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Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating

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Reclaim your time, money, health, and happiness from our toxic diet culture with groundbreaking strategies from a registered dietitian, journalist, and host of the "Food Psych" podcast. 68 percent of Americans have dieted at some point in their lives. But upwards of 90% of people who intentionally lose weight gain it back within five years. And as many as 66% of people Reclaim your time, money, health, and happiness from our toxic diet culture with groundbreaking strategies from a registered dietitian, journalist, and host of the "Food Psych" podcast. 68 percent of Americans have dieted at some point in their lives. But upwards of 90% of people who intentionally lose weight gain it back within five years. And as many as 66% of people who embark on weight-loss efforts end up gaining more weight than they lost. If dieting is so clearly ineffective, why are we so obsessed with it? The culprit is diet culture, a system of beliefs that equates thinness to health and moral virtue, promotes weight loss as a means of attaining higher status, and demonizes certain ways of eating while elevating others. It's sexist, racist, and classist, yet this way of thinking about food and bodies is so embedded in the fabric of our society that it can be hard to recognize. It masquerades as health, wellness, and fitness, and for some, it is all-consuming. In Anti-Diet, Christy Harrison takes on diet culture and the multi-billion-dollar industries that profit from it, exposing all the ways it robs people of their time, money, health, and happiness. It will turn what you think you know about health and wellness upside down, as Harrison explores the history of diet culture, how it's infiltrated the health and wellness world, how to recognize it in all its sneaky forms, and how letting go of efforts to lose weight or eat "perfectly" actually helps to improve people's health -- no matter their size. Drawing on scientific research, personal experience, and stories from patients and colleagues, Anti-Diet provides a radical alternative to diet culture, and helps readers reclaim their bodies, minds, and lives so they can focus on the things that truly matter.


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Reclaim your time, money, health, and happiness from our toxic diet culture with groundbreaking strategies from a registered dietitian, journalist, and host of the "Food Psych" podcast. 68 percent of Americans have dieted at some point in their lives. But upwards of 90% of people who intentionally lose weight gain it back within five years. And as many as 66% of people Reclaim your time, money, health, and happiness from our toxic diet culture with groundbreaking strategies from a registered dietitian, journalist, and host of the "Food Psych" podcast. 68 percent of Americans have dieted at some point in their lives. But upwards of 90% of people who intentionally lose weight gain it back within five years. And as many as 66% of people who embark on weight-loss efforts end up gaining more weight than they lost. If dieting is so clearly ineffective, why are we so obsessed with it? The culprit is diet culture, a system of beliefs that equates thinness to health and moral virtue, promotes weight loss as a means of attaining higher status, and demonizes certain ways of eating while elevating others. It's sexist, racist, and classist, yet this way of thinking about food and bodies is so embedded in the fabric of our society that it can be hard to recognize. It masquerades as health, wellness, and fitness, and for some, it is all-consuming. In Anti-Diet, Christy Harrison takes on diet culture and the multi-billion-dollar industries that profit from it, exposing all the ways it robs people of their time, money, health, and happiness. It will turn what you think you know about health and wellness upside down, as Harrison explores the history of diet culture, how it's infiltrated the health and wellness world, how to recognize it in all its sneaky forms, and how letting go of efforts to lose weight or eat "perfectly" actually helps to improve people's health -- no matter their size. Drawing on scientific research, personal experience, and stories from patients and colleagues, Anti-Diet provides a radical alternative to diet culture, and helps readers reclaim their bodies, minds, and lives so they can focus on the things that truly matter.

