BOOK REVIEW: ‘Lose Your Final 15’ by Rovenia M. Brock, Ph.D.

c.2016, Rodale
$26.99 ($31.50 Canada)
285 pages

Somebody passed you a plate of cookies.

It was the holidays so, of course, you had to take one. Or three, because they were good. And when the fudge came around, you had that, too. And some pie, cheesecake, punch, homemade candy. Now your pants are tight, you feel lazy, and your bathroom scale is screaming. Yep, it’s time to step back and step toward “Lose Your Final 15” by Rovenia M. Brock, Ph.D.

When she was just 9 years old, growing up in Washington, D.C., Rovenia Brock had a dual life-changing experience: she lost her mother to cancer and she met her mother’s friend, a dietitian who taught Brock the “relationship between diet and health.”

Remembering the woman’s words, Brock went to college to be a “nutrition educator,” but, like many women of color, she “worried that men wouldn’t find me attractive unless I put a little more meat on my bones.” That was unhealthy and she knew it, so she created her Final 15 program.

To begin, take the “Self-Assessment Test” and put yourself in the “F-15 Mindset.” This will help you make better choices when faced with cravings. Also, remember that some hunger is emotional, and that you can understand the difference.

In the planning phase of the Final 15, Brock recommends that you eliminate sugar, sodas and alcohol. Eat breakfast early, and then “eat often.” Get lots of sleep, and “take special care” if you’re a night shift worker. Understand that buying dairy products, vegetables, fruits and fish is not merely a matter of going to the grocery store.

Phase 1 teaches readers the basics of eating and exercise. Phase 2 adds more choices to both. Phase 3 of the Final 15 diet is the “Coast and Maintain” phase for lifelong health, but that doesn’t mean letting your guard down.

“You can’t declare victory,” Brock says, “and then return to your old habits.”

Those last 15 pounds, as they say, are the hardest to lose when you’re dieting. But “Lose Your Final 15” helps the first pounds go, the last pounds go, and every ounce in between.

It won’t be easy, but author Rovenia M. Brock offers step-by-step hand-holding and useful advice, as well as fat-burner exercises. There are lots of charts inside this book, but nothing too scientific; you’ll also find simple recipes that don’t require a Food Ph.D. to make. For a little added encouragement, “Dr. Ro” includes success stories from people who’ve shed their poundage and kept it off.

Readers, however, should know that some chapter subheadings may seem misleading; you shouldn’t, for instance, “Drink Half Your Body Weight in Water,” but you should read the section. The actual page on eating snacks “that are no larger than your closed fist” has more succinct meaning. Read. Carefully.

You might see a bit of repetition while you do, but it will underscore what’s inside this book. If those holiday cookies went from lips to hips and you’re walking them off now, “Lose Your Final 15” is a book you shouldn’t walk past.