Hi again zeuxia,
There are a number of things to consider.
1. It takes time to get used to the recipes and cooking them. It takes time to get organized to do the shopping and for example research sauces with low fat (Trader Joe's here in California is good). (See 9 below).
2. It takes time to get used to no longer eating meat, milk, cheese, oils. Starting gradually and improving compliance worked for me, with the reservations below. Getting used to the food and to the shopping are much
easier when they have become habits.
3. You'll see much bigger weight loss much faster with the Maximum Weight Loss diet, if your experience is similar to mine (which it is unlikely to be - me forties, male - you not).
4. Had I known that I could loose 9lbs a month by following the MWL version immediately versus the ordinary and losing 10,1,6,+1,0,2,6,4,2,3 lbs / month I would certainly have chosen MWL. My progress was, I feel, too slow. But that's the past. The results so far are great - faster would have been nice but success is even nicer.
5. The MWL book has a chapter on why losing weight is harder for women - designed to gain 9lbs plus and carry it for nine months even in famines on the African veldt etc etc. A miracle of adaptation but a nuisance for losing weight on the (sub)urban veldt today.
Given that this biological quirk exists to preserve the species, it won't be changing soon enough to help any woman here. For that reason, were I female, I might decide to try the more restrictive MWL version given the slower expected weight loss without it. It would be worth reading that chapter before you make your decision. Or after. You can of course change that decision as you go, or as you learn more and /or have more experience of one or both diet versions.
You might also choose MWL if you knew that you would not be more likely to become bored, tired, or fed up and give up the whole enterprise. The argument against is that "slow and sure wins the race."
Iron-willed and / or medical gun to the head? That would help your decision too.
6. McDougall books - find as many as possible in a library. You can buy them when you are sure which you want to own, or which of the recipes you want in front of you to cook.
7. Books - buy the lot as bargains.
You can get great deals with the books by buying them online at Amazon or abebooks. Look for very good condition hardbacks with no marks, no tears, no writing, no dedications if you will use them everyday. Some are new. With luck most will be as new. Cost is mostly $0.01 to $5 plus $4 shipping each. A tremendous deal.
After finding and reading some of the books in the library, at the start, I felt it was worth buying the lot including the recipe books (some at $0.01) times three sets ... One for a friend. Today, a year later, I know it was an excellent choice.
I wouldn't have seen McDougall's Medicine otherwise and been able to forward copied pages to two women who needed them pronto. (One of whom seems to have paid not a blind bit of notice to the information therein but that is how it goes. Who knows what she will decide in six months or six years from now).
8. McDougall's Medicine - a Challenging Second Opinion is up there with Isadore Rosenfeld's The Best Treatment.
Anne Lander's recommended The Best Treatment - "Buy two copies. One for you. One for your best friend." I would put both on a bookshelf and forget about them until the fateful day when they are needed; then you will be very glad that they are there.
Mind you, if you are studying nursing you will probably have to bite your tongue frequently if you believe what you read. As did Dr. McDougall according to his description of his time at med school on an internist residency, in The McDougall Program. P. 22.
9. I say 'research' low fat sauces because it was not enough to find sauces with low or no fat on the labels. That alone is not straightforward. McDougall warns that up to .5gm of saturated fat per serving (the 'avoid' kind) can be labelled as zero saturated fat AND zero fat overall. Wonderful. Also, that sugar can be hidden under five or more names to disguise its presence. It is too - I found the evidence on some labels.
But my difficulty was in searching for no MSG in chinese sauces. It was very tricky. I checked the label, bought the goods and then sufferred the side effects of MSG induced arrythmia. Sorry but I'm trying to cut down. I would not mind quite so much had I not returned one jar and bought the "No MSG Added" version, with predictable consequences - the same thing again. So Amoy and Lee Kum Kee brands are definitely out. O-U-T. Annoyed? I'm not annoyed. I'm mad as HELL - I just love feeling that I'm taking the risk of dieing of stupidity.
That was when google provided the enlightenment.
One site explained that labels with "No MSG" but contents including Disodium 5' - Inosinate and Disodium 5' - Guanylate indicate hidden MSG because they are expensive food taste enhancers that require natural MSG to be already present in the food in order to do their work. Ho Hum - another cunning misdirection in labelling.
In the end Trader Joe's was good and Whole Foods had Kikkoman which is great, if pricey.
Hence the term 'research' - not an exaggeration. Really!
Hope this helps.
You will love the food but you will really love