As part of my foray into Self Help books last month (see 12 diets, 12 months – Self help books) I came across a book called ‘The Beck Diet Solution‘ which caught my eye. This is a diet book with a bit of a difference, in that it lets you pick which diet you wish to follow to lose the weight and gives you psychological tips (using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to help you succeed on this chosen diet.
The book is written by Judith S. Beck, PhD, daughter of Aaron T. Beck, M.D. who is regarded as the father of cognitive therapy. Beck believes that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the solution to your diet ‘problem’:
- Cognitive Therapy is a psychological treatment that will help you successfully lose excess weight and keep it off.
- The way you think about food, eating, and dieting, affects your behaviour and how you feel emotionally.
- Certain ways of thinking make it difficult to follow a diet and to maintain weight loss.
- The Beck Diet Solution takes you through a six-week process to change sabotaging thoughts (that cause you to stray from your diet) to helpful thinking (that will lead to success).
In a departure from most diet books, Beck does not recommend that you rush headlong into your chosen diet, instead you should spend a couple of weeks doing some preparatory work. With this in mind I started reading the book on Monday so that my two weeks of prep. work will end in the New Year (when I’ll probably be in desperate need of an effective diet!). During the two weeks, you’ll use CBT to prepare your mind and environment for dieting, helping you to:
- Talk back to your sabotaging thoughts.
- Reduce the frequency and intensity of cravings.
- Remain motivated to follow your diet, even when you experience intense cravings.
- Be more conscious of every bite you eat.
- Increase your satisfaction during and after meals so you’re less likely to reach for second helpings.
- Solve problems that have caused you to go off diets in the past.
- Feel more confident about your ability to follow your diet consistently, even when the going gets tough.
- Feel more accountable for every calorie you consume.
Sounds good to me!
I am now six days into the book and so far I have learnt about, and created, “Response Cards, an essential tool that will help you change your mindset and overcome sabotaging thinking that interferes with losing weight……. index cards (or the equivalent) that contain important written messages to help you counter your sabotaging thoughts. They also help you motivate yourself every day ….. You’ll read these cards daily as you lose weight – and periodically for the rest of your life. They are an essential part of the Beck Diet Solution.”
I have also been encouraged to “pick two reasonable diets: the one you plan to start with and a second diet in case the first one doesn’t work out.” As this whole year is about experimenting with different diets this won’t be a problem for me!
Beck has discussed the importance of always sitting down whilst eating (because every decision to eat should be a conscious one) and how we should eat slowly and mindfully.
Interesting reading so far, I am enjoying the format of the book, one day at a time, and the sections for the reader to journal their experiences and progress. I am looking forward to reading on.
Wish me luck!