• Not a Diet Book

  • Take Control. Gain Confidence. Change Your Life.
  • By: James Smith
  • Narrated by: James Smith
  • Length: 6 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (520 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $14.18

Buy for $14.18

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The No.1 Sunday Times best seller. 

Are you ready to change your life? Are you sick of always wearing black and getting undressed in the dark? Are you fixated with a number on the scales? Are you afraid to step into the gym and commit to a routine? Is your confidence at an all-time low? Is all of this having a negative impact on your life, relationships and happiness? 

James Smith is armed with every tool you’ll ever need to achieve incredible results – from dieting, training and staying in shape to identifying the fads, cons and nonsense that get int he way of genuine lasting progress. Learn to reset your current mindset and attitude towards your diet and training, with chapters covering:

  • Fat loss versus muscle gain.
  • Metabolism and ‘body types’. 
  • Protein targets and calorie tracking.
  • Common fitness fallacies.
  • Female fat loss.
  • Supplements.
  • Training versus exercising.
  • The importance of sleep.
  • Forming habits. 

This audiobook will put you back in control. It is not a fad diet or a short-term training plan. It will empower you to adopt better habits that will allow you to take charge of your life. 

About the Author

James Smith is the world’s fastest-growing online personal trainer. Honest, unapologetic and outspoken, yet erudite, authentic and endlessly passionate about exposing the toxic myths within diet culture, and committed to helping people to reach their goals and make positive change for good. Not a Diet Book is his first book.

©2020 James Smith (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Meet the man changing the way you think about fitness. One of the most sought-after personal trainers in the world (who has) knocked current fitness It boy @JoeWicks for six and stolen the coveted crown of the fitness world." (Sunday Times Style)

Not a Diet Book mercilessly takes down every fad diet, workout and health drink you have been sold and instead explains [James’] mission to make understanding weight-loss as two words – calorie deficit.’ (The Sun)  

 "Personal trainer James Smith’s new book, Not a Diet Book, offers frank advice on getting in shape and busts some major diet myths." (Grazia)  

More from the same

What listeners say about Not a Diet Book

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    458
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    406
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    397
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Save your time and money

Unfortunately, I bought into the IG hype and purchased both his books. You are
better off finding an author who doesnt give you a mishmash of points and ideas that you could get from the internet.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Oye....

James Smith book review.

ok.... where do I start? By no means am I a professional reviewer and am no way out to get Mr. Smith of a personal vendetta. With that said, I found his book excruciating to finish. Like many people, I find his rants on social media entertaining because he gets so worked up about what other people are telling him to do. Usually summing everything up with a few expletives to emphasize how much he really doesn't care about what you think. But that's not all he brings to the table, he is extremely knowledgeable and intellectual with regards to exercise and diet. Mr. Smith also seems to understand that many people are dieting and killing their spirit to try and fit unrealistic body images, to that I applaude him.

Now, not only was I excited to get his book, I found it amusing that he read it himself. I thought it would be a funny read because it's in his own words. However; I found out very fast that even though he wrote the words, it sounded like forcing a 12 year old to go read in front of his class. There were no highs or lows in his tone where they should be. When listening to an ebook, I'm often doing other tasks. The subject matter and the person reading work hand in hand to keep my focus peaked though so I'm fully engaged,  but with this book, my focus drifted back and forth and I had to rewind to see what I missed, to which I say wasn't much. But that's ok because he doesn't care what you think. His philosophy is if you hate him, the people that love him will find their way....ok. So he doesn't try to make you like him. All this book really is, is a 6 hour long listen about how privileged his life is that he doesn't give a rat's ass what you think........ Basically it's his social media blog but 6 hours long. It's draining. Good luck and happy listening!  Maybe this book is for you lol.

UPDATE:

Ok the last 2.5 hours are where any information that might be useful will be found. Most definitely not an author, just a writer.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

For beginners only

I didn’t learn anything from this book and I found it pretty annoying that a PT is giving relationship advice. He’a a very likable guy though and his content on Instagram is great. This felt more like a memoir with some advice.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

game changer

James book and Podcast has changed my life. thank you for talking about the hard truth. and huge thank you for covering women's issues like perimenopause & menopause.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Currently on chapter 4 of 20. So far I have heard how terrible the diet industry is, and that consequently it is not your fault that you are fat. Then a chapter dedicated to the author's rather unremarkable life story, and currently running through a chapter on why the different main stream diets don't work.

So thus far, this book is exactly the same as the majority of other diet books over the last 30 years. Nothing new, and very boring.

I am not sure I will be able to finish it, but will bravely struggle on, hoping beyond hope for a tiny glimmer of wisdom or inspiration before its end.

If you are looking for cutting edge, scientific information on nutrition and body composition, or for motivation on your road to wellness, this is, sadly, not it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

CFD!

