Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body - Michael  Matthews
Update 12/3/13
Success! After 9 weeks, I've lost 15 lbs and dropped from 36% fat to 31%, even though I'm reasonably certain that the first measurement is wrong.

This is my 5th attempt at losing weight in the last 4 years. Previous attempts have seen me ready to quit by the 9th week: hours of cardio, all-you-can-eat of leafy veggies, small portions of bland chicken, and the occasional even smaller portion of bland beef. No thanks! Small amounts of cardio are recommended, but the main focus is on weightlifting. And it turns out that many of the exercises can be adapted to do at home as long as you have a barbell and a good selection of dumbbells (heavy hand weights have been adequate for me so far).

I'm now into my tenth week, still motivated, and still looking forward to what I'll look like a year from now. Yes, the weight loss is slower than it has been on other diets, but only because I knew that I'd burn out quickly, so I'd go at it fiercely to ensure I lost the most amount of weight possible before I gave up. But make no mistake: the Thinner Leaner Stronger approach does involve hard work. Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows it's a huge lifestyle change and requires major commitment and dedication. The key is to find a weight loss plan you enjoy. I've found mine.

Thank you, Mr. Matthews!

Original review:
I've struggled with my weight my whole life. I did manage to shed most of the excess about 20 years ago. I was a lean 115 lbs, a size 4, and exactly what Mr. Matthews described as skinny fat. Despite appearing slender while fully clothed, I was far from having the toned, bikini ready figure I'd always dreamed of. And this far from perfect physique was accomplished through rigorous dieting and intensive cardio. But let me tell you, I HATE cardio!!

So some 20 years have gone by, I've had three children and am now middle aged, and I find myself once again overweight. Well, at least I call it overweight, as do my friends and family. My doctor calls it borderline obese (you only need to have 30% body fat to be considered medically obese). So back on the diet, and back to the cardio. And you know what? I really, really HATE cardio! I just couldn't do it this time around. So after three years, and several failed attempts to lose the excess, I stumbled across this book on GoodReads.

Any weight loss plan that claims cardio is the wrong thing to do to lose weight has my attention!

Now, I've done this routine enough to know that losing weight is hard work, so I wasn't looking for some mythical "easy" trick, but if there is a way to do it that doesn't involve cardio, I'm more than willing to give it a shot. Mr. Matthews really seems to know his stuff. He goes into the science behind good nutrition, building muscle and effective fat burning. It's a good primer for those who have never studied basic nutrition. Not all of it was new to me, but there was enough new information that I had to re-read portions of the book, and even make some notes to myself.

What I was really hoping for was a system for weight loss that I could do easily at home without having to buy expensive supplements. Sadly, this did not turn out to be the case. The exercises do require specialized machines, and although they can be purchased, I am in no position to afford them, and even if I could, my little apartment is ill fitted to house a miniature gym. And as for supplements, while he does state that they really are not needed, he also stresses that not using supplements will make the process slower.

So now, I'm reading the book over again, making detailed notes and lists of what foods I can eat and what supplements I need to buy. Once I have everything I need and, I'll be ready to start. If I can get going before the end of September, I'll try to remember to check back in before Thanksgiving to give an update of how my first 8 weeks went. I'm actually looking forward to it. The little bit of weight training I've done has been enjoyable.