Beck Diet Solution - Does the Beck Solution really work?

06-23-2011, 01:13 PM
I tend to have a lot of self-sabotaging thoughts about dieting, so I decided to start reading the Beck book. I am on Day 3. I do recognize myself in a lot of the sabotaging thoughts and behaviors that she describes, but I also am skeptical. I am not the type of person who has ever been able to change my behavior with positive self-talk, daily affirmations, etc. That type of thing has always been too touchy-feely for me, and I am a very pragmatic person. I realize that Cognitive Therapy is a bit different than just affirmations and such, but I am still uncertain this will work for me.

So I guess I'm looking for people to chime in here. I assume this has worked for you because you're on this board. lol Has it work? How well has it worked? Do you find it is only a supplement to other things you need to do to stay on plan? Does it seem well suited to ANY personality, or only certain types of people?

Thanks for any insight you can share!

06-23-2011, 01:25 PM
I'm very curious about this too, so thanks for posting the question. I have the book and workbook and am about to start on it. I keep bumping into self-sabotage, but I'm not really convinced that random affirmations will do the trick for me. However, over the years I have been successful at rewiring old messages by finding out which ones were really untrue and found that the opposite was true. When I started believing in myself, I started changing. And that's why I'm not gaining weight any more, I am losing instead and I feel so much better about myself and what I'm capable of. I also recognize that there is a certain level of effort I haven't put into losing weight or succeeding at other aspects of my life because of fear. I'd really love to get over that!!!

06-23-2011, 01:43 PM
I credit a good portion of my weight loss to using the tools Dr. Beck discusses in her book. I didn't follow the plan exactly - I used the notecards only for a little bit, and never used her actual diet plan - but a lot of the exercises she has you go through really helped me treat food in a different way.

As far the touchy-feely stuff, I know where you're coming from! :) One of the things I like best about CBT, though is that it doesn't worry too much about where your problems come from, but still gives you tools to improve your behaviors. I don't know why I became an emotional overeater, and honestly, I don't care. But CBT helps me deal with the behavior itself, and not its origins.

I think I've been using a lot of her tools for so long that they're more or less ingrained. I tell myself "No Choice" (for exercise/healthy eating/turning down a "temptation") pretty much every day - it's almost subconscious at this point, but gets me through any brief rough patches nicely. I've virtually stopped all unconscious eating which was a big help to me.

I would say stick with it for a while and see what happens. It can't hurt, right? :)

06-23-2011, 09:15 PM

I think it does work. I use most of the skills everyday, since they apply to the weight loss phase and the maintenance phase. The Beck books taught me what I need to do to finally feel like I have control over emotional eating behaviors.

I believe I read the book twice before implementing anything. Now I use the skills all the time.

Good luck on your journey ! :)

07-20-2011, 10:40 AM
That type of thing has always been too touchy-feely for me, and I am a very pragmatic person.

Hope this reaches out to your pragmatic side...

Does it work? Yes. What does that mean?

"Work", in this case, means that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been shown through peer-reviewed, carefully controlled studies to be effective for depression, anxiety, weight loss, and a number of psychological / behavioral issues.

Does this mean it will "work" for you? Not necessarily. Think about it this way... Does aspirin "work" for headaches? It has certainly been shown to be clinically effective. However, it doesn't "work" for everyone, and, even in the same person, it doesn't always "work". Just like aspirin, CBT's documented effects are based on averages. Thus we *know* it works *on average*. Whether it works for you likely depends upon a number of factors, but one of them is certainly whether you take it seriously and accurately apply it. For some, CBT may not work as a self-help, book-style recipe approach, but instead may require some sessions with a clinical psychologist trained in CBT.

What we know for sure:
* If you keep doing what you've always done things won't change.
* CBT is more likely to work than *many* other purported solutions that have no scientific support behind them. There are now hundreds of published studies documenting CBT as safe and effective relative to placebo, sham therapy, and, in some cases, pharmacological therapy (for some disorders, CBT + pharmo therapy is better than either alone).

Note 1: I have a Ph.D. in experimental psychology but am not a CBT therapist nor have a vested interest in whether Dr. J. Beck's version of CBT is effective (or makes her money). It is undeniable that Drs. A. Ellis and A. Beck, the fathers of CBT (and one of whom is the father of J. Beck), caused a paradigm shift in psychology / psychiatry.

Note 2: Anyone interested in science-based psychology that is life-changing and accessible should consider reading "Learned Optimism" from Martin E. P. Seligman. Again, no monetary or other interest in Marty's work, just a fan of science-based work that improves our lives.


07-20-2011, 05:09 PM
I followed the Beck Diet Solution 100%, to the letter, starting with Day 1 (and spending extra days on the tasks I found challenging).

At my heaviest, back in 2006, I weighed 210 lbs. Using the Beck Diet Solution, after a year, I lost 70 lbs and weighed 140 by the following August.

Gained a little back because life got nuts for me and hit 175 in January of 2010.

Re-read The Beck Diet Solution as a "refresher," and now am 129 lbs... and still losing.

I am a Beck Diet Solution and cognitive behavioral therapy believer!!!

Edited to add: I am by no stretch of the imagination "touchy-feely." I don't deal well with psychobabble or any hippie crap, and so when I wrote my response cards, I wrote them that way - straightforward, to-the-point, using wording I knew I could live with hearing every day. I think that the book lays everything out in a very logical way that makes a lot of sense.

Seriously cannot say enough good things about this book.