Add these memoirs, self-help guides, and weight loss books to your list of must-reads, or at least tuck them away as powerful resources for change.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself wandering the aisles of the self-help section at Barnes and Noble. Hundreds? A thousand? It was always convenient that the diet section was just a few shelves over. That way, I could sit on the floor between them with a stack of books and read until I at least felt less alone. Geneen Roth gets me, I’d nod.
If you’ve found yourself on the green carpet of the self help section, skimming through a stack like I did, you know the lost and searching feeling we have when we enter the bookstore. Sometimes I’ve needed a diet, other times I’ve needed to break free of one. Sometimes I’ve needed rules, and some time later I’ve returned for intuition, mindfulness. I’ve walked in desperate for a mentor, sometimes only for a friend. There are moments I wonder if it was really me who ever had half an ounce of willpower and yet others when I’m stuck in a shame spiral of obsession and compulsion. Over the past 30 years, though I’ve gotten lost in different ways, the feeling of desperation stays true.
I’ve read countless books on weight loss, emotional eating, binge eating, compulsive eating, and eating disorders. I’ve read books about the power of creating positive habits, mindfulness, perfectionism, and meditation. Many of them have had a positive impact on the way I view food and eating. But the ones below, in no particular order, are those that have truly shaped the way I think and feel about myself, food, and my body. And for me, changing my mind means changing my actions. These books have the power to transform.
Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth
“The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. No matter how sophisticated or wise or enlightened you believe you are, how you eat tells all. The world is on your plate. When you begin to understand what prompts you to use food as a way to numb or distract yourself, the process takes you deeper into realms of spirit and to the bright center of your own life. Rather than getting rid of or instantly changing your conflicted relationship with food, Women Food and God is about welcoming what is already here, and contacting the part of yourself that is already whole — divinity itself.” – Geneen Roth
When Food Is Love: Exploring the Relationship between Eating and Intimacy by Geneen Roth
In this moving and intimate book, Geneen Roth shows how dieting and compulsive eating often become a substitute for intimacy. Drawing on painful personal experience as well as the candid stories of those she has helped in her work, Roth examines the crucial issues that surround compulsive eating: need for control, dependency on melodrama, desire for what is forbidden, and the belief that one wrong move can mean catastrophe. She shows why many people overeat in an attempt to satisfy their emotional hunger, and why weight loss frequently just uncovers a new set of problems. But her welcome message is that the cycle of compulsive behavior can be stopped. This book will help readers break destructive, self-perpetuating patterns and learn to satisfy all the hungers — physical and emotional — that make us human.
Breaking Free from Emotional Eating by Geneen Roth
Breaking Free From Emotional Eating teaches that there is an end to the anguish of compulsive emotional eating — and tells how to achieve it. Geneen Roth, who has brought understanding and acceptance to tens of thousands of readers, outlines a proven program for resolving the conflicts at the root of eating disorders. Using simple techniques developed in her highly successful seminars, she offers reassuring practical advice and many tools and strategies to help you break the binge-diet cycle forever.
Feeding the Hungry Heart: The Experience of Compulsive Eating by Geneen Roth
This is how Roth remembers her time as an emotional overeater and self-starver. After years of struggle, Roth finally broke free from the destructive cycle of bingeing and purging. In the two decades since her triumph, she has gone on to help tens of thousands of others do the same through her lectures, workshops, and retreats. Those she has met during this time have shared stories that are both heartrending and inspiring, which Roth has gathered for this unique book.
