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The Self-Compassion Diet: A Step-by-Step Program to Lose Weight with Loving-Kindness Paperback – January 1, 2011

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The Self-Compassion Diet: A Step-by-Step Program to Lose Weight with Loving-Kindness + Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself + The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Sounds True; 1 edition (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604070757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604070750
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"THE SELF-COMPASSION DIET is full of practical wisdom about how to set yourself up for eating and weight loss success using guided visualization, meditation, positive self-talk, cognitive restructuring, writing and journal exercises. Fain sprinkles quizzes throughout the book, teaches with cases studies from her decades of counseling troubled eaters, and provides page after page of exercises which will help disregulated eaters learn to expand their thinking in order to improve their eating.", Karen Koenig, January 10, 2011

Named one of '10 New Diet Books for 2011', January 10, 2011

'If you have been willing to spend hundreds of dollars on pills or special diets plans – less than $20 on a book that just may well change your life is worth a try.' -- Kerri O'Connor,, May 9, 2011

'It's ['The Self-Compassion Diet'] wonderful, and I can openheartedly suggest you check it out. This is one of the kindest and most practice-based books I've come across in a long time. Geared not only to the reader interested in weight loss, Ms. Fain addresses eating disorders and body image issues with loving-kindness.' -- Janice Lynne Lundy,, January 18, 2011

'Mindful eating is something you could learn and practice on your own. But like any skill, professional advice and guidance is always useful because you don’t know what you don’t know. I like this book ['The Self-Compassion Diet'], and it’s already given me food for thought.' -- Sophie Dembling,, January 14, 2011

'Certainly not your typical diet book, The Self-Compassion Diet proves that loving kindness to yourself is more effective than any diet food or miracle diet – you'll lose weight all while gaining respect and love for yourself.' -- Michele Borboa, MS,, January 28, 2011

Named one of the 'Most Popular Diets for 2012', December 21, 2011

Named one of '8 Must-Read Books On Mindful Eating', December 16, 2011

From the Publisher

"Just about everyone who has dieted knows that traditional diets with self abuse and deprivation are bound to fail in the long run. In contrast, Jean Fain's compassionate approach to weight loss is accepting and transforming. This book helps turn past diet abuses into present-day understanding and emotional sanity. I recommend The Self-Compassion Diet to everyone struggling with weight and self-abuse problems."
-Jean Antonello, RN, BSN, author of Breaking Out of Food Jail

"Most books about eating issues are so deadly serious they make me want to bury my head in a pound of pasta and forget the whole thing. In all my times of dieting, failing, and resolving to be harder on myself, it never occurred to me that not only had that approach not worked, but it didn't feel particularly good. Jean Fain's approach -- trying a little tenderness -- feels much better. Thank you for creating this gentle, sane approach." -Suzan Colón, author of Cherries in Winter

This book will not only transform your waistline, it will change your life."
-Kristin Neff, Ph.D., author of Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind

"If you're tired of losing weight and then regaining more, forget about starting that same-old diet tomorrow. Read this book today."
-Steve Gurgevich, PhD, author of The Self-Hypnosis Diet

"This book is a real gem!"
-Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance

"This delightful handbook moves the diet conversation to a new level. The author, diet expert Jean Fain, gently unravels the mystery behind successful change---self-kindness---and weaves it into a wise, carefully-organized, multifaceted, step-by-step approach to healthy eating."
-Christopher K. Germer, PhD, author The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion

"Jean Fain's engaging writing style, complete with mini-assessments, helpful practices, and case-studies, will help you say goodbye to dieting, once-and-for-all, and feel good in the process."
-Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD, author of Intuitive Eating

"The Self-Compassion Diet by Jean Fain blends eastern meditative techniques and western psychology for a gentle, comprehensive approach to weight loss. These techniques will help many people of any weight to be calmer and happier with their lives."
-Deirdre Barrett, author of Supernormal Stimuli

More About the Author

Jean Fain, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed psychotherapist and a Teaching Associate in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. There, she teaches health psychology and supervises new psychotherapists. In her Concord, Massachusetts private practice, she specializes in everyday eating issues, from yo-yo dieting to compulsive overeating. Her writing career predates her clinical practice. A veteran journalist, she's been writing health and fitness features for newspapers (from The Boston Globe to The Los Angeles Times) and magazines (Oprah Magazine, Shape, Conde Nast Traveler) for three decades. Through the '80s, she wrote a syndicated fitness column, distributed world-wide by The LA Times Syndicate.

