THE Atkins diet, raw food diet, vegan diet, pills, potions, shakes and quick-fixes ... you name it, Aussies have tried it.
In the battle of the bulge, many of us have gone to extremes to outsmart those unloved love handles by relying on unwavering willpower and a strong determination to starve.
Quite simply, this doesn't work.
Apart from leaving you cranky, hungry and guilty, these quick-fixes may also be contributing to your weight gain.
This revelation came to Jon Gabriel who, having struggled with his weight for 12 years, realised that his body wanted to be fat.
And as long as his body wanted to be fat, it would be.
"Weight loss is not about willpower, not about discipline, not about counting calories, it's about understanding your body," Gabriel said.
What Gabriel learned is that our body has a mechanism that helps protect against famines or starvation. Gabriel calls this mechanism the "FAT programs" and they tell your body to hold on to weight.
"Certain stresses activate these FAT programs," Gabriel said.
"Dieting is a stress. My whole approach is designed on outlining all the stressors."
So while cutting calories and counting kilojoules may reap short-term success, the FAT programs will soon kick in, making you crave those sinful snacks with the added bonus of slowing your metabolism.
The solution? Make your body want to be thinner.
Gabriel, who has a history in biochemistry, immersed himself into finding an answer and as a result, lost more than 100kg without dieting and without surgery.
He subsequently wrote The Gabriel Method which has enjoyed international success.
"I lived with a body forcing me to gain weight. My message to the world is, this is not right," Gabriel said.
"I used to think weight loss was just about diets. It's not. Diets don't just not work for me, they don't work for anyone."
The Gabriel Method focuses on identifying the stressors which are forcing your body to hold on to weight and resolving them through stress management. And it has proven results.
"People read the book and said, 'I get it, but how do I apply this?'," Gabriel said.
He answered that with his second and latest book, The Gabriel Method: Super Delicious, Super Nutritious Recipe Book.
But don't expect recipes for lettuce leaf soup.
Gabriel's book is packed with meals, snacks and desserts and his main focus is on adding rather than subtracting foods.
"There are two reasons to eat - for nutrition and for calories. When you diet, all you're getting is calories," Gabriel said.
"The art of nourishing yourself is using good fats versus bad fats, good proteins versus bad proteins.
"Certain ingredients will nurture the body so the stress of being malnourished won't get to you."
Essentially Gabriel's recipe book has taken all your favourites (chocolate mousse, anyone?) and "Gabrielised" them by substituting the bad ingredients with good ones. Simple.
Now Gabriel wants to share his success with the world, as a teacher and a guide for those who are about to embark on their own weight loss journey.
Gabriel hosts online seminars to an audience of 700.
He has online six-week, step-by-step classes, lectures on the real cause of weight gain, holds three-day retreats and has a visualisation CD.
"The more support people have the more successful they are," Gabriel said.
Gabriel is collaborating with a doctor in the US on another book which will focus on childhood obesity.
Is this the secret to weight loss?
In Gabriel's words: absolutely.
Reviewer's Last Word
The Gabriel Method Recipe Book is a refreshing change from the "quick-fix" miracle solutions that flood the market.
He covers everything from the reasons behind weight gain and how to address obesity, to the logic behind his recipes and what ingredients to best stock in your pantry and fridge.
The recipes are simple and yummy and include household favourites such as butter chicken, chocolate mousse, cheesecake and chicken stir fry. A book for all the family.
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