4 Books I Recommend
I'm gearing up for a public talk I'll be doing soon titled 'Food, Your Brain & Diet Culture: A Recipe for Binge Eating', and as I put together the presentation, and try to concisely share what I've been studying and learning about over the last 2 years, I keep reflecting on the books that have paved the way for me. It's not often you get everything you need from just one book, so today I'd like to recommend 4 books for you to consider reading if you're struggling with food, and are ready to dive into the reasons why.
Here goes: 1) The first book I read on the subject (after my own recovery in which the 1966 book, Overcoming Overeating helped me greatly), was Kathryn Hansen's book, Brain Over Binge. This well written personal account of Kathryn's own bingeing and bulimia story is touching. It's so powerful and inspiring to read the detailed story of someone else, and then continue along with her journey as she finds her own path to recovery- one that is quite powerful, and impacted my work greatly. I highly recommend this book as a starting place for anyone who is currently struggling and don't know where to turn.
2) The next book that I recommend is Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. These two registered dieticians published their first edition of this book in 1995, and essentially began the intuitive eating movement. If you've been curious about what intuitive eating is, and how to embrace it in your life, or if you're struggling finding the belief and trust that your body will be able to guide you to the foods you truly desire, this is the book for you.
3) Moving to a broader perspective in an effort to truly understand why we have such strong desires for modern, stimulating foods (hello movie theatre popcorn, deep fried anything, cupcakes, chips, Halloween candy and chocolate), The Pleasure Trap, by Douglas Lisle and Alan Goldhamer, will give you answers. Not only limited to out desire for high pleasure foods, this book sets up the foundation of understanding of how, as a species, we move toward pleasure and away from pain, and how our modern life is catering to those inherent desires, at a cost. This book is a wake-up call to understand how our modern comforts hijack our pleasure seeking brain, and keeps us stuck.
4) And as your understanding of food and why we turn to it progresses, I challenge you to pick up a copy of The Hungry Brain, by Stephan Guyenet. Stephan's book uses his own research, as well as many other of his fellow scientists' to paint a detailed and intricate picture of how our brains govern what we eat, how much, and why. His book helps us understand how our modern food landscape has changed drastically in the past 100 years, how dieting kicks in our survival instincts, and why, despite much effort, many people struggle to lose weight and keep it off. This is a moderately scientific book, and not as easy of a read than the others, but the amount of knowledge and credible material in this books keeps it high in position as one of my favourite books on the topic of food, why we turn to it, and why it's hard to stop. Have you read any of these yet? I'd love to hear your thoughts if you have or do! The books I've mentioned are the cornerstone to what I teach and share in my coaching program. When we understand why we turn to food we get leverage and begin to feel empowered which puts us in the right position to stop following our habits and desires for food and start making choices that serve us. If you'd like more information on my 1:1 coaching program, you can find it here.