Seldom does a book about dieting show such unabashed passion. Beneath all the exclamations, there's very little in the way of a breakthrough; still, family counselor LeShan knows whereof she speaks, and she juggles well. Tormented by weight problems all her life, she joined 300 other fatties in a 3Â«-month Rice Diet program at Duke University Medical Center, and she claims she'll never gain again. Some of the italicized secrets: you have to love yourself fat (in other words, unconditionally) in order to enjoy permanent weight loss; the fat can be a shield against one's ""specialness"" (in LeShan's case, creativity); and yes, mom probably did do it to you by giving and withholding approval for various eating habits. LeShan is more concerned with dusting off tired emotional responses like guilt than with diets per se; she discovered that her own craving for sweets subsided with a reduction in salt intake, but doesn't consider that to be a widespread phenomenon. The closest we get to eyeball-to-eyeball bouts with practicalities are the advice to keep a journal of emotional responses and to relinquish a sedentary lifestyle--neither novel nor particularly explicit. But the empathy factor is strong, the stance is generally well-grounded, and the psychological niceties have crowd-appeal.