biology. At its most basic level, The Core Balance Diet shows you how to self-diagnose one of six major biochemical imbalances that may be preventing you from losing weight. These include digestive, hormonal, adrenal, neurotransmitter, inflammatory, and detoxification imbalances. From there, Pick guides you through easy lifestyle and diet changes customized to heal your specific imbalance. Throughout, you will learn how to begin living in a manner that encourages optimal health—without a lot of deprivation and stringent dieting rules— by achieving core balance from the inside out, and, of course, weight loss for life.
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  1. L. Pecone
    March 16th, 2011 at 20:23 | #1

    Rating

    Up front I will say, I am a very conscientious eater, I do a lot of research on healthy eating, as well as healthy lifestyles, but I don’t think I am so far advanced above those who will probably choose to buy this book. That being said, I am sooooooo sick of common sense diets which really require no imagination. Every diet book gives you the same sensible diet, lean protein for breakfast with whole grains and fruit, a salad for lunch with a lean protein, some sort of steamed protein for dinner along with some boring steamed veges and whole grain on the side. Lets not forget the exciting snacks in between, protein like nuts or cheese and fruit or raw carrots. How interesting is that? Not very.

    I could have written the diet portion of this book. Every condition mentioned has almost the exact same food plan. Don’t buy this book if you are looking for a weight loss plan that is different from anyone else’s plan you will be sadly disappointed. Some of the advice is really great, but the problem is, in order to get any of the recommended supplements you have to go to [..](a doctors office online really) and get on their vitamin plan. The great thing about that is you can try them for 60 days free. What a marketing gimic that is.

    Here’s my advice to those thinking they are discovering some fountain of knowledge here, eat smart, exercise and try to take care of your spirit. Oh and slow down and smell the roses. Get one of Rosemary Gladstar’s or Susun Weed’s books on herbs to help you deal with the health conditions in this book. These ladies are fountains of knowledge about women’s issues. Or just read something that makes you happy, leave this book for those who have no idea what so ever how to care for their health. I gave this three stars for those persons.

  2. Marlene McCafferty
    March 17th, 2011 at 05:07 | #2

    Rating

    This is a must buy! I lost 10 lbs during the 14 day program and for the most part did not experience any hunger pangs. The menus contain foods that are tasty and satisfying and the recipes are absolutely delicious. My entire family wants to eat the meals right along with me. Just remember, you can’t go back to your old eating habits but with these foods there’s no need to.

  3. N. Recovery
    March 19th, 2011 at 13:06 | #3

    Rating

    I have been receiving helpful emails from Women to Women for some time. I purchased a vitamin pack or two, years ago. I always knew that the Women to Women program were on the right path. When I received an email that this book was out I immediately purchased from Amazon. Wow,this book describes my difficulties with ME all the days of my life…I am high on at least 4 section quizzes. I ordered the neurotransmitter (my highest) kit and will start the diet today (after grocery shopping!) and await the arrival of my supplements, probiotics, 5htp (will only take 1 pill for now since I am on anti-depressants). Thanks so much for staying so in tune, going beyond the ‘norm’ to provide such well needed and often neglected information and supplements for me, for us! After reading this book I truly see myself FINALLY (I have been on diets since I was 10, now 53)finding answers to my stubborn toxic weight (40-50 lbs), soon proven weight loss AND stable emotional well being. Thank you for your 1-800-593-2594 phone support too, all a real God-send. -e- (gwoman30…)

