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The Complete Beck Diet for Life: The 5-Stage Program for Permanent Weight Loss Hardcover – 23 Dec 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxmoor House, Incorporated; First Printing edition (23 Dec. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084873274X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0848732745
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mark Stipanovsky TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 April 2012
Format: Hardcover
Judith Beck is the daughter of Aaron Beck (CBT founder) and as such has really looked at the cognitive and behavioural aspects of the mindset needed to be successful. I recommend this book and also the Beck Diet book to every client I take on as part of my reading list and this is also one of the reasons I am currently writing reviews here on Amazon.

I keep getting asked for a list of books that is helpful in regards to weight loss and this is definitely one of them.

Weight gain and loss, and maintaining loss although seems daunting in the beginning does have a process, there are lots of simple things you can do to help you and remind you to stay focused.

Having ongoing strategies, mantras, support systems, a resource list etc all help.

Judith is also academic so she likes to research and has lots of hands on experience.

In regards to the content of the book it is split into three parts.

Part one is like "pre-tox" and helps you to get ready for weight loss. This is a really, really sensible way to begin and also sets you up for success.

Part two has the "Beck 5 stage plan"...
1, The Success skills plan
2, The think thin initial eating plan
3. The challenging situations plan
4. The think thin lifetime eating plan
5. The motivation for life plan
And also has a chapter on where to go from here. Having a staged plan to model is really helpful and also this is presented in a really user friendly way which is also a plus.

Part 3 covers recipes, resources and some CBT type forms to help you formulate and measure your success.
Read more ›
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 23 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very sane and balanced approach to sustainable weight loss. No quick fix, does require considerable commitment, but likely to succeed where more superficial approaches fail. Aims to break the diet binge cycle by suggesting a relatively generous food plan but then helping you stick to it for the long term. I was concerned that this might just re-hash her previous book, but lots of new material - highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 84 reviews
328 of 331 people found the following review helpful
Thinking Thin for LIFE! 25 Oct. 2008
By Sleepless - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am a veteran of the Beck Diet Solution book and Workbook. I used it successfully last year while I was dieting. I ended up losing 120 pounds (yes, really!! I went from a size 28 down to a size 8 and I have successfully maintained for the past 6 months). Beck's techniques and tools work with ANY nutritious, well balanced diet. The key is getting you to start thinking like a normal person instead of a fat person. You learn the skills you need to solve your own problems and learn to avoid the mind traps that make you gain weight and sabotage yourself.
It is true that I have a different mindset as a thin person than I ever had a fat person. I am a new person and I owe a lot of that to the Diet Solution.

So the question I had in my mind was.... I already have the Diet Solution book and workbook, do I really need this new book?? Is this book different in any way from the Diet Solution?

The answer is yes -- Even though this book uses many of the exact same techniques and therapy, it is presented in a whole different way and uses a different time frame. I actually think that the way the stages are presented in this book is more logical to me and seemed easier to follow than the Diet Solution book. They are both great books in different ways, but if I had to choose one over the other, I like this one better.

I made myself new set of cards when I went through this book and it has amazed me how much my thinking has changed over the past year from my last cards and how many more things still need to change. I have only had the book for a week so far, but I have read through it twice and I plan on re-doing the entire program from scratch, using the stages.

This book also addressed some of the issues I was having with maintaining my current weight because it addressed my motivation issues directly in a way that made sense to me.

Beck's approach to weight loss is different than anything you have ever done in the past. She never talks down to the reader or makes the reader feel inadequate. She is a very realistic, positive voice that is no nonsense about what needs to be done and how to go about doing it. She sets forth very clearly defined, straight-forward tasks for dieting that if they are followed correctly, step by step, you WILL lose weight and you WILL follow your plan and you WILL stay on track. You can change your thinking.
184 of 188 people found the following review helpful
Just what I needed 23 Dec. 2008
By Laurel - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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.
107 of 111 people found the following review helpful
Did you really think permanent weight loss is easy? 20 Nov. 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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.
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Hope For Those Still Searching For Weight Loss 21 Dec. 2008
By Kelly Jadon - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Author & Book Views On A Healthy Life!
From: [...]

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
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
recommended for anyone that wants to lose weight and keep it off 19 Feb. 2009
By Hello Kitchen - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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 :)
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