I’m gonna be giving you a review of this book AC: The Power of Appetite Correction by Bert Herring, MD.
If you’d rather watch the video review, here it is:
Appetite Correction is just another way of saying Intermittent Fasting. I’ll be going over what every chapter in the book talks about and also I’ll be telling you why I think it’s a good book and a bad book at the same time. The book is divided into three sections each with their own set of chapters. There’s the learning section with a bunch of chapters. There’s the doing section with sixteen different tools and then there’s a conclusion which also has several chapters in it.
Part 1 – Learning
The first learning chapter is called Starting Line and it talks about the fact that you have a condition – the excess fat. And you have a problem that causes the condition to happen. And you need to solve both of those problems. You need to get rid of the excess fat but you also need to solve the underlying problem which led to the excess fat. Pretty simple. One of the problems with this book is that he talks a lot without actually offering any solutions. It’s like the next chapter, which a really short one. It’s called Monetizing Misfortune and he basically questions why we keep eating when we know the benefits of not eating. He says that he’s gonna address that but he doesn’t actually address it in the chapter. So he spends two full pages talking about the fact that it happens. That may not sound like much but he does that a lot of that in this book. Talking about things and I keep reading thinking like, get to the point already, let’s move on, but he never gets there. That was a small annoying aspect of this book.
The next chapter is called Info Clutter and I kind of liked what he does in this is chapter to be honest. He talks about who gains from you overeating and who gains from you not overeating. He points out that there’s lots of gains to be made in society by people that sell things and want you to buy things. And there’s not so many people that actually benefit from you maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For example a supermarket tabloids offering ways to lose 23 pounds they gain from the fact that you buy these magazines because you’re overweight. He gives lots of other little examples like diet book authors and publishers and stuff like that. (He admits that he’s one of them himself which which I find a little bit amusing.) He points out as well that the people that gain from you not being fat and overweight are very few. There’s people like you and your family and your insurance company and employer and that’s about it really. I found that chapter interesting.
The next chapter talks about appetite versus hunger. I kind of liked this. I like the fact that it points out that there’s a difference between you needing to eat and you wanting to eat. Lots of losing weight is managing your wanting to eat because even if you want to eat that doesn’t mean you should. That’s a problem that I deal with myself a lot. I want to eat something but I don’t really need to eat anything right now I just feel like. Again, he points out that that’s a problem, but doesn’t give so many solutions, in this chapter at least, but there you go.
In the next chapter he talks about the differences between humans and animals. Animals will eat until they’re full and then be done. They won’t eat until they get hungry again. People, on the other hand, well you know that people eat a lot differently than that. The chapter after that is just a follow-on chapter basically saying the same thing.
But the chapter after that is kind of interesting. It goes through some terms that you might like to be aware of and what they actually mean. Like fat, fat versus weight, diet versus lifestyle, intermittent fasting, metabolism, metabolic rate. I think it’s pretty good.
In the next chapter after that he talks about the different types of hunger which is interesting. I didn’t know that there were different types of hunger. Somatic hunger and limbic hunger are the two that he goes into in depth. And then there’s also mouth hunger and clock hunger. You can kind of guess what those two are, although the first two were new to me.
The next chapter goes through some myths. Like the myth that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Is it really? He says it’s a myth! He gets into hypoglycemia and misunderstandings about that. He touches on the myth that fasting burns muscle. Lots of people think that if you fast you burn your muscle mass he goes into why that’s a myth. So that’s interesting.
The next chapter talks about your goal body. In other words lots people have a target of losing, say, 10 pounds. He questions why that is your target. 10 pounds it’s such an arbitrary number. Rather you should be asking what kind of body you want to have. What body would you be comfortable living with for the rest. That’s the way you should be looking at it instead of trying to lose X number of pounds when that X is just an arbitrary number. This actually helped me because I’m trying to lose 20 pounds and then after I thought about that I thought why 20 when I rather prefer to get into some old clothes that I haven’t worn in a long time. Or would I rather look a certain slimness rather than necessarily losing 20 pounds. I know recently I was talking to a guy (he’s taller than I am) and he already weighs 35 pounds less than me and he’s trying to lose weight. And I’m like, if I was that weight I’d be perfectly happy and yet he was complaining about his paunch and his jowls. It got me thinking that maybe looking at a certain number is not what I should be doing but rather I should be asking if I want to have a slim belly. Do I want to thin out my face a little bit. Some interesting food for thought that’s for sure.