30 review for Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I don't usually review books about health, diet, and fitness. Oh, I've read quite a few in my life. As a matter of fact, what don't I know about diets? Mom put me on my first diet when I was twelve years old! I was at that growth spurt time when kids get chubby and then, seemingly overnight, reach their full height and become teenagers. I recall the diet involved not having fruit, and I loved fruit. At fourteen I was dieting again. Twiggy was in; curves were out. The charts said I was overweight. I don't usually review books about health, diet, and fitness. Oh, I've read quite a few in my life. As a matter of fact, what don't I know about diets? Mom put me on my first diet when I was twelve years old! I was at that growth spurt time when kids get chubby and then, seemingly overnight, reach their full height and become teenagers. I recall the diet involved not having fruit, and I loved fruit. At fourteen I was dieting again. Twiggy was in; curves were out. The charts said I was overweight. A friend gave me an exercise book with calories to count. I lost thirty pounds, gained it back; tried Weight Watchers, lost nothing; gained more weight at college; got married and went on a diet and lost thirty pounds again. I was twenty-one and eating 1000 calories a day and couldn't lose more weight. The weight charts said I was twenty-five-pound overweight! Looking back, I realize I had an eating problem and I was at a healthy weight. The rest of my life went like that. Calorie counting. Eat Well, Be Well, The Zone. Vegetarian diets. Liquid supplements. All I accomplished was to get bigger on fewer calories. A year ago, I committed to losing weight. I had gained 40 pounds in five years. I had my Fitbit and my Lose It app and my scale. I was prepared. I underwent extensive testing and discovered my heart is great and committed to 30 minutes of cardio a day. A nutritionist told me to cut animal fats, meat, and dairy. We eat red meat at most once or twice a month, but I do I love butter on my toast. Goodbye, butter. I lost thirty-four pounds and then plateaued even though I was burning more calories a day than I was eating. I joined Silver and Fit and went to the fitness center to use machines for muscle tone and balance. The counselor said I was starving myself and told me to eat 6 meals a day. And more protein. I am gaining strength and balance with the fitness plan. My bad knee can take the stairs better than they have in years. But I had vertigo. The treadmill made me dizzy. I walked down the street like a drunk. So I went to the doctor. She saw me bend to tie my shoe and asked, "Can you DO that? It's not vertigo, it's your blood pressure." So she reduced my blood pressure meds. My BP is still in the good zone. I told the doctor about my weight loss struggle. She is the first doctor to NOT tell me I was risking my life and to "Join a gym," or "Have you considered bariatric surgery?" or even, "I know it's hard to lose weight but keep trying." Instead, she told me, "I'm not concerned about weight. There are more important things, like the quality of life." WHAT???? I am 67 years old and a doctor told me what---that endless dieting and exercise is not supposed to be the goal of life? So I saw this book, Anti-Diet, and thought, I need to know more about this. Harrison had a food obsession. She was a life-long dieter and a journalist who wrote for Gourmet Magazine. She earned a degree as a nutritionist. Her personal journey led to exactly what millions of us have experienced: Diets. Don't. Work. Harrison pushes back against the Diet Culture--the paradigm we have been sold that tells us there are good and bad foods, that weight is a moral and life-threatening issue, and if we don't look like some media ideal we are unloveable, ignorant, lazy, and dispensible. Studies show that diets don't work, people gain the weight back, and in fact, diets seem to cause, not alleviate, health issues. The bulk of the book traces our food attitudes through history and the rise of the diet culture and its human cost. Although well presented and interesting, I quickly read through this section--I'd come across it all before, in bits and pieces over 60 years. I was eager to get to her alternative. Setting boundaries "might mean putting a moratorium on diet talk with your mother" set alarms off in my head! In my late 20s, when I had reached what I now know is my ideal weight, my mother fell into her old habit of saying, "you'd be...if only you lost weight." I shot back, "I like myself." "You like yourself fat?" she marveled. "I like who I am regardless of what weight I am." That night, Mom had a self-reckoning. She came to me in tears the next morning, apologetic, realizing she was imitating her own mother's behavior when she was growing up. I also was glad to read Harrison's support of strength-building for all sizes as an alternative to blaming joint problems on weight alone. I keep up my cardio exercise of walking and am working with a fitness coach to improve muscle tone and balance. Thankfully, the fitness center is filled with older people like me and people of all body sizes. Sure, there are the buff men around and matchstick thin gals, but I don't stand out as much as I feared I would. The idea of intuitive eating is simple. Listen to your body. My husband grew up with a dad who encouraged over-eating. He never developed a recognition to stop eating when he was full. It's his biggest challenge as an adult because he doesn't recognize 'full'. She promotes the goal of "Health at Every Size" and liberation from an obsession on body size. Her mantra is "self-care, not self-control." Trying to control our body size is self-defeating, physically and mentally. But, she dismisses my FitBit and Lose-It app and fitness center visits and advises to just move. Harrison quotes scads of scientific research. Still, I would love to read about specific and detailed case studies of how people like me, whose metabolism has been impacted by weight-loss diets over decades, can use this approach successfully. I'll see what happens over the next year as I endeavor to not eat more than I burn while eating thoughtfully and working on strength and muscle building. I made apple pies this week. There are no 'good' or 'bad' foods according to Harrison. But, boy, that pie was GOOD. I was given access to a free egalley by the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Denise Cormaney

    This book blew me away. If you’ve ever struggled with your weight or body image, regardless of your size, you need to read this book. So that’s probably everyone. It’s well-researched, well-written, and here to take diet culture down. Listen, my loves. It’s almost the beginning of a new year. I know so many of you are planning to go on a diet. Low carb, keto, paleo, intermittent fasting? Weight Watchers? A Whole30 “reset”? Whatever bullshit “it’s not a diet it’s a lifestyle change!” thing being This book blew me away. If you’ve ever struggled with your weight or body image, regardless of your size, you need to read this book. So that’s probably everyone. It’s well-researched, well-written, and here to take diet culture down. Listen, my loves. It’s almost the beginning of a new year. I know so many of you are planning to go on a diet. Low carb, keto, paleo, intermittent fasting? Weight Watchers? A Whole30 “reset”? Whatever bullshit “it’s not a diet it’s a lifestyle change!” thing being sold to you in your feed right now? I know. I’ve done them all. And they all worked! Until they didn’t. They backfired. Every single one. I used to beat myself up. I said the meanest things to myself. But Christy Harrison is here, and she’s written a book with the science to back up what we’ve long suspected: diets don’t work. DIETS. DON’T. WORK. Diets have a 95+% failure rate over 5 years. That’s peer-reviewed, scientific evidence, repeated in multiple studies. The diet industry makes $72 BILLION in the US alone every year. Could the industry make so much money if what they were selling actually WORKED? We’d all eat less, move more, be thin, the end. But the science proves that our bodies just don’t work that way. The industry makes money by telling you it’s YOUR fault when your biology kicks in and the latest diet eventually fails you, but fear not! They have just the thing! Download their app and sign up for only $9.99 a month! It’s not a diet this time, it’s a LIFESTYLE! 😡 No. It’s bullshit is what it is. Go into 2020 being kinder to yourself. If you need to move more, move more. If your body is telling you you need more veggies and less pizza, listen to it. Take care of yourself and your health. Your body is wise and knows what it needs, certainly more than MyFitness Pal does. Let’s all stop listening to the cultural messages that say we must be thin at all costs, that we must be thin in order to be worthy of love and belonging. That’s just not true. You are worthy, just as you are. You deserve respect. You can be healthy and (gasp!) fat. Truly. Read this book and have a happy new year, and a much happier life. And fuck diet culture. There, I said it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

