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The Four Day Win: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace Hardcover – December 26, 2006

121 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

MARTHA BECK, PhD, is a life coach and monthly columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine. She is the author of the bestsellers Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live and the memoir Expecting Adam. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

From AudioFile

The premise of this appealing lesson is that early wins (such as noticeable weight loss after four days of calorie reduction and exercise) can breathe fire into anyone's desire to lose weight. Sounding determined but not fanatical, the life coach and media celebrity references almost every aspect of personal change known to man and offers many useful suggestions. Illustrated with short case histories, the book has something for everyone--from the latest neuroscience discoveries to what works for everyday people at Jenny Craig. Beck's likable voice becomes even more endearing as she unfolds her ideas intelligently and with reasonable optimism. One of the CDs has helpful forms and information that can be printed. T.W. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 1 edition (December 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594866074
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594866074
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Martha Beck is a writer and "life coach" who specializes in helping people design satisfying and meaningful life experiences. She holds a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies and master's and Ph.D. degrees in sociology, all from Harvard University.

She worked as a research associate at Harvard Business School, studying career paths and life-course changes in today's economic and social environment. Before becoming a life coach, Dr. Beck taught sociology, social psychology, organizational behaviour, and business management at Harvard and the American Graduate School of International Management. She has published academic books and articles on a variety of social science and business topics.

Her non-academic books include the New York Times bestsellers "Expecting Adam" and "Leaving the Saints", as well as "Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live", "Steering by Starlight", and her newest book, "Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaiming Your True Nature". Dr. Beck has also been a contributing editor for many popular magazines, including "Real Simple" and "Redbook", and is currently a columnist for "O, the Oprah Magazine".

More information can be found at, including Dr. Beck's lively blog posts and video blogs, books, speaking appearances, and life coaching strategies and suggestions.

Dr. Beck lives in Central California with her family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

246 of 249 people found the following review helpful By Native New Yorker on January 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge fan of Martha Beck's life coaching column in Oprah's magazine, so I grabbed this book to help me lose those last ten pounds. It definitely isn't the same old plate of beans--put your fork down after every bite! Use a smaller plate! Instead, it explains the latest findings in brain research, and how we're hard-wired to respond to dieting the way our ancient selves responded to any other kind of stress--by storing fat. No wonder the usual dieting always fails. Martha shows you how to "retrain your brain" with different exercises that won't make your body go into that stress response. She teaches you how to talk back to those voices in your head--the Dictator ("You WILL lose weight!") and the Wild Child ("Yeah, MAKE me!"). She shows you how to SIN (substitute inedible nourishment), so that every time you don't eat, you have to do something else small and nice for yourself, so losing weight doesn't feel like punishment. I've never seen this kind of advice anywhere. Plus the book is really, really funny.
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189 of 192 people found the following review helpful By K. Hill on July 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've never written a book review before, but this book has seriously changed my life -- and I've never had reason to say that. As silly as this may sound to some, I can now keep forbidden foods in my house until they go stale. I eat only when I want to, where I want to and whatever I happen to feel like eating -- no restrictions at all, only sanity. I have reached my goal for the first time in my entire 55 years on this planet without dieting, without binging, without ANY food-frantic behaviors. In fact, I now have to remind myself to eat at all; I am too busy being happy.

After reading some of the negative reviews here, I almost did not buy this book. But now, I have to suggest that perhaps anyone who has something flippantly negative to say about this book might not have actually read it, might not have applied any of the many wonderful and insightful suggestions. I've read many spiritual books on being the "observer", none of which have in the least affected my eating behaviors. This book is so much more than that; it's silly to suggest otherwise.

I'd like to say thank you, Ms. Beck, for taking those turtle steps towards getting this book published. You have truly made a difference in at least one person's life.
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128 of 134 people found the following review helpful By Girl in the Mirror on January 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Thank goodness, somebody who gets the concept that there's more to getting thin and staying thin than just eat less/move more. Sure we all know what to do, but we don't do it. Thank you Martha Beck for showing us how to heal our brains and bodies. This is the best weight-loss book I've ever read and I've read 'em all.
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107 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Laura Turner on February 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you've never "met" Martha Beck before, you are in for a treat (non-fattening, of course). If you think you've read every diet book out there and this is just another one of "those" books - think again. Beck will quickly have you not only laughing - but laughing yourself thin. Really. Her quick wit and spot-on sense of humor had me forgetting that I was reading a diet book at all.

What's more: Beck gets it! Sure she's got the trilogy from Harvard (undergrad, Masters, Ph.D.) so she can back up her scientific musings - but within the first couple pages you'll learn - Martha Beck, Ph.D. gets it. And she'll tell you what it is in the first few pages. It's what we already know: To get rid of extra weight we need to (drum roll, please) eat less and move more. Period.

Yet, if this were the absolute answer to weight loss, we could all just close the book and end there. But you won't want to. It's just not that simple. We know we need to eat less and move more - yet most of the time we don't. Why? Beck tells us: By putting such tight restraints on ourselves, we actually berate our inner thin-ness and use this power to keep ourselves fat (Horrors!). In short - we're just not ready to be thin. Until we are.

How to get back to "thin-brain" thinking? Beck will show you. You'll use her simple, tiny "turtle" steps - four days at a time. In The Four Day Win - Beck uses her Harvard research tools to help you change the most important variable on the road to weight loss - your mind.

She does it in this way.

By mapping out for readers the way our mind thinks about creating change, Beck helps us take the small steps we need to create lasting shifts in thinking and body weight.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Zinta Aistars on July 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Most of my adult life, I have been able to maintain, with relative ease, the same weight. Then, here comes midlife. And with it, a crisis or two. Factor in stress and a slowing metabolism, a more hurried pace, various anxieties, and the softness glued itself stubbornly to me and would not let go.

I can't say I have ever been among those who follow the latest diet trend. Pshaw. None of them have ever made sense to me. I got it: eat less, move more. Everything else is doomed to fail. I'd seen it enough among friends and colleagues: longterm, diets fail. To remain healthy lifelong requires a lifestyle, not one of suffering and deprivation, but one that can be maintained with ease and, yes, even pleasure. That's for me.

I picked up Martha Beck's book with great interest. I had recently read and enjoyed her book, "Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live." Now, here was a respected life coach and psychologist who debunks diets and disdains suffering as a way to lead to healthy living. She speaks of attaining "thinner peace." Diets, after all, are stressful, and the last thing we need in the typical American lifestyle is more stress. Indeed, recent studies have shown that the same amount of calories ingested by stressed animals and animals at peace turn into fat on, you guessed it, the stressed animals, while the calm ones remain at a healthy weight. Beck is onto something scientifically sound.

Another important item Beck has understood well is our short attention span. Four days. We can do just about anything for four days. If we approach any change in our accustomed routines, if we do it in small bites, small bites eventually accumulate into a big pie (so to speak).
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