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Break Through Your Set Point: How to Finally Lose the Weight You Want and Keep It Off Hardcover – April 8, 2008

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About the Author

Dr. George L. Blackburn, an associate professor of surgery and nutrition, is the S. Daniel Abraham chair in Nutrition Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has trained more than 100 fellows in applied and clinical nutrition and has written widely on various aspects of nutrition, medicine, and metabolism, with over 400 publications to date.



Julie Corliss is a medical writer with more than sixteen years of experience in consumer health issues.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061288675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061288678
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,078,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Jadon on December 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
From:[...] [...]
Author & Book Views On A Healthy Life!

Book Review: Break Through Your Set Point by George Blackburn

Dr. George Blackburn of Harvard Medical School, author of Break Through Your Set Point, recommends we eat a little less at each meal. In fact, he says "There's no getting around it: to lose weight, you've got to eat less." Sound scary? Combined with exercise, the key is not to starve yourself, but to gradually reduce calories over time and eat healthy foods. Dr. Blackburn does not believe we should eliminate a whole food group because inevitably a dieter will begin to eat the once avoided foods again.

First, feel full; eat a minimum of 450 calories at every major meal. So don't skip breakfast and then hear your stomach growling while you're at your desk working.

Second, take your time eating. Dr. Blackburn wishes we'd slow down and pass on dashboard dining. Instead, spend at least 20 minutes munching your meal. This will enable your stomach to send out an "I'm full" message to your brain. A Set Point tip includes mentally dividing your plate into four sections. Allow yourself five minutes to eat each sections' contents. No skipping ahead either. Make this a conscious effort because the faster you gobble, sometimes mindlessly, the more calories you'll consume.

Other Set Point tips include: use smaller plates for your meals; leave 1/8 of your meal on your plate; don't buy the high-calorie treats you know you might overindulge with (cookies, ice cream, etc..); eat small snacks about 1/2 hour before the main meal; consume more soup, salad, and fruit; share your restaurant meal; cut down on the amount of choices at each meal; drink or eat a meal replacer (protein shake or bar); have breakfast for dinner (cereal).

Very interesting, nutritionally-minded and well researched book.

5 Stars
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Constance A. O'Sullivan on April 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A new and much more realistic method for dieting!! Initially I needed to understand the science of weight gain before starting the weight loss program. It is enlightening to learn that losing 10% of my weight was the key to my initial success as well as the health benefits. I welcome this positive, more attainable approach. The silhouettes remind me daily of who I am and where I need to go for this year's weight loss program.

I'm studying the smaller plate size with the visual image of dividing the plate into 4 sections of healthier choices. Finally, the 20-minute eating rule for each meal will be a challenge for me considering my busy schedule, but it clearly seems important. Having recently experienced some cardiac problems, I am particularly interested not only because of the weight control benefits, but also in knowing that some of my cardiac risks will improve.

As a nurse, I find there are many new ideas in this book that will help me educate my patients. For years, I have searched for the knowledge to give them. We did not learn enough of this in nursing school. Now is the opportunity for all nurses to gain this knowledge. After studying this myself, I will refer the book to my colleagues immediately.

Nutritional education summed up in one book-- great job!
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Ann E. Macdonald on April 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Just when you think, "Oh no, not another book of advice about losing weight," one like this comes along. I've heard for years about how we all have individual set points, but I never completely understood what that meant--or why it affected weight gain and loss--until I read this book.

What's more, "Break Through Your Set Point" is full of practical tips. It provides a program for slow, steady weight loss, followed by a maintenance phase, followed by additional weight loss if you need it. This book acknowledges right up front that losing weight is hard work, and that it takes time.

If you want a quick fix, this is not the book for you. But if you're smart enough to want something grounded in science rather than fantasy, buy this book. Try the advice it offers. I bet you won't be disappointed.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mercy R. Hyde on July 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The information in this book is based on extensive research in the field of nutrition. The recommendations for weight loss are sound and thorough. I was particularly interested in breaking through a plateau. I have found these weight plateaus to be more individualized than the increments referred to in this book, but the principle of maintaining the initial weight loss, and then renewing weight loss efforts is sound. This book confirmed what most of what I already knew. I recommend this book purchase for those who are new to weight loss and willing to invest the time and energy to a making life style changes. I do not recommend this book for those looking for quick weight loss or for those who are already well-informed and experienced in weight management.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By OwenE on December 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I checked this book out of the library, as I do most diet books. However, the time has come to return it, and I don't want to. This book, for me, is worth buying.

I understand the range of reviews on this book from same old thing to greatest ever. This is not a diet book. This is more of a how to maintain a desired weight or Body Mass Index (BMI) for the rest of your life book. Therefore it's not as exciting as diet books that promise massive weight loss fast. In fact, because it recommends moderate weight loss slowly, my husband wasn't interested in it. I imagine that he feels like many people. First he wants to lose a lot of weight, then he'll consider reading something like this book to maintain his weight.

I'm in a different place. By using Martha Beck's 4 Day Win for the past three years, I've been doing 10% drops through BMIs without realizing that's what was happening. I'd lose some weight, hold out there for a while, lose some more, and continue the process. I've been steadily moving down through BMIs without realizing I was following the process recommended in Break Through Your Set Point. I'm now trying to get the last 5 pounds off. The last 5 pounds move me to down to yet another lower BMI level, and they haven't been easy to get off. After reading this book, I realize that in order to get to the next BMI, I'm going to have to tweak my exercise and eating habits once more. It's as if ever lower BMI requires another new set of tricks and habits to coax the weight off.

I highly recommend this book for a description of behaviors that can help one move down through BMIs and permanently estalbish a new lower weight. I know slow is boring, but the fact that the loss is permanent is exciting.
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