The Solution: For Safe Healthy Permanent Weight Loss


Dietitian and associate clinical professor of family and community medicine at the University of California, Laurel Mellin, is the author of The Solution: For Safe Healthy Permanent Weight Loss.

Mellin developed a highly successful weight loss program for adolescents in the late 1970’s called The Shapedown Program. The Solution is a version of this program that was developed for adults.

Mellin has identified six major causes that are at the root of the behaviors that lead to obesity. She believes that it is never too late to develop the skills necessary to overcome the emotional and psychological barriers to weight loss.

The Solution Diet Basics

the-solution-for-weightlossRather than focusing on a strict regime of diet and exercise, The Solution is focused on the internal aspects, involving psychological and behavioral patterns that may be supporting poor lifestyle habits and overeating.

Mellin identifies six major causes of obesity.

  1. Weak Self-Nurturing
  2. Ineffective Limits
  3. Body Shame
  4. Poor Vitality
  5. Unbalanced Eating
  6. Stalled Living

Dieters are guided through each of the causes and then given the skills that are necessary to overcome these obstacles. Mellin believes that strengthening these areas will eliminate the need to overeat or make unhealthy food choices.

This is not a quick fix approach to weight loss but involves a step-by-step process that may require at least several months to integrate all of the principles. Throughout the process Mellin challenges dieters to get to the core issues of why they eat when they are not feeling hungry.

Mellin says that most dieters know enough about how to eat in order to lose weight so she concentrates on helping dieters to learn strategies that will reset their hunger signals. She utilizes techniques such as consciously eating less than usual and keeping busy so that there is less time involved in thinking about food.

Dieters are advised to stop regarding foods as being either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but instead to approach the daily eating plan in terms of balance, variety and moderation. Dieters are however, recommended to select foods from lists of ‘light foods’ but there are no strict rules.

As you follow the principles of the program it is expected that you will naturally start eating healthier foods and lose weight effortlessly without the need to enforce a rigid diet plan.

Recommended Foods

Fruit, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, legumes, non-fat dairy products, non-fat salad dressings, sugar free pudding and jello, non-fat corn chips, salsa, herbs and spices, mineral water, diet soda,

Sample Diet Plan


1 bagel with non-fat cream cheese and blueberry jam
Fresh strawberries
Coffee or tea

Morning Snack

1 cup seedless grapes


Turkey sandwich on two slices rye or whole wheat bread
1 apple
Diet soda

Afternoon Snack

Asparagus dipped in lemon yogurt


BBQ sirloin steak with mushrooms, onions and garlic
Baked potato with chives and non-fat sour cream
1 glass red wine

Look here for other Healthy Recipes and meal ideas

Exercise Recommendations

Exercise is recommended as a vital element to losing weight and maintaining weight loss.

These exercises could be used with The Solution.

Costs and Expenses

The Solution: For Safe Healthy Permanent Weight Loss retails at $13.00.

The program requires that dieters become engaged in group therapy sessions online or in live workshops, which may considerably increase the cost of following this plan.


  • Effectiveness of the program has been confirmed by independent clinical studies.
  • Good for dieters who overeat for emotional reasons such as stress or boredom.
  • No foods are forbidden and program is flexible.
  • Diet recommendations include a wide variety of foods.
  • Exercise is encouraged.
  • Includes a meal plan.


  • May be necessary to invest in counseling sessions, which may significantly increase the costs of following this program as outlined.
  • The author’s website does not offer free support or assistance.
  • Will not appeal to dieters who do not feel that psychological factors are the cause of their inability to lose weight.


Studies show that The Solution program has a very high success rate with 77% of those who participate in the author’s 12-week program maintaining their weight loss after two years. This is highly unusual for a weight loss plan and indicates that the program probably does a good job of dealing with the underlying issues surrounding weight management.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)


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