The Complete Beck Diet for Life: The Five-Stage Program for Permanent Weight Loss
The Complete Beck Diet for Life: The Five-Stage Program for Permanent Weight Loss

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Product Description

Bestselling author and weight-loss expert Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., has inspired thousands of dieters to lose weight and keep it off using the power of Cognitive Therapy. Her techniques emphasize preparing the mind and changing eating habits before making changes to the food you eat. Now, for the first time, Dr. Beck outlines the next step on the road to success: a specific, balanced diet plan that teaches how to eat thin to ensure that weight loss lasts a lifetime.

Based on the eating choices of her most successful dieters and maintainers, The Complete Beck Diet for Life provides a step-by-step approach to weight loss by helping readers successfully navigate the 5 stages of learning to eat thin. Each stage teaches a different skill necessary for losing weight and keeping it off. It starts by first helping dieters change their thinking so they can make permanent changes in their eating. When dieters are ready to change what they eat, they determine the right food plan, including comprehensive suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and bonus foods, as well as a Think Thin menu formula with 37 recipes for Phase 2 of the plan and 15 bonus recipes for Phase 4. In addition, a sample strength-training plan is provided to help shape up while slimming down; interactive elements include filling out Response Cards, completing daily eating logs, and charting progress on weight-loss graphs.

Customer Reviews:

  • Great Weight Loss Ideas...but this should come as a kit instead
    First of all, I REALLY don't like books that spend a long time telling me what the book is going to tell me....that usually loses me right away; and this book spends the first 50 (yes, FIFTY) pages doing just that. Just organize it and explain (use detailed TOC if you like)!

    I often found myself a little confused with all of the suggestions in those pages as well...card here, notebook there, another card from the notebook, huh?? The suggestion in here is that you will really have to commit a lot of time to this program to make it work for life. I found myself thinking that those who need to lose weight are often significantly pressed for time and often grab fast food because they are trying to make it through the day. Just making the diet and exercise changes are going to take time, when you add in all the extra, it will be tough for many.

    The whole time I was reading I kept thinking this would be a great kit however! All of the time consuming tasks the reader is told to do could be significantly reduced if the cards, notes and ideas were provided. The ideas in here ARE fabulous. It's just all the little work involved that I think would set up a lot of those attempting weight loss to fail before they barely get going, or just turn them off altogether from the start. But if these items were provided (maybe a few fill in the blanks here and there, and some blank cards and notes for personal ideas in addition), I think it could be very successful and much easier to follow. Then the dieter could take the time to focus on all the important ideas and really lose some weight.

    Also, this book could be so much better if it were better organized - direct, to the point explanations as well....more info
  • The missing link in staying on the diet.
    This book has the thing that all other diet books are missing...the answer.

    What's the key? Well something I had never heard of, "Cognitive Therapy".

    Using a web of self-support, tracking, positive reinforcement and accountability. Coupled with knowledge of what and why, this is the program that I am actually sticking to!

    For those of you that have other books by the same author, let me say that Dr. Judith Beck assures the readers that this book has something that has been missing in the past books. This book doesn't leave it to you to pick food, real detailed guidance is provided. Step by step, menu by menu, food that fills you up and energizes you to meet the challenges of your day.

    ...more info
  • Change your mindset about food.
    This isn't really a diet book. It's a way of thinking about food book. This book is for the people who eat their food and continue eating even after the plate is finished. It's for the people who say "I'm hungry, dinner is coming soon, but I want to instantly gratify my hunger pains, so I am going to eat this bag of chips." We live in a society where we don't want to feel pain (look at the pain reliever isle at your local pharmacy) or feel hungry, or be in want of anything at all. We want to be gratified and satisfied all the time.
    This book helped me a little, but I don't have the time to do all the tasks and journaling it requires. I appreciate the recipes in the back, and I will use those, but I think I need more of a one on one kind of system to keep me accountable about my eating habits....more info
  • Sensible Plan... Will It Work for You?
    The essential parts of the Think Thin Program that is outlined in the book goes beyond a well-balanced, healthy, enjoyable eating plan. The book teaches skills that will help motivate you every day, making yourself a priority. You learn how to cope with hunger and cravings. It gives you tips like eating slower, eating while sitting, and slowing down. It also encourages you to get organized, planning out your meals and being prepared. If you follow the advice, the tips and tricks, it is a sound dieting program.
    The shortfall for me is the need to plan ahead. I want a diet that allows me to not have to spend a ton of time planning out meals and organizing snacks for the day. I don't know if that plan exists. It is currently my own personal plan, and it is not working! I think this book is right for a select group of people. I've learned some things from the book that I will take with me. There are good recipes in the back and good ideas throughout. I would recommend it if you are seeking a healthy way to lose weight and are ready to get organized and truthfully plan to put yourself first in your weight loss efforts....more info
  • Did you really think permanent weight loss is easy?
    I picked up this book with an "oh boy -- here goes another diet book...." This is NOT another diet book. I was struck by the reviews where readers complained about "too much work" with this book, but I must say that it DOES take work to achieve lasting change. My previous attempts at weight loss (lost 155 pounds) resulted in my gaining some back when I stopped paying attention to working at it. Yes, Dr. Beck encourages much soul searching, learning new skills, affirmations (gathered from your own past successes kept in a "memory box"), and daily planning, but, for many of us, we must break through years of doing it all wrong to achieve permanent weight loss.

