When I was asked to review the book ‘Do You Really Want To Lose Weight‘ by Kate Swann and Kristina Mamrot, I accepted with scepticism. I’ve formed quite strong views on what is actually healthy especially in terms of weight loss. This has stemmed from my struggle with eating disorders and subsequent seeking to develop a healthy relationship with food (one day I’ll work up the guts to go into all the juicy details for you, if you want to hear my story, let me know below – it may boost my confidence to do so!). Despite my strong views I was pleasantly surprised, the book was almost on point with my own discoveries about healthy and maintainable weight loss.
What does ‘Do You Really Want to Lose Weight?’ have to say as a whole?
This book is filled with the time consuming and sometimes confronting tips, however they are the only ones that will see us lose weight and keep it off. The book is written by two Melbourne psychologists, Kate Swann and Kristina Mamrot. They apply their psychological insights to weight loss by focusing on the way our emotions and thoughts influence our eating patterns and behaviour.
Although, they don’t just leave you hanging with a diagnosis that your ‘crazy’. In fact, they don’t even judge you as crazy. With HEAPS of real life stories scattered through the book, it helps you to realise that most people have emotional issues, many of whom use food or weight loss goals with an accompanying strict diet as the band aid solution to those problems. This solution is only temporary as you’ll head right back to the behaviour you know the next time you encounter that ‘trigger’. The stories give you great insight into how each tip can apply to areas your life and show that there is hope in using these tips to loss weight without returning to your distorted eating patterns.
What types of weight loss tips are given?
The writers help you to identify things which are going to get in the way of weight loss. One of the primary issues here is emotional issues such as:
- dealing with anxiety and depression first,
- identifying your emotional triggers (conscious and unconscious),
- letting go of perfectionism (Not sure why perfectionism is a problem? Read this post. Not sure if you’re a perfectionist or want to overcome it? Read this post.)
- Mindfulness of your self-critical thoughts and eating behaviour;
- exploring shame.
They also look at practical lifestyle tips:
- prioritising and valuing yourself;
- the top four characteristics of people who maintain weight loss (one is eating breakfast everyday, check out this easy breakfast recipe);
- motivation – why now?
- stages of change – yes, relapses WILL happen before permanent change!
- sitting down to eat
- slowing down (why not try some adult colouring in? or read my tips on simplifying your life?)
- regaining control
- setting a ceiling weight
Do I disagree with any of the tips?
The only tip that didn’t sit well with me is compensating if you overeat or indulge one day. This is because I think that the word compensating has negative connotations. Although the writers said ‘By under-eating [the next day] we mean you eat the meals and snacks you planned, but you cut back on the treats.’ I think the concept is fine, but it could be tempting for those who struggle with food to skim over that and take it as a ticket for significant binge or compensation when in an emotional circumstance and unable to think of the detailed tip, only the overarching idea. Often these behaviours already have strong neural pathways, so it is uncomfortable to change and easy to only take on board what you want to hear. The concept may have better suited the target audience better if described as ‘flexible eating’ or something of the sort. My idea around treats is similar, to be flexible if you’re out and want them, have them, but be reasonable with yourself and don’t have them everyday. 2-3 times a week is ideal.
Who would I recommend this book to?
You don’t have to be ‘fat’ to read this book because this book will equip you with lifelong skills and tools to create beliefs and a lifestyle that will lead to a healthy you. I would recommend it to all woman and those men who struggle with weight issues. Even Honey liked it!
Want to WIN a copy? I have TWO copies to giveaway! Sorry, this giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Steph and Kirsty!
Simply tell me in the comments below, what keeps you from losing weight or keeping it off? Open to Australian residents only, competition closes midnight 24 September 2015.
Want to purchase the book?
The book costs 24.95RRP, however Eat Pray Workout readers can get a generous 50% off by using the code ‘EATPRAYWORKOUT’ at the checkout. SO cheap for such wise advice. I do not receive an affiliate payment for your purchases (I would always state if I did), I just really think it is worth it!
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