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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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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

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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 (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 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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38 of 42 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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Karen Siegel, MPH, MS, RD, LD, LAC on June 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Jean Fain has written a weight loss book that skillfully combines the non-diet approach to normalizing food and weight issues (and consequently weight loss) with the concept of feeding oneself compassion. The need for self-compassion is a common thread throughout the book as Fain explains that most dieters are not well versed in loving kindness or self-acceptance.

Within the chapters, Fain not only gives readers information on re-framing negative self-talk, but also provides exercises for readers to practice re-scripting their own unique destructive self-talk. In addition, she gently guides you to set attainable goals, to ask questions and to build a compassionate community for support.

Fain clearly states early on that this is not a diet book. It is not a quick fix. What she does offer in abundance are recipes for self-compassion. These helpful guidelines are rarely included in weight loss books.

This self-compassion approach feels good. It feels good in a way that most dieters rarely experience. Fain offers four different routes to get the results you are looking for-weight loss. For this reader, it made more sense to read straight through rather than pick a particular route. However, any approach works and there is plenty of compassionate guidance to navigate your way through the book.

There are no good food/bad food lists, nor are there weights and measurements or calorie counting. She helps readers set attainable and do-able goals and compassionately guides you to appreciate your talents, inner beauty and sense of self. Although she does make healthful food recommendations, recommendations are all that they are.
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