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
Since 1995, Intuitive Eating has become the go-to book on rebuilding a healthy body image and making peace with food. We’ve all been there–angry with ourselves for overeating, for our lack of willpower, for failing at yet another diet. But the problem is not us; it’s that dieting, with its emphasis on rules and regulations, has stopped us from listening to our bodies. Registered dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch teach:
How to reject the “diet mentality” forever
How three Eating Personalities define your eating difficulties
How to find satisfaction in your eating
How to feel your feelings without using food
How to honor hunger and fullness
How to follow the ten principles of “Intuitive Eating”
How to raise an “intuitive eater” (for parents)
Brain Over Binge: Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn’t Work, and How I Recovered for Good by Kathryn Hansen
Kathryn Hansen recovered from bulimia independently, abruptly, and completely over 6 years ago; and soon after her recovery, she was fully convinced she had a powerful story to tell – a story that could give other bulimics and those with binge eating disorder hope, a new perspective, and a commonsense cure. She dedicated herself to candidly documenting her experience, in hope that her book can shed new light on these disorders that ruin so many lives. For a long time, Kathryn felt like a hopeless case. She thought maybe she could never completely recover. She thought she would have to deal with her eating disorder one-day-at-a-time for the rest of her life, but she doesn’t. She now says she has zero risk for relapse, even during stressful times in her life. She believes that if recovery was possible for her, it is possible for anyone. Kathryn recovered only after she parted with therapy and let go of most of its ideas. She found another way to end her bulimia, and now she shares her alternative approach with others in Brain over Binge. Kathryn hopes her voice can be a voice of change, a voice for those who are frustrated with therapy or who simply can’t afford it, a voice that will help many escape the daily torment of binge eating and purging.
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali.
Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin, the author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home (some of my favorites!), tackles the question: How do we change?
Her answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.
So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits?
Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin’s rigorous research and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, Better than Before explains the (sometimes counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation.
Along the way, Rubin uses herself as guinea pig, tests her theories on family and friends, and answers readers’ most pressing questions—oddly, questions that other writers and researchers tend to ignore, like: Why do I find it tough to create a habit for something I love to do? Sometimes I can change a habit overnight, and sometimes I can’t change a habit, no matter how hard I try. Why? How quickly can I change a habit? What can I do to make sure I stick to a new habit? How can I help someone else change a habit? Why can I keep habits that benefit others, but can’t make habits that are just for me?
Visit Gretchen’s website here and start listening to her amazing podcast, Happier, here!
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle’s message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle’s clear writing, supportive voice, and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who’s ever wondered what exactly “living in the now” means. Tolle is a world-class teacher, who’s able to explain complicated concepts in concrete language. More importantly, within a chapter of reading this book, readers are already holding the world in a different container–more conscious of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of their ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris
After having a nationally televised panic attack, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had propelled him through the ranks of a hypercompetitive business, but had also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out.
Eventually Harris stumbled upon an effective way to rein in that voice, something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation, a tool that research suggests can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain. 10% Happier takes readers on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America’s spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.
What diet/weight loss/self-help books have made a difference to you?
*This post includes Amazon affiliate links
Great input – I will check that last one out.
Kind of despairing at the moment. Prayed, cried and tried so many things to make the permanent change and always find myself back to where I was. Would be interested to hear what has worked with other people and though I have already read one of the Geneen Roth’s books I will check the other titles out.
Laura, I know it can feel hopeless, but you won’t feel bad forever. Know that life always moves in waves like this – ups and downs. I think Geneen Roth always brings me comfort and wisdom, but Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Better than Before, really helped me to work on my habits in concrete ways. Dan Harris’ book on meditation is a gamechanger, too, in terms of finding peace of mind.
Wishing you so well xo
Though I am at my highest weight now, I have found the (possibly very weird) work of Abraham Hicks to be the most profound regarding Self-love, which I pretty much believe is the only path to surviving anything, Especially shift-inducing was The Amazing Power of Your Emotions (catchy, yes?) I’ve delved into the comforting warmth of Ms. Roth, the cooling breeze via Ms. Gilbert, the gentle breath of Tolle….each massaging my thoughts and feelings into new places of Self-appreciation and understanding. By the time I rendezvoued with the Abraham material, I was able to look back upon the delicious white-bread-crumb trail left by these amazing livers-and-sharers-of-life with so much gratitude. I decided I won’t try being anything until I’ve practiced happy. Or happier. Ok, maybe just a little better. In my almost 50 years on Planet Cray-Cray, it seems nothing is possible and/or stickable unless happy becomes dominant FIRST. I’m practicing the art of tinkering with my thoughts in order to evoke better feeling thoughts. It’s a moment-by-moment thing still…..I just wanted off the Crazy Train, even if that meant staying overweight for the rest of this go-around. I just think until I can tap into the Good Feels I believe attaining a trim, fit body will give me, this current bodily manifestation can’t change. As Abe says, “You can’t get there from there.”
