Alright, so onto that controversial post I promised you all yesterday- here it is :)
*Disclaimer: These are just my opinions. I'm not posting this as a way to try and defer anyone from utilizing this resource; I'm simply sharing what my thoughts and opinions are on the subject.*
If you've been reading weight loss blogs for a while or have perused the health and wellness section of any bookstore you have undoubtedly heard about or seen Dr. Judith Beck and her book "The Beck Diet for Life;" (first of all, doesn't that title just depress you? The word diet is like a 4 letter word in my book- but I get it, I'm being facetious).
After reading about it on a few of my favorite blogs I decided that I should head over to the community library and check it out- and while there are a lot of really great, true, and helpful things that Dr. Beck discusses in her book, I have to say that I don't believe that this is a book "for life" at all.
Let me explain by sharing 2 examples of Dr. Beck's key principals:
1) The Beck diet for Life program hinges on the idea that you absolutely must plan in advance everything you eat and that you must not eat anything that you haven't planned to eat beforehand. I understand this principle, and I couldn't agree more that eating healthily does require preparation and planning, but while I think it's a nice idea to be able to never eat anything unplanned, I know that it is not a realistic one. Who's day goes completely according to plan all of the time? Who wants to live a life where you can never enjoy a bite of a co-workers birthday cake? If this is supposed to be a diet that is "for life" than I think people are really being set up for failure because life doesn't always happened "as planned" and I know that flexibility (within reason) has been a huge key to my success in weight loss thus far. I find it far more valuable to focus on teaching people how to handle the crazy, unpredictable situations of life while maintaining their weight loss goals instead of trying to add even more difficulty and opportunity for failure to an already challenging journey.
2) The Beck Diet for Life program has many principles that are used for weight loss and one of them that Dr. Beck insists must be followed is that you must always sit down while eating and enjoy every bite. I get the reason why this is important: when we eat mindlessly (which can happen when we are on the go) then we don't realize how much we are eating and can more easily ignore our "full signal," we should learn to really taste our food and enjoy it, when we sit down to eat we will eat slower which allows more time to feel full, etc. But again, I just don't find this realistic for real life whether it be long or short term. There are days when you wake up late or things are crazy and your just on the go- if I had to eat every meal sitting down and savoring each bite of food, I would probably only eat one meal a day- if that!
I understand what Dr. Beck is trying to do- teach new ways of living, eating, and thinking, but in my opinion these standards don't seem attainable for the long-haul; and isn't that what this is all about? When reading this book I kept feeling like it was making weight loss a zillion times harder than it has to be- it's already tough- why add all of the unnecessary rules to provide even more opportunities for failure?
While I don't agree that The Beck Diet for Life is practical (or for REAL life at all) I will say that she is SPOT ON about the importance of cognitive therapy in regards to weight loss. Dr. Beck takes an approach to weight loss that not many others do- she focuses on what is going on in our minds and changing our thinking in order to change our habits- thus changing our lives. Personally, I have come to realize that 95% of this battle takes place in our minds so if you can win there you are gold. This book does a fantastic job at showing the reader how to replace negative, self-sabotaging thoughts with positive and empowering ones. I also really like the idea of the "response cards" and think exercises like that are key to maintaining motivation and losing weight.
Hey- if the Beck Diet has worked for you then I'll be the first one to be excited for ya- it just isn't practical for me and it never will be. My life is crazy (and I'm guessing yours is to) and unless I want to set myself up for failure I've got to stick w/ my plan which allows me to have some flexibility when needed, otherwise I won't last a week, let alone a lifetime!
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?
Finally, I leave you all with a pic of my sweaty mug from last night- I was seriously dripping- gotta love that feeling! :)
Alright love ya bloggies (even you hardcore Beck lovers! :)