Picks and Pans Review: Books Report

updated 09/27/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/27/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>SOMETHING TO CHEW ON LOOKING FOR WEIGHT-LOSS WISDOM? Here's the skinny on the latest mega-selling diet primers:

STOP THE INSANITY! by Susan Powter She once weighed 260 lbs. Lighter now by half, the Queen of Infomercials has cooked up a weight-loss guide stuffed with juicy personal stories and tips like how to read fat-content labels. It also bursts with her pow-pow-Powter style as she cheers readers on and rails against foods that are "white, loaded with sugar and oiled to the max." (Simon & Schuster, $22)

EAT MORE, WEIGH LESS by Dean Ornish, M.D. Ornish claims that with his fat-free, meat-fish-chicken-free regimen, you can not only reverse heart disease but eat huge amounts of complex carbs and drop pounds. So you'd rather nibble on a boot than broccoli? Ornish includes recipes by chefs like Spago's Wolfgang Puck that may change your mind. (HarperCollins, $22.50)

OUTSMARTING THE FEMALE EAT CELL by Debra Waterhouse, M.P.H., R.D.

This book sets forth a depressing, if controversial, theory: Women have larger fat cells, thanks not only to the hormone estrogen but to more fat-storing enzymes. To outwit these cells, Waterhouse offers user-friendly solutions. One helpful trick? Imagine extra pasta servings as fat globules on your hips—then say no. (Hyperion, $17.95)

THE NEW FIT OR EAT by Covert Bailey This slender volume concentrates not on food but on burning body fat through exercise. Says Bailey: "Exercise longer, not harder." Declaring that you need to work out only 12 minutes a day, he weighs in with this advice for tyros: "Don't exercise with a fit friend. You end up gelling injured while they think it was nothing." (Houghton Mifflin, $8.95)

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