Welp, evidently I had a lotta words this fine morning, and your lovely blog appeared número uno in the feed, so you’re welcome.
I’m so glad you were feeling wordy this morning :) Looking into Abraham Hicks immediately. Thanks Cindy!
Cindy, you write beautifully. I enjoyed reading your comment.
I just turned 61 last week. Three years ago, I became (an ethical) vegan. I lost 30 lbs (I’m 5’0″, so that’s quite substantial). I discovered that motivation is a big key. My motivation was outside myself (the ethical part…I won’t go into it here). I gave up Oreos (I could have lived on them and, darn it, they’re vegan) when I learned about slave chocolate. Again, an outside motivation. Now, if I could find motivation to exercise more (ok, at all)…
How to have your cake and your skinny jeans was life changing. So was Naturally Thin.
I read Naturally Thin and I agree that there were some points that Bethenny had that made an impact — like, “Your Diet is Your Back Account” <-- that one always helped me.
I second that…how to have your cake and skinny jeans too is a tragic title for such an incredible book. That and brain over binge helped me tremendously. PS Andie please keep posting. I miss you.
I’ve also read and loved all of these books. They are all on my bookshelf, too! Great minds…
Geneen’s are so great for getting in touch with our spirit, and Kathryn’s was so great with putting it into ACTION.
Another one I’d add is “Ditching Diets” by Gillian Riley. GREAT action steps and wise advice.
Love you, Andie!
I’ve got to look into “Ditching Diets” — thanks Liz!!
I read most of them. I agree- they moved me a lot. But the one I am most excited about is 5:2 Diet. I will be eating like this for the rest of my life. I have finally found something that works. matter of fact I just posted on my blog all about my journey.
I’ve heard lots and lots of good things about the 5:2 diet. I’m so happy to hear that it’s working so well for you!
What is your blog, Lori? Some of us could possibly learn from it.
This is a great list, Andie! I love Geneen Roth, and Intuitive Eating was one of the first books I got when I was starting to think about recovery. Brain Over Binge changed my life, though. Seriously. I read that book and was immediately able to begin my recovery in a way that made sense and stuck. After years of therapy, it wound up being that book that changed things for me. I’ve been in recovery from bulimia for 3 years at the end of August, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.
That’s amazing to hear! I thought Brain Over Binge was great, too, and now I kind of want to re-read it since it’s been a while. Congrats (big time) on how far you’ve come, girl :) xo
I read “The Diet Fix: Why Diet’s Fail and How to Make Yours Work” last year and engaged in a 1 year committment to building new habits. I lost 37 pounds, but have gain 8 back. I still need to work on the emotional aspect of eating and self-sabatoge. I think I’ll check out some of your recommendations, I need something to re-focus me from the pattern of weight-loss to near success and then not quite getting there. I’m sick of the lose/gain cycle. I think I’ve started down the right path, but something is drawing me away from it and I just can’t quite get a handle on it – but I know it’s something within me.
I haven’t heard of “The Diet Fix” but I want to check it out! One thing to remember is that even though you’ve slid a little backwards with the 8 pounds, you’re still down 30 — that’s amazing! I hear you on wanting to work on the emotional side–that’s the biggie, isn’t it? I have a feeling you’re really on the right path.
The Diet Fix is an excellent book. It talks a lot about relinquishing the illusion that one needs to follow a prescribed diet perfectly and focuses more on delicious, healthy eating that benefits the body and mind. It’s by the head doctor of the Canadian Obesity Centre, Yoni Freedhoff, and he also has a good blog on food, diet, etc. that I would recommend you add to your list.
