Dr. Judith Beck, the daughter off the founder of Cognitive Therapy Aaron Beck, wants to help you take it off and keep it off by creating all new habits with her book The Complete Beck Diet for Life. Dr. Beck is a therapist who works with dieters and has gone through the journey herself. She is able to anticipate those thoughts that keep you stuck and help you consider a new way of thinking. This book helps readers to feel less isolated by sharing stories from other dieters to which you can relate and instills hope by showing changes that have occurred in Dr. Beck’s clients.
The Complete Beck Diet for Life is divided into five stages. Prior to Stage one, there are ten preparation tasks to complete. Stage one teaches nine Success Skills; these help you practice changing your behavior prior to taking on the task of changing your habits surrounding food. It is not until Stage two that readers start to alter their actual eating, using the Think Thin Initial Eating Plan. Stage three, The Challenging Situations Plan, provides strategy for addressing weekends, restaurants, social events, family dinners, holidays, traveling, stress, and people pushing food on you. In Stage four the Think Thin Lifetime Eating Plan teaches the reader how to be flexible in eating and still maintain the path of weight loss. Stage five provides skills and practice to maintain Motivation for lifelong change, as well as what to do when you relapse.
Although Dr. Beck helps you to create many tools that can assist you through the process of changing how you think, eat, and live, my concern is that there are nine required (and two optional) items to gather that you likely do not have around your home already. Although inexpensive and mostly easy to obtain, this does create a hindrance to starting. I would like to see Dr. Beck offer The Complete Beck Diet for Life Tool Kit with each of these items in the box. She also explains specific sizes for different card sets. In practice, I have found it most helpful for clients to use business-sized cards bound by an O-ring; this size is most easily carried and the O-ring keeps them organized.
I like that Dr. Beck cites research throughout the book; she also identifies and confronts thoughts you may be having while reading. It is a positive, easy to read book that allows you to set your own pace. Finally, I appreciate that Dr. Beck describes each choice as either strengthening your resistance muscle or strengthening your giving in muscle. This book is not a fad diet or a quick fix; it is about changing your life in a meaningful way. It has the feel of a personal diet coach that you can take with you wherever you go.