    I was hit with hard reality by concepts in the 1st few chapters that I've never read in other books. For example, Dr. Beck says: "Every time you don't feel like practicing a skill [that she teaches you] but you do it anyway, you strengthen your resistance muscle...every time you eat something you hadn't planned to eat, you weaken your resistance muscle, and strengthen your "giving-in" muscle." ALso, this is the 1st book I've ever read that termed that feeling we have when told "you need to only eat 1 piece of that pizza" as simply "rebelliouness." This was eye-opening for me, as I thought of giving in to a craving as "weakness" -- a totally different beast. She stresses that rebelliousness and the resulting "I don't want to do that" can't co-exist with permanent weight loss. This, then, puts doing the daily skills needed to lose weight in the "NO CHOICE" category.

    I wanted to read this book through once and then go back to read it a second time to begin learning the skills that she teaches, which I will do shortly. Even though I have read similar books that discussed skills like eating slowly, getting rid of trigger foods, etc. which Dr Beck does in her book, she recommmends these techniques as only part of a complete plan that seems to fully cover all areas of one's life where changes need to occur to finally be successful at weight loss. I am currently on Weight Watchers, but I believe this book will be an excellent companion to that program. ...more info
  • Focuses on weight management for life, not just a diet
    A few years ago, I lost 107 pounds. I've maintained most of that loss for three plus years. However, in the past year, I've put on about fifteen pounds, a couple of pounds at a time. I really need to reverse the trend if I don't want to end up where I used to be.

    This book is what I needed because it focuses on the mental processes you use to lose, and keep off, weight. It takes the long-term view and teaches you the thoughts and mental processes you need to deal with various situations - parties, pressure by family members at special events, stressful situations, etc.

    So far, I've lost about four pounds and hope that process continues. I picked up this book because I not only want to lose the 15 pounds, but want to feel back in control and confident that I can continue to maintain my weight loss for life. It looks like it is going to deliver....more info
  • Very motivating but just too much work...
    I thought this book was extremely well-written. It is very clear and I found it to be very motivating when it came to weight loss. I have had problems attempting to implement the described methodology, however. Buying the cards of this size and that size and putting together all the supplies was fun, but I just stalled out at that point. Went back and re-read portions of the book, but once again found myself doodling and otherwise procrastinating on list making, card creation, etc. Perhaps it means that I just don't want it enough -- I don't know. Maybe things will go better after the holidays? I hope?...more info
  • Early into the process...but..
    I am very early into the process of the learning this diet so I will try my best to post updates as I follow the program. I have tried South Beach (which I lost 25 pounds initially before putting it back on) and full out excersising (lost 20 pounds before putting it back on!). I am looking for a program that can help me balance a healthy diet while still enjoying my favorite foods with a reasonable amount of excercise that fits my hectic schedule.

    I started reading the first few chapters of this book and it does seem differnet. The Beck diet appears to teach you how to mentally prepare and handle a diet program rather than just throw you right in (which can be rather stressfull). Rather than focus on "hating yourself because you are fat so you want to lose weight", it focuses on more positive thoughts that make you feel comforatble with who you are today and gives you the will to want to lose weight and stay healthy.