Andi, I bought your book and read it cover to back the same night. Your story, in its many iterations, is shared by many of us, and I commend you for sharing your heart and struggles with the world.
Now I want to read all of these books! Honestly Andie, yours had a huge impact on me. I read it twice in a row and was doing really well for awhile after I finished it. I also read “Emotionally Free” by David Viscott, which is an old book, but it helped me understand what self-acceptance and forgiveness means. “Losing Your First 10 Pounds” by Lauren Wardell helped me immensely, too. It’s like a journal workbook that helps you work through your feelings and why you can’t lose the weight. It’s all about making small changes.
I wish I could afford to buy all of these books! I’ll check my local library and see what they have… I’m still on my own journey and struggling big time, but you give me hope that it’s possible.
Alyssa, THANK YOU!! You have no idea how much it means.
I haven’t heard of the books you mentioned but I want to check out “Losing Your First 10 Pounds” because I love the idea of the workbook!
I loved your book, Andie. In addition to the books you’ve mentioned, I love first-person memoirs about losing weight and changing habits that are well-written, humorous and inspiring. Born Round by Frank Bruni was another favorite. And The Incredible Shrinking Critic by Jami Bernard.
Thank you so much Jill!! And I agree with you–I loooove memoirs. I hear the absolute best things about Born Round and can’t believe I haven’t read it!
I couldn’t agree more with the last two!! Especially Dan Harris’s book. I recommend it to everyone, and am in the midst of reading it for the second time.
Gretchen Rubin’s book has a lot of aha moments! I haven’t finished it yet, but I can see why it made your list!
Um, I think Geneen Roth also gets me! I need to get my hands on that When Food is Love book. I am completely an emotional over-eater, and I also equate food with love. I adored your book! I devoured it in a weekend, and it’s nice to know when you’re facing something like this that you’re not alone! Thanks for the book suggestions!
Thank you so much Christina!!
I haven’t read any of these. I want to get your book, and I’ve read and referred others to your blog… I don’t like diet books or self help books. Not sure why. I read, but in bytes – not a big “gotta have a book” person. I also don’t need to read someone who “gets” me – I know I am far from alone and that doesn’t motivate me to change. I need directions to follow, and for help to change ME.
However, on another blog I read about a mom runner (like me) who used both Weight Watchers and the principles she learned in The Beck Diet Solution to lose and maintain her loss for quite a few years. When I read about BDS, it resonated because I NEED a behavioral change with respect to food, and this was it. I don’t like some of the tone of the book – but after years in and out of 12 step programs I have learned to “take what you want and leave the rest.” Thus, when she’s talking to people who are frustrated because they’ve been 15 lbs overweight their whole entire life, I ignore that. When she talks about the more narcissistic stuff about how good you’ll FEEEL and LOOOK when you’re skinny – same. I want food to not dominate my head and my life. I want to stop being afraid of being hungry and not having enough. She addresses that as well, and so I’ve been following it. NOT a diet, a reshaping of thought over 6 weeks. Except I’ve made the first two weeks last for a month. My all time high was 222, I started reading and practicing her stuff at 183-5, and am 176 today without dieting, just doing what is in the first two weeks of changing your behavior. My goal is 160, and I’m 5’9″.
Thanks for being here.
I was also going to recommend The Beck Diet Solution! It really helped me learn to take control of my willpower.
Now I need to have a look at The Beck Diet Solution! Thank you Alison!!
Most likely already read by most if not all readers here, but “It Starts With Food” by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig has been instrumental in helping me lose weight, and more importantly understand how different foods impact how I feel, my hunger and satiation levels, and most of all steer me away from food that makes me feel like I am in a fog. Really helped me get control of what was a poor relationship with food in general.
