THE MINDFUL DIET: How to Transform Your Relationship With Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health, by Ruth Q. Wolever and Beth Reardon, with Tania Hannan. Scribner, 342 pp., $24.99.


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Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, drew the famous to its weight loss program for many years. (Remember the Rice Diet?) But, as both nutrition science and the awareness of the mind-body connections have matured, its approach has changed. (White rice? Nope.)

This book, by Duke Integrative Medicine's clinical health psychologist Ruth Q. Wolever, director of research, and Beth Reardon, former director of integrative and functional nutrition, includes no recipes and few calorie counts. But it's full of what they call "your mindfulness toolkit" (a "loving-kindness meditation" that includes blessings for yourself and others and a "hunger-fullness scan" to train you to know if you're really hungry); quizzes about stress and "automatic eating"; body-image awareness and much more.

They write about a technique called "chain analysis, or chaining," to help you ". . . examine not only an unhealthy incident itself but, more important, the events, thoughts, and feelings that preceded it" -- so that you can "formulate alternatives." Maybe next time, you can avoid that binge.

THE SCOOP You'll also learn the authors' four "pillars" of eating: Eating to manage inflammation, eating for blood-sugar balance, eating whole foods and eating a plant-based diet.

THE BOTTOM LINE You'll need a journal, 15 to 30 minutes daily to complete the exercises and a support system. But you're worth it.