    The recipes in the book all sound great and appear to easy to make but I haven;t begun that stage yet. I am still in the process of underdtanding how this program works and how I can train myself to follow it without really feeling like I am dieting. In the past, I always jumped right in without understanding why am I doing it, how am I doing it and, more importantly, how can I continue to do it.

    I am hopefull that this program will work and will post back here as often as I can.

    A little about me, I am 35 year old guy carrying about 20 extra pounds of weight. I work in an office all day that can be very stressfull so my eating and excercise habits have been terrible lately. I am looking for a way that makes me feel better all around both in appearance and in stress levels. Hope this works!
    ...more info
  • Awesome book!
    This book is great. It is not just about eat this, do that. It is about the way you think as well. I am almost done with the book and it makes you think about a change in lifestyle rather that dieting. Dieting is temporary and lifestyle is permanent. ...more info
  • This Method Works
    In basic terms, Cognitive Therapy is a method for replacing negative, self-defeating thinking with empowering, resourceful, healthy thinking. Cognitive Therapy is effective because healthier thinking naturally and automatically leads to better decisions and healthier action and when you change your thoughts, behavior change follows.

    In this book, Dr. Beck provides a step-by-step method that teaches you how to apply Cognitive Therapy methods to healthy eating and weight loss so that you can develop a healthy mindset that leads to healthy eating habits that last for life.
    ...more info
  • The Secret Meets The Diet
    This book takes on dieting, lifestyle change through the power of positive thinking. I think it's a great approach. Changing the way you think about food, will help you permanently change your diet and eat healthy for life. The book is realistic and doesn't cut out sweets or food groups entirely. Do you really think you will never have another piece of cheesecake in your life? You might not lose 20 lbs in a month, but you will be on track to lose and maintain forever.

    Change your mindset, see results!...more info
  • recommended for anyone that wants to lose weight and keep it off
    I've been a member of a very active weight loss forum for 10 years and have witnessed thousands of people lose weight then regain and return to lose it again. Weight loss isn't automatically permanent, you have to work to keep it off. Many people find maintenance more demanding than losing it in the first place. The Beck Diet Solution has helped countless dieters lose the weight in a realistic manner. The Beck Diet for Life takes it one step further by ensuring you keep the weight off for good.

    I wont go into detail about the 5 stages in this book, as other reviewers have provided very good descriptions of the stages. Other reviewers have felt that the book was too complicated or time consuming. To that I can only say that anyone who has ever battled their weight knows that the diet never ends, and it does take effort to keep the weight off. If any diet plan or product tells you otherwise, prepare to be disappointed because it just isn't so. Your body is different, and so is your mind.

    But you can be prepared for any scenario with the Beck Solution and the Beck Diet for Life. You can get yourself into the right state of mind, which is necessary but often difficult to accomplish. This book is filled with an incredible number of exercises that will make you stop and think and you'll have plenty of "ah ha" moments throughout. The real dieters that I have watched go through the steps of the Beck Solution and the Beck Diet for Life seem more prepared for the long haul than those that have not discovered this program. I can't recommend it enough :)...more info
  • Buy the other book
    This is a follow-up to Beck's other book & is not nearly as straight forward. It is confusing to follow and the recipes are not very inspired. Buy "The Beck Diet Solution" or the set of cds - the cds streamline the program and give you computer printables to follow along....more info
  • Waiting for a Picky Eaters Diet
    I lost weight years ago on the Atkins diet before all the Atkins foods flooded the market. The one thing about Atkins is that's it's terribly simple. It's also very restrictive and I'd hoped to find in this diet book a way to lose weight without giving up entire food categories.

    I was on Chapter 4 before I felt like I'd gotten though what I was sure was an infomercial. Chapters 1-3 were constantly tell me that this book will change my thinking. It was redundant and mind numbingly boring. I couldn't identify with the majority of the "sabotaging" thoughts this book mentions plagues dieters. I know what my issues are but I thought this book would help me learn to eat better, learn to manage my eating, and motivate me to diet.

    I simply don't have the time to follow this diet. I could maybe find time to do a few of these tasks (such as meal plan and even make a few cards and weigh myself), but never all of them. I agree with the reviewer who said this should come as a kit. At least that would be one step out of your way. By the time I bought the digital scale, the digital food scale, the index cards, the business cards, etc. required for this diet, I'd more than likely loose weight due to poverty alone. And frankly, just reading these suggestions for weighing your food and yourself, and making these cards and reading them everyday sounds a bit . . . well, nutty.