I agree that this is a GREAT book, Bill! I just read it a few months ago and totally agree with you about the getting control of a poor relationship with food thing. Their writing is very personable and informative – a recommended read for anyone!!!! :))))
AGREE! Amazing book, completely slipped my mind when putting this list together!
Tara Stiles has a new book Make Your Own Rules Diet. Tara’s a yoga teacher who basically breaks all the traditional and historic rules of yoga in order to make it all about living with ease, whether things are easy or difficult. It’s a powerful notion in and of itself.
The book is all about living with ease, by getting in touch with your true authentic self. She recommends meditation, yoga, and cooking as a way to do so, and she also includes some of her own history when she’s veered off her own authentic path into some dangerous food relationships.
Tara is so light-hearted and silly and goofy, and I love her very almost casual take on all this. That while it is serious, we don’t necessarily have to take it so seriously! I adore the book, I’ve already read it twice and am planning to again. (Other favorites of mine also include Brain Over Binge and 10% Happier, and I was literally just thinking the other day that I wanted to read Eat, Pray, Love again – I have’t read it since it first came out!)
I love reading your blog, it’s so inspiring.
I’m still getting started on my weightloss journey, but I love to read. I’m hoping that I’ll find more motivation and answers through these books you’ve shared with us.
I’m currently participating in whole 30, and have already lost 8 lbs, only 72 more to go!
If anyone has a second, and would like to follow along on my weight loss journey, check out my blog at losingweightwithcait.com
Two books I have found helpful
The Rules of “Normal” Eating
This book uses a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach to working through disordered eating.
Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat
This book uses a mindfulness approach to staying connected to yourself and your feelings. The premise is to recognize why you are craving or eating and determine if there is anything else you might want to do – like meet the real need instead of burying it in food.
Love the sounds of “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat”! Mindfulness has been such a key for me.
I commented above, but I also want to add another book suggestion that’s not strictly about our relationship with food, but rather our motivation and relationship with exercise. The book is written by a psychiatrist and is called Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. It’s all about the research about how exercise affects the brain and helps optimize its function, helping to treat issues like stress, depression, anxiety, ADHD, women’s hormones, and – yes – addiction (whether that be alcohol, drugs, or food). The book is fascinating and I think an important component to this whole piece – because it all is essentially about wellness and happiness and joy, right?
Thanks for the recommendation, I am very interested in reading that one.
Interesting!! Thank you!
I’m currently reading “Better Than Before” by Gretchen Rubin. While I don’t agree with everything she writes, I am finding it really interesting.
I will definitely be checking out the books about emotional eating.
Thanks for sharing this list!
I love Gretchen’s podcast, too! Have you listened? A lot of tie-ins with the book!
Eat Pray Love made me want to better my life as a whole and branch out.
Whole30 made me reconsider all of my eating habits.
And I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but I’m currently reading your book and it has me so captivated and I just love it. Chapter one hit home to be in a unique way and I love your honesty. I’m not a big reader by any means, but my boyfriend has a hard time getting me to get out of bed when I’m laying there reading endless pages of It Was Me All Along. So thank you. <3
Kim THANK YOU!!
About four years ago, I read David Kessler’s “The End of Overeating.” At that time, I had just lost some weight with Weight Watchers, and those two experiences together rocked my world in terms of how I viewed and related to food. Since then, other books I’ve loved in this area are:
-Geneen Roth’s “When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair”
-David Kirchhoff’s “Weight Loss Boss” (Kirchhoff is the former CEO of Weight Watchers. This book is not specific to the WW plan or meant only for WW members–it’s amazingly practical and insightful.)
-Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules”
-And this very blog, as well as your memoir (both are fantastic!!)
Thanks for the great suggestions! I’m looking forward to reading some of them.
Excellent list! And THANK YOU for reminding me of Michael Pollan!! How could I forget him? He was instrumental in shifting how I think about food: “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” in 2006 and then “In Defense of Food” in 2008
I loved Intuitive Eating and Eat, Pray, Love! I was so sad when I lost my Intuitive Eating book. I purchased it again, but now it’s being passed among all of my friends.