    Thoroughly researched and well-written, I hope this book gets a ton of readers. The historical context on dieting is fascinating and it's an eye-opener to realize that diets are pretty much guaranteed to fail, that only 2% of dieters succeed in keeping weight off. Dieters blame themselves of course when this happens, and this is exactly what the industry banks on. Format of this book makes it readable, with anecdotes and personal stories interspersed with information about the myriad of ways Thoroughly researched and well-written, I hope this book gets a ton of readers. The historical context on dieting is fascinating and it's an eye-opener to realize that diets are pretty much guaranteed to fail, that only 2% of dieters succeed in keeping weight off. Dieters blame themselves of course when this happens, and this is exactly what the industry banks on. Format of this book makes it readable, with anecdotes and personal stories interspersed with information about the myriad of ways that the diet and "wellness" industries rob us of self-esteem, health, time, and money. The book doesn't stop at a mere expose though. Readers are given guidelines on how to eat intuitively and stop the diet treadmill, to extricate themselves from being a money-making machine for the diet industry. Everyone should read this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Suzy

    My mind has been completely blown by Anti-Diet. I want to hug Christy Harrison, then go reread this book. This was my first time reading a book about intuitive eating. I have followed some of the intuitive eating registered dietician (RD) community on instagram and even met with an intuitive eating RD earlier this year, but I still needed a primer like this. Intuitive eating involves letting go of the diet rules that control many of our lives, and learning to listen to your body and your mind to My mind has been completely blown by Anti-Diet. I want to hug Christy Harrison, then go reread this book. This was my first time reading a book about intuitive eating. I have followed some of the intuitive eating registered dietician (RD) community on instagram and even met with an intuitive eating RD earlier this year, but I still needed a primer like this. Intuitive eating involves letting go of the diet rules that control many of our lives, and learning to listen to your body and your mind to know when and what to eat. As Christy points out, this doesn’t just mean eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. It also includes eating cake at a birthday party, eating in preparation for a long meeting, etc. This book is divided into two parts. In Part I: The Life Thief (aka diet culture), Christy reviews how weight has become such a big focus in our society, including the racist and misogynistic roots of the dieting industry, how the diet industry has morphed into the “Wellness Industry,” and how weight stigma and diet cycling have been shown to cause increased health problems (though weight itself has only proven to be correlated, not causative). In Part II: Life Beyond Diet Culture, Christy discusses the philosophies of Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size, and provides guidance for how you can heal from diet culture and change your habits. I found myself wanting exact rules and guidelines to follow, but I think that’s just because I’m so used to diet rules. I look forward to picking up books recommended at the end of the book to continue to learn more about these concepts. I have already called multiple family members about this book, and I’m planning to gently put it in their hands as soon as it comes out. I like that Christy cites a lot of research, but still manages to make these concepts very accessible. My only hesitation with passing it on is Ms. Harrison’s colloquial language (using words like “literally” and “sec,” as well as cursing). This is pretty common in the self-help industry these days, but I worry that it may make it a little more challenging to get people entrenched in the diet industry to trust the author and her research. One side note: I really appreciated that Christy did not use veganism as an example in the book. Many people, myself included, are vegans for environmental and ethical reasons rather than weight-related ones. Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown Spark for the free advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    So I have been listening to Harrison's podcast for a bit at the suggestion of a therapist. I think she has some good things to say. However, it is difficult for me to accept that there is a one-size-fits-all solution to all eating issues and that everyone will benefit similarly. Gretchen Rubin's "be Gretchen" slogan comes to mind and her recognition that there are many personality types and many different ways to effectuate change and you need to select the techniques most suited to your So I have been listening to Harrison's podcast for a bit at the suggestion of a therapist. I think she has some good things to say. However, it is difficult for me to accept that there is a one-size-fits-all solution to all eating issues and that everyone will benefit similarly. Gretchen Rubin's "be Gretchen" slogan comes to mind and her recognition that there are many personality types and many different ways to effectuate change and you need to select the techniques most suited to your personality type. Harrison’s solution to all eating issues is “intuitive eating.” Sounds simple, what is it? Unclear, but it can apparently include sending yourself into anaphylactic shock: For example, if you can’t eat peanuts without reaching for your EpiPen, you probably won’t be gravitating toward them as you recover from diet culture... Ultimately, though, your body is yours to do with as you wish: if you find yourself with, say, a persistent craving for crab despite a raging shellfish allergy, you’re allowed to eat it if you want—your body, your choice. You really do have full permission to eat anything you desire. (Just please have your EpiPen handy.) [Kindle Location 4929] WTF?!?!? This is beyond irresponsible especially because after using an EpiPen you should call 911 and go to an ER. Further, most second and subsequent reactions to an allergy get worse, so this is just. No. No. No.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This book is very well researched, and I appreciated the extensive footnotes to use in future arguments with “weight loss is healthy” friends. I highlighted so many passages, and have been sharing quotes on Instagram right and left. I wish I’d had the info in this book when I was 15, before I started down the road of roller coaster weight loss and gain, over exercise, and disordered eating. I felt like a failure for 25 years before I finally sought therapy for my “binge eating” (which was in This book is very well researched, and I appreciated the extensive footnotes to use in future arguments with “weight loss is healthy” friends. I highlighted so many passages, and have been sharing quotes on Instagram right and left. I wish I’d had the info in this book when I was 15, before I started down the road of roller coaster weight loss and gain, over exercise, and disordered eating. I felt like a failure for 25 years before I finally sought therapy for my “binge eating” (which was in reality higher weight anorexia).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Katie Dalebout

