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The Diet-Free Solution: For Safe, Healthy, and Permanent Weight Loss Paperback – May 19, 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

These days, it's fashionable to look at the problems of overweight people and write them off as too much food and too little exercise. But for many it's more complicated than that, and Laurel Mellin has identified six root causes of the behaviors that lead to obesity. She believes it's never too late to develop the skills to overcome these problems, whether the root is an inability to set limits or a life lived out of balance. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The number six is very important in this book, which is likely to be the most hyped diet book of the season. Mellin tells us there are six causes of weight loss and six cures for it--two body, two mind, and two lifestyle. The six cures override the six causes . . . well, you get the idea. In fact, the plethora of sixes proves distracting, which is too bad because some of Mellin's material is legitimately interesting and useful. The ubiquitous anecdotal style often found in self-help books ("Kevin hit the candy machine and worked incessantly" ) gets a little heavy (oops!), but certainly readers struggling with their own weight problems will respond to Mellin's suggestions for nurturing your emotional needs, banishing body shame, eating a balanced diet, and establishing an active lifestyle. More than many diet-book writers, Mellin understands that people, especially the overweight, don't want to get off the couch and exercise. That's where her ideas about understanding the emotional and psychological roots of the problem come in, and her theory is that weight loss can be the result of nurturing oneself and controlling eating in a realistic way. Oh, one more thing. You have to exercise, too. Ilene Cooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1st Harper edition (May 19, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060987243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060987244
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laurel Mellin, PhD is the founder of emotional brain training (EBT) and an associate professor of family and community medicine and pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.

EBT trains individuals in brain-based tools that strengthen the circuits of resilience and are designed to improve the brain's set point (www.ebtconnect.net). The mission of EBT is to empower people to use the tools to emotionally connect with themselves and others to move forward in life -- rewiring the brain's emotional set point. As the set point moves up, the reward centers of the brain switch from being dependent on artificial rewards that ramp up stress to relying on the natural, sustainable rewards of a purposeful life: sanctuary, authenticity, vibrancy, integrity, intimacy, spirituality and freedom.

Many scientists and philosophers share insights about improving the quality of our lives, but Dr. Mellin has developed this evidence-based method that equips individuals with the tools and support to realize those states. By 2007, the method became completely brain-based, representing a new paradigm in health care - rewiring the stress response for resilience and well-being. In 2012, the method evolved to make learning those skills and using them to manage stress and improve the set point easier through technology-based learning and support (www.ebtconnect.net). She is a New York Times bestselling author, and speaks widely to professional and lay groups. She has three children and lives in Marin County, California.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've been reading this book, and find it very helpful. The idea that there are six causes to weight problems...only two of which have to do with food and exercise, is very interesting. The author believes that it has to do with not being taught how to effectively take care of ourselves when we are children...mostly because our parents probably didn't have the skills needed, either. Which is why you see obesity run in familys...not because it's genetic, per se, but because we are passing our weak skills on to our children. And so they cope with problems the same way we do, or our parents do, etc. The Six Causes are:
1. Weak Nurturing
2. Ineffective Limits
3. Body Shame
4. Poor Vitality
5. Unbalanced Eating
6. Stalled Living
The idea is to work toward learning and using effective ways of taking care of ourselves and our emotional and physical needs. The author believes that learning to become strong in these areas will eliminate our need to overeat, or eat the wrong foods. That rather than having to fight to lose the weight, our bodies will naturally and slowly get down to the perfect weight for us, according to genetics, bone structure, etc. The author has tested this with a lot of people, and found that it really does work. I believe that it would, because if you think about it, for most of us who are struggling with a weight problem, food is more than just food to us. It's comfort and love and acceptance...because even if no one else seems to care about us, at least the yummy food is always there. It gives us something to do when we're bored, calms us down when we are stressed, etc. We use it for much more than just fuel for our bodies, or even just as something enjoyable.
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Format: Paperback
This book received a positive review in a popular fitness magazine so I decided to check it out. It provides an approach that has allowed me to lose weight in a very personalized manner. It may not be for everyone since it is based on taking quiet time to getting to the heart of why you feel somehow compelled to eat when you aren't really hungry. This introspection takes many forms including writing, talking and thinking about your own deepest/toughest challenges in life.
I have lost 40 to 50 pounds several times in my life and am usually, in my head, on some sort restrictive diet that I seldom follow-through on. When I began this work I immediately lost 8 pounds and then stayed steady as I built up my ability to face things as they come. I have now started losing again in a way that is almost effortless because I am eating much more often simply because I am hungry or for the pleasure of something incredibly tasty but not because I am trying not to think about things that have made me uncomfortable/anxious during the day or in the past.
Before I bought this book I read the reviews here that said it was an expensive process but there is no organized support for this program in my area so my costs have not been that high.So far, I have spent around $200 for 6 months of materials ( journals, tapes, web site access) and one session of telephone coaching. It is worth it. I easily used to spend this much over a 6 month period on extra food.
The language used in the book can be a little off-putting ( e.g. the cures, tender morsels, hamburger sandwich) and the ideas are sometimes fairly complex, but if you are motivated and committed my own experience is that it really achieves results and helps provide a sense of balance in many aspects of daily life.
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Format: Paperback
Mellin's system is the *only* one that has achieved a 77% longterm (more than 2 years after her 12 week program ended) success rate, at a study done at UC of San Francisco's School of Medicine, where she is currently an associate clinical professor of family and community medicine. As a fat self-esteem coach, it pleases me immoderately to read a book that is founded upon achieving permanent slim as a result of increasing one's awareness in crucial areas, and being responsible for acting upon that new awareness productively. Within Mellin's schema, unresolved lifestyle issues set up stresses that are experienced as "hunger" for the obese, thus overriding the perception of one's own bodily hunger. That is why her book is about performing the fairly subtle, often invisible, actions that satisfy a wide variety of needs, from sensing one's emotions of the moment, to knowing how far to pursue any one desire generally, to asserting oneself at work or with the doctor, eating a "balanced" food intake and exercising. Journals and "feeling" letters help deal with the repression of feeling associated with any compulsion. The first thing that sets Mellin's book apart from the tens of thousands of competing books and articles on this subject is a sense of comprehensiveness. In her beginning pages of "acknowledgments," Mellin has reached out to medical doctors, psychologists, the American Cancer Society, and the US Department of Health. She has made a serious effort to embrace all the leading opinions of folks who are alive and working in a field related to permanent weight-loss-and that effort *shows*!!Read more ›
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