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The Solution

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You‘ve tried everything : the pills, the shakes, the diets, even the surgery, and it‘s been a losing battle. But permanent weight loss isn‘t impossible. Not anymore . . .

Now dietary expert Laurel Mellin offers a scientifically proven, agony–free, breakthrough program for weight loss that doesn‘t require deprivation or superhuman willpower. The Diet–Free Solution presents a practical six–step plan that succeeds where other diets fail because it identifies the psychological, ...

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You‘ve tried everything : the pills, the shakes, the diets, even the surgery, and it‘s been a losing battle. But permanent weight loss isn‘t impossible. Not anymore . . .

Now dietary expert Laurel Mellin offers a scientifically proven, agony–free, breakthrough program for weight loss that doesn‘t require deprivation or superhuman willpower. The Diet–Free Solution presents a practical six–step plan that succeeds where other diets fail because it identifies the psychological, physical, and lifestyle causes of weight problems : the powerful mind and body drives that lead to overeating and inactivity—and offers the cure for each. You can change your body, and ultimately your whole life with:

The Nurturing Cure: How to become aware of your feelings and meet your own needs

The Limits Cure: How to control your actions and set appropriate, realistic expectations

The Body Pride Cure: How to turn off negative stereotypes about fat

The Good Health Cure: How to become aware of body health and stay healthy

The Eating Cure: How to eat regular meals and maintain a healthy diet

The Activity Cure: How to maintain an exercise program and find personal time

Until you understand the whole truth about your weight problem, you can‘t solve it. Whether you‘re trying to lose those last five pounds, end a compulsive eating problem, or shed more weight than you ever thought you‘d carry, let The Diet–Free Solution work for you now and for the rest of your life!

The ability to self–nurture and set effective limits is the root of human maturity, and the foundation for emotional, behavioural, and spiritual balance. Fortunately, the skills to self–nurture and set effective limits can be fine–tuned and readers will learn them via a wealth of practical examples, colourful case histories, and scientific findings that are both fascinating and easy to understand. These skills are effective for a wide range of psychological and addictive problems––from alcoholism and other addictions to overeating, overworking, overspending, and perfectionism.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060987244
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1998
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 1,395,910
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurel Mellin, M.A., R.D., is an associate clinical professor of family and community medicine and pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine. She is the director of the Institute for Health Solutions, and is the author of The Solution: 6 Winning Ways to Permanent Weight Loss and The Shapedown Program. Mellin lectures extensively to health professionals and self-help groups and has appeared on Oprah, Today, Good Morning America, and the CBS Evening News. Her work has been featured in Time, Life, Newsweek, Fortune, Health, Shape, and U.S. News & World Report. She lives with her three children in Marin County, California.

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Read an Excerpt

Your Own Solution Inventory

In this chapter, you will complete your own Solution Inventory, which will customize the method to your individual needs. Chances are, all the causes are important to you, but some have influenced your weight more than others. This chapter presents an opportunity for you to fine-tune your solution and focus on the cures that will be most beneficial to you.
You will also find answers to some of the most common questions about weight: are weight problems in my genes? and what are the roots of my tendency to gain weight? And I'll give you a close look at one person's experience responding to these questions.