    As for the recipes . . .. Whenever recipes are included in a book, I always feel so bad because I'm supposed to like them. But if I liked healthy foods, I wouldn't need to read a diet book, would I? Put tomatoes, oats, raisins, onions, or peppers in a dish and you can count me out. No beans or cabbage for this girl. ...more info
  • Applies to All Diets
    I thought that this book was terrific because it dealt with the underlying cause of people being overweight and obese. No matter what diet plan you are on, if you allow self-defeating behaviors to control you, the diet plan will fail. Judith Beck shows sure fire ways to avoid the self-sabotage before it even starts.

    I have been on what seems like every diet. It always turns out that I start out great filled with ambition. I follow the diet to the letter and then... I might eat too much or make a couple of bad food choices and this is when my self-sabotage kicks in. I never thought that having index cards or notes that have a response to every excuse I might give could work. However, it works really well.

    While I did not follow her diet plan, her mental strategies are sound and they work with I believe any diet plan. I believe her goal is to get you to look at food differently and to see the underlying behaviors that alter your attitude towards food. I have to finish doing some of her strategies but I know this book is a big help.

    Good luck and with this book you are bound to succeed!...more info
  • I recommend this book!
    I had been thinking about the power of thought long before I got this book. Unfortunately years and years of thinking negative thoughts about food and body image, it will take a lot of effort and hard work to get passed them. I'm definitely taking everything from the book to heart and hope that my efforts to change the way I think about things, like if I eat something bad, to not think I've thrown my whole day down the drain and start eating badly the rest of the day. I really believe if you're ready for the change in your life, that the information in this book will truly help with the negative voice in your head telling you you can't do it....more info
  • The Complicated Diet for Life
    From reading this, I gather that I may not be the target audience. I'm not obese and I have a rough idea of what I need to do to get my act together and take excess weight off but I was hoping for a guide to a lifestyle change. This is the first diet book I've read and it seems to require that people get obsessed with their food, how much they eat, keep track of everything and make note of everything. I can see how it would benefit people to whom the idea of reducing calorie intake and increasing calorie burn is not something that seems natural.

    I guess that's what this book is going for though - a weight loss diet plan that you will have to work on for the rest of your life. I was hoping for a guide to healthy diet without having to restructure your entire life around what you are and are not eating with charts and notes. Overall, there was just too much involved for me to want to even start.

    I think though that the book can be motivating for the right people....more info
  • The right direction in dieting. Make changes for life!
    This book gets at the core of dieting: changing the way you think!

    It is broken into three parts:
    Part 1: explains and summarizes the diet and the 5-stage process
    Part 2: explains in detail the 5-stage process:
    skills plan, initial eating plan, plan for challenging situations, lifetime eating plan, motivation for life plan.
    Part 3: recipes, chart & food lists, charts, and graphs

    Dr. Beck includes a process of using "response cards" with important reminders that you read everyday to help support you during the process and change the way you think. She explains the supplies you will need like index cards, digital scanner, boxes, etc., helps you set goals and find time for dieting, a series of 10 tasks to get you going. It's a good book for people that are task oriented! One of the tasks is to get a "diet buddy" to help you stay accountable. It may be harder to find someone than she makes it sound, since many people really don't want to commit to long-term diet changes.

    I picked up this book because I am currently on a detox/anti-inflammation diet plan and very much interested in lifestyle diet changes. I liked her concepts on changing the way we think, but I am following a much different regiment than the recipes in the back of the book. These recipes include quite a bit of animal-based products and my preference is a vegan life-style, so her recipes where not very useful. There are many vegan and vegetarian recipe books out there, so you could use your own.

    I'm also reading The Anti-Iflammation Diet and Recipe Book by Jessica Black, ND which is a nice compliment to Dr. Beck's book.
    ...more info
  • I wish...
    I would've received this product when I ordered it! I still would like to review it properly if Amazon Vine would send it to me....more info
  • A sensible, practical, guide to LIVE by
    Last year I read the previous book written by this author "How to think like a thin person". I found it quite sensible. This book reviews the same principles in that book but in a bit different way. Reading it has helped me get back on track in a few areas where I had slipped into some old habits. If you are looking to lose a lot of weight fast - don't buy this book. If you are looking for a way to eat healthier, be more mindful about eating, and lose weight slowly and consistently this book will be helpful for you. ...more info
  • Hope For Those Still Searching For Weight Loss
    Author & Book Views On A Healthy Life!