  4. Froggy Fan
    March 20th, 2011 at 01:01 | #4

    Rating

    I was one of the fortunate people who got to test this program before the book was published, and I’ve never been so excited about a diet because for once, the focus wasn’t on “how to get skinny” but on how to get HEALTHY. I never knew that there could be health issues that stopped weight loss–all I knew was that I could exercise and try to watch my food intake, yet the scale stayed the same, and my post-pregnancy spare tire stayed put. Once I took the health quizzes and found out where my health issues were, the light dawned, and I started making big changes in the way I thought about a lot of things–food, exercise, even rest! I sleep better, I feel less stressed, I’m still exercising but doing different things that I enjoy more, and little by little, I’m getting to a point at which the weight will come off. Not there yet, but I feel SO much better that it’s only a matter of time. The only thing that made me give this a 4-star rating is just that the program is very difficult for someone with young kids–there are a lot of recommendations that I simply cannot incorporate because my time for myself is so limited, and it’s frustrating. That’s not really the book’s fault but the diet is aimed more at women who have the ability & time to put a fair amount of planning into their weight loss efforts. This is probably a better choice for women who don’t have families, or who have school-age children/grown children, than for mothers with high-maintenance little ones. But that said, it still gives me a lot more to work with than the standard diets out there (and eventually the kids will grow up enough for me to do the rest of it!) That’s actually the biggest difference in this diet–it’s something I am continuing to do long after my “test” ended and can see myself doing for the long run. So I highly recommend this book to anyone who has been frustrated in losing weight, or in keeping weight off.

  5. Megan Erikson
    March 21st, 2011 at 05:56 | #5

    Rating

    I can’t tell you how wonderful this book has been for me. I stopped feeling like I was fat and lazy, and started feeling empowered to make changes. I stopped eating sugar, wheat and processed foods. It has been amazing! I’m lighter and I move with more ease, I have lots more energy, my skin is clear, and I am much calmer. The changes suggested in this book made me a happier person.

  6. Doris L. Walsh
    March 21st, 2011 at 20:54 | #6

    Rating

    This book looks like it would be very helpful, but not on Kindle. I bought it this weekend and found that the diets, etc. are in tiny. light type that cannot be increased in size so they are completely unreadable. I am disappointed to have to now go buy the book in a print copy in order to use it successfully.

  7. Jacqueline Tourville
    March 21st, 2011 at 22:00 | #7

    Rating

    This book really clicked for me (and like most, I’ve read many, many diet books). The premise of The Core Balance Diet is that successful weight loss happens only when key imbalances in the body are corrected (named in the book as digestive sensitivities, hormonal, neurotransmitter, adrenal imbalances, inflammation, and detoxification issues). Excess weight – especially weight carried around the middle or stubborn to lose pounds – is a key sign that the body is experiencing an underlying problem. As Pick writes in the opening chapter, “Extra weight is not a sin, it’s a symptom–a sign of a core imbalance, an injury that must be healed before the body will feel safe enough to let go of its reserves.” The first few chapters go on to describe in detail the physiology and mind-body connection behind weight gain, weight loss, and “toxic weight”, pounds the body throws on from too much stress and eating too much processed food. The second part prescribes a 14-day detox period and offers menus, lists of foods to avoid, exercise recs, and encouragement for what these diet and lifestyle changes will bring the body. After following the 14-day detox, readers then take a series of quizzes to see what their core imbalance(s) might be. Separate chapters for each imbalance follow – all come with structured menu plans, exercise tips, etc. The last few chapters focus heavily on emotional healing and state of mind – these chapters alone would make a very powerful book. The resources section includes more recipes than you’ll ever need to successfully follow the Core Balance eating plan.

    I’ve followed Atkins, WW, South Beach, you name it, and after reading Core Balance (and now following the 14-day detox – worst part, giving up coffee, but I’m actually feeling a bit better now 3 days in), I can immediately tell the difference between a diet plan that just says, “Eat this, do this, and see? You’ll lose weight” and the Core Balance plan. From this book, I finally understand why I’ve struggled so much in the past with weight. Best of all, I now have a customized plan in hand for how to heal my body and shed the pounds. Definitely five stars for that! Plus, I just absolutely love Marcelle Pick’s warm, chatty writing style. Page turner diet books are hard to come by, but this is one. Bottom line? A truly unique standout in the current crop of diet/weight loss books!

  8. Mary DePolo
    March 24th, 2011 at 21:59 | #8

    Rating

    Curious, I picked up an advanced copy of “The Core Balance Diet” at a friend’s and breezed through it in just one night — its pages are blessedly easy to turn. Though I don’t have a serious weight problem, I found the adrenal imbalance program astonishingly beneficial. I’d just been running on fumes for a couple years, and was inspired to select certain aspects and recipes from both the programs for adrenal and neurotransmitter imbalance to improve my sleeplessness and daytime fatigue. It’s true what Marcelle Pick says, that our food speaks to our genes *and* our jeans — both seem to be fitting and functioning a lot better! The focus isn’t about quick weight loss so much as regaining maintaining core balance — once I was able to do that everything else fell easily into place.