    Christy is such a great researcher and writer. She has written a book that is so important in the intense diet culture we live in. I'm so grateful for this work and will be recommending it often. It's a very fun read with stories and the way it is organized. Read it in full, you will learn so much. I did! Even if you listen to her podcast Food Psych, this book is overflowing with more information and anecdotes that i did not know even though I feel pretty knowledgeable on the subject from years Christy is such a great researcher and writer. She has written a book that is so important in the intense diet culture we live in. I'm so grateful for this work and will be recommending it often. It's a very fun read with stories and the way it is organized. Read it in full, you will learn so much. I did! Even if you listen to her podcast Food Psych, this book is overflowing with more information and anecdotes that i did not know even though I feel pretty knowledgeable on the subject from years of listening to her podcast. I learned so much new information that I keep sharing in conversation. Trust me, buy it for yourself, buy it for everyone you know! I loved every ounce.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ragen

    This book is extraordinary. Thoroughly researched, and also inclusive of the personal stories that research biases can leave out, Anti-diet is packed with the answers to all the questions people have about diet culture and intuitive eating, and serves as an expose on the industries that create harmful myths around size, health, and fitness, and then prey on their victims for profit. This book provides such clarity, and reading it is felt like coming up for air!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laila (BigReadingLife)

    It’s taken me 42 years to get here, but I’m ready to join Christy Harrison and the HAES/anti-diet community in burning diet culture to the ground!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    It's hard to put into words how much I LOVED this book. I'm so glad I pre-ordered it instead of getting it from the library. It's highlighted and underlined all over and I know there are so many things I will go back to in the future and re-read and will lend it to friends. I already feel more confident as I read the book to share with my friends and family the anti-diet message. It's so validating and freeing to be able to recognize diet culture and how it influences our body image and mental It's hard to put into words how much I LOVED this book. I'm so glad I pre-ordered it instead of getting it from the library. It's highlighted and underlined all over and I know there are so many things I will go back to in the future and re-read and will lend it to friends. I already feel more confident as I read the book to share with my friends and family the anti-diet message. It's so validating and freeing to be able to recognize diet culture and how it influences our body image and mental and physical wellbeing and actively decide to not allow it to cause us any more harm. I love that the book explicity addresses concerns on sugar, nutrition, and exercise as well as the 'food-activist movement' (as a person who has read several Michael Pollan books this was very intriguing and surprising). I also love how she frames diet-culture as being rooted in white supremacy, patriarchy, elitism and colonization. It truly is a social justice issue. She also has a lot of actionable steps which I appreciate! 10/10 recommend to anyone who has ever gone on a diet/"cleanse"/"lifestyle change", felt bad about their body size, judged others as unhealthy or healthy due to their weight, obsessed about which foods are "good" or "bad", done extremely intense exercise in a self-punishing way to "make up" for what you ate earlier in the day. Thank you Christy Harrison!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we need to burn diet culture to the ground.” I think this quote sums us what Christy Harrison aims to do throughout this book and in her work in the anti-diet space. Ms. Harrison teaches us so much in this important book that it is difficult to summarize in a review. We learn about the history of diet culture, and how it has gained attention over the decades. We learn about important concepts such as intuitive eating and Health at Every Size. We learn “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we need to burn diet culture to the ground.” I think this quote sums us what Christy Harrison aims to do throughout this book and in her work in the anti-diet space. Ms. Harrison teaches us so much in this important book that it is difficult to summarize in a review. We learn about the history of diet culture, and how it has gained attention over the decades. We learn about important concepts such as intuitive eating and Health at Every Size. We learn about the importance of community and social justice around body acceptance and liberation. We learn that health is not a moral obligation and that weight is not a determinant of our health outcomes, as many would have us believe. We learn how to support others and ourselves on this journey to freedom from the chains of The Life Thief (aka diet culture). I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever questioned why intentional weight loss rarely works or has been stigmatized for their body size or shape. Honestly, it will open your mind and make you mad all at the same time. But then there is a peace that comes where you feel heard and seen. I loved everything about this book, well except the dig at baths :) I appreciated the footnote but I stand firm on my stance as a bubble bath lover :) . Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this wonderful book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    I received this book as an ARC in exchange for a review thru NetGalley. Personally, I hated this book. It was overly forceful and repetitive - especially if you've heard Christy Harrison's podcast before. For some, maybe, this book could be useful, but I just found myself rolling my eyes at how forceful the argument seemed to be.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This should be required reading. For someone who is science-hungry like me, this book ticked all of the boxes. There are extensively cited sources, and the author really breaks down the problems with much of the science around dieting and weight loss (such as poorly structured studies, compromised scientists, incomplete understanding of results, and more). I found this to be strongly based in reality, fact, and science, and as a former journalist, Harrison really goes full investigative This should be required reading. For someone who is science-hungry like me, this book ticked all of the boxes. There are extensively cited sources, and the author really breaks down the problems with much of the science around dieting and weight loss (such as poorly structured studies, compromised scientists, incomplete understanding of results, and more). I found this to be strongly based in reality, fact, and science, and as a former journalist, Harrison really goes full investigative reporter. And this is NECESSARY, because it is extremely hard for even believers of the anti-diet movement and Health at Every Size to get past conventional wisdom and what we've been told for years and years. You really need a powerful set of facts to get past the concept of "high weight = unhealthy," and I felt Harrison accomplished that. The book focuses on dismantling diet culture - the Life Thief - and nicely ties in a lot of concepts along the way, including that weight stigma actually harms your health more than your weight, and the fallibility of so much of the generally accepted science. Harrison also devotes several chapters to the concept of "OK, I no longer believe in diets - now what do I do?", which I also found extremely helpful and necessary, because it can be really hard to live rule-free around food, activity, and body image when you are used to structure and rules for decades and decades. I found this book to be an emotional read because of my own history and ongoing recovery, but felt very empowered, satisfied, and inspired. It's well-written, well-researched, and well-intended, and I'm so glad I read it! I'd highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more about anti-dieting, Health at Every Size, or because you just want more science and knowledge.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ang

