Midwest Book Review
February 2016
Simply stated, “Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off!” should be considered a “must read’ by anyone and everyone who is riding the rollercoaster wave of never ending diet fads. Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, “Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off!” is certain to be an enduringly popular and useful addition to every community library’s Health & Medicine reference collection. For personal reading lists it should be noted that “Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off!” is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).


Foreword Reviews
August 4, 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

Yo-yo dieters and newbies alike should pick up Johansen’s witty book before wasting any time, money, or heartache on ineffective fad diets.

A dietitian contrasts fad diets with sensible health guidelines in this encouraging primer. “Too little or too much of something isn’t a good thing. Our bodies like balance,” dietitian Lisa Tillinger Johansen argues in Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off! Fad diets, though, are all about extremes, and while they promise quick results, they are difficult to maintain. Surveying fad diets old and new in a conversational style, Johansen gives the merits and dangers of each and suggests realistic principles for healthy eating and exercise.

Fad diets, Johansen jokes, date back to William the Conqueror’s alcohol-only regimen. Nowadays they range from high protein (Atkins, Paleo) to low calorie (meal replacement and/or fasting) and are often encouraged by celebrities. That’s not to mention the ludicrous ones: drinking vinegar, eating mostly grapefruit or cabbage soup, or swallowing a tapeworm. Laughable as these are, some cause real damage. Excessive protein strains the kidneys and colon, for instance. Meanwhile, 30 percent of adults stay away from gluten even though they are not allergic. With wit and science, Johansen provides a way through all the diet hype.

The author boldly counters a number of common myths about dieting. For example, the blood type diet is not supported by data, and cutting out gluten does not equate to weight loss, despite the “wheat belly” theory. Unwanted weight is a simple matter of too many calories and not enough exercise. In fact, she refers to exercise as a “miracle drug” with wonderful side effects. Diets she does advocate are not restrictive fads but reflections of a wholesome, balanced lifestyle, such as the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and vegetarianism.

Apart from any structured diet, however, this book offers straightforward guidance about nutritious everyday eating, such as how to divide up the food types on a plate, how to gauge portion sizes, and how to interpret nutrition facts on packaging. Helpful charts and images provide comparisons of diet types, estimations of calorie-burning activities, and visual aids for judging portions. Bullet-pointed lists and anecdotes or important quotes set out in bold font serve to organize the text into easy-to-read blocks to prevent information overload.

Johansen bases her advice on solid facts, but she cannily avoids the dry, scientific tone some experts might use. Instead, she uses chatty, informal language and personal stories to enliven her writing, like in the first chapter, where she imagines the prospective dieter’s perspective with this funny, slang-filled monologue: “Holy cow, I’m fat! … Surely that’s not me. Maybe if I put my glasses on…No, I’m still the same tub of lard. Bummer.”

Yo-yo dieters and newbies alike should pick up Johansen’s book before wasting any time, money, or heartache on ineffective fad diets.

Pacific Book Review
Rating: 5 stars

“Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off” is the no-nonsense nutrition book readers will
enjoy. Registered dietician Lisa Tillinger Johansen debunks the myths of fad diets to
give readers useful advice to maintain a healthy weight.

Johansen writes about the dangers of the $60 billion diet industry in her new book.
She writes about the perils of current diets like the Paleo Diet and the celebrityendorsed juice cleanses that are short-term and don’t lead to lasting weight loss. As Johansen wrote about fad diets in the introduction to her book,“ It’s essential that
we use a filter and common sense when sorting through the barrage of information
that comes our way. If it sounds to good to be true, it most likely is.’’
Johansen noted that readers would lose weight with a more balanced diet with a
mixture of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains. Johansen also wants readers to
combine a balanced diet with exercise to create a more realistic plan to have a
healthy body.

Johansen advocates for readers to focus more on maintaining a consistent weight
and not just on losing a few pounds by dealing with emotional triggers that could
lead to overeating. Some suggestions to overcome emotional eating are as simple
as spending time with loved ones to beat loneliness instead of eating a plate of

This book gives practical advice that readers will take to heart. Johansen’s matter-of-fact
writing simplifies information and answers many confusing questions about food and nutrition.
The bullet points, tables and illustrations throughout the book help readers assess how many
servings of food are appropriate in an easy to follow guide. Johansen’s advice in this book is
perfect for readers who want sensible health information similar to the books of food author
Michael Pollan like In Defense of Food. “Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off” also would make an
ideal book for dietitians to recommend to patients that want to maintain a healthy
lifestyle. The book is useful for people who are preparing for swimsuit season or just want to
become more conscious eaters.

