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Two Diet Books Wage War on Fat

August 28, 1986|ROSELLE M. LEWIS

The Rotation Diet by Martin Katahn (Norton: $15.95); Maximize Your Body Potential: 16 Weeks to a Lifetime of Effective Weight Management by Joyce D. Nash (Bull Publishing: $14.95).

Neither "Star Wars" nor the war against poverty proves as relevant to the average American as our continuing war against adiposity. Here are two diet regimens that describe strategies in the battle against the bulge.

Martin Katahn, director of the Vanderbilt University Weight Management Program in Nashville, Tenn., has written a best seller in "The Rotation Diet" partly, one suspects, because he promises phenomenal success. You can lose up to one pound per day, he claims, by alternating or rotating the number of calories consumed. Women are allowed 600 for 3 days, then 900 for 4 days, followed by 1200 for one week, with men allowed a few hundred extra calories. Both sexes are permitted a "week vacation" of normal eating before returning to the basic schedule.

Further, Katahn promises "rotation" decreases hypertension and cholesterol levels while at the same time maintaining the body's normal metabolic rate, which, he says, slows down when one follows other diets.

A moderate exercise program, tasty recipes and, most important, the model of Katahn himself as a reformed heavyweight, who shed 75 pounds some years back, makes "The Rotation Diet" an inspiring example of the take-it-off-and-keep-it-off genre.

Promising no miracles, "Maximize Your Body Potential," a more conservative and, quite literally, weighty book, asks for a 16-week commitment. A psychologist, who has worked at Stanford University's weight-reduction program and with Weight Watchers, Joyce D. Nash believes "a calorie is not the same calorie for everybody." She cites individual metabolic differences, which account for the hearty eater, who nevertheless "has a lean and hungry look," vs. the roly-poly who maintains, "I hardly eat at all."

Taking into account heredity, glandular dysfunction and fat-cell theory as possible factors in being either obese or overweight (the two are not synonymous), Nash outlines exercise programs and describes how to choose and prepare proper wholesome food. Particularly helpful are her psychological exercises that are intended to prevent backsliding.

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