    This was thorough. The first chapter is QUITE a slog, so if you don't much care about how diet culture got to be diet culture, skip it and go right to chapter two. None of this was super new to me, though I think this is the first book that really takes on wellness culture that I've read, and it was a freaking huge relief to see diet culture laid out in the current trends of clean eating and food intolerance. Great for people just dipping their feet in, but also great for people who like a little This was thorough. The first chapter is QUITE a slog, so if you don't much care about how diet culture got to be diet culture, skip it and go right to chapter two. None of this was super new to me, though I think this is the first book that really takes on wellness culture that I've read, and it was a freaking huge relief to see diet culture laid out in the current trends of clean eating and food intolerance. Great for people just dipping their feet in, but also great for people who like a little reminder/tune up around this time of year.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Julie (HufflepuffGirl90)

    Overall a great change of pace to the typical health book. It doesn’t tell you to lose a certain amount of weight or make you feel bad for not changing weight at all. Instead it encourages self love and health. *i received this ARC for free in exchange for my honest review Full review at: http://bookshelfadventures.home.blog/...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kim Sliwinski

    I couldn’t finish the book. It felt like a very long winded rant. I appreciate her perspective and the points she made but it could have been done in a more organized, concise and positive manner. I wish she would have told us more about intuitive eating in the second half of the book. More of a “how to” for those who have bad or obsessive relationships with food.

  17. 4 out of 5

    KP

    Really excellent overview; I like to read books like this right at the New Year, since suddenly everyone is talking about their diet, and I was especially grateful that this one came out when it did, since I listen to her podcast semi-regularly and could "hear" her voice while reading it. I wish I could hand this out to folks. As it is, I'll be heartily recommending it to anyone who expresses even the slightest amount of doubt about if diets work.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Soete

    Christy is dropping a lot of truth bombs in this book, but what I appreciate the most is how compassionate and respectful to the reader she is. I felt cared for while reading this book; the validation she provides is a really important to tool to recovering from immersion in toxic diet culture. She is shining a light on the dark origins of diet culture (racism, patriarchy). So grateful for the work she is doing to burn diet culture to the ground.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Hynes

    This book is so culturally important!!!!! I cannot stress that enough. Harrison combines a myriad of scientific evidence, anecdotal evidence from herself, clients, and others in the field, and common sense into the masterpiece of Anti-Diet. This is information everyone needs to have, and I wish I had learned much earlier in my life. If you’ve ever “failed” on a diet, been not okay with your body, been told to lose weight instead of given real medical treatment, or just care strongly about social This book is so culturally important!!!!! I cannot stress that enough. Harrison combines a myriad of scientific evidence, anecdotal evidence from herself, clients, and others in the field, and common sense into the masterpiece of Anti-Diet. This is information everyone needs to have, and I wish I had learned much earlier in my life. If you’ve ever “failed” on a diet, been not okay with your body, been told to lose weight instead of given real medical treatment, or just care strongly about social justice- read this!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elissa Aspuria

    Life changing I am always so grateful to authors willing to cut through the rhetoric we have been fed out whole lives in order to bring truth, peace of mind, and thoughtful education. I read this book in less than a week and have been telling everyone to read it. I always knew I had an unhealthy relationship with food and my body but I didn't have the words and knowledge until now. Thank you Christy, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Page