The next learning chapter is weighing yourself. If you’re trying to lose weight of course you have to weigh yourself and keep track of your progress. This chapter basically talks about being realistic and what you can expect. Like if you’re gonna go and sweat on a treadmill for an hour and then weigh yourself expecting to way significantly less well then you’re mistaken. That kind of thing.
The next chapter talks about controlling your “apestat” – your appetite. Like the fact that you can train your appetite so that you eat only when you need to, and go from there.
The last learning chapter talks about some of the gremlins that can get in your way when you’re trying to establish good eating habits. I’ll list a couple of them here. Social occasions which are almost always food centered. Meal schedules which encourage you to eat at certain times of the day even if you’re not hungry. Easy and quick preparation of food thanks to tools – think about how much you would eat if it took you a lot longer to prepare the food. Those are just a couple examples.
Part 2 – Tools
Section 2 of this book includes several tools that you can use in your weight loss journey.
The first tool is Your Compass. It’s basically saying that if you’re gonna lose weight you really need to have a baseline from which to start. One known to you so that you know if what you’re doing is good or bad. So the author gives bunch of different suggestions for things that you can measure. Like you can measure your waist, your weight (obviously), your BMI, and all sorts of things. There are lots of things you can do here. You can go to your doctor to see about some stats about your body that you cannot find out easily by yourself. You can get some numbers so that when you are on your journey you can check against those numbers and see how you’re doing.
Tool number two is A.C.E.S. – Appetite Correction Eating Schedule. It talks all about your 19-5 eating schedule. The author recommends that you to start fasting for 19 hours a day and eating for 5. Personally I don’t use those numbers. Mine are more like 6 and 18. This is the chapter where we actually get down to the real information that we’ve been waiting for. This is the halfway point of the book and it’s finally it’s finally getting to the good stuff. This is what I was reading this book for – eating schedule and what’s all involved. ANd that starts in this chapter.
Tool number three is Address the Stress. The author says here and I quote “When stress of any kind climbs our automatic systems kick in and interprets this as a need to prepare for the impending unavailability of food.” In other words you need to manage stress in your life. This chapter talks all about managing stress – taking a stress inventory, addressing it, and managing it.
Tool number four you probably saw this one coming from a mile away and that is Exercise. I’m not going to go into this much more than that – it’s pretty obvious but that’s what this tool is talking about. Make sure you get your exercise – a sedentary lifestyle is not a good thing.
Tool number five is Be the Wild Mustang! By “wild” it means to eat food that takes a while to prepare. If you think about an orange juice for example – it’s the predigested serving of three to eight oranges. So imagine sitting down with eight oranges and eating every one of them. This chapter talks about the fact that you should respect food that takes a little while to prepare and a little while to eat and that these things are good things not bad things. We’re too stuck in a society that believes in fast food – quick and cheap and easy to make. This tool talks about the fact that you should be thinking the opposite.
Tool six is meal composition – basically he talks about miscellaneous little things that you can eat and that you can’t. Like diet sodas, stevia, savory over sweet, soup, salad, things to avoid, add some new things to your diet, etc. Then on the last page there’s a little summary table – quite handy.
Tool seven is Finding Your Healthy Tribe. In other words you want to hang around with people that also think like you do. In other words, they’re trying to get fit and eat well just like you want to. Because it’s a lot easier to do that when you’re doing it with somebody else.
Tool number eight is portioning – just getting your portion sizes right. That’s all the chapter’s about.
Tool number nine is meal dynamics. It’s not just important what you eat but how you eat. Examples include the order of the food that you eat, when you eat, how fast you eat, and stuff like that.
Tool number 10: decision-making. Things like: are you gonna decide what you’re gonna eat and how much you can eat when you’re starving? Things like that.