  9. Linda B.
    March 25th, 2011 at 21:43 | #9

    Rating

    I opened the Core Balance Diet expecting to fail, to not follow the plan, to not see results. I was willing to give it 30 days, which in the whole scheme of things was small in comparison to the years I neglected my health.

    I was very impressed with the recipes in the book. Not only were they easy to prepare, but they were downright delicious! I had my favorites, which I made on more than one occasion. After a few weeks on the plan, I had a feel for what was ‘allowed’ and was able to make some minor adjustments without affecting the plan.

    I have a hard time planning meals and eating early, so I decided I would double up on the recipes and freeze individual portions to take to work – this one choice is why I was able to stick to the meal plans so closely for the 30 days!

    I only had a few issues overall. I was very fatigued the first few weeks, but it got better as the month wore on. Marcelle explained in the book that this was from the body releasing the toxins I had stored in my fat cells, so I wasn’t concerned. My energy did start to come back. The only other issue I had was that I was so ‘satisfied’ all the time that I had a hard time fitting in the snacks between meals!

    Not only did my digestive system balance out and act ‘normal’ for the first time in decades, but I lost 15 pounds over the course of the month. I am 5′ 9″ tall, and started the program approximately 60 pounds over weight, for those who might wonder.

    The biggest news, is that I tried going back to my old eating habits, and my body very clearly told me it didn’t like my ‘old ways’! I have decided to stick with the healty lifestyle ongoing.

    Thank you Marcelle!!!

  10. P. Conlan
    March 26th, 2011 at 01:18 | #10

    Rating

    I must have been one of the first to get the book, take the test and try the diet. The test showed the system at the top of my list was neurotransmitters, followed closely by adrenals. After those two the next was digestive system but the numbers were much lower. Initially, I loved the recipes and dropped 5 pounds in 5 days! Then (despite drinking lots of water and taking the recommended probiotics and other supplements), I began getting constipated every few days and struggling to keep my weight where it was. After 3 weeks, I felt like I was just treading water. The good side was that I felt much, much better! I was losing my tummy. It did not cost a fortune to buy the food I was to eat unlike other diet plans I’ve tried. When I consulted the book for help as to why I was stuck, it explains it’s complicated when multiple systems are involved, to stick to it and consult your doctor. To be fair, I am on thyroid medication to correct an underactive thyroid.

    The website stated you could ask a question and they would email an answer so I asked if I could substitute agave for stevia as I hate the taste of stevia. I have never received a response.

    Something tells me it is not so easy to make this work for all individuals. There will probably be many with great success; however, not all. For myself, it helped point me in the direction of simpler eating that feels better for my body and I will probably continue to eat a modified level of the program and enjoy my favorite recipes.

    A valiant effort…too bad there isn’t a better way to figure out why it stops working.

  11. pallipady
    March 28th, 2011 at 00:37 | #11

    Rating

    I really enjoyed this book. I had been checking out the womentowomen.com website for a few months before the book was available. From there I believed that this would be a healthier complete lifestyle approach opposed to a typical “diet” book approach; and it is. They do advertise their vitamin/supplement plans, but they also tell you what they recommend so that you can purchase the items elsewhere if you’d like. I also like that most of the recipes in the book are simple, yet delicious.

  12. MJWIL
    March 28th, 2011 at 08:54 | #12

    Rating

    I thought this book had a lot of good information about how the bodies metabolism works, how it can get screwed up and what one can do to heal it naturally. However, I found some of the claims about certain herbs and how to use them not very well supported. I also found the book too much of a marketing tool for expensive programs or products offered by the author’s clinic. While I have no problem with that information being shared, it was the constant loop back to them I found somewhat offensive.