Ah! That’s how good it is!!
Love Geneen as you know and Brene (shame spiral) but I’m definitely going to check out the rest of these :) thanks for posting! i love reading so much! Xoxo
Yep Brene is my soul sister (as are you :)
Awe shucks sister! I downloaded some of these as audiobooks for trips to ATL btw and am loving the one about habits by Gretchen rubin first ;)
brain over binge completely changed my life and my binging/purging compulsion. she helped me to remove myself from the emotional aspect of my eating disorders and see them from a psychological vantage point. i too feel i have no risk for relapse. her theory is powerful.
all those geneen roth books served to heal my heart and soul, too. her story was touching and all the words of wisdom she shares are helpful. as is intuitive eating.
i want to mention too that you also played a huge role in helping to heal my eating disorders three years ago. after i found your website, i found the courage and compassion to approach myself and issues differently. thank you officially for helping me develop the healthier, happier side of who i am.
thank you for sharing this list of inspiring books!
this means everything to me. Thank you! Thank you so, so much. I couldn’t be happier to hear it. xo xo xo
Eat, Pray, Love was a game changer for me. It inspired me to follow my dream and move to Europe (from Canada). I left an unhealthy relationship and made my way to France, making a stop over in London and meeting my now awesome husband. I stayed in London, and we now own a house and a dog here. We’re moving to Provence next summer for a year, and so my French dream will finally have a chance to materialise too!
Whole30: It Starts With Food completely changed the way I viewed food and what I eat. The documentary Fed Up also helped me as well! I loved your suggestions and definitely want to read some of those on your list.
Yes! It Starts with Food is fantastic!
I couldn’t have found this post (or your blog!) at a better time. I really struggle with binge eating and lately have been feeling so helpless about it all. I have a lot of weight to lose and I’m trying my best but food seems to be my nemesis. Can’t wait to peruse your blog!
Michelle, I’m so sad to hear you’re feeling down about bingeing. I’ve been there and it’s a painful place. These books have really lifted me up. Stay hopeful, friend xo
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“If not dieting, then what?” by Dr. Rick Kausman – life changing.
I don’t know that one–going to look for it! Thanks Cassie!
I know a lot of people harp on Eat Pray Love for being self indulgent, but I friggin love that book. I read it when I was in my early twenties and living in Italy, and at a time when I was the heaviest and unhappiest I had ever been. Andi, when I read your book (and the related blog post) and the part about Rome, i was reminded of my time in Florence and that feeling I got when I went to the outdoor market and really stopped and savored the food their…the colors, the smell, the freshness. Which reminds me another book, Savor: Minful Eating, Mindful Life, by Thich Nhat Hanh. I have not read Tolle, but I assume the principles of being present and mindful are very similar to Hanh. Body Respect by Linda Bacon taught me to love and honor my current body and to also stay present. That no matter where you are in your journey, being kind to yourself, moving your body in ways that feel good, acknowledging when certain foods make you feel better than others (on a physical and emotional level). And of course Geneen’s books have probably been the most life changing in relation to the deeper emotional baggage that drives my bingeing. The part about dieting and melodrama really hit home. I’m not sure which book I’ll start next. Brain over Binge seems to have helped so many. Andi, your book has been just as inspiring as Geneen’s for me. It was hard to get through because I found myself crying at least once every chapter. And that’s a good thing!! Much love to you!
Geez Louise… sorry for the typos and misspelling your name. It’s still early on a Sunday in SF and I haven’t had any coffee :/
I just want to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your book and adore this blog.
I will NEVER be an intuitive eater, but as long as I count my Weight Watchers points (I keep it simple: one point averages 40 calories, so I take it from there instead of using their convoluted calculator), and balance them over a week’s time (like you mentioned you do in a wonderful post on counting weekly calories), I’m ok.