Stanley, a family doctor at San Francisco General Hospital, whose sister, Kristin, had attended a talk I'd given the previous month in St. Louis, called me about the method. Kristin had begun to lose weight, called Stanley and told him about the method, and he was inquiring about it for his patients as well as for himself.
You see, Stanley and Kristin had both experienced weight problems since childhood. As kids, they had shared forbidden foods, foods like cellophane-wrapped packages of chocolate cupcakes with squiggles on top and pans of Sara Lee frozen brownies--only partially thawed.
As adults their mutual weight problems had become a source of emotional "glue" between them. Stanley had convinced Kristin to cancel her marriage plans in part because her fiance had pressured her to lose weight. And when Stanley had gained thirty pounds during his residency, Kristin had shipped him a crate of Florida grapefruit.
The timing of Kristin's call to Stanley about The Diet-Free Solution couldn't have been better for his weight, whichhad always been a barometer of his stress and had gone up in the past year. Stanley's stress level was perfectly understandable. He had taken on, in addition to a full load of patient care, an AIDS research project that was aimed at finding ways to prevent the disease in inner-city adolescents. Although Stanley loved the work and got a certain "high" from the frenzied pace it required, he wasn't happy about his increasing weight. When we spoke, he had many questions, including the following.
"My family is heavy. Is it in my genes?"
You may have a sibling, parents and even a grandparent who are also heavy and wonder if you're fighting a losing battle with weight. You might even ask yourself, Is it my genetic destiny to be on the rounder, fluffier or bigger side? Stanley was no different. His sister and parents were also heavy, and he wondered if it was just his genetic destiny to be big.
We all know people with "round genes," the kind that encourage the body to vacuum up every trace of energy consumed and deposit it in just the place they'd least like to have it. If you've read the obesity headlines of the newspapers in the last few years--which suggest that obesity is all in the genes--you may have been inclined to throw in the towel, deciding that your weight is as static as your eye color.
How much weight do genes carry?
Although the media portray the genetic influence on weight as a guarantee of perpetual weight problems, science says differently. The influence of genetic factors varies from individual to individual, and researchers who study such factors--Claude Bouchard, F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer and Albert J. Stunkard--conclude that at most 5 to 25 percent of one's weight can be attributed solely to genetics.
What seems to be important is not the extent to which one's genes invite the number on the scale to increase, but how they interact with one's lifestyle. Due to their genetic makeup, some people exhibit a greater tendency to gain weight, or more elasticity, than others.
For instance, the Pima Indians--who have unique genes that are highly elastic--can eat even small amounts of extra food and gain weight. On the other hand, many people with "skinny genes" can binge eat, habitually indulge or watch television for days on end, and there is no effect on their weight.
There are considerable data that support the view that one's genetics is not the whole story. Stanley Garn from the University of Michigan reviewed a broad spectrum that followed people over several decades. He found that body weight varies tremendously over time. In fact, according to one study by Dr. Garn, 40 percent of women and 60 percent of men who were initially obese were normal weight two decades later. Based on these data, it is clear that weight is not immutable.
If being overweight is primarily genetic, how could it increase 31 percent nationally in ten years?
Recent research has suggested that Garn is right. Weight--for most of us--is quite open to change.
That evidence is based on nationally representative samples of Americans surveyed with the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). According to the results of this survey, the prevalence of obesity has shown a phenomenal upward trend in the last two decades. In adults, obesity rates recently have jumped 31 percent--from 24.5 percent in 1976-1980 to a full 33.3 percent in 1988-1991. What's more, we have seen a similar trend in children, with child obesity skyrocketing 54 percent in the last two decades and adolescent obesity up a full 39 percent.
Indeed, steep inclines in obesity compel us to look at lifestyle factors--not genetic predestination--as a primary cause. But what aspect of lifestyle is fueling this dramatic weight gain among Americans? People who quit smoking gain weight, and smoking rates have plummeted in the last decade, so perhaps reduced smoking is the culprit. Alternatively, demographers might argue that overweight women have higher fertility rates, thus possibly increasing the presence of genetic obesity in the national gene pool. Perhaps it's all those hours at the computer, television and video. The best estimate is that these causes have minor effects on the increase in obesity rates.
The evidence points to what we eat. Despite the no-fat hype in the marketplace and the proliferation of such products as fat-free brownies, sugar-free and fat-free ice cream, and no-fat chips, we are eating more fat and more calories now than in 1978.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 16, 2009

    Save Your Money

    Another one of those diet books that you spend money on and wonder "Why did I ever think this one would be any different than the other ones?"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2004

    This really is the Solution!

    I was never a failure when I couldn't keep weight I lost on diets... off. I never knew how to do that before reading this book. Now, I know that I was never taught how to self nurture and set limits for myself. I had years of therapy and though I learned a lot I still didn't know how to take care of myself around food. I'm learning now for the first time ever how to have the control come from within instead of from a therapist, a coach, a diet counselor, etc. Doesn't that makes sense? That when I can do for myself what I have paid so many others to do/control for me that I will really have the solution to overeating. This method has become the Bible in my life, so that I can finally have peace within. It's not about a 12 step program/sponsor/12 meetings a week, a diet/weighing in/making someone ELSE proud of you, or any other method where I make someone or something else control how I relate to food. If I don't know how to internally take care of myself then I will always go on diets, lose weight and regain weight or stay obsessed trying to keep the weight off by starving, another diet, or exercising like mad. I'm so relieved to have found this book and this method. I can't believe that I really do have a chance for peace of mind around food. It's really true though with this method.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2001

    'The Solution' is a solution!

    This book has been a great help to me. It is not a 'fast' read (you need time to absorb all the info) but it is a very interesting read. The 6 cures really do work and are not very time-consuming. While this book was written to help people with eating disorders, I believe it can be helpful for other habitual 'disorders' (i.e., drinking, gambling), where external solutions are being used to cover up or overcome internal problems. Working through these cures has helped me in all areas of my life, including dealing with the kids! I feel so much more calm and in control. This really is a self-help book that WORKS!

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