Book Review: 21 Life Lessons From Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb

Here’s my review of Jimmy Moore’s new book, 21 Life Lessons From Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb: How the Healthy Low-Carb Lifestyle Changed Everything I Thought I Knew.  I rate it five stars,’s highest rating.

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Thinking about quitting your low-carb lifestyle?  Read this book first.

Jimmy Moore is a leading advocate for low-carb eating.  His purpose with this book is to educate, encourage, and inspire overweight people to begin or maintain their own low-carb journey.  And he succeeds in spades.

Mr. Moore assumes the reader already knows how to do low-carb eating.  If you don’t, I’m sure Mr. Moore would recommend Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution as the single best source.  As with all diets, low-carb eating has a high drop-out rate.  Most people lose some weight then return to their old way of eating, gaining the weight back.

Even as the author of a balanced, calorie-restricted diet book, I’ll admit that many people have had phenomenal success with low-carb diets, without caloric restriction.  Mr. Moore is one of those: 180 pounds (82 kg) weight loss in one year, and sustained over five years.  Could he be lying?  Sure.  But my gut feeling is he’s not. 

This book is not only a survey of the low-carb world covering the last decade, its an autobiography.  He shares his traumatic upbringing and the frustrating premature death of his morbidly obese brother from heart disease.  You’ll learn about Mr. Moore’s movie career alongside George Clooney.  I was also surprised to learn that Mr. Moore lost 170 pounds (77 kg) in 1999, not on a low-carb diet, but a low-fat one!  Then what happened?  I won’t spoil it for you.  Mr. Moore also owns up to his regrettable and embarrassing affiliation with the Kimkins diet in 2007.

The only weak chapter is the one on childhood obesity.  Mr. Moore moves away from his previous science- and evidence-based arguments, using personal opinion and anecdote more often.  This partly reflects the fact that childhood obesity hasn’t been studied nearly as much as the adult version.

I particularly like Mr. Moore’s review of the scientific evidence in favor of low-carb eating.  The science was inspired and driven by the low-carb craze of 1998-2004.  But the study results weren’t published until after the fad peaked.  So most people aren’t familiar with the science.  Mr. Moore presents it in very understandable terms, which is a gift.

As heavily invested as he is in low-carb eating, does Mr. Moore condemn other methods of weight management?  By no means.  He repeatedly writes: “The point is to find the proven nutritional plan that works for you, follow that plan as exactly as prescribed by the author, and then stick to it for the rest of your life.” 

Steve Parker, M.D.

Additional information: Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Blog

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