The Complete Beck Diet for Life
By Judith S. Beck, PhD Oxmoor House (2008) Reviewed by: Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD
This weight-loss program teaches readers to motivate themselves to lose weight; to give themselves credit for positive changes made; how to create time for dieting; and how to handle hunger and cravings.
Synopsis of the Diet Plan:
Tools are provided to teach skills for learning how to think differently to overcome diet pitfalls and sabotaging thoughts, in addition to eating favorite foods while still losing weight and maintaining control in challenging situations such as special occasions, in restaurants or during weekends.
This plan places strong emphasis on cognitive therapy tools to successfully lose weight and keep it off for life. Organized into a five-stage program, these tools force readers to practice self assessment and accountability. For example, readers must record daily weight checks on a graph, keep a food journal, measure foods and more. Also addressed is the importance of eating a balanced diet and allowing for flexibility by incorporating "bonus" calories to include your favorite foods.
The author worked with a registered dietitian to provide meal plans for varying caloric ranges of 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day. The meal plans come with comprehensive suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and bonus foods. Included in this program are: recipes for all meals and snacks, a weight-loss graph and daily "Success Skills" sheets to help readers assess their progress and provide accountability that participants can measure (eating slowly, identifying hunger vs. non-hunger, weight). This plan also emphasizes the importance of enlisting the support of a "Diet Buddy" and communicating with your buddy daily.
Nutritional Pros and Cons:
This is one of the few diet books that does not sugarcoat the time and effort it takes to lose weight and keep it off. Its tools and instructions reflect that permanent lifestyle changes are truly a work in progress and require a great deal of time and planning. It focuses on the entire process of weight loss, from emotional and behavioral to identifying individualized calorie needs and portions. The meal plans are well-balanced and allow the reader flexibility with "bonus" calories. The author wants readers to reflect on each success and challenge during the process of weight loss.
I would recommend this book to those struggling with weight loss and to registered dietitians who counsel clients for weight loss to better address behavioral challenges that can get in the way of success. However, parts of this book might not appeal to those who are benefit from and are successful with more of a "non-diet" approach, specifically the calorie counting and daily weight checks.