I recommend The Beck Diet Solution by Judith Beck and her newer book The Diet Trap Solution. I’m not one for analyzing myself to death – realizing why I did things never made me stop doing it – but I AM a big believer in behavior change above all.
Please keep writing and blogging. Maybe you can do a followup book to It Was Me All Along. About how you’re keeping it off. Yours is the best weight loss memoir I’ve ever read!
Brain Over Binge intrigues me. I struggle with sporadic binge/purge cycles, and I’m reluctant to go to therapy again because been there, done that, didn’t really help. I’m sure if it’s on your list it’s awesome – I agree with you on just about everything when it comes to how I view food, lifestyle, and self-acceptance – but the description seems like such a hard sell! If I may ask, what did you get out of it?
By the way, I’m so glad you’re blogging regularly again. I know your book took a lot of your time, and as wonderful as it was (I tell EVERYONE about it), more frequent doses of Andie brighten my day a lot :)
Brain Over Binge was an absolute game-changer for me. Between that and Tara’s Stiles’s book Make Your Own Rules, I truly believe I have all I need – within me – to make the changes that work for me. Brain Over Binge talks a lot about the way the brain functions – the addictive voice, and what that means in terms of brain structure. It just makes a lot of sense and takes a lot of the heavy emotional stuff out of it. It’s lots of mindfulness-based practices, essentially, where you can start to distance yourself from urges rather than engage with them, react to them, and follow what they say to do. It essentially takes the urge and turns into a faulty neurological pattern – but one that can be changed, pretty easily, in fact. Neuroplasticity rocks!
I pour over the self help, diet, cooking, and all the professional advice from experts like Dr. Oz, Dr. Roizen, Mark Hymann, and more. I sit at Barnes and Noble for hours praying this book is going to have my cure in it. My freedom from overeating, continually. I am sad and angry and desperate. Finding the book, “It was me all along” has given me hope. I want a healthy relationship with food. I do! But I feel like an all caps LOSER. I am so strong in so many areas, but I’m powerless over a food craving. I’ve quit smoking, ended unhealthy relationships, but my food issues feel overwhelming. Ok, venting aside, which book is the best to start with? What can I read, or do that will give me the inner strength to stop letting food rule my life? Appreciate any feedback.
I highly recommend Amber Rogers’ blog GoKaleo, and her Facebook page Eating the Food for anyone who struggles with disordered eating or has been caught up in fad dieting like I was for years.
just found this blog and am really enjoying it! I’m looking for new reading material and noticed many people suggesting brain over binge. Was just curious if I should read it even though I’ve never suffered from bulimia or if I would find some of the other books more relevant for someone who only binges?
Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight–and What We Can Do about It.
“The Phantom of the Psyche” and “Why We Suffer” by Peter Michaelson. He teaches about the power of the unconscious mind and the battle that is going on in our psyche between our inner passivity vs self aggression, resulting in an inability to self-regulate.
Great! Thank you everyone for the suggestions!
My problem is “why do I keep sabatoging myself”. I know how to lose weight, but I don’t or won’t keep it off. Please help.
YOURS has made a huge impact :) I also love Geneen Roth!
I have tried to embrace Intuitive Eating but when in the throes of binge eating, my intuition is screwed up and I only feel satisfied with TOO much food, and usually food that is high in starch and carbs.
One book that is really eye-opening and useful for a binge eater is Eating Less by Gillian Riley. It’s similar to Brain Over Binge…very clear that this is not an emotional problem, or something wrong with you, but a bad habit and addictive way of eating. The author suggests using “times” and “plans” over eating intuitively to help bring our addictive voice to a head. If we keep wanting to eat past the amount or time we had planned for ourselves, it’s probably that addictive desire speaking.
Give the book a whirl. It’s been helpful for me…someone who’s looking to let go of diet mentality, but who’s “intuition” is a little messed up right now and it only feels right to eat ALL the donuts. Love you Andie!
