BOOKS

The Vitality Plan

Deborah Bull
1998

The Vitality PlanPublished by Dorling Kindersley – and released in eight languages – The Vitality Plan is a straightforward, no-nonsense, myth-busting guide to losing weight and staying in shape.

Incorporating Torje Eike's Total Fitness Plan as well as the Good Guides to breakfast, lunch and dinner, the book was a bestseller in the UK and US.

Reviews for The Vitality Plan

'This is a superb book - beautifully illustrated, written in a straightforward, fact-packed style, and offering safe, effective...workout and stretch programmes. No matter your level of fitness, The Vitality Plan comes highly recommended.'

– Time Out

'...the basic facts about diet and exercise in a beautiful and seductive package.'

– Daily Telegraph

'You may feel that taking dietary advice from a ballet dancer is a bit like taking hurricane warnings from Michael Fish. Both should know what they're talking about, but you just can't suppress a niggling doubt.

In The Vitality Plan (Dorling Kindersley £9.99), Deborah Bull, a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, makes you think again about such notions.

In true Dorling Kindersley style, the book is beautifully styled and photographed, making it a pleasure to handle, read and, most important, learn from. The information provided is based on physiology not fiction. It concentrates on things you need to do to lose weight rather than the things you should not do, and asks you to work with your body rather than against it.

The first section gets straight down to facts, exposing our excuses for adiposity as just that, excuses. Stripping off the pounds is done by creating a calorie deficit, and this book shows that, through correct exercise and sensible eating, it's possible for everyone to achieve this.

In the Energy for Life section, the lowdown on calories reveals where they come from, how many you need and how to calculate your resting metabolic rate. The very act of eating and digesting food, you may be pleased to know, uses up 10% of the calories you eat. The role of nutrients is explained, with useful side bars showing good sources, daily requirements and which types to avoid.

There are no calorie-controlled recipes, but suggestions and guidelines are given under the headings: The Good Breakfast Guide (breakfast is considered essential, since research has shown skippers are more likely to be overweight than breakfast eaters), The Good Lunch Guide and The Good Dinner and Snack guides.

The Total Fitness Plan covers all aspects of getting active, from useful suggestions such as investing in a bike stand that effectively converts your outdoor bike into an indoor version, to explaining exactly when you should exercise. Clear instructions with fabulous photographs reveal why and how we should go about warming up, stretching, achieving an aerobic level of exercise, cooling down, strengthening our muscles and stretching again.

Claire Harrison, a sports dietician, comments: "The aesthetic expectations on dancers mean many feel they have to be virtually anorexic to get to the top. This puts many aspects of their health at risk, not least the chance of low calcium intakes leading to stress fractures. For a dancer such as Bull to prove that you can combine sensible eating and exercise with success is a breakthrough." '

– Amanda Ursell, Sunday Times