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Book Review


Gold Member

there are shelves full of self help books out there, I thought it might be a good thread to write about ones we have read and summarize them and say what was good and not so good for us about them. No time for me to do a full revue now but I've recently been very impressed by the 4 Day Win by Martha Beck and will write more about it tonight.
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Gold Member
This is about the 4 Day Win by Martha Beck, edited from what I wrote in my diary:

This book is about how our brains and bodies work in relation to food and exercise. Recognising that some of the things our brains learnt to do for survival way way back in prehistory are why diets so often fail. For example, we evolved from a time when we lived close to starvation, gathering and hunting what and when we could. So this part of the brain interprets any time when we eat less and exercise more (like, when trying to lose weight) as a time of emergency and fights as strongly as it can to get the food it needs for survival.

Apart from the theory which I found very interesting there are exercises to do to help shift our habits and ways of thinking. It is called the 4 Day Win as she reckons it feels easy enough to commit to a small change for four days, but at the same time four days is enough to start a habit.

The author recommends reading the first bit, then going to the end to put what you've learnt into practice. After that, read all the inbetween chapters to get extra understanding. So I did the first bit then dipped as I found useful.

The most important thing I've learnt from this is to be able to detatch myself from the drive that is only part of my brain, I've not been out of control since I did an exercise with the two sides of my personality.

In one hand (as described in the book) I imagined the controlling dictator side of myself who is so afraid I will overeat and stay fat that she does all she can to prevent me straying form my diet. In the other hand I imagined the primitive hunter gatherer part of myself who feels threatened when the food intake goes down and the exercise goes up. When the controlling part of myself gets distracted by strong emotions she loses control and the primitive part of myself eats like crazy as the control is slackened.

I understood that both parts of me had my best interests at heart and sent them both loving messages - wishing them both well.

So far, I have changed in my attitude towards food while under stress since doing this. I can sort of stand back in my head and understand what is happenening and not get caught up in a binge.

There are more sections, on exercise, on making our environment more supportive and enjoyable - loads and loads of things to think about.

This book has really benefited me, but one thing I should mention is that it is written in a very humerous lighthearted syle which I enjoyed but some people might not get on with it

Another couple of tips she gave - I cannot google or quote researchers names as I don't have the book right here - was using similar tasting foods as an appetite suppressant (not good for emotional eating obviously) and another thing of eating flavourless foods.

The person she quoted is hated by many as he suggests a flavour fast of no flavours after breakfast for four hours then a load of sugared water or oil which leaves a feeling of satiety for more hours. She modifies this and says it works - breakfast then nothing, No teeth cleaning or drinks except water, no gum, no nothing. Then four hours later take 4 caps of omega three type oils. I parasphrase as what she said wasn't vegan and as I read I mentally substituted my vegan omega 3 caps. I've not tried this yet but it sounds very interesting.

I've loads more self help type books but none have worked for me like this one did. However, maybe its possibly just my head is in the right place for this now so as I find them again I will re-read and post here.

I'd love to read about other people's experiences with other books.


Gold Member
Tell about The Secret? I don't know it.
I liked the book Women, Food and God by Roth Green. There were some really useful insights into emotional eating and I have changed the way I view food and myself since reading the book.

I unfortunately did not like her writing style. There was so much waffle, the key points were almost missed. If you can find the book for less than £5 on Amazon, it is worth a read....

I just found another thread on the site called HALT. It summarised emotional eating better in one line, than a whole book!

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