Lisa Tillinger Johansen should start a common-sense health revolution with “Stop
the Diet, I Want to Get Off.” The nutritious advice will guarantee that readers can
maintain a fit lifestyle. Her action plans will motivate readers to stay on a path to
eat well, exercise, and get off the diet merry-go-round.


Blue Ink Reviews
July 2015


Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off! is a solid, easy-to-read nutrition book for those who want to get
off the dieting merry-go-round. The author, a registered dietitian, health educator and clinician,
breaks down every type of fad from the popular Paleo diet (eat like your ancestors) to the Blood
Type diet (eat foods according to your blood type) to the latest craze, the 5:2 diet (intermittent
fasting). She also weighs in on more sensible plans, such as Weight Watchers, offering practical
ways to assess which programs might be most helpful.

By essentially housing all the fad diets under one roof, the author allows readers to see for
themselves the absurdity of some of these “quick loss plans.” Jessica Alba wore two corsets
night and day for three months to shed her baby pounds. “It was sweaty, but it was worth it,” she
reported. Matthew McConaughey lost 38 pounds for his role in Dallas Buyers’ Club. His diet:
two egg whites and a Diet Coke in the morning, a piece of chicken and another Diet Coke later
in the day. “Not surprisingly, he notes that he was ‘always hungry and irritable.’’’

The author argues against fad diets, but isn’t necessarily against weight-loss programs that lead
to healthy lifelong choices. Her style is friendly and approachable, whether giving tips on how to
read nutrition labels or ideas for making changes (for example, she notes that putting half of a
restaurant meal in a doggie bag at the beginning, rather than end, of the meal will put it out of
sight and mind – and result in welcome leftovers).

If there’s a quibble with the book, it’s that it needed a tighter edit to eliminate unnecessary
wordiness. Still, this is a valuable basic resource for those who want to improve their eating
habits. Readers will have plenty of tools to put down the Doritos, get off the couch, and start
making small steps toward healthy eating.


Indie Reader
August 2015

Overhearing food-focused, diet-obsessed conversations and observing strange, often excessive eating behaviors at a wedding party, Registered Dietitian Lisa Tillinger Johansen reflected, “I should write a book.” The result: a humorous but sensible look at why we don’t eat, with guidelines for how and what we should eat.

The first half of STOP THE DIET, I WANT TO GET OFF focuses on the very latest trends in our national weight loss craze, pointing out that some fad diets are actually pretty old (the Atkins, or high protein, diet was actually first introduced in 1876), some are harmful, and some are simply absurd. Though the currently popular gluten free regimen will doubtless help those suffering with ailments like celiac disease, it’s unnecessarily restrictive for people who don’t have those problems. Johansen’s take: why bother with avoiding gluten if you don’t need to? She looks at the perils of too much protein, the scary side effects of OTC diet pills, the dangers and questionable benefits of “miracle fruits” like acai berries and garcinia cambogia, and the unrealistic promises of fasting, detox and other extremes. She gives the statistics: 60% of all Americans always want to lose 20 pounds, but studies reveal that only 27% of us stick with a weight loss routine for more than a year, with most dropping the diet in less than a month. And yet, the dangers of over-eating are real: diabetes is on the increase, along with heart disease, sleep apnea, and more. As the author says, “Who wants that?”

Though preaching moderation is not a new approach, Johansen maintains a light-hearted style that helps steer the reader toward sensible eating without making it seem too difficult, limited or boring. There’s a talent involved in taking didactic material and making it feel like fun, and Johansen has found that sweet spot. For instance, we all know that hydration is very important to safe dieting, but the author assures us that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with plain water: carbonated beverages and herb tea are just as wet as water and a lot more palatable. She offers simple pictures for measuring food quantities (“a computer mouse is approximately the size of a medium potato”), and easy-to-follow tips to make the “chore” of dieting seems like a game, like dividing your “plate” into four parts: veggies, fruits, grains and proteins. In addition to her chatty but always informed commentary, she has included charts, pictures, and positive recommendations that never sacrifice the science.

