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The Four Day Win
End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace

by Martha Beck, Ph.D

      The Four Day Win is not only a great diet book, but a great read! Martha Beck, who after a Ph.D. from Harvard became a well-known life coach and columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine, has produced an absorbing and entertaining book that will help everyone who has ever felt fat, learn to understand their dieting ups and downs. It may even change them for the better. Thatís her goal, anyway, and her "retrain your brain"/zen of weight control/mindfulness cognitive therapy/re-programming techniques seem ideally suited to helping at least some of us heal our over-worked brains and overweight bodies.

The subtitle: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace sets the irreverent tone that keeps readers laughing. With the play on thinner/inner peace Beck hits the tell-tale gauge on the button right from the first step on the scale. Our weight problems are all in our heads and all we have to do is change our minds.

With psychologically astute suggestions, Beck keeps us laughing as we pursue the answers to this problem we all take soooooooooooo seriously. Filled with short case histories, the book has a multiplicity of varied selections to suit every intellectual and non-intellectual type.

Both comedic and intelligent, Beck is a spellbinding author on a normally unappetizing subject. Bingeing and dieting are compared to "one long, hideous visit to the Spanish Inquisition." We learn how to stop warring against our inner "Commander", who forbids our favorite food, and the "Resistor", whose cravings are our downfall. We learn to avoid "Famine Brain," to go from "Fathead to Open Mind," and to "Beware the Permanently Helpless Dalmatian Reptile." We learn how to "SIN", or "Substitute Inedible Nourishment", for fattening addictions. We learn to befriend our "Body Whisperer" and win over our subconscious mind, and we learn to build a positive relationship with the "Watcher", our best friend and happiest inner self.

The central idea around which Beckís plan revolves explodes the idea that willpower is essential to weight-loss and proposes instead a series of "4-day wins" that can succeed with any weight-loss program. Substitute a good habit for a bad habit, Beck advises, stick to it for just 4 days, and it will start to feel right, maybe even start to feel in accord with your own higher power. Itís the 4 days at a time (rather than 1 day) approach!

If the "eat less, move more" philosophy has failed you before, read this surprisingly entertaining self-help book and learn how The Four Day Win can End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace, offering an equanimity that will serve you for a lifetime, not just until you regain those missing 20 pounds.

The Book

Rodale Books
December 26, 2006
Nonfiction / Self Help, Diet
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The Reviewer

Janet Hamilton
Reviewed 2007
© 2006