Customer Reviews

I think this book will be life changing for me and others!
Amazon Customer
The Self-Compassion Diet book by Jean Fain is a thorough and comprehensive offering presented with kindness, awareness, and dare I say "with love".
Heather LaRee
I suppose mostly women read these kinds of books anyway, but men can benefit from the material in this book as well.
Karen S. Garvin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't finished this book yet, but I have already found it to be tremendously helpful and calming. I work a high stress job and though I have only finished through Chapter 2, I am finding that I am calmer, more open to my own creativity, and better able to sleep using the Chapter 2 Mindfulness techniques. The exercises are simple and easy to do, and so effective. I would love to have this on my Kindle, so I can carry it with me everywhere. It's too early to say if my new attitude toward myself and food will be stand the test of time, as I haven't yet lost weight, but it's only been a week. I really feel that this is the solution for me, to beat my long term weight issues, which I think are based primarily on my own negative self attitude. I find I am becoming more accepting of myself, and therefore more accepting of others, which makes my stressful work days more pleasant as well. Overall, the change in attitude, using these very simple exercises and quick meditations has made a huge difference. My family is grateful as well, as I am much less tired at the end of the day, and much more enthused and relaxed in my interactions with them. Thank you Ms. Fain for helping me develop this new attitude. My black and white, all or nothing attitude is changing to a more colorful, more loving, more accepting attitude, which oddly enough, has made me crave less, and desire to eat healthier. No more beating myself up, now I can be kind and generous to myself, and guess what, I don't really crave the cookies and chips anymore. Now I find I actually DESIRE healthier foods and I enjoy a more peaceful approach to exercise. I think this book will be life changing for me and others! I should probably have waited to write this review to finish the book, but frankly, I feel others need to know how great this book is.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A reviewer on January 20, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Note: This review is for the Audiobook/Audio CD.

Jean Fain has recorded some of the information from her new book "The Self-Compassion Diet" on this audio set. The package contains TWO CDs. Here's the Table of Contents...

Session One: Self-Compassion Practices for Weight Loss
1. Introduction [0:46]
2. An intuitive approach [4:11]
3. Understanding self-compassion [11:19]
4. Guidelines for practice [3:12]
5. Meditation: Calm [11:41]
6. Meditation: Kind [4:58]
7. Meditation: Wise [7:52]
8. Meditation: Hunger [7:47]
9. Meditation: Taste [7:09]

Session Two: Self-Hypnosis Practices for Weight Loss
1. Introduction [0:22]
2. What is hypnosis? [10:45]
3. The journey of self-compassion [2:30]
4. Guidelines for trance [3:21]
5. Satisfaction trance [6:29]
6. Encouragement trance [4:29]
7. Gradual change trance [5:36]
8. Picture of health trance [8:33]
9. Imaginary triggers [7:30]
10. Memorable moments trance [6:46]

Ms Fain's speaking voice is slow, her diction very good, and her tone calm and soothing. Her voice is pleasant to listen to, especially during meditations. The pace is appropriate for inner work.

I'm quite auditory so I do well listening to voice (rather than reading a book) therefore I like listening to this audio set more than I like reading her book. I have learned from these recordings and I think I will be able to achieve my goals.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By bunnyrabbit4 VINE VOICE on March 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Put in a nutshell, this book will not give you long lists of recipes or admonishments about foods. You probably already have those stashed somewhere around the house or you wouldn't have bought it. It will also not tell you how to be a size smaller in a week. What it does is help you examine the attitudes toward yourself that cause you to abandon a diet after one bite of cookie or gaining back one pound. It gives compassionate support to see you through the cookie without the condemnation that causes your diet to collapse. By shifting your emphasis from manic exercise and food restraint to one of a more relaxed attitude toward your culinary short comings it helps you to master the parts of your self bent on punishing the rest of you with food.

Ordinary diets don't work for me because I hate routine. The only routine I follow is a spiritual practice and I found that this book helpful because it meshed with that approach. It combines chapters on positive self-talk with advice about self-hypnosis and developing a support system. Each chapter contains a mix of positive self control tactics and scientific discoveries that back the idea that compassion works. For instance one comment related to the above is that a study in which people on a diet were offered sweet snacks while watching TV, a behavior strongly linked to emotional eating. Half of the group was told to concentrate on the idea that people who are successful in their weight loss do take breaks from their diet. That half of the group actually at LESS of the sweets offered. Presumably the other group associated eating with self condemnation and in doing so took an all or nothing attitude.
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