The Placebo Diet: Use Your Mind to Transform Your Body

Title: The Placebo Diet: Use Your Mind to Transform Your Body

Author: Janet Thomson MSc

Year: 2016

Publisher: Hay House

Synopsis: If you’re fed up of dieting and are desperate to be healthy and happy, “The Placebo Diet” shows you how you can change the way you think about food so that you never have to diet again. By anchoring negativity to your favourite junk foods and eating for nutrition, Janet Thomson promises you will lose weight and feel amazing.

Review: Like a cute cat that lures you in only to then whip out its sharp claws and scratch you, Janet Thomson’s approach is deceitful at first but it’s for your own good.

The book attracts you with its promises that you will be able to use the power of your mind to get the body you’ve always wanted. Sounds pretty simple right? Well it’s not as easy as you’d hope it would be and that’s when the claws come out.

Once you’re a few pages in you realise that the message isn’t to be taken lightly and that Janet thinks of herself not as your friend but as a mentor with the harshness of a personal trainer.  Janet constantly reminds you throughout that “if you can’t be bothered to do it then maybe stop reading right now and pick this book up again when you are ready to put the effort in.” That’s what I mean by harshness. But like a personal trainer, she’s only harsh because she wants the best for you.

So for those that do carry on reading there’s a lot of inspiration to be felt and a bit of science to learn too. It’s not boring in the slightest and you’re always kept on your toes as you turn every page. You find yourself learning something new about your mind and body in every chapter, so you’re compelled to keep reading.

Of course there are some home truths in there, like how it’s your own fault you’re fat and no one else’s and that a lot of healthy eating comes down to common sense. But apart from that, Janet does give you the physical tools to change with her famous colour coded system. This system helps you on your way to a healthier you by easily being able to track what you’re eating and thus make the best choices.

Perhaps the downside to this book is that there is an accompanying online journal that you have to download and follow alongside it in order to get maximum results. Although it’s great that there is this personalisation alongside the book where you can make notes of how you’re feeling and the food choices you make, if you’re travelling to work and just want to quickly dip in and out of a light read on the bus, this is not the book for you. This is the kind of book where you need to be sat at home, in concentration mode, taking it all in and physically taking action through the use of the journal.

This book is aimed at people who are overweight and need drastic help to change their lives. But if you are at a healthy weight and have a problem abstaining from sugary snacks then without a doubt this book will help you too by leading you on the path to a more energised, happier you. There are hugely inspirational stories about people who have achieved the impossible through mental strength and you also learn how to take control of your life when it comes to stress and cravings. Due to this combination “The Placebo Diet” is entertaining as well as encouraging and informative. By the last page Janet, whether she likes it or not, feels like a valuable friend.


This is not for the faint-hearted, you have been warned! But if you’re ready and willing to take on the challenge and change your body for life then pick up this book pronto. Its harshness might upset you at first but when the truths hit home about your unhealthy habits you feel stimulated and prepared to take whatever else this book throws at you. There are some amazing inspirational stories to help you and if you’re at home, using the online resources too will get you the best results and apparently the body of your dreams. According to Janet, you’ll be ‘taking the first step towards the last diet you will ever need’.

Book Rating: 8/10

Favourite quotes:

  • “Every time you overeat or drink high-calorie junk, especially when you don’t need food for energy (i.e. when you are already satisfied), you are deliberately harming yourself.”
  • “How much you value yourself is vital in determining how much care you take of yourself.”
  • “(…) your body is simply a visible representation of what has been going on in your mind – all your thoughts about yourself.”
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