A provocative expose of the dieting industry from one of the nation’s leading researchers in self-control and the psychology of weight loss that offers proven strategies for sustainable weight loss.
From her office in the University of Minnesota’s Health and Eating Lab, professor Traci Mann researches self-control and dieting. And what she has discovered is groundbreaking. Not only do diets not work; they often result in weight gain. Americans are losing the battle of the bulge because our bodies and brains are not hardwired to resist food—the very idea of it works against our biological imperative to survive.
In Secrets From the Eating Lab, Mann challenges assumptions—including those that make up the very foundation of the weight loss industry—about how diets work and why they fail. The result of more than two decades of research, it offers cutting-edge science and exciting new insights into the American obesity epidemic and our relationship with eating and food.
Secrets From the Eating Lab also gives readers the practical tools they need to actually lose weight and get healthy. Mann argues that the idea of willpower is a myth—we shouldn’t waste time and money trying to combat our natural tendencies. Instead, she offers 12 simple, effective strategies that take advantage of human nature instead of fighting it—from changing the size of your plates to socializing with people with healthy habits, removing “healthy” labels that send negative messages to redefining comfort food.
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About the Author
Traci Mann, Ph.D. , is professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota and is an expert on the psychology of eating, dieting, and self-control. She was a tenured professor at UCLA before moving to the University of Minnesota, where she founded the Health and Eating Lab. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Aeronautics and Space Association (NASA). She lives with her husband, University of Minnesota professor of psychology Stephen Engel, and their two sons in Edina, Minnesota.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Why Diets Fail You
Chapter 1 Diets Don't Work 3
Chapter 2 Why Diets Don't Work: Biology, Stress, and Forbidden Fruit 17
Chapter 3 The Myth of Willpower 33
Part 2 Why You are Better off Without the Battle
Chapter 4 Diets are Bad for You 51
Chapter 5 Obesity Is Not a Death Sentence 67
Part 3 How to Reach Your Leanest Livable Weight (No Willpower Required)
Chapter 6 Lessons from a Lean Pig 89
Chapter 7 How to Trick Your Friends into Ignoring a Cookie 105
Chapter 8 Don't Call That Apple Healthy 119
Chapter 9 Know When to Turn Off Your Brain 135
Chapter 10 How to Comfort an Astronaut 147
Part 4 Your Weight is Really not the Point
Chapter 11 Why to Stop Obsessing and Be Okay with Your Body 159
Chapter 12 The Real Reasons to Exercise and Strategies for Sticking with It 169
Final Words: Diet Schmiet 187