Beth's Book Review

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper


Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, begins his informative book by describing the day on which he almost became “the biggest loser;” the day Harper had a nearly fatal heart attack. Despite having a career in physical fitness, on February 12, 2017, Harper suddenly lost consciousness as the result of a major heart attack. “Me, the fitness guy who works out every day, could not walk around the block without getting winded or dizzy,” Harper confesses after he began to recover. “It was a humbling experience, to say the least. Humbling and tough.” (p.xiii)

Sign Up for E-News

The type of heart attack that Harper suffered is referred to as “the widow maker,” and is caused primarily by a genetic condition, which causes high lipoprotein or Lp, a particle in the blood that carries cholesterol, fat, and proteins through one's blood stream.

Although Harper had eaten healthily prior to the heart attack, Dr. Dean Ornish, one of his physicians, created an appropriate diet plan to help Harper rehabilitate his damaged heart. By working with several doctors, Harper has devised a plan that is about finding the proper balance between diet and fitness; a plan which will help everyone develop a healthier life style. Harper is not shy about warning the reader that following the Super Carb Diet is hard work, but he asserts that the end result (Living a longer, healthier life) is well worth the commitment.

The four components of Harper's plan include Food, Sleep, Fitness, and Accountability. On the Super Carb Diet the participant is permitted three balanced meals per day and one “floater” meal, but the meal plan is devised to reflect the needs of the individual. If you were a teacher, you would call this plan “differentiated dieting,” and if followed, the dieter cannot fail to lose weight.

In the introductory section of the book, Harper defines “carbs,” including good carbs and “carbage,” (a term I just love). Harper's style of writing infuses humor and personal stories into the diet plan so that the reader can relate closely to the diet guru's struggle. Also, Harper's conversational tone makes the information easier to process and maintain as the reader navigates the diet plan.

After a brief explanation of the difference between good and bad carbs, Harper poses this question. “If carbs don't make you fat, what does? Simple. Overeating. Your body needs carbs for energy, but when you eat too much, the excess is turned into fat. Your body needs a certain amount of everything, not just carbs, and when you eat more than you need, it becomes fat! . . . The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans eat 1,996 pounds of food per year.” (p.19) That's a pretty startling statistic, and it's no wonder that so many Americans are carrying around way too much poundage.

Two messages are reiterated by Harper throughout the section on the book that deals with the nature of what carbs are and then the actual diet plan itself. On nearly every page Harper insists that the consumer needs to read and understand the ingredients as the manufacturer lists them on the packaged food. It is by familiarizing oneself with the nutritional facts provided on those labels that the dieter can create a healthy plan that stays within the guidelines that Harper prescribes in the book. Essentially, Harper provides a formula whereby the follower of the plan can take the number of calories given from carbs, proteins, and fats on each level to figure out how much of that particular food a dieter can have to stay within healthy guidelines. As Harper states, “I probably should have called this book 'Read the Label,'” but that's okay; he makes his point clearly.

The second message that the reader sees repeatedly is that we need a combination of all foods (proteins, carbs, fats, and most particularly vegetables) in order to be successful. However, Harper advocates having vegetables at every meal, even breakfast. They are low in fat, taste good, and most importantly, fill the dieter with nutritional food that keeps our bodies fit and trim.

Chapter 8 of Harper's 90 Super Carb Diet is my favorite. Because it is so important, I have decided to quote the entire chapter, entitled “What Do you Do When You Want to Cheat?” Here it is:


Although cheating is not advocated, Harper does factor in the stressful times when diets have to be altered some time and gives helpful hints as to how to work within the guidelines at such moments. He does state, “Your goal on the Super Carb Diet should be ninety days of uninterrupted meal planning and exercise. That's how you will get the very best results. However, I understand that life happens. It is my goal to give you all the tools you need to be successful.” (p.104)

Sleep is another important component to weight loss. Harper states, “You may have heard me on TV talking about the pillars of health. These pillars are what you need to have stability in your life: diet, sleep, exercise, and stress management. That second one is vital. We need sleep. It's going to give you the strength you need to get through this plan alive.” (p.113) Harper advocates for seven to nine hours of rest a night. This includes shutting down all social media, cutting back on caffeine consumption, and investing money in a bed that is comfortable from mattress to sheets. When people are sleep deprived they are likely to cave in to the daily stresses of family, job, and other obligations. By making sure the body and mind are well rested, the dieter will have more stamina to stick to a plan when the going gets rough.

The latter part of the book offers meal plans, exercise routines, and 25 pages of enticing recipes to try as part of the Super Carb Diet. Harper is a fan of tracking what one eats in order to stay honest throughout the 90 program.

Harper concludes the book with this statement, “The Super Carb Diet is everything I learned from that experience (his heart attack) as well as all my previous years in the health-and-fitness industry. Crafting this diet gave me a new purpose. I'm so excited to share it with all of you so you can be healthier than ever, and strong enough to fight off whatever comes your way. Life is a gift. Put the work in now so you can enjoy unwrapping it.” (p. 268)

With Valentines Day close at hand, instead of buying your loved one a big box of yummy chocolates, you might want to consider purchasing a copy of the Super Carb Diet instead. Giving the gift of protecting one's life with valuable diet and fitness information might be a better and healthier choice, and send a great message to the one that you love.

Beth Moroney, former English teacher and administrator in the Edison Public School District, specialized in teaching Creative Writing and Journalism. Recently Moroney published Significant Anniversaries of Holocaust/Genocide Education and Human/Civil Rights, available through the New Jersey Commission on the Holocaust. A passionate reader, Moroney is known for recommending literature to students, teachers, parents, and the general public for over forty years. Moroney can be contacted at

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Luke Niemeyer Wrestling

The South Plainfield Wrestling Team sent six wrestlers to compete in the New Jersey Individual State Wrestling Championships, March 2nd-4th.  Thirty-two wrestlers throughout the state qualified for each weight class.  South Plainfield placed two out of the six qualifiers in the State of New Jersey.  Junior 195 pounder Luke Niemeyer became a state place winner for the first time in ...