  13. Hope Smith
    March 29th, 2011 at 17:35 | #13

    Rating

    The Core Balance Diet has a real readable quality because, amazingly, it does not actually focus on the weight loss process. Instead, Pick starts with the very logical premise that in order for women to lose weight, they need to improve their health first. I know. What a crazy idea!!! Plus she talks a lot about how stress can make it impossible to drop any pounds, which is pretty well-documented these days. Pick has an easy style that’s fun to read, another first for a diet book! The diet/lifestyle recommendations make sense, but I might need to make them one or two at a time. It’s a process, just like life. The book might really help someone who has “tried everything” to lose weight because there are some new ideas in here that could make a difference for lots of women.

  14. wickerwoman
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:23 | #14

    Rating

    This is one of the best books I have ever read explaining in simple terms the science behind weight loss and providing truly customized plans to combat the many contributing factors to stubborn extra weight (from hormonal imbalances to depression and stress.) She goes far, far beyond most diet books in explaining exactly why it is so hard to shift certain kinds of weight.

    Pick provides a number of great things to do while you diet to help boost your metabolism, reduce stress and focus on general well-being rather than simply weight loss. This is a great book for learning dieting tricks and techniques which you can carry over to other plans.

    Unfortunately, the majority of the recipes are terrible. Barely palatable. And not easy to adapt for a single cook, resulting in days and days of terrible left-overs. I stuck with the plan for a full month, made about 95% of the recipes and would not make a single one again. I lost about 12-14 pounds in that month, but I would not be able to stick to these meal plans for much longer than that.

    I would recommend this book for tips, techniques, inspiration and science and then I would take all of that information and follow Barbara Roll’s Volumetrics plan which has amazing recipes and a very handy modular system for menu plans.

  15. Susan Schenck
    March 30th, 2011 at 18:46 | #15

    Rating

    The Core Balance Diet is a must-read for women who have, well…gotten off balance (which would include probably 85-95% of American women). And Marcelle (with Genevieve) include six common ways that we have lost our balance: digestive, hormonal, adrenal, neurotransmitter, inflammatory, and detoxification. Which of us has not experienced imbalance in one of those areas, let alone two or three?

    Marcelle challenges the woman who thinks she would be too overwhelmed to make some dietary and lifestyle changes: “If you could help your partner to lose weight, or help protect your child’s health, by changing what he or she ate for a month, wouldn’t you try and do it? Now, aren’t you worth that same amount of attention?” And she is only asking you to try her program for a month! After that, she assures you, you’ll be free from your food addictions and hooked on your feeling great!

    Balance, as you might suppose, also entails eating approximately a 30/30/40 ratio of healthy fats, protein and complex carbs (though not as strict as the Zone Diet). But it includes much, much more than that.

    The book begins with an explanation of how imbalances lead to weight gain and aging and provides a layman’s easy-to-read explanation of the systems.

    Marcelle provides a Core Balance quiz for you to determine which of your systems are weakest. This is followed by a chapter on each system. Each chapter (which is delight to read even if they don’t apply to you as much as the others) contains the following: information on the imbalance and how to correct it; sidebars and boxes with interesting tidbits of info; a list of “Marcelle’s prescriptions ” for that imbalance; diagnostic tests to note the progress of that imbalance; foods to include and foods to avoid; supplements to take; “a day in the life” schedule for the lifestyle changes needed (exercise, when to eat, self- nurturing, etc.); a one-week menu; and frequently asked questions.

    There are also 60 pages of recipes. Except for the medical diagnostic tests, this is a complete do-it-yourself book.

    True to the Hay House spirit, there is also a chapter on the mind-body connection with the cute title, “Your Issues Are in Your Tissues” which alerts you to negative thinking and self-destructive behavior patterns that can sabotage your health.

    I have read hundreds of books on health and nutrition (even wrote one myself!) and I give this book a hearty two thumbs up! I learned lots of interesting tidbits, such as how the liver is taxed on a low-fat diet, how Vitamin D deficiency is linked to obesity, and how not flossing can lead to body-wide inflammation. The only thing Marcelle could do to make it more complete would be to have a chapter on the importance of eating more raw foods since a raw diet taxes the digestive system far less.

    This is a diet that can be, with a bit of imagination, used by anyone who has any dietary slant (vegan, vegetarian, raw fooder, etc). For example, if one is raw vegan, substitute raw hemp protein powder in place of meat and don’t cook the vegetables.

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