    One food movement that is becoming more popular in the media is Heath At Every Size and Intuitive Eating. Since I’m already on board with both, I thought it would be hard for me to review Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating by Christy Harrison. However, keeping mind what I used to teach college students about reviewing and rhetoric, I’ll do my best to stick to my own lessons and keep my feelings about the topic separate from the quality of the One food movement that is becoming more popular in the media is Heath At Every Size® and Intuitive Eating. Since I’m already on board with both, I thought it would be hard for me to review Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating by Christy Harrison. However, keeping mind what I used to teach college students about reviewing and rhetoric, I’ll do my best to stick to my own lessons and keep my feelings about the topic separate from the quality of the book. Harrison’s book, published in 2019, covers how the Western world became obsessed with smaller bodies only in the last 150 or so years and the way diet industries have capitalized on that. What looks like health is often a diet in disguise, she argues, and provides evidence, including a list of sources and further reading section, to support her claims. The second part of Anti-Diet gets into intuitive eating and moralizing health, and answers readers potential objections. Although diet may be a dirty word, “wellness” is the new diet. Your mom may have loved Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, and Slim Fast, but today’s diet market wants you to do whole foods, delivery meal prep, and clean foods. And if what you’re eating is designed to make you lose or maintain a weight, that’s a diet. Any type of food restriction beyond something with legitimate medical reasons is a diet. Firstly, a book that discusses bodies, food, and health need to be written by a trustworthy author and not a charlatan. Harrison is, according to her bio, “a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified intuitive eating counselor, and journalist who has been covering food and nutrition for more than sixteen years.” Some readers may feel like being certified in intuitive eating counseling would make Harrison biased in her research, and that’s possible. However, Harrison used to be one of those journalists who wrote about the “obesity epidemic” and espoused that children would no longer outlive their parents. After time as a journalist, she wanted to further her education to help fight the “obesity epidemic,” only to learn that the research didn’t add up and many of her classmates (along with Harrison herself) exhibited disordered eating. In fact, the teachers and students were often talking about their latest diets between lessons. Because she is able to confess to her past as a pro-dieter and her own journey to make peace with food, in addition to her credentials, I trust Harrison is the right person to write such a book. The evidence in Anti-Diet will work for you depending on how much you want science explained to you. There were times when I felt like Harrison wanted me to believe her because she had cited a source, but wasn’t quite explaining her evidence to the depth that I want as someone who used to teach composition. Without that clear, detailed explanation of her evidence, readers are left to simply believe the author’s interpretation of the evidence — scary, when she notes how journalists typically create stories and headlines base solely on the bullet points or summary of a scientific study, and I felt occasionally like she was giving us bullet points. There could be a few things going on here: 1) I’m reading a book through a rhetorical analysis lens and scrutinizing too hard, and 2) Wading too far into the science weeds isolates the general public. This fact is acknowledged by Hope Jahren, author of Lab Girl, in an interview with NPR in response to scientists who criticized her for not using the most scientific term for everything she wrote about. If you’re not the type of reader to pick over every piece of evidence in a book, you’ll really enjoy Anti-Diet for its readability and trustworthy author. And the book moves forward in a natural progression, keeping it from feeling like a textbook. Looking at history, Harrison explains how white Americans viewed Native people and African Americans as differently shaped, so white Americans decided anything that wasn’t slim was “savagery,” creating an argument that fatphobia started in racist waters. And clothes that don’t fit fat people? Prior to clothing factories, people sewed their own clothes — and if you could measure properly, they always fit. Today, we feel that we don’t fit clothes when clothes should fit us. A single image in the media could change how an entire country felt about body shape, and studies show that campaigns to get thinner always increase during periods when women fight for their rights. (Frequently, Harrison reminds readers that correlation isn’t causation, so I wonder if this is actually true). Skimming her sources, I think I just need to simmer down. Harrison cites publications like the Nutrition Journal, the Journal of Obesity, American Psychologist, the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, along with books by fat activists, popular magazines and news outlets, and encyclopedias of culture and history. After her history and studies, Harrison goes into what readers can do about diet culture, including crafting your online experience very carefully (surprise: I have zero social media other than Goodreads); how to remove yourself from diet talk with family, friends, co-workers; and finding a community that supports your goal to remain diet-free. I have to say, being diet-free is the most liberated I’ve ever felt, and thus had to be cautious writing this review. Watching almost everyone around me be anxious around food, police what other people are eating, talk about what they’re craving, and mentioning something about “getting in their steps” is exhausting, sad, and triggering. I recommend Anti-Diet for its honesty, clear writing, and list of sources that you could examine yourself. For many people, they’re so stuck in “health” and “dieting” that they continue to be miserable and looking for the source. Anti-Diet may help them find it. This book was originally reviewed at Grab the Lapels.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Arkans -

    Food tastes good. It's fun to eat. Feeling bad about your body sucks. Dieting sucks too. So what's a person to do in a body-image obsessed culture that tells us that thin is in? Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, right? Anti-Diet is a fascinating look at our culture and how it affects our personal body image. There's so much important information in this book that it should be required reading for everyone, no matter their size or shape. Not everyone is designed the same and what is healthy Food tastes good. It's fun to eat. Feeling bad about your body sucks. Dieting sucks too. So what's a person to do in a body-image obsessed culture that tells us that thin is in? Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, right? Anti-Diet is a fascinating look at our culture and how it affects our personal body image. There's so much important information in this book that it should be required reading for everyone, no matter their size or shape. Not everyone is designed the same and what is healthy for one person, may not be healthy for another. Thank you to Christy Harrison for this important reminder. Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kricket

