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Book Review: The Beck Diet Solution: Weight Loss Workbook by Judith S. Beck

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Out the beginning of October is the companion to New York Times Best-Seller The Beck DIET Solution: The Beck DIET Solution Weight Loss Workbook. Written by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., and published by Oxmoor House, it is the six-week plan to train your brain to think like a thin person. Through reading, writing, and implementing The Workbook's contents, the reader will be able to counteract sabotaging thoughts, overcome weight loss obstacles, and succeed on any nutritious diet. It includes support and encouragement to the dieter through usable charts, graphs, inspirational to-do lists, journaling, and response cards.

Learning to think like a thin person involves a retraining of the brain known as Cognitive Therapy. It is the only psychological method known to help dieters keep off excess weight once lost. Cognitive Therapy is defined as a time-limited, very practical, problem-solving oriented psychotherapy that has been demonstrated in over 400 research trials all over the world to be effective for a wide range of psychological problems, from depression and anxiety to substance abuse, eating disorders, and even chronic pain.

The Beck DIET Solution is a six week program, using Cognitive Therapy, in which dieters learn new thinking or a behavioral skill every day. From that, one learns to superimpose old habits with new and better habits. These skills are used often or occasionally and relate to common sense ideas, like not overeating at dinner. Once a dieter's thinking is changed, these adopted good habits stay with him or her for a lifetime.

I asked Dr. Beck about the thinking of thin people, "Do thin people really think differently than heavier individuals?"

Not necessarily, but people who are chronic dieters definitely think differently. For example, they fear being hungry, they think it's unfair that they have to restrict their food, they fool themselves about how much they're eating, they think it's a catastrophe if the scale goes up. Naturally thin people or people who have dieted and have successfully maintained a lower weight may not like being hungry, but they just don't pay much attention to these sensations. Many of them restrict their eating to avoid gaining weight or just to be healthier. They don't see it as unfairness but rather as a normal consequence of achieving their goal. They don't deceive themselves about what and how much they're eating; they don't make excuses. If the scale goes up, they don't get worried. They just eat a little more carefully for a few days.

How do people have to change their thinking about these habits?

Dieters have all kinds of sabotaging thoughts that get in the way. "I really like to eat standing up. What's the harm? I'm just a fast eater — it would take too much effort to change. My life is too hectic. I don't have time to sit down for every meal and snack." These kinds of thoughts are exactly the ones that get in the way, that lead people to stray from their diet. They have to adopt a new mindset: "If I want to lose weight and be able to keep it off permanently, I have to change my eating habits permanently. I can't have it both ways. I can't eat the way I want to and be thinner."

After a refresher course of The Beck DIET Solution, chapters 1-4, the dieter will come clean with a Daily Food Plan Chart, read Response Cards, and review her List of Reasons to Lose Weight. Each morning the dieter will be asked to chart My Daily Schedule, fill out My Daily Food Plan Chart, and each evening review the Today's To-Do List, circling anything incomplete. Finally, a short Journaling page is included for answering questions and reflection.

I have reviewed both The Beck DIET Solution and The Beck DIET Solution Weight Loss Workbook. These tools are ideal for any dieter, because they work with any nutritious diet and offer a realistic, new, scientifically-proven approach to dieting. Also, The Workbook is available in a very affordable pink paperback. Although readers of the first book will benefit as well from this new publication, Dr. Beck states that it is not essential have read the original Beck DIET Solution to use The Workbook.

Dr. Beck says, "The goal of Cognitive Therapy is to teach you to become your own therapist. We not only help you with problems; we teach you all the skills you need to solve your own problems in the future." The Beck DIET Solution Weight Loss Workbook is not just a book about how to look great in a swimsuit; it is a roadmap to a healthy life.

"No other book teaches people the thinking and behavioral skills they need to succeed, one day and one skill at a time."
Judith S. Beck, Ph.D.
Dr. Judith S. Beck Ph.D.is the Director of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, she has published four professional books and over 100 articles. Cognitive Therapy has been used and studied in over 400 clinical trials. Dr. Beck, one of the world's foremost authorities of Cognitive Therapy, travels the world teaching and continually researching its benefits and uses.

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