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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 27 April 2007
I bought this book over 15 years ago and found it the most useful book I have ever read. I was a compulsive eater all my childhood through to my twenties. This book is invaluable as it doesn't suggest yet another diet or willpower strategy, instead it works with the emotional side of why people comfort/compulsively eat. Occasionally when things get out of hand I start to eat too much but this book helps to work through relapses and breaks the cycle of overeating, berating yourself, feeling bad and eating even more. If you feel you eat too much, don't go out and buy yet another diet book, get this one and read it cover to cover (like the book says - don't skip bits that seem difficult to do). Unlike most diets, this book helps to realistically change your eating long term and shows you how the way you live your life has an impact on your eating habits and how to stop the negatives having such an impact.
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on 26 July 2003
I read this book 10 years ago, when I was a teenager with bad eating problems. It makes you realise that 'overweight' is not the problem - 'overeating' is. The authors go into why people overeat. The main reason is shown to be that we don't use food for what it is meant - hunger. Instead,lots of people eat for emotional/ social reasons. Also explains how restricting what you eat - dieting - causes more overeating. Is a fantastic book and I no longer have an eating disorder because of it - my weight now remains stable and there are no 'good' or 'bad' foods in my life -lettuce & chocolate are equal. If you can take on board what the authors tell you (and it is hard -as it goes against everything you've ever been told before!) your life will change forever.
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on 4 February 2002
this book has been around for years but it hasn't dated. i bought it some years ago and am still reading it! (slow reader alert) truth is, i come back to it often because i find it so helpful. the idea of legalizing all food is compelling but scary. the idea of accepting yourself and loving yourself even more so. this book gives practical exercises and insight into the whole issue of food and body and deep stuff. not the complete answer but a good part of it.
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on 4 November 2009
A couple of years ago I decided that I needed to lose weight. I joined Weightwatchers and managed to shed 3 stone with little trouble but I then found maintaining my weight a total nightmare and began a cycle of binging followed by deprivation. I was constantly thinking about food and used to stand at the cupboard stuffing sweets into my mouth. Then I found this book.

It is brilliantly written, funny and sympathetic. It answers every question I might have had on the subject of emotional overeating and helps you overcome the cycle of dieting despair. I have also read 'Beyond Chocolate' (which supports the ideas in this book but is much less detailed, kind of a 'lite' version of this I suppose and 'Eating Less' which, personally, did not work for me.

I can not recommend this book more highly.
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on 5 December 2009
Hello,

If you're at all like me, on and off diets all the time, you will welcome this book with open arms, I promise you. I have been dieting since the age of 11 years old and I am now 27. I've tried them all, Weight Watchers, Slimming World, The 3 Day diet, Slim Fast, Atkins, The Soup Diet (all of them!!), Eating nothing etc etc...I only wish that I had come across this book earlier. I have so far lost over 4 stones within a year whilst being on a diet and to be honest, I am truly fed up. As soon as I come off the diet, my weight goes up, so I feel bad and go straight back on another diet. I am so releived that I found this book.

This book will allow you to see how diets truly do not work in the sense that, you will always have to be bound to a "diet" in order to "keep your weight down", hence, never "feeling free" or learning how to make your own decisions about what is good for you. This book will teach you how to do just that and live freely without the retraints of a diet. You will lose weight. You will learn to be in touch with your hunger once again instead of just eating from habit or boredom etc. You will learn that once you stop putting labels on certain foods - i.e. chocolate is a bad food, you will start to see all foods as equal and therefore crave less of the so called forbidden foods.

If you are truly ready to ditch the diets/binge cycles, I would strongly recommend that you invest in this book. Yes, I do understand that it may not be for everyone but unless you try, you wont know.