Tool number 11 is to experiment. Do you wonder if having coffee with cream versus having coffee without cream makes a difference? Personally, I’ll try it out, and this little chapter just says to try things out and experiment. But you need to give each experiment enough time like a month. Try cream in your coffee for a month and see if it has any effect, and compare it to another month of coffee without cream and see what the difference is. Do you lose weight or do you not lose weight? Do you feel better or worse?
Tool number 12 is awareness. Be aware that the people out there in the media don’t care what’s best for you. They just want to sell you stuff and they’ll do anything to do it. So be aware of that and figure that into your decision-making when it comes time to decide on how you can eat, when you’re gonna eat, how you’re going to exercise etc.
Tool number 13 is affirmations. This came up in the other book that I did a review on – Tiny Habits. In that book they’re talked about the fact that you have to give yourself little affirmations like little congratulations when you’ve done something well. This book says it too. It’s something I don’t do enough but I really think I should do more of. If I succeed at doing something or doing it well or something I hadn’t done before, I should give myself a little kudo – a pat on the back kind of thing. This chapter is just like two pages but I think it’s good advice.
Tool number 14 is hybridize. That is hybridize different kind of dieting plans. In other words, there are many kinds of diets like Atkins and keto. There’s tons of different diets out there – figure out works for you. Appetite correction / intermittent fasting – what this book is all about is – talks about when you can eat and certain aspects of diet like that, but it works well with other diets too. If you want to mix two together, like if you want to only eat in a certain window like twelve o’clock to five o’clock sure but what do you eat? Maybe what you eat in that window is defined by the Atkins diet.
Tool number 15 is to protect your sleep. In other words you need to have a good night’s sleep. So many people don’t do that, and the advice is obvious, but this chapter goes over it. It’s just two pages but yeah – sleep is good.
Tool number 16 is to declutter your intake. In other words, take a look at all the vitamins pills and other things that you’re taking. If you’re eating a healthy diet then maybe you’re not going to need all of these things. So take a really critical look at what you’re putting in your body and see if it’s a good thing or a bad thing and if you really need it or not.
Part 3 – Conclusions
Okay so those are the tools he mentions. That’s the biggest section in the book – the tools. And at the very end of the book he goes into a couple concluding chapters. They’re all pretty short.
The first concluding chapter talks about when you attain your goal body. You can go into a kind of maintenance mode because you don’t need to lose weight anymore you just need to maintain weight. Things kinda change, so that’s what this chapter talks about.
The next concluding chapter talks about appetite correction for kids. Can kids be part of an appetite correction intermittent fasting program? Yes they can and this chapter talks about that a little bit. It’s a little bit longer than some of the other chapters. That’s not saying much – it’s like three pages – but there you go.
The last concluding chapter of the book basically talks about what it’s like to be on an intermittent fasting routine. The chapter gives you a little bit of encouragement to go and do it and that kind of thing.
So what do I think of this book? AC: The Power of Appetite Correction? Well, I do intermittent fasting which is what the book calls “appetite correction” and one of the big problems I have is that I feel hungry all morning long before I get to eat at 12:00. And that’s one of the things that I was hoping the author would address in this book and well, he doesn’t. I know some other people have told me that they’ve just gotten used to it and they’re okay and they don’t feel hungry in the mornings but that’s not me. And I’ve been on this program for several months now and I still get really hungry every morning. And it’s frustrating. And does he address this at all? No he doesn’t. You’d think it would be an obvious thing to address when you’re not eating for much of the day. So that’s really disappointing.
Another disappointment is that this book is not really about intermittent fasting. The book has a little bit in there about intermittent fasting but generally it’s a book about eating well and being healthy. There’s nothing wrong with that – I’m sure you should eat well and be healthy but if you’re looking for a book that’s mostly about appetite correction or intermittent fasting, and about the details of that particular method, then I don’t think this is the right book to go to. If you are looking to just generally improve your health and are thinking about having intermittent fasting an aspect of that and you want to have lots of different advice about improving your health then this is a good book for you. But that’s not what I was looking for, so I have to say it was a disappointment for me.
So would I recommended book? Well like I said: it depends on how you’re looking at the book and what your needs are. So for somebody like me I would not recommend it. For somebody that’s looking for a general healthy eating guide that includes intermittent fasting, then I would.