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Why Can't I Stop Eating?: Recognizing, Understanding and Overcoming Food Addiction [Paperback]

Debbie Danowski , Pedro Lazaro
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.50
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Why Can't I Stop Eating?: Recognizing, Understanding and Overcoming Food Addiction + Overcoming Overeating: Conquer Your Obsession With Food: Conquer Your Obsession with Food Forever
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Product details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden Information & Educational Services (15 Mar 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568383657
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568383651
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 529,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Written for people unable to lose weight dieting and for professionals who deal with eating disorders and food addiction, this book explains why, despite the proliferation of weight loss programmes, so many people in the west remain overweight.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
By Dendera
First let me say that I know that not all approaches will work for everybody (or should I say 'every body'), so I realise that for some people this book might be spot on what they need. If so, there's a previous raving crit below that's gotten a couple hundred people to buy this book. I was one of them. And sorry for it.

The GOOD bits: lots of good key questions in there to ask yourself, that help you hone in on your particular issues. And the concept that the human body (not just the human mind and emotions) can be addicted to certain foods is well grounded in science and strong theories and studies. The book provides a list of questions to answer to help you identify which foods are your personal 'trigger foods' -- the ones that get your body responses revving in the 'wrong' way to give you a very physical urge to eat certain substances found in particular foods (i.e., sugar, processed white wheat flour, kinds of sodium). But seeing as how I got this same information from other books, I didn't rate this one good aspect as a reason to buy this very long and expensive book.

The BAD of this book is that it gets you thinking that there is only one, single, solitary way to beat your body's and mind's addictions. And that way is total and complete life-long abstinence and a life full of weighing and measuring all your food -- even in a restaraunt (yes, really, the authors insist it's better to live a life of whipping out scales and measuring cups in a restaraunt than to be fat for life; which to me sounds like replacing one obsession for another). For so many people (like anyone who's read 'Eating Less' by Gillian Riley and recognised themselves in that book as rebellious) that will simply not work.
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214 of 226 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is a godsend for those who are compulsive overeaters. It not only explains the addiction that creates the overwhelming desire to overeat, but it provides one with all the necessary wisdom and knowledge needed to overcome this illness, and to lead a fulfilling life free from this obsession. It covers issues like how to rebuild one's self-esteem and how to create a healthy outlook to support a life where food is not the main event. I am overjoyed that I finally came across this book because it has quite literally changed my life. Highly recommended.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
134 of 143 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book could have been so much more 3 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I read this book with high hopes that it would finally give me the tools to understand why I binge and what to do about it. However, it seemed to me that most of the book was devoted to telling the reader that she is not to blame for her food addiction. That is true, of course, but a couple sentences about it would have been sufficient. I wanted more of a scientific explanation of why I'm addicted to certain foods, but there really wasn't any.
Most of the book is spent building up to creating your own food plan, but when you get there, it's just a very strict meal plan with pretty much no suggestions on modifying it. The authors insist that you won't be hungry following this plan. I have eaten exactly the same breakfast they suggest, and I have rarely made it past 3 hours without feeling ravenously hungry; they insist that you must wait 4-5 hours between meals.
The authors do not seem to take variations in activity level into account. I made a rough calculation of the calories allowed, and it looks to me like there are about 1700 calories/day for women. This might be fine for someone who does only the 30 minutes of walking 3x/week as is recommended in the book. I, however, exercise fairly intensely for about an hour 6x/week. I need more calories. No recommendations are given for adapting the meal plan for this kind of situation.
The meal plan includes a nighttime snack, which consists of cereal, milk, and fruit, and is intended to prevent middle-of-the-night binging. That meal is one of my favorite binges - if anything, it's going to make things worse! No alternative meal arrangements are suggested. And besides, I have never once gotten up in the middle of the night to eat, but the authors seem to think that all food addicts do this.
On the positive side, I did appreciate that the book validated my belief that I am physically addicted to sugar and refined carbohydrates. It also opened my eyes to the possibility that I am addicted to wheat, refined or not.
67 of 75 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Traditional 12 step approach 12 Oct 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
After I read the book and was very disappointed, I went on-line to write this review. I find myself agreeing completely with the reviews that gave this book a low rating. It is yet another attempt to espouse the virtues of the 12 step Overeaters Anonymous program. While I think there are good aspects of the 12 step program and that it may help some, there are many that the program simply wouldn't work for, including myself. Mainly, I think, because it mandates that you cut flour, sugar, and other foods completely from your diet. I feel that this sets a person up to fail because one ends up feeling deprived, which leads to binging. In fact there is a whole chapter in the book that talks about case studies and nearly every person mentioned has relapsed and is valiantly trying to get back to abstinence and lose the weight yet again. I would suggest that instead of working a program that obviously isn't working, they should perhaps seek another solution, maybe in the form of professional counseling. I would recommend "The Solution" by Laurel Mellin, which is a comprehensive support solution with groups and pyschologists around the country practicing the methods given in the book. I have found this method much more helpful than Overeaters Anonymous ever was. If OA is working for you, then I think that is great, but if you are like me and do not find that it fits you, I encourage you to look elsewhere. The Solution is a great place to start, and if you want to check out the website go to WWW.Sweetestfruit.com.
45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment 11 Aug 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
What a disappointment! The authors’ answer to binge-eating is simply eliminating all sugar, flour, fat, caffeine, or whatever your “trigger” foods are from your diet. Not only that, but they insist you must weigh and measure your food all the time for the rest of your life. That’s hardly what I consider freeing yourself from obsessing about food. They actually recommend keeping an emergency food kit in your car to be sure you always have measuring cups, a food scale, and several cans of “safe” food available to you at all times. Perhaps this is wise advice for people who are morbidly obese, but for those of us who are at a normal weight, or only slightly over, and are looking for some insight and realistic advice on dealing with compulsive/binge eating, this book is NOT the answer!
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This works! Writer lost three hundred lbs. 20 May 2000
By Dr. Sally Ann Michlin - Published on Amazon.com
The majority of Americans is overweight according to national statistics. Television, radio, and newspapers report new weight reduction diets, books, pills and shakes. Weight loss is a multi-million dollar industry and most of us who have tried some of the diet methods may have lost weight, only to gain it back, which becomes a way of life. Diets, shakes, medications, portioned meals we discover are "quick fixes," but they do not provide permanent results. Society has stigmatized the word "addiction," and many of us with weight problems are reluctant to admit we are addicted to food. Ms. Danowski's book presents medical facts, undeniable data, and we are forced to look at our eating behaviors which many of us find as "ugly" as our overweight appearance. This book provides the rationale and the path to stop eating, to lose weight and to keep off that weight. This is not another fad; it is a sensible way to lose weight and not gain it back, by taking the steps to change our behavior. Debbie Danowski's story is real; this author is brave enough to tell the story of all who do not like what they see or how they feel, but few take the steps to change permanently. For anyone who has been disappointed with all of the marketed diet plans, anyone who wants to like himself/herself, this book can change your life. Why Can't I Stop Eating?: Recognizing, Understanding, and Overcoming Food Addiction
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read 10 Jan 2001
By chloe - Published on Amazon.com
This was the first book I read that actually compared sugar and junk food to alcohol. While some people may think this far fetched, many of us who have binged and/or purged know that destructive food can be addictive. The author's view that moderation does not work for many has helped me greatly. Completely avoiding all junk food has prevented me from bingeing and losing control. This book will completely change the way you think. Highly recommended.
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