STOP THE DIET, I WANT TO GET OFF is an easy-to-follow manual for people who want to quit diet-hopping for good and pursue a healthy, sustainable “lite-style.”



My Life, Loves and Passion
November 13, 2015
Rating: 5 (out of 5)

I loved this book. A few years ago I tried so many different types of diets to get in shape. All of them left me frustrated and hungry. I decided to stop dieting and just ignoring all the fads. I enjoyed reading this because you know she know what she is talking about. If more people followed her advice, they would be so much healthier. This book needs to be read by anyone who wants to be healthier. Stop the diets and read this for some real answers.


Create With Joy
September 9, 2015
Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Are you looking for reliable, common-sense information about what you should and shouldn’t eat, but find it hard to navigate through the countless maze of diets that promise miracle results, but never seem to make a dent anywhere except your wallet?
Would you be interested in hearing the truth behind the most popular diets of our day – and learnimg the simple steps you can take to improve your nutritional health?

If so, then add Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off by Lisa Tillinger Johansen to your reading list!

In Part One of Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off, Registered Dietician Lisa Tillinger Johansen cuts through the hype and reveals the dangers that lurk behind many of the popular, celebrity-endorsed diets that you may be tempted to try and assesses the strengths and shortcomings of many other popular diets as well.

In Part Two of the book, Lisa focuses on explaining the easy-to-follow guidelines she believes are best for our health and our waistlines in the long-run. She also provides information about exercise and calories.

Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off is a good educational resource to have on hand when you’re looking for practical, no-nonsense advice on how to improve your nutritional health. Lisa provides a lot of interesting facts, quotes and statistics throughout the book.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.



Mary-andering Creatively
November 2, 2015

My struggle with weight appears a lot of my blog. I battle daily with issues of food addiction and emotional eating. I am a work in progress. At the beginning of 2015, I vowed to change my eating habits and exercise more.
I succeeded to a degree this year, but in August, injury and pain knocked me off my track. My sciatica flared, causing pain to shoot down my left leg. I have not been able to exercise, and I am losing ground on my weight loss initiative. I am not throwing in the towel, however. I am determined to get back on track which is why I signed up for the latest iRead Book Tour by Laura Fabiani for the book Stop the Diet: I Want to Get Off.
Written by Los Angeles-based registered dietitian Lisa Tillinger Johansen, this book is not a quick-fix plan or fad diet. In fact, in the book, Lisa examines numerous quick-fix fad diets in an often witty and humorous way and debunks each diet with reliable scientific, medical facts. She explains why they don’t work and details the danger of following them.
Lisa really examines some weird diets such as the O2 diet and the Cotton Ball diet which she tagged, “Cotton Ball Baloney.”
After debunking numerous diets, she then proceeds to establish ground rules for common sense dieting including limiting fat in-take, replacing bad carbs with healthier ones, and drinking more water and cutting back on soda and high-sugar drinks. Exercise is also stressed. She also fills the remaining pages with quick tips, that I had not thought of such as, when eating out, ordering an appetizer as your main entree. She qualifies that with making sure you order a healthy appetizer like garlic shrimp with a small vegetable salad, remembering to ask for the dressing on the side.
She also gives detailed exercise information. Did you know that it would take 60 minutes of non-stop walking at 8 mph to burn of an 800 calorie shake from the Jack-in-the-Box? Compare that to just 11 minutes of walking at 3 mph to burn the calories in a small apple!
I enjoyed reading the funny facts about fad diets and also found the ending chapters encyclopedic in their coverage of nutrition and exercise data. The only thing I wish the book included was specific recommendation for meal planning. I believe the book should have included sample menus for up to a week of healthy eating. To make up for this lack, however, Lisa did include a detailed resource list at the end of the book complete with high quality websites on which to find recipes and meal plans.


Jackie Jackson of JAQOU
September 15, 2015

The author is a registered dietician and at last, we have a book containing practical and sensible advice for those of us who are wanting to lose weight and improve our health. Yes, here we have the top tips and advice for weight loss without becoming part of the $60 billion dieting industry.
Did that figure I just mentioned make you gulp? It’s true. You’ll have seen all the dieting ads that bombard us for the latest ‘miracle’ diet or special ‘slimming’ foods. So many celebrities, TV medics and huge companies are vying for our dieting dollars.
So many of us spent time – and lots of money – searching for that perfect diet. Sure, we might have tried many before, and failed but it’s only human nature, when faced with a new celebrity-endorsed weight loss product or plan, to think ‘maybe this will be the one that will finally work for me’.
And for some reason that is probably connected to our consumer-driven society, we often fool ourselves into thinking that spending money will equal success in our goal for a healthy, slim body.
Lisa explains in this book that fad diets have been around for a long time and that rarely do they work. But not only that. With knowledge and her own brand of humour, she explains why and how some of these diet plans and products can be downright harmful.
So what do we do?

