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Publisher's Summary

"If diets worked, we'd all be thin by now. Instead, we have enlisted hundreds of millions of people into a war we can't win."
What's the secret to losing weight? If you're like most of us, you've tried cutting calories, sipping weird smoothies, avoiding fats, and swapping out sugar for Splenda. The real secret is that all of those things are likely to make you weigh more in a few years, not less.
In fact a good predictor of who will gain weight is who says they plan to lose some. Last year 108 million Americans went on diets, to the applause of doctors, family, and friends. But long-term studies of dieters consistently find that they're more likely to end up gaining weight in the next two to 15 years than people who don't diet.
Neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt spent three decades in her own punishing cycle of starving and regaining before turning her scientific eye to the research on weight and health. What she found defies the conventional wisdom about dieting:


Telling children that they're overweight makes them more likely to gain weight over the next few years. Weight shaming has the same effect on adults.
The calories you absorb from a slice of pizza depend on your genes and on your gut bacteria. So does the number of calories you're burning right now.
Most people who lose a lot of weight suffer from obsessive thoughts, binge eating, depression, and anxiety. They also burn less energy and find eating much more rewarding than it was before they lost weight.
Fighting against your body's set point - a central tenet of most diet plans - is exhausting, psychologically damaging, and ultimately counterproductive.

If dieting makes us fat, what should we do instead to stay healthy and reduce the risks of diabetes, heart disease, and other obesity-related conditions? With clarity and candor, Aamodt makes a spirited case for abandoning diets in favor of behaviors that will truly improve and extend our lives.
©2016 Sandra Aamodt (P)2016 Penguin Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Amazon Customer on 06-09-16

Good, but a little unfocused

I think this is an important book, however it's trying to do too much. A lot of great information, not well organised. Also it's depressing as hell.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Alison on 11-17-16

Best book I've read on health ever

This book lays it all bare. I've read many other books on the topic of nutrition, obesity and cultural shifts in eating and weight, but this one ties so many other topics into one neat bow. Amazing.
I am a physician and found this eye opening.
I've decided to finally accept
Myself, live healthier and throw out the too skinny clothes. I love to exercise but found the intermittent fasting diet and most diets caused me to binge or because obsessed with garbage food. Seeing the financial and cultural pressure to be thin, I suspect this book will not make it to wide information as it should. It is frustrating but true, lasting weight loss is not realistic, but a better healthier life is.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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