The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person
By Judith S. Beck, PhD
Oxmoor House Inc. (2007)
Reviewed by Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, CSSD, LMHC
This book claims you will:
- Lose weight with confidence and keep it off for a lifetime
- Battle your sabotaging habits
- Resist tempting food - even if its right in front of you
- Confidently say: "No, thank you" to food pushers
- Put an end to emotional eating
- Conquer every excuse you've ever used to overeat, binge or backslide
- Think like a thin person
- Be able to say: "I am so glad I didn't overeat."
This is not a typical diet plan in which the dieter is told what to eat and when. Rather, it is based on a cognitive therapy where the reader learns how to eat healthfully through psychological changes. During the first two weeks of the program, the reader prepares by committing to a new step each day.
In Week One, the reader considers the advantages of losing weight; eats sitting down, slowly and mindfully; selects a reasonable diet plan one can stick to; finds a diet coach; and rearranges their surrounding environment to avoid temptations. In Week Two, the reader sets realistic health goals and organizes the diet while learning to recognize the difference between hunger and cravings. On Day 15, the reader actually begins the diet they selected (online or from another book or source). The reader is also told to exercise, although no suggestions are made as to how much or when.
The rest of the six-week program focuses on how to deal with dieting from a psychological standpoint, with an emphasis on giving yourself credit for succeeding and not punishing yourself for minor setbacks. It also addresses how to deal with disappointment - like an unwanted number on the scale or falling from your set diet plan - and how to get back on track after a setback.
Nutritional Pros and Cons
Beck offers many good tools to help a person adopt healthful lifestyle, such as taking the time to sit down and eat slowly and exercising - including how to add spontaneous physical activity into the day (for example, parking in the far corner of a lot and walking the distance). The book also covers kitchen arrangement and what to do when your weight loss plateaus.
The reader is required to write down his or her goals and anticipated reactions to certain situations throughout the book; this is good for someone who has trouble dealing with spontaneous situations, such as what to do when someone pressures you to eat birthday cake. It focuses on taking control of an emotional eating problem and staying strong when you feel pressure from outside sources through building self esteem, confidence and realizing the importance of yourself and your health.
I would recommend this book to a yo-yo dieter who feels she has tried every diet but just keeps gaining the weight back. This book is not a crash diet but instead helps develop eating behaviors for life. The reader is told to set realistic goals (like a five-pound weight loss) and to celebrate each time that goal is reached, rather than immediately setting a goal of 30 pounds. The importance of slow, steady weight loss (about one to two pounds per week) is emphasized in this book, as is the importance of committing oneself for life and not just quitting once the goal weight is reached.