The Structure House Weight Loss Plan: Achieve Your Ideal Weight through a New Relationship with Food

The Structure House Weight Loss Plan: Achieve Your Ideal Weight through a New Relationship with Food

by Gerard J Musante

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Obesity expert Dr. Gerard Musante and his residential weight loss center, Structure House, have helped more than thirty thousand people lose weight. A stay at Structure House costs thousands of dollars. Now Dr. Musante's innovative ideas and effective treatment methodsSee more details below



Obesity expert Dr. Gerard Musante and his residential weight loss center, Structure House, have helped more than thirty thousand people lose weight. A stay at Structure House costs thousands of dollars. Now Dr. Musante's innovative ideas and effective treatment methods are yours for the price of this book.


During his thirty years of practice, Dr. Musante has shown that it is your relationship with food that determines your ability to reach your ideal weight. His system targets behaviors resulting from habit, boredom, or stress that lead to unstructured eating -- eating for nonnutritional reasons -- and presents concrete methods for designing new, structured eating patterns. You'll learn to isolate your unhealthy eating, recognize and neutralize the food triggers that cause your unstructured eating, and stop using food to satisfy needs other than hunger. Dr. Musante's method gets to the root of these behaviors by completely reconstructing your daily experience with food and therefore the choices you make about what to eat.

The Structure House Weight Loss Plan presents Dr. Musante's Structured Eating system. You will learn to eat nutritious food in appropriate portions three times a day -- the food that you need to meet your nutritional requirements and to reach and maintain the level of weight you desire. The Structured Eating program is presented in three sections.

The first section, "Get Structured," guides you through making the changes that will increase success, including understanding your eating behaviors that emerge from habit, boredom, and stress; learning how the organization of your refrigerator and cabinets can lead to weight loss or weight gain; and analyzing the attitudes toward food of the people who surround you at work and at home.

In the second section, "Be Structured," you learn about food choices; meal planning, including grocery shopping and food preparation; and identifying the right kinds of exercise that will enhance your success.

In the final section, "Stay Structured," Dr. Musante shares all the secrets of lifestyle change that will help you take and, more important, keep the weight off. The strategies are both large and small, simple and profound, immediate and long lasting. Using the Structure House approach, you'll be in control of food -- not controlled by it. You'll gain power by taking responsibility -- and then you can take credit for your successes.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Clinical psychologist Musante bases his Structure House program on the idea that it is a person's relationship with food that causes weight gain (as when one eats to relieve boredom or stress). Unlike diets forbidding certain foods, his plan denies dieters nothing. Instead, its mainstays include such time-honored principles as eating three properly proportioned meals a day composed of foods from all the major food groups and exercising. Participants plan their meals in advance (they may count calories or use an exchange system), shop accordingly, and record what they eat and—if applicable—their reasons for deviating from the plan. Suggestions for avoiding the pitfalls of dining out or entertaining as well as sample recipes for home preparation are included. Easily accessible to the layperson and full of sensible advice, this is recommended for public and academic nutrition collections.
—Florence Scarinci

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This is a book about change. I don't mean just change in your weight -- losing the pounds you want to lose. Weight loss is important, but it's not really the change that is most important. Rather, The Structure House Weight Loss Plan focuses on changing yourself in deeper, more significant, more durable ways than what you can measure simply by standing on your bathroom scale. I'm talking about changing how you view yourself. Changing your relationship with food. Changing your choices about how to live your life. Changing your attitude about change itself.

For thirty years, I've helped overweight and obese men and women learn about change at Structure House, the residential program I founded in Durham, North Carolina. Approximately one thousand people participate in our programs there each year. Some of these participants are ten, twenty, thirty pounds over their desired weight. Others are carrying even more excess pounds and would be considered obese. Still others are morbidly obese -- so overweight that their health is in immediate jeopardy. Almost all of the people who come to Structure House understand that excess weight can lead to medical problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and other serious health risks. These participants stay at Structure House for a period of time and, each in his or her own way, learn about the possibilities for change and about the skills that make change possible.