100% with you on the Geneen Roth rec’s. her books were GAME CHANGERS. like many i had read dozens of self-help-ish type books but this was the one > breaking free from emotional/compulsive eating with Women, Food and God (which i read first) a close second. i could cry how much these books changed my life. i only wished i had found them sooner and ended the struggle. i recommend them to anyone who asks me about my own weightloss or shares their weight struggles.
Two I’ve found containing some revelations are Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, and Slim By Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everday Life, both by Brian Wansink. They highlight very practical situational problems and obvious solutions with fun and humor. If useful tools interest you, these are for you. They don’t get into touchy-feely stuff, except they can translate that way if you need them to. As info, I am a Weight Watchers member who has lost about 50 pounds so far.
I’m so very thankful you wrote your book!! I just finished it tonight. I have to say that my journey with food has been very similar to yours. I though started out life very thin and strict with food until about 12 years ago when I became pregnant with my first child. Now 12 years later I’m 280lbs and so upset with myself I’m at my breaking point, emotionally and physically. Since starting your book I was able to identify a lot issues I have with food and how small changes can help. I’m proud to say I have lost 7lbs by not eating with my emotions and boredom (I work third shift in a hospital). I plan to read these books your are suggesting!! Also I would like to add that you sound like an amazing person and a wonderful role model for all body types.
Brene Brown is a powerful writer on the intwined energies of vulnerability and shame. Her Ted Talks are brilliant, insightful, funny and inspiring.
The power of habit by Charles Duhig. I am a regular 6 am gym goer now after being a snooze button offender for most of my life. Now that it is habit, I just don’t feel right if I don’t go to the gym in the morning. It sets the tone for my day. As for diet however, I still have so many struggles with that. I lost the weight, but maintaining it? Soooo much harder!
I loved Intuitive Eating and It Starts with Food, as many people have mentioned. But another one to add to the list is Foodist by Darya Rose. It’s a practical marriage of Intuitive Eating, It Starts With Food, and Better Than Before (haven’t read it, but I believe many of her ideas were inspired by it). After getting on board with the idea of Intuitive Eating, I’ve had trouble reconciling the idea of food neutrality with the fact that I knew certain foods are engineered to make me want to eat more of it. Foodist gives you a practical strategy to enjoy food while also enjoying life, and building healthy habits in the process. Fantastic read!
I have read lots of books and over the course of time I have hunted and searched for answers. I can truly say that the book that most struck a chord with me has been your book. It sounds cheesy I know, but I can do relate to your journey. I just haven’t found my way out of this oversized body yet, but I’m trying. YMCA membership!! Finally have my man on board. I’m ready to do this thing. That you for your inspiration and helping me see why I have weight issues.
I have read lots of books and over the course of time I have hunted and searched for answers. I can truly say that the book that most struck a chord with me has been your book. It sounds cheesy I know, but I can relate to your journey. I just haven’t found my way out of this oversized body yet, but I’m trying. YMCA membership!! Finally have my man on board. I’m ready to do this thing. Thank you for your inspiration and helping me see why I have weight issues.
I will have to check out this list, I am feeling pretty hopeless at the moment. Your book Andie, is very inspiring too!
Reading the description of When Food Is Love is just what I needed today. My binge eating has reared his ugly head again and I’m feeling very low. I’m struggling with life long intimacy issues due to childhood sexual abuse and I’m trying to make changes in therapy with my husband. That book just made me realize OF COURSE the two issues are related to each other. I don’t know why I didnt realize it earlier but I will definitely pick up that book. Feel very overwhelmed with life at the moment (plus two babies under 2).
Good job. Nice book. Many people find that type of books.
Fabulous good job
This is such a great list of recommendations… I want to read all of these now! It sounds like Geneen Roth is probably one of your greatest mentors. Which of her books would you recommend starting with? I can’t wait to dive into these books!
I just finished Women Food and God and feel inspired and hopeful. Great recommendations Andie! I’m looking forward to reading some more of your picks :-)
This is a great list! I’ve also read and loved all of these books. They are all on my bookshelf, too! Great minds…