    Book Review: The Complete Beck Diet for Life: The 5-Stage Program for Permanent Weight Loss (Oxmoor House, 2008) by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D.

    A FirstLook Feature

    Judith S. Beck is the daughter of the founder of Cognitive Therapy, Aaron T. Beck, M.D. A Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Judith Beck is also the Director of the Beck Institute of Cognitive Therapy.

    Following on the success of The Beck Diet Solution and The Beck Diet Solution Weight Loss Workbook the inviting cover of The Complete Beck Diet for Life calls to the reader to open the book and have a look.

    Dr. Beck's previous books focused on preparing for and achieving weight loss using the power of Cognitive Therapy to think thin. The Complete Beck Diet for Life takes the dieter the next step further--eat thin and keep pounds off for life.

    Using Cognitive Therapy, the think thin eating plan is the only program that teaches dieters how to overcome bad habits and negative thinking--deprivation, disappointment, apathy, etc.. by changing their thinking. More than 20 years ago, the principles of Cognitive Therapy were first adapted by Dr. Beck to help people achieve permanent weight loss. Dr. Beck herself lost 15lbs and has kept the weight off.

    The book utilizes a 5-Stage Plan:

    1. Success skills to remove the weight--incorporates 9 important skills taught to help overcome bad habits on a daily basis. This section is key and well worth reading and rereading for thorough digestion of the material. For example, Dr. Beck recognizes that dieters make mistakes and will fall off the wagon. Expecting this problem, her book teaches dieters what to do immediately following the mistakes, and shows the reader how to solve and prevent these difficulties.

    2. Think thin initial eating plan--determines your calorie level. Many diets are unsuccessful because they limit food intake too much; whereas the Beck Diet for Life allows for protein, some fat, and even a planned sweet. Stage two sets up eating guidelines and gives important tips.

    3. Challenging situations help--stage three preplans for tempting situations--weekends, restaurant dining, stress, how to deal with a "food pusher," social events, etc.. "If your goal is permanent weight loss, weekends can't be considered a vacation from dieting. The most successful dieters and maintainers follow their diets consistently, no matter what day of the week it is."

    4. Think thin lifetime eating--learn how to add snack foods to your meals; create your own recipes and branch out away from the book's specified foods; decide when to move from weight loss into a maintenance position.

    5. Motivation for life--stage five utilizes daily motivators which can be incorporated for lifelong use.

    Chapter 10 includes Think Thin Formulas for diets between 1600 and 2400 calories a day. Food Lists here offer choices of proteins for breakfast and lunch, and calorie option lists for snacks, condiments, vegetables, fruits, side dishes, grains, etc.. This section is quite flexible.

    A section of unique recipes are found in this Beck book which call for lean meats, whole grains, beans, vegetables, and replace oil or butter with cooking spray. Try the Cinnamon Oat Muffins, the Californian Vegetarian Sandwich with Black Beans, and Macaroni and Cheese (uses lowfat cheeses and whole wheat mac). Most if not all ingredients, are available from the typical supermarket and recipes are family friendly.

    Chapter 12 lends additional motivation resources to the reader with Success Skills Sheets. They support daily weight loss efforts. A strength training routine is also given here.

    The significant bibliography contains references to Cognitive Therapy research in usage with binge-eating disorders, weight loss, and overweight children. It also includes research references for support groups, protein and fiber in the diet and other obesity issues.

    Dr. Judith Beck isn't just teaching us how to think thin with her time-tested experience and knowledge, she teaches us how to eat thin. This book is for all of us who thought we couldn't lose weight and yet wish to believe that there is still hope. The Beck Diet for Life is that beacon of light, which begins in the mind and demonstrates itself in the body.

    5 Stars...more info
  • The Think Thin Motivation-for-Life Plan
    You see so many books, so many diet plans, see so many TV ads for quick ways to lose weight. Just follow our plan for a few weeks and those pounds will melt away. Well, if it's true and they do, they come right back. Losing weight is one thing, and it's hard, but what's harder is keeping it off. It's one thing to give up the cheese and ice cream for a month or two, it's another to give it up forever.