    Huge fan of Christy Harrison, very excited.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do . Reclaim your time, money, health, and happiness from our toxic diet culture When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Reclaim your time, money, health, and happiness from our toxic diet culture with groundbreaking strategies from a registered dietitian, journalist, and host of the "Food Psych" podcast. 68 per cent of Americans have dieted at some point in their lives. But upwards of 90% of people who intentionally lose weight gain it back within five years. And as many as 66% of people who embark on weight-loss efforts end up gaining more weight than they lost. If dieting is so clearly ineffective, why are we so obsessed with it? The culprit is diet culture, a system of beliefs that equates thinness to health and moral virtue promotes weight loss as a means of attaining a higher status and demonizes certain ways of eating while elevating others. It's sexist, racist, and classist, yet this way of thinking about food and bodies is so embedded in the fabric of our society that it can be hard to recognize. It masquerades as health, wellness, and fitness, and for some, it is all-consuming. In Anti-Diet, Christy Harrison takes on diet culture and the multi-billion-dollar industries that profit from it, exposing all the ways it robs people of their time, money, health, and happiness. It will turn what you think you know about health and wellness upside down, as Harrison explores the history of diet culture, how it's infiltrated the health and wellness world, how to recognize it in all its sneaky forms, and how letting go of efforts to lose weight or eat "perfectly" actually helps to improve people's health -- no matter their size. Drawing on scientific research, personal experience, and stories from patients and colleagues, Anti-Diet provides a radical alternative to diet culture and helps readers reclaim their bodies, minds, and lives so they can focus on the things that truly matter. I am decidedly in the 68% of people who have gained all their weight back and some and it DOES NOT HELP when people (Leanne Locken) rudely call D'Andra Simmons (Real Housewives of Dallas) A FAT COW when she is a size SIX!!!!! If D'andra is a cow, then I am a herd! This book makes so much sense, especially to this life-long dieter who keeps gaining her weight back time and time again. The word diet is a horrible word - we need to make it less of a four-letter word and more of a lifestyle... a healthy lifestyle. I love how the diet instructed is ripped to shreds by the author and that some sane, logical and do-able healthy-eating-lifestyle advice is given. The fact that the book comes out December 24th is smart as one can read and prepare for the old "it's January first so I need to make some resolutions ... " hamster wheel. Except for this time, maybe the hamster will stop running in circles. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter..get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🐁 🐁 🐁 🐁 🐁 (Sorry, no hamster emojis!)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Heather Balog

    I really found the science and history behind diets and diet culture fascinating and eye opening. There were a lot of research studies that backed up Harrison’s claims and her own research, which of course, validated the information presented. I could relate to a lot of what she was saying and it really helped to learn about the Health at Every Size movement. I’m definitely looking at food and diet culture differently. What bothered me about this book, the reason I couldn’t give it more than 4 I really found the science and history behind diets and diet culture fascinating and eye opening. There were a lot of research studies that backed up Harrison’s claims and her own research, which of course, validated the information presented. I could relate to a lot of what she was saying and it really helped to learn about the Health at Every Size movement. I’m definitely looking at food and diet culture differently. What bothered me about this book, the reason I couldn’t give it more than 4 stars, was that Harrison really seemed to fall over herself to be politically correct. It wasn’t evident at first, but it started to become almost cringeworthy toward the end when she got into the social justice piece. It was like “okay we get that non-binary trans people are discriminated against and yes I have white, thinner body privilege, but I still have emotions and my emotions and problems aren’t any less important than theirs”. She’s preaching how everyone is worthy, but you get the impression that she wants white, cisgender, smaller bodied women to know they’re privileged and should STFU. Or at least that’s what it started to feel like at the end. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, but I think she was almost trying to apologize for writing this book because she felt people wouldn’t respect her because she falls into that category. She wanted us to know she “got it”, but it went a little too far and might end up alienating a lot of readers who may be her main audience. Otherwise, a book of sound science and research that isn’t too difficult for the lay person to digest and understand. A must read for anyone who wants to kick diet culture to the curb and start living their lives.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tibby (she/her)

    This was both incredibly informative and very readable. I love the body positive, food positive, social justice message she is spreading. The way Harrison has broken the book out into chapter and sections makes the information very approachable and easy to process through. The organization made a lot of sense to my mind. This is, in part, what I wanted the original Intuitive Eating book to be. Anti-Diet is not a manual in the way that that book was, but she clearly and consistently breaks down This was both incredibly informative and very readable. I love the body positive, food positive, social justice message she is spreading. The way Harrison has broken the book out into chapter and sections makes the information very approachable and easy to process through. The organization made a lot of sense to my mind. This is, in part, what I wanted the original Intuitive Eating book to be. Anti-Diet is not a manual in the way that that book was, but she clearly and consistently breaks down diet culture and food moralizing and makes the case for letting go of weight loss and especially the Wellness Diet. Harrison is crystal clear that body size is not an indicator of health. If you are new to these ideas, Anti-Diet will blow your mind. Just remember to keep it open. Harrison knows her stuff and has done the research. If I take issue with anything here it's that Harrison is white, cisgender, and in a smaller body. She has immense privilege from those identities that helped get her published. But I don't think that detracts from what she presents here and she frequently acknowledges the privileges she has which for me at least went a long way for helping me be open to listening to what she had to say. And as much as I wish these types of books were being published and advertised by big publishers and were written by people with marginalized identities, I can also appreciate that Harrison is able to get this message out there and that's not nothing. In the end, I absolutely loved this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lucie Simone

