November 29, 2012

Book Review: Inspiring and Supporting Behavior Change: A Food and Nutrition Professional’s Counseling Guide

This is one in a series of book reviews. You may find these books beneficial if you: manage prediabetes or diabetes, follow a diabetes meal plan and/or try to eat healthy to live well. These book reviews also appear on and the books can be found in my amazon a-store. Please check them out and consider a purchase. 

Note: This book is geared to healthcare providers who help people make behavior changes. I’ve recently reviewed a similar book for healthcare providers Behavioral Approaches to Treating Obesity: Helping Your Patients Make Changes That Last

Changing behaviors is a difficult process, period! When it comes to changing behaviors to impact health outcomes, frustrations can multiply for the person managing the condition and the healthcare providers (HCPs) encouraging the person to make changes.

Inspiring and Supporting Behavior Change: A Food and Nutrition Professional’s Counseling Guide, written by Ann Constance and Cecilia Sauter, both dietitians and Certified Diabetes Educators with years of expertise counseling people with diabetes, is a handbook designed to help HCPs learn to more successfully and effectively inspire people to make critically important behavior changes. 

The authors detail the recent shift in how HCPs are transitioning from the “I’ll tell you what to do and you’ll do it” style of education to “I’m here to be your coach and cheerleader as you make one behavior change after another to improve your health.” Research shows that HCPs will experience more success and gratification if they learn to connect with people in ways that inspire behavior change. 

But how can HCPs begin to adjust? 

Inspiring and Supporting Behavior Change helps HCPs recognize what influences peoples’ behaviors and why the old paradigm for teaching/educating is ineffective.

Constance and Sauter provide common situations for the reader to observe how emotions influence behavior change. Additional practice exercises provide Behavior Change book cover
thought provoking comparisons. For instance, what a person is thinking as the dietitian is speaking. However, what these examples and comparisons really provide is an opportunity for HCPs to reflect and make changes in their clinical techniques. 

Inspiring and Supporting Behavior Change stimulates the reader to explore the external influences we all encounter and in turn, the ways in which these affect decisions clients make. 

The authors create clear comparisons of chronic care systems that can improve healthcare outcomes and offer tips to improve healthcare systems. 

Like many books about behavior change, there are chapters to help HCPs bone up or brush up on goal setting techniques and the stages of change theory. 

One of the more useful, yet unexpected sections of the book, is the discussion about people struggling with depression. Forms and checklists make it easy for HCPs to incorporate these into your clinical practice. 

Ann Constance and Cecilia Sauter, both respected experts in their field, have created a handbook that goes beyond many books about behavior change. Real life examples and practice exercises are realistic and insightful.