Not a Diet Book – James Smith

Why I bought it

As I mentioned in the last review, I’m a bit of a James Smith fan and like his honesty. Whilst sometimes this a brash, rude and objective the vast majority of what he says is factual. It may be one of the reasons one of the largest publishing houses gave him an opportunity to publish this book?

I’ve been following him on Instagram from 2017. The first video that got me was about spinning and how painful it is to simply sit there, stationary, turning a knob taking instruction from someone hyped up on coffee (funny thing is, one of my closest friends who was holding spin classes started drinking coffee for exactly this reason). It just hit home and the fun but honest assessment of something which, whilst good for us, can be quite uncomfortable post-session – made me hit follow.

My thoughts

Whilst many who have heard of Smith, without reading the book, will probably think it’s a book about fitness, health, food and so on. It really is not. It is much more and is incredibly informative and educational whilst still being fun and a bit risky. There are chapters on subjects I never thought I would find interesting but also some I feel most kids should read whilst at school as they are much more informative then what I got taught (detailing hormones and more complex subjects regarding the human body such as diabetes). Chapters on business, marketing and habits.

It is clear James is well-read. He goes into depth on other authors which in turn, turns your eye to their books, which has a knock-on effect in terms of your own development.

Whilst the premise of the book is about health, fitness and keeping fit it gives the reasons behind why we should do it whilst also clearly stating we should not compare ourselves to others and that everyone is different. It helps with confidence, the strength of mind and thought process. It gave me a new view on many areas which I had never really thought about and there are some quotes that, whilst not his own, I heard for the first time.

Comparison is the thief of Joy

President Theodore Roosevelt

The book debunks many fitness myths and for those looking to gain some control over their health, it is a great read. You will have many who will argue with the opinion, but the vast majority is factual and those who argue against it do so as it affects their own income. It breaks fitness, losing weight and staying fit into very simple building blocks which you can implement with ease. Whilst yes, it does play down other keep fit methods, the reasoning behind the book is too make sure you don’t make life-altering decisions without knowing some of the facts.

On top of this all it should help in building your confidence and sense of self-worth. Areas that currently can be affected in an instant by a single click or comparison.

Who this is for?

You DO NOT have to be interested in fitness to enjoy this book. You just require an interest in yourself. It’s an incredibly easy read and eye-opening in some areas. It gives simple yet effective instruction on how to affect your daily routine to keep a little bit healthier and make life that 1% better (as that 1% could make a huge difference). It gives knowledgeable and insightful information to back opinion.

If you have an interest in your own ‘self’ and are not sure what the first step should be, I feel this is a great first read to ease you into a journey of growth, self-development and the understanding of ‘self’.

There isn’t an age limit on it (some people will get insulted by the language but that’s the point). I bought it for my 72-year-old father!

It is available in Audiobook as well.

Short Extracts

‘Where you are is not important; where you are going is.’

‘The term ‘imposter syndrome’ refers to a pattern of behaviour where people doubt their own accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalised, fear of being exposed as a fraud’

‘We have all had periods in our life when we have had some form of success, but then at some point, we seem to fall off or flatten out on the curve of the success or achievement in question’

Where to buy

Any good bookshop, or online store, will stock Not a Diet Book. It’s published by Harper Collins and Amazon have been running a fair few offers recently…


For more books, check out the Elusive Book List on Amazon but it will shortly be on our new website. We will of course, review more of these in time, but any questions feel free to drop us an email at or ask it directly on our Book Group.

And remember to follow us on LinkedIn where we also post quotes from every book we read and review.



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