    You need a plan if you want to keep it off. But if your plan is to just cut out the fat and the crap and just live the rest of your life wanting it, salivating every time you smell a steak, you're going to eventually fail. That's where this books comes in. This is Dr. Beck's sequel to her best selling THE BECK DIET SOLUTION. She continues promoting the benefits of cognitive therapy which helps people take charge of and change their eating habits and their exercise habits too. You learn how to develop Success Skills through five stages, each skill with a particular task. This is a plan for the rest of your life and it's not that hard. You have to change your way of thinking, that's for sure, but Dr. Beck can help you do that....more info
  • Not for everyone
    As someone who is interested in health, nutrition, and weight loss I read most of the diet books out there that look like they are based on healthy principles. My daughter and I followed the Beck Life Diet (which is not a diet per se) and we have come to the conclusion that this will absolutely work but without the guidance of a Martha Beck such as her weight loss clients receive, it was difficult for us to keep up the practices detailed in the book. One of the things you are supposed to do is to find a "coach" to keep you accountable. I asked my mother and my daughter asked her boyfriend to fill this function which is crucial to the program. The trouble was that neither of them really understood their role (even after explanation and looking over the book) nor were they sold on the program or really committed even though they both care about us. There is a fair amount involved in the program and we decided that, if we were to try this again we would get a larger group together (maybe 5 or so people) and meet weekly and be each other's coach. ...more info
  • Just what I needed
    I have read, and followed, a lot of diet books. Honestly, they all worked for me, though they varied in ease, speed of weight loss, and entertainment factor.

    Do you see the problem in this? While I am able to lose weight following a specific diet, it doesn't stay off, and I wind up having to go back onto "a diet" once more to lose what I've regained.

    When I ordered this book, I was not aware of its particular premise, that of lifetime weight loss. (Yeah, the title should've been a clue, I know!) But I had noticed the scale and thought, "Uh oh, time for another diet." I picked this simply because it was a diet book, but I think this is the answer to my on-and-off weight problem!

    So what's it about? Well, Dr. Beck -- a psychologist, expert in Cognitive Therapy -- methodically teaches you the tools to rethink how you approach food, how you think about yourself and your weight, and what it means to "diet." I was initially concerned that this was merely a follow-up book to her previous release. While it builds on those concepts, it is completely stand-alone.

    The book is clear, gentle, deliberate, and yet firm. Start by simply reading the book. Next, begin Stage One, which has you set up motivational cards to read every day, track your weight, learn to plan your meals, realize that getting hungry is not a disaster, eat slowly, exercise daily, and work with a diet buddy. Sounds like a lot, hm? We're not even actually dieting yet! I lost five pounds doing this stage.

    Further stages add eating a certain amount of calories per day -- a surprisingly generous amount! -- and learning how to fit the initially rigid meal plan into real life, with restaurant outings, parties, and stressful times.

    I adore this book, and I'm immensely grateful that I discovered it. That said, it is probably not the ideal book for all dieters.


    * Virtually guaranteed lifetime weight loss and maintenance, if you follow the system.
    * Simple, painless system -- once you take the time to learn it.
    * Extremely flexible in the later stages.
    * Very uplifting concepts. You will feel good about yourself and what you can accomplish.
    * The Cognitive Therapy tools learned here can be adapted to many problem areas of life.


    * Not for quick weight loss. If you have an upcoming event you are trying to get slender for, this is not what you want.
    * Takes considerable time and commitment initially. Dr. Beck herself says that if you're overly busy or stressed right now, get your life under control first, then you can start to learn these skills.


    * Takes a lot of paraphernalia and setup: note cards of various sizes, a notebook, graph paper, daily worksheets to fill out, advanced meal planning, food-measuring tools. For me this is fun and a benefit, but others may find this a hassle.

    In conclusion: If you are serious about losing your excess weight and keeping it off -- and are willing to commit a bit of time and effort -- get this book. ...more info
  • Best diet book ever
    I have read many diet books and this one has to be simply THE most helpful. It helps with the psychology of dieting. It is no good going on a diet if you can't stick with it. This book helps give you the mind set you need to stick to better eating habits for life. I didn't use the acutual diet as I don't like to eat red meat and wheat products, but I still am overjoyed I read the book as I lost weight just adopting the principles. For the first time in my life I feel I have the ability to stick to an eating plan....more info
  • Some good ideas, but intended for extreme cases
    Like most dieting books, I was able to review the content in "The Complete Beck Diet for Life" and extract the information that was helpful for me. Dr. Beck is capable of pointing out some interesting things to which you may not have previously paid attention. There are some intersting exercises to try, but in general much of the plan is extreme, and I could not imagine executing most of it.

