Friday, December 3, 2010

Healthy Living Weekly Post: The Ultimate Weight Solution book review (Part 2)

Today I'm continuing my book review of Dr. Phil McGraw's The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom. (You can read Part 1 of my book review here.)

The fourth key, according to Dr. Phil, is Mastery Over Food and Impulse Eating, which basically means breaking bad habits while at the same time adding new healthy habits. The theory here is that to change a bad eating habit, we must substitute an "incompatible behavior." For example, eating too fast is an issue for many people, myself included. We sit down and gobble up everything on our plate without truly tasting or enjoying the food. And without giving our body time to send a message to our brain that we are full. Dr. Phil suggests several "incompatible behaviors" to break this habit: "Completely swallow food from each mouthful before you add any more to your fork or spoon. Consciously take time to taste, chew, and savor the food you eat. Take sips of water or other noncaloric beverages between bites." This example of an "incompatible behavior" was my favorite: "Have you ever tried bingeing on chocolate cake while taking a bubble bath." The chapter on this fourth key also contains a behavioral audit with questions that help pinpoint bad eating habits and discusses the payoff of making healthier choices.

Dr. Phil discussed how we often have bad eating habits even when we truly desire to live a healthy lifestyle, but so many of our eating behaviors have become habits. It reminded me of the verse Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
(Romans 7:15)

The fifth key to weight loss freedom is High-Response Cost, High-Yield Nutrition. This is an excellent chapter with information about nutrient balance, fiber, sugar, fat and salt intake, and fluids. The premise is to choose High-Response Cost ("foods that require a great deal of work and effort to prepare and eat"), High-Yield Nutrition ("foods that supply a lot of nutrients relative to the amount of calories they contain") foods the majority of the time. The main foods in this category are lean meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. I really like the seven-day meal plan that is included which lists healthy options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks a day. The chapter ends by reminding us to be realistic and flexible. It's ok to indulge in a sweet treat or a high-calorie food occasionally so that we do not feel deprived and then crave those foods even more. The trick is to make healthy choices most of the time.

I'm really enjoying the book and will hopefully finish it up this week, so I can complete my book review next week.

Looking back at November and my goal to simply MAINTAIN during the holiday season, I think I did really well. I exercised regularly, only missing my strength training routine once and riding the exercise bike a few times. We've eaten very healthy meals here at home and shared a meal the few times we ate out. We celebrated Robbie's birthday and Thanksgiving without overeating. I enjoyed all my favorites, but was conscious of portion sizes. While I have enjoyed an occasional Coca-Cola, I have not had one simply out of habit or for solace! I continue to start my day with a quiet time of prayer and Bible reading, am consciously choosing not to worry and fret over the job situation knowing that God is in control, and have enjoyed time with my family without unrealistic expectations of perfection. And let's not forget the scale, four pounds DOWN over the month, bringing my total weight loss to 14 pounds. All-in-all, a successful November!


  1. congrats on the weight loss and continued healthy choices Melissa! You are doing great! Is Robbie joining you in this lifestyle change? It is so much easier when you have support at home. My DH sits with me at lunch on the weekends eating potato chips - ugh. As soon as all the girls are out of the house, I won't be buying that stuff anymore!

  2. Oh yes, Robbie is joining me (I'm planning to post more about that in the next few weeks!) and it makes it so much easier. He's eating healthy and exercising five days a week.