    I started listening to Christy Harrison’s podcast, Food Psych, a couple years ago, which really woke me up to the mental and physical harm that diet culture fosters. Beyond the harm it does to one’s own body, but society at large. This book is like downloading all of Christy’s research and knowledge into your brain mixed in with the compassion to help you find peace with food and truly ditch diet culture for good. Well written and thoroughly researched, this is the book I needed to fortify my I started listening to Christy Harrison’s podcast, Food Psych, a couple years ago, which really woke me up to the mental and physical harm that diet culture fosters. Beyond the harm it does to one’s own body, but society at large. This book is like downloading all of Christy’s research and knowledge into your brain mixed in with the compassion to help you find peace with food and truly ditch diet culture for good. Well written and thoroughly researched, this is the book I needed to fortify my anti-diet perspective. I will also add that this was very readable. I’ve picked up other books before that explore the same topics, but they were so dry and academic that I couldn’t get through them. This however felt like sitting down with Christy for a few hours to pick her brain to get all the answers to why diet culture is so harmful and why it must be rejected and torn down. If you’ve ever felt like your body was wrong, that you don’t fit in a society that praises thinness and shames people in bigger bodies, if you’ve dieted yourself into an even bigger body over the decades, if you’ve ever been made to feel inferior because of the size of your body, if you’ve ever felt obsessed over calories, addicted to sugar, or lived in fear of certain foods, please read this book. It will show you how backwards diet culture views health as well as where it all began and why, if you believe in human rights, diet culture must be smashed (along with the patriarchy).

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Solis

    I listen to Christy Harrison’s podcast, so I decided to listen to the audiobook version of this book as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Christy went in depth on how disordered eating impacts so many areas of our lives. She provided statistics and plenty of studies and resources early on, which I found very helpful to keep me engaged and convince me. I’ve been “straddling the fence” as she likes to say—meaning I know in my head the concepts but I still struggle with quieting my fat phobic thoughts I listen to Christy Harrison’s podcast, so I decided to listen to the audiobook version of this book as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Christy went in depth on how disordered eating impacts so many areas of our lives. She provided statistics and plenty of studies and resources early on, which I found very helpful to keep me engaged and convince me. I’ve been “straddling the fence” as she likes to say—meaning I know in my head the concepts but I still struggle with quieting my fat phobic thoughts and disordered behaviors. But the cited studies she includes really helped me see the absurdity of the “wellness diet”. Christy Harrison also touches on how disordered eating and fat phobia compounds with intersecting identities. She included quotes and topics from other members of marginalized communities, like a disability activist, a trans person, and people of color. I especially like that she ended with tangible steps that we can take as individuals to fortify our support systems and spread a culture of body positivity to counteract and replace the current culture of dieting and fat phobia. By focusing on social injustices that result from a culture of disordered eating, we can more effectively get the support of all of our socially conscious networks.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Derby

    A true revelation! If you have ever been on a diet/wanted to be on a diet/tried to implement a “lifestyle change”/thought there was something wrong with you because you couldn’t make your body smaller...which is to say all of us...then I highly recommend. I wish everyone would read this book, especially the history behind diet culture, which shows quite clearly the oppressive beginnings of “The Life Thief” as Harrison calls it. You get an in depth look at the forms diet culture has taken to A true revelation! If you have ever been on a diet/wanted to be on a diet/tried to implement a “lifestyle change”/thought there was something wrong with you because you couldn’t make your body smaller...which is to say all of us...then I highly recommend. I wish everyone would read this book, especially the history behind diet culture, which shows quite clearly the oppressive beginnings of “The Life Thief” as Harrison calls it. You get an in depth look at the forms diet culture has taken to steal our time, money, mental space, happiness, etc. etc. constantly evolving to make you feel like YOU are the problem. If you are passionate in the slightest about fighting inequality in its various forms or fighting for social justice, this book will spark anger and rage (in the best way possible). I think this book would be helpful to all genders, but especially to women, who are inundated with body shaming messages every minute of every day. To quote the book “it’s hard to smash the patriarchy on an empty stomach”. All of us likely have a long way to go to heal from diet culture, but no matter where you are in tour journey, this book is an excellent resource in recovery.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I have become an Anti-Diet, Intuitive Eating, HAES junky over this last year, so this book came at the perfect time. As a committed podcast listener to Christy Harrison's food psych and a participant in her 13 week on line course, I now consider myself an armchair expert in all things IE and anti diet. I follow tons of IE and anti diet accounts on IG and I have read probably a dozen books on the topic. This book is the pinnacle! Christy begins by giving us the history that put diet culture in I have become an Anti-Diet, Intuitive Eating, HAES junky over this last year, so this book came at the perfect time. As a committed podcast listener to Christy Harrison's food psych and a participant in her 13 week on line course, I now consider myself an armchair expert in all things IE and anti diet. I follow tons of IE and anti diet accounts on IG and I have read probably a dozen books on the topic. This book is the pinnacle! Christy begins by giving us the history that put diet culture in its proper context and shows how arbitrary and fatphobic our diet culture is. Then she talks convincingly about how dieting steals our money, time, wellbeing and happiness. Each section she offers evidence based arguments that will most likely hit home with readers, it certainly did for me. At this point if you are like me you are beyond angry at Diet Culture and all it has stolen from you. Luckily this is part two of the book where Christy explains Intuitive Eating, Joyful Movement and HAES in a way that introduces you to each topic and you can decide if you are ready to dive in. I hope everyone who reads the book walks away ready to listen to her podcast and learn more!

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