    The approach, for the most part, seems obsessive. If you were to do everything Dr. Beck suggests, implementing the plan would become a part-time job. From planning meals, to writing yourself notes and memory cards, you simply need a lot of time to execute everything. I think this plan is intended for those who lack self-control and need constant reminders about their diet and what they are eating. I also think it's extreme because this book expects you to select a diet for the rest of your life, while it becomes extremely demanding and never expects you to deviate from that diet -- ever. Everything needs to be planned, even your indulgences, so eating becomes less spontaneous and extremely structured. Implementing this plan might result in a healthier lifestyle, but whether you would find it enjoyable is questionable.

    What did I take away from this book? It will help people recognize what they eat, why they eat it, and how they can change their habits. The underlying theme in the book is "changing the way you think". It will help you in planning your daily meals, although I would not personally take it to the extremes recommended in the book. It teaches you how to determine your calorie needs, while stressing what your safe minimum should be, both physically and mentally. The book is helpful with its suggestions for entertaining, dining out, and eating during the holidays, but here again it gets very extreme and almost righteous.

    The book includes some really good recipes, many of which match my personal taste preferences. Most of the ingredients are easy to obtain, and most of the recipes are easy to prepare. I like how the recipes are grouped by calorie content, making it easy to plan your day or week. The recipes are quite varied, from quick-prep to slow-cooker, so they should satisfy a variety of lifestyles. The book also provides handy charts for common foods and snacks.

    I would only recommend this book for those who need to follow an extremely disciplined diet lifestyle. I think this book would be helpful to only a minor percentage of the population. Although there are some take-aways that I found useful, in general most people will find the plan extremely time-consuming and challenging....more info
  • A different approach
    The Beck Diet for Life focuses on changing habits of thought before changing habits of diet or exercise. The system involves making cards to leaf through (I put mine on my computer), practicing good habits like sitting down and enjoying meals, and using checklists to encourage following all the new rules.
    Then there is a diet section of the book, with rather unpleasant recipes (tofu smoothie and texturized vegetable protein muffins, anyone?). The food lists involve doing things like measuring out 5 tablespoons of wild rice or 30 string beans.
    The exercise section of the book is half a page explaining how to do push-ups, crunches, and equally common moves.
    The diet and exercise suggestions aren't the point of the book, though. The changes in mindset are....more info
  • You have to be ready for it. . . but it does work. . .
    Just like if you're looking for a "get-rich-quick" deal, you never really find it. The same way for dieting. Even those who try surgery often gain it back, after spending thousands of dollars. Loosing weight is not difficult, intellectually speaking. . . . just eat less and cut-out foods that we all know are bad for us. Still, many of us still can't do it. This book certainly offers a "plan", if you're ready to "take the plunge". You have to be dedicated. . and . motivated. . . If you're looking for "structure" in your way of loosing weight, then this book is for you. But if you're not ready to "do-the-work" then don't waste your money, because just like there's no real way to "get-rich-quick" (short of winning the lottery). . . there's no way to "loose-weight-quick" (short of surgery, and that rarely lasts.) But if you're ready.. . GET THIS BOOK! :-) ...more info
  • changing thoughts and behaviors
    In my experience where most diets have failed me is that I may change my behavior for a short period of time but I have not changed my thought process that drives that behavior.

    This book tackles both the behavior and the thought process that cause diets to fail.

    This is not a simple read this book and lose 10lbs simple solution. As any one who has struggled with weight or any other behavior change knows there is no simple solution for behavior change. It is a process and this book honors that process by taking things in manageable chunks.

    I have just working with this book to change my behavior but I feel I have launched on a journey that will be successful.

    ...more info
  • Nothing Really New
    To be honest, this book didn't contain anything new or profound. I didn't come across anything that has not already been published elsewhere. With that said, if you're new to dieting or haven't read many weight loss books, this book would serve as an ideal foundation around which to build your program. If you're a diet and nutrition book junkie like me, you'll wonder why you spent the money....more info


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