Zen Diet

Zen Weight Loss

Note:  This is a review.  Click here to go to The Zen Diet Site.

The Zen Diet?zen diet

Did you ever watch the 70’s television show, “Kung Fu”? That is where most of us older folks discovered Eastern philosophy although we really just wanted to watch fight scenes.

But this diet returns us to that philosophy.

This diet is based around the book Eat Smart: The Zen Anti-Diet by Aaron Hoopes. As I said, this is a different approach to dieting.

This diet takes the perspective that most the diets that are popularized in our culture just don’t work, thus the term anti-diet.

He says that instead of looking outside ourselves for answers, we need to learn to turn our attention inwards and carefully listen to the messages from our bodies.


Hoopes believes that the first place to start is to slow down the pace of food consumption and literally chew longer.

By chewing longer, more nutrition becomes available to the body. A major focus of the diet is to avoid processed foods, which are usually loaded down with chemicals and additives. (sounds good so far!)

Read more healthy diets.

Hoopes encourages those who try this to opt for organic food, over those grown with pesticides and chemicals. Fruits, vegetables and grains are placed high on top of the list of good foods, but again, the book is focused more on changing people’s perspective on food than on eating certain foods.

Exercise is declared as a way to increase metabolism, but there is no mention of how much or what kind of exercise you will need to be on this plan.


  • Discourages fast food and artificial sweetners.
  • Exercise is encouraged.
  • Not a quick fix to weight loss.


  • No clear guidelines for exercise.
  • Not structured like many plans.
  • No healthy meal cooking instructions.

On the good side, the Zen Diet encourages you to select healthy food choices such as fruits and vegetables, while discussing the negative effects of fast food and artificial sweeteners.(two of our favorites in this country).

The plan also promotes a gradual approach to weight loss.
On the not so good side, there is very little structure on exercise or meal plans.
This is more of a conceptual guide but hey that is Zen.

Click here to go to The Zen Diet Site.



  1. Zen, Shu Oak. The Zen Diet, 2020.
  2. The Times of India. “​The Zen Diet – Weight Loss: 7 Most Bizarre Diets That Will Make You Cringe | The Times of India.” timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Accessed June 9, 2022. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/photo-stories/weight-loss-7-most-bizarre-diets-that-will-make-you-cringe/the-zen-diet/photostory/66410407.cms#:~:text=The%20zen%20diet%20has%20three,four%20rules%20of%20this%20diet.
Joel Dreher MS EdS
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