What we’ve needed all along is someone to explain to us, in a simple and easy-to-understand way, something that deep down we know. But in this day and age it’s something that has been forgotten in the midst of all the conflicting advice and the latest dietary fads. That’s exactly what this book does.
The book doesn’t preach to you; the author understands how hard it can be to remain motivated and explains some valuable strategies. Unlike those fad diets, she doesn’t expect you to suddenly change the way you eat. If you do, you are likely to revert to your old eating habits before too long – those old eating habits that made you overweight and unhealthy in the first place.

McNeils Reviews
September 30, 2015

Did you know most of us are on a high-protein diet whether we know it or not? I didn’t either until I read Johansen’s book, Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off! Did you know the U.S. is among the top 10 countries with the most overweight people? . . . that three out of ten people are currently trying to lose weight? . . . that the grapefruit diet has been around since the 1930’s?

Johansen has prepared us with a dish of healthy common sense facts and truths about dieting. She gives 12 characteristics of fad diets and explains how to spot them. Specifically, she mentions 15 of such diets by name – Jenny Craig, Paleo, Atkins, Gluten-free, Cleanse, Blood type, Nutrisystem, etc. – and logically explains why these diets are not beneficial and even detrimental to most people.

Next, Johansen explains who should limit or avoid foods in certain food group and who should not. After all, as she points out, ” . . . it’s important that we don’t develop an unhealthy or fearful relationship with food.” In her book, she also explains how to visualize serving sizes. For instance, it may be easier to regulate food consumption when you think of a cup of cereal as the size of a baseball or three ounces as the size of your checkbook or a gram size being that of a paper clip.

For dessert, some of the book is ironically hilarious as Johansen explains ridiculous diets such as the “cotton ball baloney” in which a person eats 5 cotton balls soaked in lemonade. As you read through these once-popular “diets”, you are given a clearer perspective of today’s trending diets. In addition, over 30 tips are given for healthy eating such as: “Don’t drink your calories,” “Practice mindful eating” “Take advantage of your support system” and many more. Further, six indicators of not getting enough water and a description of our most efficient energy source are served on the table along with the main content.

Lastly, Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off, provides two websites where you can find a plethora of information on healthy eating and, at the time, design a diet specific to your needs.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who eats and reads — especially anyone who has been on a diet, is currently on a diet, or is thinking of going on a diet.

My favorite quote: “. . . keeping a food and exercise dairy is one of the most useful weight management tools available.” – Lisa Tillinger Johansen

Hollywood Book Reviews
August 28, 2015
Rating: 5 (out of 5)

As a registered dietician with a master’s degree in nutritional science and years of clinical and health education experience, Lisa Tillinger Johansen is all too familiar with diets, weight loss, and fads that fuel a multi-billion dollar industry. While the word “diet” often references losing weight, it also translates to what we eat and drink every day, including prescribed recommendations for certain health conditions. But for those who are looking to shed some pounds with lasting results, and avoid being held captive on the up-and-down carousel of weight loss and gain, Johansen’s “Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off!” is a well researched and well-rounded exploration of popular diets, food crazes, and trends. More importantly this is a book with a common sense approach that points readers in the direction of healthy, balanced eating.

In the challenge of weight loss, clearly knowledge and behavioral changes are key. Johansen is quick to point out “There are lots of diets out there. Some are good. Many aren’t.” From the grapefruit and cabbage soup diets, to liquid meal
replacements and fasting, celebrity endorsed products to various high protein or vegetarian based eating plans, Johansen discusses the pros and cons of each. She also includes an informative and entertaining history of several fad diets. Many of these provide little more than nutritional imbalances, bad side effects, and serious health risks.