Enjoy :-)
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on 27 June 2009
This is the third book I have read in an effort to overcome my tendency to binge eat and it turned out to be third time lucky. I began reading with a healthy amount of skepticism but with a willingness to take on the ideas presented to me. Although some of the ideas were initially challenging, i.e. giving up diets forever and 'legalising' all foods, any doubts I had were dealt with as I continued reading. I ultimately devoured the book and it has significantly changed my relationship to food. I learned that dieting completely screws you up, both physically and mentally. I now believe that it's the cause of eating disorders and weight problems, not the solution. I still overeat sometimes but because I don't beat myself up about it or react by going on a diet, it happens less and less often and doesn't turn into a full scale binge. Every self-help book is a bit of a risk but I certainly don't regret giving this one a chance.
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on 3 May 2010
Although I am only 20 years of age, I have put myself of diets since the age of 9 for being overweight/obese. I've done the low-fat diet; I've done skipping breakfast and lunch and scoffing in the evening; I've done super-healthy... all of which lead me to binge during the evening when I'm lonely/sad/bored.

From reading this book I can honestly say I will NEVER diet again EVER. I have never been told such information on why diets DO NOT WORK and it makes so much sense. I feel so liberated that I can eat whatever I want now: Mcdonalds, white bread with proper butter, chocolate, crisps... you name it I can have it. And the best thing? I don't binge anymore because I know the foods I crave will always be there and in my life. My weight is stable and I can enjoy life IN THE NOW rather than waiting to lose weight and beating myself up in the mean time for 'slipping up'.

Please, if you suffer from overeating and if you always seem to be on the dieting then binge then beat yourself up then binge some more cycle READ THIS BOOK. I've never been so happy and I accept my shape as it is now and I eat just enough to satisfy my stomach hunger not my mouth hunger.

Best book I've ever read.
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on 3 December 2011
I started reading this book with an open mind however the writting style is abit too 'american enthusiastic' almost exagerated. Some of the cases studies are described as when struggling with thier binges to gain 10 pounds in a week or something along thouse lines....how is that possible? Everything just sounds rather over enthusiastic and exagerated which from the start made me doubt the book. I gave it a try but the sheer attidue of eating anything and everything made me worry...I couldnt stop! Some might argue that subconciously I hadnt fully excepted the idea of never going on a diet again or excepting the book, but thats very hard to do. I can see this book has helped many people but its definately aimed at people who are masively overweight as the trial period of binging wont make too much of a difference to thier already overweight situation if they gain more. However I am not particularly overweight, I just have a binge eating problem. I go on the binge diet cycle constantly and what im looking for is something that can help get rid of this addictive out of control mind set which makes me feel physically and mentally awful. If I continued the way I was with this book I would have gained alot of weight and it would become so noticible on my frame and all it did was give me anxiety. Another point with this book is it doesnt go into much detail with understanding the emotional side to people eating patters. I stress eat, comfort eat and it almost gave me the impression that everything was caused because of food restriction and not for other reasons which for many people is not the case.
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on 27 November 2011
I know a number of people who've quickly put on masses of weight after reading this book. Many people can't help but read the message as permission to start openly eating all the foods they've severely restricted for years. The cravings don't then disappear (as the book suggests) for some people, on the contrary they get stronger. The floodgates have opened. I would advise anyone who has practiced severe restriction/binging to see a specialised therapist before making the drastic changes to their food buying habits advocated in this book.
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on 6 December 2008
This book is the answer to a riddle I've been trying to solve for years, namely why I couldn't seem to lose weight when I so desperately wanted to. I had my suspicions, but they were never fully formed into an idea, and culture's attitudes about weight and diets clouded and confused my suspicions. The authors of this book have confirmed my suspicions - it's not about food at all, it's about how I have used eating as a coping mechanism, and dieting has only made me think negatively of myself, and therefore made me eat more to calm myself. I finally feel there is some hope to release myself from the self-destructive cycle.

I hid my scales, ditched some jeans that don't fit me anymore, and as of today, I have stopped dieting forever.

It may be that this book is not for everyone, but if, like me, you find yourself 'sabotaging' your diets and eating without a logical reason, this book could hold some of the answers to better understanding yourself and coming to accept yourself.

Hoorah for Jane and Carol!
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