The Ultimate Weight Solution by Dr. Phil McGraw

The Ultimate Weight Solution by Dr. Phil McGraw

Reviewed by L.D.Y.

Hardcover (available in mass market), 336 pages, 2003

Rating: 8/10

Reason for Reading: I’ve become mesmerized over the past few months by Dr. Phil’s big shiny head. No, really.

Synopsis: Dr. Phil looks at a triad of weight loss factors: eating, exercising, and perhaps most importantly, the psychological aspects that hold people back. Seven ‘keys’ are presented, with quizzes to check your starting point and progress, as well as to identify the areas that you may need to focus on the most.

Why you should read this book: The theories and keys in the book are taken from proven cognitive therapy methods, customized to weight loss. It’s full of the common-sense the doc is famous for and most fad-diet books lack – exercise, eat healthy foods that fill you up while providing nutritional value, clean out the junk food and change your attitude towards yourself as well as your weight. Easy to understand.

Why you should avoid this book: Dr. Phil’s credentials are with the human mind, not the body, so it’s rather disconcerting to see him promoting various supplements and dispensing advice that should really be left to an individual’s doctor. If you were just looking for a book on nutrition and eating better and aren’t interested in the psychological aspects, hold on to your forty bucks and pick up a copy of the food pyramid instead.

Opening paragraph:

You have a decision to make.
You know it and so do I. At this very moment, you are standing in the aisle of a bookstore, or at an airport, thumbing through these pages, or you are sitting at home, reading this book. You are thinking about your weight and how you have tried to lose it in a million wrong ways. You are wondering if maybe, just maybe, there is something here for you, something you have wanted for a very long time. And if there is, should you try it?

Fabulous quotes:

Do negative thoughts about exercise make you avoid it and put your health and vitality on the line? For example, does the fact that you’ve grown buttery prevent you from going to exercise classes because you are too self-conscious about your body, so you just stay home and do nothing? Does your self-imposed disgust over your appearance lead to habitual bingeing on sugary foods and processed foods that exacts a physical toll you can ill afford? Are your reactions to stress generating physical accord in your body? Or are you constantly worked up, wearing your body down and subjecting yourself to disease? It may be that now is the time to understand that holding such beliefs is not helping you; that in fact, they are hurting you.

If you hate counting calories, adding up points, calculating carbohydrate or fat grams, multiplying nutrient percentages, and having to remember confusing details about food groups, then you will love what I’m about to show you about meal planning. All you have to do is take out a dinner plate and mentally divide it into four sections, or quadrants.
At each meal, fill one section with a protein, another section with a starch, and the remaining two sections with vegetables or a vegetable and a fruit. Another way to look at this is that one-fourth of your food comes from protein, one-fourth from starch, and the rest (half of your plate) comes from low-calorie, high-fiber plant-based foods, including fruits and vegetables.

Also recommended: Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.

Also by this author: The Family First Workbook; Family First; The Ultimate Weight Solution Food Guide; Life Strategies; Life Strategies Workbook; Relationship Rescue; Relatonship Rescue Workbook; Self-Matters; The Self-Matters Companion.

Author’s website:

© Lisa Yanaky 2003-2007

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