Based on her viral TED talk (3M+ views) neuroscientist and science writer Sandra Aamodt explains how the latest scientific research contradicts what you think you know about dieting and weight loss
In the US, one out of every three adults and children is overweight. We think we know the answer: cut calories. Eat less. We conclude that fat is a failure of willpower, perhaps supplemented by a quirk of genetics. But, neuroscientist and former Nature Neuroscience editor Sandra Aamodt explains why dieting not only doesn't work, but is likely to do more harm than good.
• When you diet, your brain thinks you're starving and goes into survival mode. People who have gone on extreme diets may never lose their food obsession as a result, even if they go back to eating normally.
• The long-term failure rate for losing weight by willpower dieting is between 80-98%, depending on how you define success.
• There's no evidence that dieting improves long-term health, while some research suggests that weight cycling, or dieting to lose weight and gaining it back, can be more dangerous than being overweight itself.
• It's better to be fifty pounds overweight and exercise every day than it is to be at your "target weight" but sedentary.
By harnessing her knowledge of brain science and biology, the author successfully stabilized her weight at a healthy level and enjoys a better relationship with food.
Combining deep research and brutal candor about her own experience as a weight cycler, Aamodt gives us several clues into the obesity epidemic based on the latest science, including new findings about gut bacteria, why bariatric surgery works (it has more to do with your brain than your stomach), and what a real alternative to dieting and weight cycling might look like.
From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!