Mar 29, 2010

Chapter 11 - The Beck Diet Solution

When to Stop Losing and Start Maintaining

She starts by saying she asks her patients two questions:

1. What would you like to weigh?
2. What weight could make you at least minimally satisfied? (what is your satisfaction goal?)

She suggests that the answer to number one is our "ideal" and that the answer to number 2 is our realistic goal and that knowing the difference between these two numbers is a secret to success in maintaining (the next chapter).

She goes on to talk about the lowest achievable weight and the lowest maintainable weight - again usually two different numbers.

She says that at some point, we will stop losing and our bodies will settle at the right weight, at this point, it will not be feasible or realistic to lower calories or exercise more - our bodies will be "done".  She says our maintainable weight may not be our lowest possible, but it is where we will be able to stay comfortably without having to do anything extreme or struggle.

If you reach a weight that you feel is not your goal weight but you can't go any lower and it's not feasible, realistic or healthy to exercise more or lower your calories, then you may have to readjust your goals.  She suggests taking the focus off weight loss at this point and enriching your life in other ways. All those things you were going to do when you got to goal - do them now.

Although I understand the point of this chapter, I don't think she does a very good job of explaining how to know when you are at your goal weight (ideal or realistic) and although I think she is trying to discourage eating disorders and image dysmorphia - she doesn't really delve into that and once again, I found that she took a very serious issue and made it too simplistic.

Personally, I haven't decided on a goal weight yet. I'd like to hit 140. At 17 I was 119 and very, very, very skinny - too skinny for my curves - at 21 I was 135 and although at the time I felt I was "fat", looking back, I was curvy and perhaps could have lost about 10lbs but I was not fat by any standard.  Older than 40 now and two children later, I'd be happy at 140-145...but I won't truly know what I look like or feel like until I get closer.

Have you settled on your goal weight yet and if you are did you decide when to stop losing weight?


  1. This is a tricky issue that I think a lot about. What can I maintain easily? What truly feels good? Do I listen to my body or the charts? You've got me thinking further...

  2. I had a goal weight: 171 lbs. Because I knew when I was sick and bony I was only down to 159, and that wasn't healthy. I thought my goal weight would be reasonable, but excess skin and age and years of morbid obesity have changed my mind. My doctor thinks I've done well, and that it's now going to take a heck of a lot of work to lose another 10 lbs, much less another 25-30 (before corrective surgeries). I'm afraid he may be right.

    I read a lot of blogs about healthy women obsessing over weight loss or saying how fat they are. It's very discouraging, because these are lovely, active, healthy women who seem to have no idea how healthy and beautiful they are. I know I could be them so very easily... so I do have some empathy for them. But I also think women need to get real.

  3. My "ideal " weight according to all those charts and what nots is between 135 and 145. That is the focus for me ultimately. However, in the real world, filled with family, birthdays, housework and age, I will be very happy to reach anything below 200 lbs. At my heaviest I weighed 310, I got down to 200 and on that day I got pregnant with my son and I have not been there since. The last time I weighed in at 200 lbs was my first day of school believe it or not ( talk about a life long weight problem !). In my mind , revisiting the number I weighed in at on the first day of first grade is kind of like a miracle face lift or something. One part of me will share in the experience I had when I was that young..little does it matter that it is my number on the scale !

  4. Right now I don't know what my goal weight is - I've never been a healthy weight (that I can remember), so I don't know what I can maintain.

    My plan is to get into a healthy weight range and just keep re-evaluating how I feel! :)

  5. My goal weight is 160. When I got down to 154 before I found it hard to maintain...which would explain why I gained 140 pounds back.

    I think 160 would work for me.

  6. I liked this chapter simply because I had never thought in terms of achievable and maintainable. I just assumed that the formula was to pick a goal weight, achieve it then do whatever you can to maintain it. But I do realize they are two really different numbers. and to be honest, for myself, now I have no interest in achieving any number I can't maintain. And I know previous goal weights were too low.

  7. This is something I have been thinking a lot about lately! As I approach my listed goal weight I know that I would like to go further. I think, like you, it is about finding that natural point that tapers off to where I should be and just feels right. I figure I'll know it when I get there.