Here are just a few comments from participants about what they gained from the Structure House program:

"Structure House changed my life. It was the best investment I ever made in myself."

-- Pete

"With the information and the tools that I received at Structure House, losing weight is a challenge that I can face. Now I understand my weight problem, and I know what I can do to effectively deal with it."

-- Nancy

"To be looked at as a 'normal-weight' person by others instead of always being stared at is a wonderful benefit to my weight loss. I have more energy and I'm in better shape than most of my friends. This lifestyle change has truly given me a new life."

-- Jeremy

"Since leaving Structure House I have exercised on a daily basis and generally live a healthy lifestyle. With the training and behavior modification used by Structure House, I am now able to control my food intake and maintain a 'normal' weight."

-- Alan

"I have learned how to take better care of myself and am learning how to value myself with a new body and a new approach to food. The program has been, for me, a gift."

-- Maria

Structure House is a residential program, but the concepts we teach there are flexible, adaptable, and portable. I see Structure House primarily as a school for change -- a place where participants can stay with us for a while, become Students of Change, acquire as many new skills as possible, then take their skills back home to practice and apply. My purpose in writing The Structure House Weight Loss Plan is to put these concepts into a book so that you can learn and use them in the comfort and familiarity of your own surroundings.

But before we start discussing the Structure House program and its many benefits, I want to touch on some of the issues that inspired me to design this program in the first place.


"I also learned a lot about some of the triggers for why I eat."

-- Jack

Each of us has a relationship with food. We all need a certain amount of sustenance to stay alive and healthy, but satisfying our nutritional needs isn't the only reason we eat. From childhood on, every person develops a set of expectations, habits, associations, and states of mind related to food. Our family dynamics, our cultural backgrounds, and our individual attitudes and tastes all influence how this situation develops. We could call the sum total of these expectations, habits, associations, and states of mind our "relationship" with food.

For many people, that relationship is fundamentally healthy. For some, though, the relationship is more complex and even problematic. The kinds and quantities of food we eat may work against our best interests. Some people eat more out of habit than from nutritional need. Some use food as a drug -- a substance they take to relax, stimulate, console, or anesthetize themselves. Some view food as a companion that soothes a sense of loneliness or else substitutes for human interaction or other satisfying activities.

One part of the Structure House approach is to help you understand that, like many people, you've learned to use food in ways that go beyond its nutritional value. That's why I say that it isn't food that makes you fat. Your problem isn't so much food as such, and it's not even the weight you gain from food; rather, the problem is your relationship with food. Weight is a symptom of an underlying imbalance in your relationship with food. When your relationship with food gets out of balance -- and when you habitually use food to meet nonnutritional needs -- you're going to gain weight. Other negative changes may result from this imbalance, too. Your health may suffer. You may become less physically active. You may start to isolate yourself socially. You may struggle with your sense of self-worth. Sometimes you feel as though you've lost control and there is nothing that you can do to improve your life.

But if you can regain a sense of balance, you'll reap all kinds of benefits. First of all, you'll lose weight -- but weight loss is just the start. Your health will begin to improve. You'll lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and joint problems. You'll feel livelier and more active. With more energy available, you'll be more likely to exercise, which will help you lose weight faster and boost your energy and stamina even more. You'll look better, too. And all of these positive changes will bolster your social confidence, your sense of self-worth, and your trust in what life has to offer.

These issues of balance and imbalance have convinced me that real change -- not just the change you see on the dial on your bathroom scale -- is what matters most. Imbalanced use of food is a behavior you've learned in the past. What you've learned in one way can be unlearned, and you can now learn to have a different, more balanced relationship with food. In short, you can change.

I invite you to start this journey -- and to experience all the benefits that change can bring you.

Copyright © 2007 by Structure House, Inc., and Mel Parker Books LLC

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