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Think Thin, Be Thin: 101 Psychological Ways to Lose Weight Paperback – December 28, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The simplistic title Think Thin Be Thin doesn't really encompass the ideas laid out in this encouraging book. Rather than designing a diet and exercise plan that promises results, authors Doris Wild Helmering and Dianne Hales focus instead on the psychology behind eating, and offer 101 short suggestions for getting healthy that can accompany any plan out there.

The tips are drawn from a variety of disciplines, including Gestalt therapy, transactional awareness, compliance theory and cognitive-behavior therapy: all these sources these translate to "there's something for everyone". Old standards like keeping a food diary and finding simple ways to burn calories (like gardening or taking the stairs at work) are mixed with creative ideas like becoming your own advice columnist for a day and watching specific comedy movies that also offer encouragement for change (think Groundhog's Day). Whether you sit down and plow through the book in one sitting or pick and choose a few tips to follow for short time periods, you'll find the positive tone both relaxing and inspiring.

While the emotional and mental aspects of weight loss are the focal point, you'll also find a few tips aimed at the more practical side, like tracking your BMI (a charted is included as an appendix) and how many calories are burned by an assortment of activities. Whether it servers as a companion to a new gym membership or a refresher course in positive thinking, this book has plenty of helpful tips to keep you on track. --Jill Lightner

From Publishers Weekly

Clinical social worker Helmering and health writer Hales (An Invitation to Health) present 101 tips for dieters who need to change not only their exercise and eating habits, but also their way of thinking in this slim but to-the-point volume. The idea behind the book, write the authors, "is that the more you see, hear, or read a message, the more positively you view it." In this case, the message is to drop weight and get moving, so the book is packed full of briskly worded, often original ways for dieters to motivate themselves. The authors make use of psychological theories (including a semantics-based exercise to encourage language awareness), meditation and chanting exercises, and calculations such as the YLL (years of life lost to obesity) to help readers refrain from overeating. Not every entry is original; readers will find familiar suggestions such as to exercise in a group and keep a food diary. Others seem excessive, especially when done in combination with different practices. How many readers could repeat an affirmation for an hour each day while keeping a food diary, exercising and literally grading their own performance? On the positive side, the book's emphasis is always on health and fitness, and binge and fad diets are actively discouraged. Overall, this book is an excellent tool for diet-minded readers who occasionally require a mental kick in the pants.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (December 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767916964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767916967
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This book has helped me follow easy steps to changing the way I think about food.
Rhonda Anderson
I think it is a good book to keep and refer to, especially when you are at a difficult point or need some inspiration.
JMH
This book shows how to use your brain to lose weight and then break the cycle of losing and gaining.
A reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By merlot on March 22, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i've purchased many books on weight loss because it is a facinating topic to me and this is definitely one of the best. the points are clear and concise and they make sense. there's something in the book that will appeal to everyone. they help you make the tips actionable with advice and guidance and helpful suggestions. i feel like it has helped my thinking on my "relationship" with food. before finishing the book i'd already abandoned some bad habits and started some good ones. i think this is a book i will refer to once or twice a year as a refresher and just to pick up some extra tips that i'm not already integrating in my life. even with all the good info the book is still a quick read in simple language and visually appealing (effectively uses bullet points and charts). this book is a great compliment to any weight loss program or just for anyone who wants to learn to eat better and be healthier. i highly recommend.

my only complaint is that they don't have a table of contents that allows you to go directly to certain helpful passages, you sort of have to flip through the pages to find what was helpful.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Jia's Lala on July 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've lost more than 25 pounds in seven months using the knowledge I've gained from this book. I had just about surrendered to being fat when I passed 60 and arthritis cramped my walking regimen, but Helmering got me focused on what I needed to know about food consumption for this new phase of life. I plan to lose ten more pounds to return to my ideal weight. I feel armed with information and techniques and confident of the future thanks to "Think Thin, Be Thin".
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By MrTwistoff on June 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is a quick read, has short chapters, a single principle covered in each. It's not a mental taxation, but an expanded list of items to try as psychological reminders.

This book addresses all of those aspects surrounding food outside of calories alone, beyond controlling your food. The book addresses how food (and all aspects of food) intervenes - psychologically - into the rest of your life. Therefore it addresses how your lifestyle is affected, or changing your lifestyle will change your weight. If you are not ready for change, you will not be ready for what the book presents.

The book offers a large range of "technique" for becoming less food-centric in your life. It does not, however, elaborate on moving those techniques into permanent behavior change. (It felt more like I was reading a laundry list of options rather than recipes for change.) The techniques are provided in the short chapters (and it does cover an exceptionally wide range of techniques - from the simplest pause between bites to aroma therapy) but I did feel it missed the point on elaboration. Breaking out of the short chapter mold and providing a couple of at length discussion chapters might have proven a useful idea.

The book is decidedly geared toward women (i.e. only women's body fat charts are provided, etc...).

I didn't find it life shattering, but rather a "survey" of technique - and you get to choose which of those techniques might work for you.

One EXCEPTIONAL idea that was presented was "Know Your Weights" these are your Dream, Happy, Acceptable, Disappointed, and Never-Again weights. This consciousness can help you watch yourself - stay aware of creeping instead of waiting until you get to an OH NO point again.
Read more ›
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Rhonda Anderson on January 2, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been trying to loose weight for several years but lacked discipline. This book has helped me follow easy steps to changing the way I think about food. Since starting the recommendations, I've found that I've been able to resist the foods I would normally eat while watching t.v. It's only been a few days since I read the book but feel very positive that this is the help I've always needed to loose weight and keep it off.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A reader on January 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
I like this book's new approach to weight control. Think Thin, Be Thin stands out from all the other diet books because it emphasizes techniques to keep the pounds off after you lose them. In the past, I have lost weight on various diets, but I always gained it back. This book shows how to use your brain to lose weight and then break the cycle of losing and gaining.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful By T. Taylor on April 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've become an expert at diets, healthy and unhealthy. I've learned how to diet in a healthy manner. I know how to count calories; I don't really have to look to know how much fat, protein, or carbs are in a given product. I've been burning at least 3500 calories per week for years and gaining fat. What I did not have was willpower. I could not walk past a donut, cookie, birthday cake, ice cream or any of that. Now I can because of this book. I read a chapter every day and internalize the lessons...not 100% but as they fit me. I've lost 5 pounds. I left a supper birthday party and took in less than 500 calories of relatively healthy food. I passed up ice cream and cake. I've learned it's all in your head. The book has helped me train my subconscious mind to eat properly. I really believe that I'm going to reach my goals because of this book.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
A collaborative work by psychotherapist Doris Wild Helmering and author Dianne Hales, Think Thin, Be Thin: 101 Psychological Ways To Lose Weight is the perfect companion to any diet and weight-loss program. Each of the 101 tips addresses a key aspect of human behavior - the necessity of applying one's mind to a goal to make it reality. From "No More Negatives", which warns the reader away from negative self-talk and focusing on what one can't do, to "How Were You Scripted?" which encourages the reader to think about the eating habits he or she ingrained when growing up, to "Six Ways To Keep Off Weight" which include joining a "tribe", or group of exercise and health-conscious people, finding new emotionally satisfying foods that are low in calories, and the importance of looking for joy and meaning beyond one's food life. While not a complete weight-loss program, Think Thin, Be Thin is a vital supplement for recasting one's mental focus on a thinner, healthier, and happier self.
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