Book Review: This Is What You’re Really Hungry For

by | Apr 3, 2024


Maria Kwak is a wife and mother of three sons who spent 40 years as a confectioner making gourmet chocolates and candy. Now retired – and with her sons out of the house – she spends a little less time in the kitchen and more time exercising, which apparently includes a 6-mile loop and stopping at the 3-mile mark to ‘sneak’ in a Krispy Kreme. Maria admits to having a sappy love for Hallmark movies and is also avid reader known to skip bed entirely to complete a book. But her favorite thing – family.

 “Any day spent with my family is a good day for me.” – Maria Kwak

Sit back, close your eyes and imagine a large eraser – not the little one on the bottom of a pencil, but a large rectangular pink eraser. Now, imagine that eraser rubbing away everything you’ve ever heard about dieting.

Did you do it? If the answer is yes, now you can begin reading Kim Shapira’s This Is What You’re Really Hungry For.

Glass scale with blue measuring tape on it.

We’ve all heard of the magic diets, miracle pills, don’t eat carbs, eat carbs, just eat cabbage soup, and so on. Shapira’s way is simple and revolves around six rules. Sounds like a lot, but it’s really not. The catch is in order to make this diet work all six rules must be followed and there is no picking and choosing.

Blackboard framed in wood with white writing on it.

Good news – the rules are plain and simple.

  1. Eat when you are hungry.
  2. Eat what you love.
  3. Eat without distractions.
  4. Take 10,000 steps EVERYDAY.
  5. Drink 8 cups of water.
  6. Get 7 hours of sleep every day.

I really enjoyed reading the rules and their explanation. They were simple, easy to understand, and extremely doable.

Please note, you may not understand what each rule means. To help you out, there are three chapters dedicated to each rule. A perfect example would be Rule #3 Eat Without Distractions.

Let’s face it, life is a distraction so I had to think about this one before I actually read the chapters. The explanations may really surprise you, but no spoilers here, obvious aside – like don’t watch TV while you eat. And if you start to lose your way, the manner in which the book is written makes it very easy to go back and review the rules to remain on track. Plus, there are many helpful hints and small written exercises to help you achieve your goals.

The next step was putting the six rules to work. For me, I can honestly say I do three of the rules consistently so I’m halfway there! I did incorporate the others for a few days and did lose a couple of pounds. Again, the key is consistency.

Pen sitting on blank open notepad with cacti in the background.

Like anything worth doing there is usually a little written work involved. You must figure out your personal relationship with food and strike a balance between food and day-to-day living. To me that seemed like a bit of a challenge. No worries, Shapira has taken the challenge out by providing a Wellness Wheel to help you sort it all out.

It will take some thought, but here it goes. The Wellness Wheel will ask you to reflect on your situations:

  1. Emotional
  2. Intellectual
  3. Physical
  4. Spiritual
  5. Social
  6. Environmental
  7. Financial

Once you have tailored the Wellness Wheel with your own needs you can begin listening to your body and learn to love yourself. Shapira’s philosophy is progress over perfection, don’t beat yourself up if everything isn’t perfect. I couldn’t agree more.

I did make a wheel and wrote down my thoughts. What I discovered is food revolves around your life situations. She is using the Wellness Wheel to look outside the food you are eating to make food your fuel and not a reward.

Eye glasses sitting on open book on a table.

I truly enjoyed reading this book and putting Shapira’s suggestions into action. Full disclosure: I did only answer the questions that were applicable to me. But beware it is definitely not something you read before going to bed. You really have to take your time to absorb everything she is saying.

There may be a learning curve involved as well. Fun fact: While reading this book I came upon a word I had never heard in my life, jejunum. This one took a little research. Turns out the jejunum is the second part of the small intestine. I’m so amazed I’ve never heard of this word and it takes up eight feet of our body and I’m only 5 feet 2 inches tall. 

This is not your typical diet book, but a way of life. If you are serious about reaching and maintaining your weight goals, I highly recommend This Is What You Are Really Hungry For.

Kim Shapira is a Los Angeles-based celebrity dietitian, nutritional therapist, author of This Is What You’re Really Hungry For, and founder of the Kim Shapira Method.

For almost three decades, Kim has been helping people lose weight and keep it off in her private practice, hospitals, sports clinics, addiction centers, and universities.

Kim believes, “Health is the goal, but people being triggered by life’s storms knock them off their journey.” Her objective is to help people stay on their journey.

Kim is a wife and mother of three children and three pups.