The Athlete of the Week Joe Heilmann Wrestling

The South Plainfield Wrestling Team finished its terrific season this past weekend at the New Jersey Individual State Wrestling Championships.  The top four wrestlers from the Region Tournament in Union had the opportunity to wrestle in Atlantic City for an individual state title.  The Tigers placed two out of their six qualifiers in the State of New Jersey, Senior 126 pounder Joe ...

Pre-Ticket Sale for Holy Savior Academy’s 4th Annual Spring Splendor Tricky Tray

Holy Savior Academy is hosting its Spring Splendor Tricky Tray Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the school.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are limited and will be sold at Holy Savior Academy, 149 South Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (cash or checks)

BYOB and food- Admission $ 25 per ...


Robert Corcia, 52, of Cresco, died Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at Lehigh Valley Pocono ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Letter from the Chapman Family

March 14, 2018

Dear Editor -


“Hey Dad, today in school the police officer played volleyball with us, it was fun.”


“My son came home from school today and told me that the police officer played football with them at recess”.


“I heard that one of the police officers sat down and ate lunch in the cafeteria with the children today. They loved ...

Community Happenings

A Tribute to our Veterans - An Evening with Jim Barone

March 15, 2018

The South Plainfield Elks Motorcycle Committee in conjunction with the Veteran's Committee is hosting an evening with Jim Barone, who is an Elvis impersonator, on April 28th, 2018. Doors open at 7:00pm and the Show starts at 8:00pm.   Tickets are $30.00 which includes the show and finger foods.  Tickets are limited please contact Brian Csobar 908-756-9425 or SP Elks ...

Grandparents Day at Riley School

March 18, 2018

Pictures of Grandparents Day at Riley School submitted by Debbie Boyle

Pre-Ticket Sale for Holy Savior Academy’s 4th Annual Spring Splendor Tricky Tray

March 17, 2018

Holy Savior Academy is hosting its Spring Splendor Tricky Tray Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the school.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are limited and will be sold at Holy Savior Academy, 149 South Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (cash or checks)

BYOB and food- Admission $ 25 per ...

Eggert Volleyball Fundraiser a huge success.

March 12, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - On Sunday March 11th South Plainfield current and former residents came out in force to support the Eggert Family and stand up against cancer.  The Volleyball fundraiser was a great success and would not have happened without all of the great support from the community.  Once again South Plainfield showed that we are a tight knit community who looks out for each ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, March 21, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Holy Savior Academy's 4th Annual Spring Splendor ...


Sun, March 25, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Thu, March 29, 7:30 PM

Wesley United Methodist Church, South Plainfield

Holy Thursday Communion Service at Wesley United ...

Religions And Spirituality

Fri, March 30, 3:00 PM

Wesley United Methodist Church, South Plainfield

Good Friday Prayer Vigil at Wesley United ...

Religions And Spirituality

Sat, April 7, 9:00 AM

Wesley United Methodist Church, South Plainfield

Rummage Sale at Wesley United Methodist Church

Arts & Entertainment Other Religions And Spirituality


Fri, April 13, 7:00 PM


SPRO Victory Dinner Honoring Councilwoman ...


Diegnan Bill To Secure At-Risk Nonprofits Becomes Law

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ -Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan to provide state grants to increase security at New Jersey’s nonprofit organizations deemed high-risk targets of threats, attacks, and other violent acts was recently signed into law.

“We know that individuals, with great animus, are looking to endanger our friends and neighbors for who they are, what they ...

Saturday Debris Cleanup Operations

The Department of Public Works will have three separate crews performing tree and branch removal tomorrow March 17th.  All branches and twigs should be brought to the curb. Cleanup efforts will not be completed tomorrow. This will be an on-going effort to remove all debris from the Borough. Additionally, the yard waste site will be operating on summer hours which are 8:00am – ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...


Did you miss a movie that you wanted to see in the theaters and don’t want to pay to rent it or for the DVD? Come to “Monday Night Movies” at the library.  It’s all the fun of a movie theater but none of the cost.  We are showing brand new releases every Monday night and we will be providing popcorn for all who attend. This week’s movie stars Margot Robbie ...

2018 Keystone Community St Patrick's Lunch

The South Plainfield Knights of Columbus Council 6203 held their annual Keystone Special Citizens Community Lunch at the Holy Savior Academy on March 10th. Every Month Father John Alvarado from Sacred Heart Church holds a special Mass for the Mentally Challenged residents from the Keystone Community as well as other residents from Middlesex County.  This month’s theme was St ...

If You Want to Experience the Awkwardness of Race Relations, Look No Further Than Sunday Morning

In a country that is more racially divided than ever, our churches reflect the divide on Sunday morning. In America, we miss the mark on integrating the faces and lives of many races and ethnicities into our Christian communities.

LifeWay conducted a survey of 994 churchgoers who attend religious services more frequently than just holidays. They also surveyed 1,000 Protestant senior pastors of ...

Press Releases

Join the Kennedy School for “A Night at the Casino”

March 19, 2018

The John F. Kennedy Elementary School’s PTSO is hosting their 4th Annual “A Night at the Casino” on Saturday, April 14th at 6:30 p.m.

Thanks to the generous donations from local businesses, the PTSO is transforming the American Legion Chaumont Post #243 into a casino complete with Black Jack, Roulette, Craps, and Poker.  Tickets for this adult evening of fun and ...