~ Why I Bought It ~
I bought this book several years ago as at the time I had just started a calorie controlled diet and I knew that it would come in really handy to keep track of my calorie intake. This was before I had an iPhone and had discovered calorie counting apps, and I have to say that I prefer calorie counting apps to this book, though it is still ideal for anyone who doesn't have Internet access.
~ Price ~
As I bought this book quite a while ago I can't really remember how much I paid, however the retail price is £5.99 which I think is quite a reasonable price for an informative and detailed book, though I personally wouldn't have bought it had I known that all of the information in it is available online for free. As I said before though it is ideal for people without Internet access so it will be worth every penny to people who rely on this as their sole source of information relating to calories.
~ About The Book ~
This book was released back in August 2008 and it is the best selling calorie counting guide in the UK. It has 352 pages. My copy is a paperback, and as far as I know a hardback version is not available.
~ My Opinion ~
I remember buying this a few years back after seeing it in WH Smiths. At the time both me and my Mum had just started a calorie controlled diet and this seemed like the perfect way to keep track of my intake of calories and make sure that the food I was eating wasn't too calorie dense.
At the time that I purchased this book I wasn't really an avid Internet user which if I had been would have of course meant that I'd have had access to calorie information for free, though during this period of time when I did rely on it as my only source of information about calories I got a lot of use out of it and found it incredibly helpful and informative - I used to find myself flicking through the pages to check information almost everyday and would always refer back to it if I came across a food that I wasn't familiar with and wanted to see how high in calories it was.
The book isn't the most exciting to look at as t has no illustrations or photographs and it is very text heavy which when I'm looking for one thing is quite frustrating as I have to look at each page carefully rather than having instant information when I look at the page and each page is packed full of information which can make it feel a little overwhelming when I am only interested in finding information about one certain thing.
The book has got a section at the beginning which explains in detail what calories are and it also has an in depth chart which shows how many calories are burnt on average after a certain amount of exercise. This includes lots of different exercise including rowing, jogging, biking etc. I used to find this helpful to find out how many calories I had burnt when walking my dog though now I find it easier and simpler to just put my iPhone in my pocket and let it track my movements for an accurate result.
The book also has information on how to find your ideal weight which I found interesting. You do this by measuring your wrist and it has the wrist measurements that someone of a small, large and medium frame should have and both me and my mum found this really interesting. As well as this it has a very detailed table of the standard body weight for men and women of certain frames which I also found to be useful when figuring out if my body frame was small, medium or large.
There's also a section on children's weight which is full of quite scientific terms and it made my head hurt a little trying to read it and figure out what all of the measurements mean but I'm sure it will come in handy to some people. Another section is 'components of a healthy diet' which talks about protein, carbohydrates etc and explains what health benefits they have etc. A section that I found particularly interesting was the viatamin and minerals section which explains what benefits lots of different vitamins and minerals have and what they do in the body, and it also clearly says which foods they are found in.
The book also has a food pyramid and information about portion control as well as lots of other general information about food and nutrition. Though I did find these sections helpful, I already knew a lot of the information as most is quite basic and something that most people will already know and rather than being written in a simplistic way it is quite textbook styled and very information heavy which can get a little samey and boring after reading a few pages!
The calorie counter itself has information on how to use the calorie counter and explains what basic measurements such as kcal (calorie) and g (gram) mean, which I found helpful. The way the calorie counter is set out is okay but not great, it is basically a table which has the food name, the weight/quantity of the food and then the protein, carbohydrate, fat, fibre and calorie count. I found the vast amount of numbers a little confusing at first and quite overwhelming but I soon got used to it.
Finding a food in this book (eg Heinz baked beans) is easy enough as there is a 'contents' section on one of the first pages which says which pages certain foods can be found on. The book also has a brief recipe section with recipes such as shepherds pie and fish pie. I found these recipes to be extremely basic and a little boring and I do not use the recipe section as it is all very common recipes which most people know anyway.
~ All in All ~
This is a very informative book but I'm not too keen on the layout as it is quite overcrowded and I prefer using the Internet nowadays to check the calorie content of food however it did come in handy when I did not have Internet access. The information in it isn't anything that I didn't really already know however some sections are quite interesting and I like that rather than just listing the calories of foods it also has the fibre, fat, can and protein content.
This is such an amazing book which is bound to delight every health-conscious person out there! I am a health freak and usually count my daily intake of calories. It may sound weird but I always logged on the internet to find the nutritional info about each and every single food I consumed. This proved to be quite a task when I ate out because I didn't have access to the net, unless of course, I splashed out on WAP. But ever since I purchased that book, I have been delighted with both the book and the helpfulness of it.
The very first aspect which impressed me was the size and weight. It was quite small to easily slip into a handbag for when I eat out. This may cause a drawback to those who have difficulty with, or for those who are irritated with small handwritings. Personally, I just whipped my reading glasses out and soon became literally buried in the book. For starters, it has an introductory feature which tells you all you need to know about idea weight based on gender, age and height. In addition, there is also a small feature on BMI- Body Mass Index's, how to calculate yours and whether yours is medically approved to be in the healthy range or not.
I also liked the fact that we were not only provided with the fiber value of many meals, but the calories were classified as per brands. This means that if I want to have a Big Mac, I can just whip out my book and consult the calories and nutritional info. As nutritional info, there is more than just the fiber content; you are given the protein, carbohydrate and fat of most ready-made or take out food. I have to admit that from this angle, the Collins Calorie Counter may not be suitable for people who prefer eating in than out. I would rather recommend it to people who like me, constantly have to eat out and are health conscious.
I got my copy off Amazon UK for only £2.53. Other buying options include 30 new copies at 0.51 or seven used copies at 0.81.
Overall, I would say that it is quite a good, detailed book at a bargain price.
Thanks for reading!