At its core, Johansen reduces weight loss to a simple mathematical equation. Taking in more calories than you burn results in weight gain. Absorbing fewer calories than you expel equals weight loss. In this all encompassing work, here the traditional food pyramid is replaced by the author’s own version of a healthy meal plate featuring half nonstarchy vegetables, and the other half equal portions of starch and lean protein. Fruit and low-fat dairy are side additions. Johansen notes the excess of typical portion quantities and offers visuals to help readers gage appropriate serving sizes.

Simple charts provide easy comparisons for various weight loss programs. The importance of nutrition facts labels is stressed, with information that allows us to make better food decisions. Readers will also receive guidance about making wise choices in restaurants, and come away with smart shopping tips. Major components of hydration and exercise are addressed, not only in view of their overall health benefits, but particularly in application to basic weight loss efforts. The book also includes a copious listing of websites and resources that should prove a beneficial reference for readers.

Clearly quick-fix diets are not the answer. Slow and steady life style changes with improved eating habits certainly seem a more viable solution. Comprehensive and insightful, Johansen’s book is a smart choice for those tired of the neverending, diet merry-go-rounds that bring us right back where we started. There’s a saying that knowledge is power. Here with Johansen’s solid advice and sensible approach to eating, a healthy weight goal is surely within our sights. Like the proverbial brass ring, it also appears truly obtainable.


From Erin Cataldi
November 12, 2015

Hands down the most informative, non-pushy, non-judgmental, non-preachy guide to losing weight and being healthy. Author and registered dietitian, Lisa Tillinger Johansen breaks down popular and fad diets and tells the readers the good (and mainly bad) aspects of each. She also breaks down healthier ways to eat; looking at labels, portion control, the difference between veggies, the science behind calories and protein, and the pros of drinking water. It’s an easily understood, no nonsense guide that will help readers decide what will work best for them based on their health, dietary restrictions and will power. A quick read that will do a world of good for anyone looking to shed a few pounds (and keep them off) rather than trying expensive fad diets.
Hands down the most informative, non-pushy, non-judgmental, non-preachy guide to losing weight and being healthy. Author and registered dietitian, Lisa Tillinger Johansen breaks down popular and fad diets and tells the readers the good (and mainly bad) aspects of each. She also breaks down healthier ways to eat; looking at labels, portion control, the difference between veggies, the science behind calories and protein, and the pros of drinking water. It’s an easily understood, no nonsense guide that will help readers decide what will work best for them based on their health, dietary restrictions and will power. A quick read that will do a world of good for anyone looking to shed a few pounds (and keep them off) rather than trying expensive fad diets.

From String Bean to Lean Machine
November 6, 2015

I enjoyed this book, for the most part, it starts off with the different diets out there and what’s good and bad about them. While it takes on mostly the popular ones like Paleo, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc it also had the 5:2 and a few lesser known ones, which I liked. Ms Johansen shows that celebrity diets weren’t always the best thing, pointing out major flaws in several diets endorsed by starlets. I liked that she offered us facts as to why these diets don’t work, or if they do it’s only short term.
But this book isn’t just about bashing fad diets it offers you all the tools you need to start eating nutritiously. The second half of this book is packed with information on how to eat healthy while dining out, cooking meals, and discovering what works for you to get healthier. Ms Johansen even breaks down how to read those confusing nutrition labels. The research was well done, and I liked Ms Johansen’s writing style as well as her narrative. While geared toward people looking to lose weight I think anyone who is just looking to eat better could benefit from reading this book.



Book Viral
August 1, 2015

If in any doubt about how frantic we are to lose weight, you just need to browse the bookshelves. The advice is often overwhelming and sorting through the hype for genuine pearls of wisdom gets increasingly harder when faced with a plethora of fad diets. Written with the humility of someone who is genuinely interested in health and in finding an answer to the growing obesity epidemic that faces our society, Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off by Award-Winning Author Lisa Tillinger Johansen presents an informed and sensible analysis of what really works and what doesn’t. Tillinger isn’t one to mince her words; she isn’t afraid to take a contrary stance and it makes for a compelling read. It’s informed, she doesn’t pull her punches and it isn’t a neatly packaged lifestyle approach. She simply sets out to educate her readers and provide the guidance they need to make informed dietary choices which are sustainable over the long term. The choices which will not only ensure lasting weight loss but fundamentally contribute to overall health.

Highly informative and easily accessible, Stop The Diet I Want To Get Off, is a genuine boon for readers determined to shed the pounds. It is recommended without reservation.