The 12-week Fitness Project Book Summary - The 12-week Fitness Project Book explained in key points
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The 12-week Fitness Project summary

Rujuta Diwekar

Going Beyond Weight Loss for Better Sleep, Energy, and Bloating

4.1 (283 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

The 12-week Fitness Project by Rujuta Diwekar is a comprehensive guide to achieving your fitness goals in a sustainable way. It provides practical tips, workout plans, and nutrition advice to help you make lasting changes to your health and well-being.

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    The 12-week Fitness Project
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    Why diets fail: the biology of starvation

    During World War Two, starvation resulting from disrupted agricultural cultivation and supply chains was a near-global phenomenon. But the long-term effects of human starvation weren’t very well known. So in 1946 an American scientist, Ancel Keys, recruited healthy volunteers for a year-long study on the subject. The healthy young participants ate normally for the first three months, then for another six months they were restricted to just two meals a day to simulate starvation, along with required daily walks of several kilometers.

    Within weeks of this restriction, the volunteers reported their energy levels plummeted, their muscles felt weak, and they were tired all the time. Mentally, they felt complete apathy, detached from the joys of everyday life, but were overwhelmingly obsessed with food. Even worse, they eventually thought of those around them as too fat, rather than themselves as too thin – a dysmorphia common to those with anorexia nervosa.

    When the six months were over, they’d lost 25 percent of their body weight – but the long-term effects were just starting. Some participants reported that after the six months of restriction, they ate five times more than they had before. Given the study was published years later, in 1951, it also recounted how many had an increased appetite no matter how much they ate, even years later. Many participants described the study as the worst thing they’d ever experienced.

    These brave participants highlighted the real costs of starvation, revealing how crash diets and poor nutrition are so damaging. From no energy or sex drive, they bottomed out, and their mental obsession with food during and after restriction set them up for continued misery. 

    That’s to say nothing of how far away this focus takes us from the nutritional advice we were given by our mothers and grandmothers. Traditional ways of eating a variety of foods from local sources, taking the time to enjoy them in peace and mindfulness, and enjoying the slow path to sustainable health can connect us to the land, to community, and to culture. Food can be a focus of celebration and joy, and feed us in more ways than one.

    To counter the faster-is-better approach, let’s dive just a bit deeper into what sustainability means for health – not just our own, but the health of our communities and environment, too.

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    What is The 12-week Fitness Project about?

    The 12-week Fitness Project (2021) offers an alternative to restrictive diets that addresses health beyond the scale, creating sustainable change that draws on time-tested wisdom to improve overall well-being.

    The 12-week Fitness Project Review

    The 12-week Fitness Project (2020) by Rujuta Diwekar is a valuable read for anyone looking to improve their fitness and well-being. Here's why this book stands out:

    • It offers practical, actionable steps that can be easily incorporated into daily life, helping readers achieve their fitness goals in just 12 weeks.
    • Diwekar combines sustainable nutrition advice, exercise plans, and mindset strategies, providing a holistic approach to fitness that goes beyond a typical diet or workout regimen.
    • The book's engaging stories and real-life examples make it much more than a typical fitness guide, keeping readers motivated and entertained throughout the journey.

    Who should read The 12-week Fitness Project?

    • Frustrated dieters wondering why restriction seems to work against them
    • Wellness seekers looking for better sleep, more energy and better digestion
    • Those looking to incorporate more variety in their diets while creating sustainable lifestyle change

    About the Author

    Rujuta Diwekar is an author and influential nutrition expert, as well as a leading sports science and public health advocate in her native India.

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    The 12-week Fitness Project FAQs 

    What is the main message of The 12-week Fitness Project?

    The 12-week Fitness Project inspires readers to adopt a holistic approach to fitness by focusing on exercise, nutrition, and overall well-being.

    How long does it take to read The 12-week Fitness Project?

    The reading time for The 12-week Fitness Project varies, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The 12-week Fitness Project a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The 12-week Fitness Project is a must-read for fitness enthusiasts. It provides actionable tips and insights to help readers achieve their fitness goals.

    Who is the author of The 12-week Fitness Project?

    The author of The 12-week Fitness Project is Rujuta Diwekar.

    What to read after The 12-week Fitness Project?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The 12-week Fitness Project, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Move! by Caroline Williams
    • Stress Resets by Jennifer L. Taitz
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