if not dieting then what

If not dieting, then what?

Quick Overview

This straightforward, no-nonsense guide to weight management addresses the evidence that weight-loss treatments may worsen rather than improve long-term physical and psychological health. The solution of an attitude change that calls for a more positive view of food that is not characterized by the “no pain, no gain” ethos is presented. How to minimize fat intake without sacrificing food enjoyment is also explained.

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Health Professional Review

Health Professional Reviewer: Helen Gibbs, New Zealand Registered Dietitian. Reviewed 22 January 2015.

Book Title: If not dieting, then what?

Author(s): Dr Rick Kausman, Medical doctor. Is a recognised expert in obesity in Australia.

Date published: 1998

Suitable for: Anyone who is carrying excess weight who has repeatedly failed to achieve sustained change, but has no diagnosable psychopathologies that could be contributing to their eating i.e. eating disorders. Would require a reading age that would achieve a solid pass in an NCEA Level 1 (5th Form), but even at this level, there may need to be external support.

Problems addressed: How to get off the dieting cycle, and what to do with regards to weight management instead of dieting.

Book Summary: 

This book gives an overview of the “non-dieting” approach to weight management. It is about changing the way you think and the way you respond to emotions, rather than giving you a prescribed diet that will inevitably set you up for failure when you feel you cannot stick with it.

Although the author has a website that “sells stuff” most of the items for sale are other books and resources to support a non-dieting approach.

This book would work particularly well if several people agreed to work together as a peer support network to implement a non-dieting approach to let them all manage their weight together.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Excellent overview of a non-dieting approach. It discusses some excellent tools and includes both examples of their use and case-studies to illustrate the problems it is addressing.

However, it would require a highly motivated individual to work their way through this book without guidance or a peer group to support them in their process of learning. Most importantly it would raise for some people the understanding they are not alone in their experience of failing with weight management.

Like many of these books, it would be hard for an individual to remain motivated to work methodically through this book in a self-help strategy.

There is scanty academic research to support this approach. However it is common sense and is unlikely to cause harm.

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