Key Summary

Welcome to this post on Take Charge of Your Diet by Sylvie Boulay. Take Charge of Your Diet offers an approach to weight loss based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Hot off the press from publisher Ortus Press, it’s available in paperback and ebook. I received a review copy from Literally PR in exchange for an honest review. I extend my thanks to Lit PR, the author and publisher for this opportunity and my spot on the blog tour.

In this post I will briefly introduce the principle behind weight loss. I highlight why it can be challenging and the additional difficulties faced by those with chronic illness or disability. I will then provide my review for Take Charge of Your Diet and share the official synopsis.

a pcture of Take Charege of Your diet set against a pale pink background with white line drawings of fruit

Weight Loss Principle

The main principle behind weight loss is simple: burn more calories than you consume. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? In practise, though, it can be challenging. Food and drink is so much more than something which sates our hunger. There are a myriad of threads in every person’s relationship with food.

Our constantly ‘on the go’ society means that we rarely eat mindfully. This means we can often eat for reasons other than to sate our hunger. Thinking about our relationship with food and eating habits can help us to pinpoint where we can make improvements.

Weight Loss with Energy Limiting Chronic Illness (ELCI)

Trying to loose weight with an energy limiting chronic illness (ELCI) can be very challenging. ELCIs by their nature mean that sufferers may be very sedentary and struggle to do much exercise. Those with severe forms may be completely bed bound. This makes it extremely difficult to burn off excess calories.

People with conditions like ME/CFS, who struggle to sleep well, carry an additional hormonal burden. Those who are unable to get sufficient rest, have increased ghrelin (a hormone that increases appetite). At the same time, their levels of leptin decrease (a hormone that decreases hunger and appetite). As a result, they feel hungry even when their body does not require food. For more information, see this slideshow from web MD.

People with ELCI who are unable to exercise can only loose weight by limiting the calories they eat. This can be very challenging and I think a CBT workbook like Take Charge of Your Diet could be very helpful.

Take Charge of Your Diet Review

I very much like this book for a number of reasons. First, it’s written clearly and is easy to understand. When making significant life changes, it’s crucial that the instructions are easy to follow and Take Charge of Your Diet is exactly that. Secondly, it’s a work book rather than a text book. This means there are exercises and tasks for the reader to do, ensuring they understand the advice given and can adapt it to their situation. Thirdly the advice is holistic and geared towards success. By asking the reader to: examine their motivation, set goals, learn from slip ups, find a (non food) rewards system and solicit support from others, she has every potential pitfall covered.

Another huge plus for me is that whilst being rooted in science and providing healthy advice, it doesn’t tout one particular diet. Loosing weight can be hard enough without feeling deprived or having to cut out entire food groups. Through her ten step plan, Boulay is providing the reader with the tools needed to examine and improve their diet. In this way, Boulay is helping the reader create a long term, sustainable and empowered relationship with food.

Do visit the other stops on this blog tour to find out what other readers think of Take Charge of Your Diet. See the poster below for details. For my other book reviews please see the blog section on reading.

Take Charge of Your Diet Blog Tour Poster


This is a short, accessible workbook offering a new approach to weight loss based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Rather than proposing a particular diet, the workbook offers practical tools to help slimmers adhere to whatever plan they have chosen. Written in plain language for the general reader it is based on principles widely discussed in academic research on addiction treatment.

The reader is taken through ten easy to follow stages. These are similar to those suggested in addiction recovery, but here they are applied to weight loss: keeping a diary, building motivation, identifying unmet needs, drawing a plan, creating new habits, identifying triggers and risk situations and learning how to deal with cravings and relapse. The last chapter also contains information for family, friends, carers or professionals to support loved ones or clients through the ten stages.

Each chapter contains an explanation of the stage, one or more examples to illustrate the task and exercises to be completed by the reader followed by useful tips. The aim is for the reader to use the traditional tools of addiction treatment to become their own weight loss coach. It is designed as a ‘companion’ to a diet to increase slimmers’ motivation and self-confidence, and goes beyond the diet to adapting to life after weight loss.

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