I’ve followed James on social media for a few years and am also a member of the James Smith Academy. The best thing I’ve learned from James is the balance between training and life so I can enjoy both while chasing my goals. This is a good amalgamation of content in his online training platform and things he teaches.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite “diet” book yet.

I listened to this all in one day. If you follow James on social media, you get that same dose of truth with love in the book. I love that his book addresses mindset and the hierarchy of nutrition vs workouts. This is an every day, real person’s guide on how to handle diet and exercise. He gives facts without losing me in the science, his analogies are so clear, and there is not an excess of boring examples - it’s such a great balance of info. I especially love the extra chapter about women’s cycles. Plus, his accent is just fun to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Self satisfied rant

The only useful part was chapter 14 about women bodies. That was (unfortunately) unusual and enlightening.
The rest you've heard a thousand times.
Some of it feels ill-researched.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book helped me tremendously

I have also listened to his videos and joined the training academy for one month. I am 65. Been on every diet out there. Since I was 8. Thanks mom. Not ! James finally made me see that I don’t need to restrict food groups. This makes it manageable and I have lost 8.5 lbs this month. I have a whole new mindset thanks to this book and his videos. I’m a fan for life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The truth hurts... lol

If you came here for some confirmation bias, then you're gonna have a bad time. But if you want some refreshing, in-your-face, tell-it-like-it-is motivation, then look no further.

I've been following James Smith on social media for a while now, and it's so incredibly refreshing to find someone who not only has the balls to say what's on his mind but who can back it up with empirical evidence. You don't have to like what he's saying, but you can't deny his authenticity or his fact-based banter. And he doesn't say things to be mean, he says things to be real. In a world of influencers, be a James Smith.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MyJo
  • MyJo
  • 02-04-20

Too much swearing

I only got through 3 chapters before his cursing became too much for me. Why swear? You think someone capable of writing could find appropriate words to use in place of the "f" word. Oh well.

71 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 02-27-20

Loads of words little take away

This book is just so long winded. I’m sure James is a great guy but for hours he just talks about how great he is. I wanted a book to help me not hear about him.
You listen and listen to so much rambling you switch off and fail to acknowledge any parts of the audio that may actually be of interest.
To sum the book up Have a calorie deficit, sleep more and get some sunshine. Don’t set goals on a scale but instead in progression on amounts you can lift or distance you can run over time.
This book delivers nothing that I expected or wanted.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dr Randeep Sangha
  • Dr Randeep Sangha
  • 01-27-20

Aimed at those who know little about fitness

James is open that it isn't a fitness book or a gamechanger in that respect which I can respect. But written with very little intellect and aimed at such a group of people that won't have a lasting impression in most.

44 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Catherine
  • Catherine
  • 05-06-20

Not worth your time girls

‘The stupid human race will pay anything to look good’ is the main point of this book. James isn’t wrong - you’re here considering this book. I used a credit to investigate too. There are no insights you cannot come to yourself in here. If you are a woman, I’d be even more inclined to give it a miss. Despite his claims not to be a misogynist, he is. He’ll tell you that fasting and steroids are messing with our perception of fitness yet participates in both. Really, he’s just an incredibly obnoxious and cocky man who’s doing a great job of sucking money out of people. If you feel that is something to aspire to then this book is for you.

42 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for bruceylee
  • bruceylee
  • 04-23-20

Not a diet book, possibly a Biography though.

Started good and I thought it was interesting but the middle part of this book should of been kept for his memoirs. I did this, i did that, well done on all your achievments but say it once and move on. You can be great, like me. And ok we get it you like BJJ.

Telling people to end relationships if they aren't perfect is complete and utter bull$#!£ btw.
I'm sure you are very good at your job in health and fitness your just not the kind of person that would in any way motivate or inspire me.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ms. K. A. Pearson
  • Ms. K. A. Pearson
  • 01-23-20

Sensible and thoughtful advice

As a bra-burning feminist I have almost given up on following Social Media James in the past but, love him or loathe him, this is insightful and genuine no-BS advice!

I have not finished yet but so far so good. James is an expert in his field and has gone through everything most people have when it comes to lifestyle, diet and training in the UK (and beyond).

It comes across that James genuinely does want to help people live their best, healthy lives without getting sidetracked or derailed by all the confusing nonsense in the fitness industry.

Don't come here expecting some quick-fix meal plans and 12-minute home workouts. Just come with an open mind!

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MarketZero
  • MarketZero
  • 02-11-20

Content fine but...

This book is more of a reference book than any other type. Certain chapters deal specifically with certain topics like nutrition, macros, exercise, sleep etc but THE CHAPTER LIST DOES NOT TELL YOU WHICH IS WHICH. The chapters are just numbers. So if you want to go back and refer to the chapter on vitamins, you have to take guesses at which one this is. This book could also have done with some .pdf attachments, rather than just saying "go on my website" to find out more.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dave W.
  • Dave W.
  • 02-25-21

Eat in a calorie deficit. Eat high protein.

