Secrets From the Eating Lab: The Science of Weight Loss, the Myth of Willpower, and Why You Should Never Diet Again

February 20, 2020 - Comment

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

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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Comments

Anonymous says:

Fascinating account of why diets fail and how fear of obesity is making things even worse This is a very well written and uniquely informative book in a field glutted with opinions and weak and conflicting advice. It is not a how-to book on losing weight, although it has a few solid behavioral suggestions for making modest healthy changes. This is primarily an interpretation of much of the available evidence regarding obesity and health by psychologist who runs an eating lab at the University of Minnesota and publishes a lot of scholarly peer reviewed work in the field…

Anonymous says:

Truly Science Based and a Fun Read As a post-op bariatric patient who has poured many hours into researching weight loss strategies over the course of my life (and more recently pre-surgery), I found this book extremely refreshing. In part, because coming from the lens of a psychologist rather than an MD gave the recommendations and perspective a bit more well-roundedness than the sometimes singularly-focused books written by MDs will — which is not to say the book is lacking in scientific rigor. That was a huge deal for me…

Anonymous says:

The conventional wisdom on dieting debunked I’ve been fighting against diabetes for a couple of years. My lifelong pattern, since high school, has been diet, lose, eat everything, regain. That’s familiar to a lot of people. Reading Secrets of the Eating Lab by Traci Mann has been helpful. It’s a literature review and analysis and includes reporting on the results of her laboratory research at the University of Minnesota. She shoots down (with data) much of the conventional wisdom about the overweight and obesity situation in the U.S…

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