Weight Loss meets Psychology: “The Beck Diet Solution”

Full disclosure: I’ve struggled with my weight since college. I was thin as a teenager, and never thought I would be one of those people who gained “The Freshman 15”–but it happened to me. Those 15 pounds have, 6 years later, turned into 30 pounds. I’ve tried Weight Watchers and regular ol’ calorie counting, with moderate success at first. However, I’ve never been able to stick with a weight loss program. With my wedding less than 7 months away, I’m more motivated than ever to lose the weight.

I figured applying my knowledge of psychology to weight loss could help me out, so I picked up the book “The Beck Diet Solution.”  Dr. Judith S. Beck, the author, is a very well known and respected psychologist in the realm of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is one of the most well researched therapeutic strategies, with a plethora of evidence backing up its effectiveness–and Dr. Beck wrote the most popular textbook on it. Clearly, this is an extremely qualified, knowledgeable woman who knows what she’s talking about.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that aims to change an individual’s thought patterns, which would then lead to behavior change. It involves identifying and challenging maladaptive thoughts, or “cognitive distortions.” CBT is very solution focused and often leads to results in a matter of weeks. It is frequently recommended for treatment of depression, anxiety, and several other mental health issues.

How does “The Beck Diet Solution” apply CBT to weight loss?

Beck does not prescribe a diet or exercise regime–those specifics are determined by the reader. Rather, the book addresses on the psychological side of weight loss, by teaching users how to prepare for and overcome the psychological barriers than impede diet success. The cover says you’ll “train your brain to think like a thin person,” meaning you will form a more healthy relationship with eating.

This book features a “six week step-by-step Cognitive Therapy-based program,” which claims to “give you the mental and emotional tools needed to stick with any diet you choose, lose weight, and keep it off forever.” It is unique in that the diet itself does not even begin until week 3–the first two weeks are spent mentally preparing yourself for success.


I plan to document the next six weeks here on my blog! If you’d like to join me, you can find the book here: Amazon.com

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