Save yourself a few quid. The title of this review is basically the foundation of the book. Do some exercise, eat high protein. And eat in a calorie deficit. All the rest is the author talking about how great he is. Very poor relationship advice. Then he talks about all the charlatans in the fitness industry who after your money. But he's not in it for the money. The James Smith Academy app has been set up as a free gift for people. The monthly subscription is just for his expenses. Plus the money from all books he's selling must be going to charity. Well done James!

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for christogher0510
  • christogher0510
  • 01-23-20

What a great book.

James is very personal on every level on this book. Not only does a lot of what he says resonate with me, I'm 100% sure it will with others.

It's written from the heart and as someone who has been ,and in many ways, still is where we all are. Making it through situations we find ourselves in from a work, personal and healthy lifestyle place.

Can't wait for the next one!

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alexander Salustro
  • Alexander Salustro
  • 01-23-20

Uphillbattlefitness review

Really well put together I didn’t expect it to be as good as that! Well done on all your success James and the team

9 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 02-09-20

arrogant twat

on first sight you'd thing yeah james smith pt is a cool guy. he knows what he is talking about. but on meeting him he is a silver spoon boy who's arrogance outshines his knowledge unfortunately. I so wished the opposite was true. I'm disappointed to say the least....

35 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gem
  • Gem
  • 03-01-20

Nothing New

All author does is talk about himself and how he has revolutionary ideas...but actually doesn’t talk about anything that’s new knowledge and continually throws in a few eloquent words to make him sound more credible.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Danielle
  • Danielle
  • 06-18-20

crappy book

it feels like the author promotes the actual book all throughout the entire thing, it's repetitive and makes for a really annoying listening experience. couldn't finish the book.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for vixta99
  • vixta99
  • 01-26-20

It’s certainly not a diet book

I rate James. I agree with his theories. If you don’t follow him on Instagram or listen to his free podcasts, then this book will be great for you. Because I was already familiar with his academy and socials etc I feel I didn’t get much new out of it however.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-20

Women’s Hero. Bit of a wanker, but still a hero

James Smith’s book changed the way I looked at a calorie deficit diet and long term maintenance. Not once have I ever been through an eating program that has taught me ANYTHING about my menstrual cycle, how to work WITH it instead of pretend it doesn’t exist which would make me feel like I must just have shitty self control. It was always just the typical ‘follow this eating plan for 6-12 weeks and you’ll lose X kilos’ and it would NEVER work because I’d fall off the rails with each period. I’m honestly astounded I never really thought about it before but I took on board what he said, started being kind to myself to keep working towards little improvements each week, found what worked for me and it paid off. And FINALLY someone who says you’re supposed to get fat and jolly at Christmas then follow up with it later because THAT’S LIFE. I never, ever, EVER thought I would find success following dieting advice from someone who seems like a fair bit of a wanker like James, but he’s a wanker that knows what he’s talking about and I highly recommend all the ladies I know have a listen.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-30-20

Strange that this is a best seller with hype

More in-depth information listening to a few selected Joe Rogan podcasts or Layne Norton YouTube videos.

James oddly goes on about Brazilian jiu-jitsu and seams to have alot of regret about not starting it in his teens.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-31-20

What a book👌🏼

Shit Human to Date, but the smart fucker writes a cracker of a book📚

Simple & easy to follow educational insights with a strong philosophical streak that will empower all who read or listen to it ☺️

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-15-21

meh didn't really learn anything new

Felt like a regurgitation of other people's information just rewritten as his own ideas.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Weeven
  • Weeven
  • 01-27-21

A Self Promotion Diet

I was really excited at the start of the book to hear James proclaim there was no padding or unnecessary content and every word was carefully chosen. And yet hour after hour all I heard was the same stuff over and over again, much of which was James Smith promoting James Smith, not the useful information I was looking for.
I was skeptical as soon as he started down the calories in vs calories out rabbit hole. This myth has been well and truly debunked in recent years, It has been the corner stone of countless diet failures over the decades. Yes, like most diets it will produce results in the short term but will eventually lead to failure and more weight gain than from where you started. If that was all it took we wouldn't need yet another diet book (despite the proclamation that this isn't just another Diet Book).

I'm sure there are valuable takeaways in the book but there is just too much babble to see it through to the end and make any sense of it. Perhaps it is better suited to gym junkies looking for inspiration and motivation. The only weight loss I achieved was in my wallet.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for billy
  • billy
  • 11-02-20

light on practical

this is mostly just a self help books with very little meat on its bones in terms of practical information I like his no BS look at the fitness industry but there just wasn't that much actually in this book

2 people found this helpful