In a seemingly endless parade of ‘new’ fad diets, we are in great need of Dr. Traci Mann, an open-minded iconoclast who exposes the diet mega-industry's hype-filled promises with watertight research and fascinating studies. Secrets From the Eating Lab contains revolutionary, scientifically based truths about how and why we eat, as well as the crucial importance of accepting our bodies and staying within our preset weight range. This eye-opening and groundbreaking book is also fun to read and well written. If you've ever dieted or planned to diet, do yourself a huge favor and read this book instead.
Kate Christensen, author of Blue Plate Special and winner of the PEN/Faulkner award
Secrets from the Eating Lab is a fascinating and revelatory work in which Dr. Mann challenges popular assumptions about obesity, dieting, and willpower. Her discoveries, and her colleagues’ and students’ lab work and research create a powerful and imperative volume that everyone and anyone concerned with diet or health should read.
Secrets from the Eating Lab is an absolute must-read for anyone who has ever been on a diet or for any person worried about their weight or appearance.
Secrets from the Eating Lab offers a behind-the-scenes look into one of the most ingenious and creative labs in the country. In her clever book, Mann provides key insights and practical lessons that will make you think about—and then change—the way you eat.
Brian Wansink, PhD, bestselling author of Mindless Eating and Slim by Design
What to Read in April: Founder of the University of Minnesota’s Health and Eating Lab, Mann puts what she calls the dieting industry’s “sacred cows” on the menu in a book that’s equal parts science and self-help. Diets don’t work, she argues, and obesity is not deadly. After summing up decades of research on the physical and psychological factors behind eating, starving and yo-yo dieting, Mann suggests common sense strategies to achieve a healthy weight — which has more to do with your genes than your jean size — and accept your body for what it is. — Gemma Tarlach
Secrets From the Eating Lab exposes the flawed logic and faulty science upon which the diet industry is founded. It’s time we all look at the facts: diets don’t work. Traci Mann’s innovative research reveals a better, more effective path to sustainable weight loss.
Jonathan Bailor, New York Times bestselling author of The Calorie Myth
Diets don’t work. Psychologist Mann, who runs the Health and Eating Lab at the University of Minnesota, convincingly explains why obsessively thinking about food can even cause weight gain. Boring as it sounds, sensible eating is the way to go. But it’s tricky. As Mann notes, restaurant servings keep increasing—a point she illustrates with a personal anecdote. When she worked at a Baskin-Robbins in high school, scoops were 2.5 ounces. A couple of years later, the ice-cream chain upped the standard size to 4 ounces. So she gives concrete suggestions, such as skipping large plates and introducing “small obstacles” to overeating. For example, use chopsticks instead of forks to make it harder to quickly chow down. Mann cites study after study to make her case; titles her last chapter, “Final Words: Diet Schmiet”; and declares that no single eating plan will ever make the pounds melt away forever. “The fragility of willpower” and “a culture of ubiquitous temptations” conspire against the best-laid plans. Her bottom-line recommendation: “reach your leanest livable weight.” Sold. — Karen Springen
While it's scientifically undeniable that diets don't work and are generally bad for people's health, there is also good news for people who are unhappy with their weight. In Secrets from the Eating Lab, Dr. Traci Mann offers a realistic alternative, providing a scientifically supported path to achieve health and fitness goals while debunking the many myths surrounding this complex and emotionally charged topic.
Paul Campos, author of The Obesity Myth and professor, University of Colorado
Five star review: Even though the topic is a serious one, Dr. Mann infuses a great sense of humor into her statistics. She makes sense and offers some comfort to all those whose self-esteems have been damaged by fat shaming and discrimination.
I am a total sucker for nonfiction books about both food and science, so the combination of the two makes me ecstatic. Even if you’re not prone to dieting, Secrets From the Eating Lab has a lot of fascinating information about what drives our dietary habits. I loved reading about the eating studies and how certain cues affect everyone who eats food (which is pretty much everyone, right?). Very informative, very even-handed, and steeped in actual science instead of opinion.