Pamela DeSimone’s The 3-6-9-12 Diet is the result of her roller coaster experiences of repeatedly losing weight and gaining it back. When it comes to successful dieting, she has discovered, it’s all about the numbers.
DeSimone’s titular numbers—3, 6, 9, and 12—are short for 300, 600, 900, 1,200, and 1,500 (“I left the 15 off [of the title] because …I thought the title sounded better shorter and to the point”). She posits that most women should limit calorie intake to 1,500 a day to lose weight. Thus, her plan allows readers 300 calories each for breakfast, lunch, a snack, dinner, and either a dessert, beverage or a treat.
The author also advises dieters to avoid overestimating the number of calories they burn while exercising and to weigh themselves daily to ensure that if they cheat and gain weight, it’s only a pound or two. Once they’ve hit their target weight, she notes, they can increase the calories by 500, to 2,000 per day, to maintain it.
The book is short and conversational, and DeSimone’s advice seems imbued with common sense. But it lacks some practical information. For example, instead of offering recipes, she instructs readers to find the suggested 300-calorie meals on Google. Likewise, she only delivers a single-day example of possible meals when a week’s worth seems minimal. She also lists the ingredients of low-calorie tuna salad, but overlooks details: Is the mayo regular or lite? Does she mean red wine vinegar when she says red wine vinaigrette? (The former is more likely to have the zero calories she notes.)
Finally, her cover misleads readers by featuring fatty foods like burgers and pizza, which she explains she eats only on her “cheat” days.
DeSimone isn’t a nutritional expert, so readers should think of her as a friend rather than a professional. While more detailed information would improve this title, her diet idea is simple, to the point, and just might help others lose weight.
Also available in hardcover.