Blog Archives: The End Of Overeating

Tonight I have my last regular season softball game. I can’t believe it’s already coming to an end!

Since I pretty much crashed after today’s cupcake baking, I haven’t really done much with the ‘ol camera. So I thought that instead, I would share an older post that I pulled out of the archives for you all tonight. In case you’re looking for your next summer read, then maybe this will help you out!

Happy Friday!

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Book Review: The End of Overeating by David Kessler

Back in April (yes, April) I picked up this book after hearing about it from a couple friends, and just finally finished it. Initially, I think I was drawn to the book in hopes that it would be a “quick fix,” to help me solve my sometimes overwhelming urges to want to eat sweets. However, that was not the intention of this book.

Kessler’s writing was a little bit on the “sciency” side for me, and I would sometimes catch my mind wandering while reading. However, he does actually go through quite a fascinating account of what leads us to overeat – a combination of brain chemistry, appetite, and manipulation by the food industry.

The book is divided into six different parts:

Part One: Sugar, Fat, Salt

Part Two: The Food Industry

Part Three: Conditioned Hypereating Emerges

Part Four: The Theory of Treatment

Part Five: Food Rehab

Part Six: The End of Overeating

A few main points from the book:

  • Each of these parts had its own interesting and informative points. The first section of the book mainly discusses what influences our eating habits, including how the food industry uses our own biological impulses to make food we like, whether it’s healthy or not. Also in this section were some very complex, detailed accounts focusing on how the brain works. Kessler often referred to our relationship with food as a hostage situation, with the brain requiring strong negotiating techniques to steer us past countless temptations. The problem is, we either don’t have those skills or don’t know how to use them effectively.
  • The concept of “eating promotes more eating,” is prominent throughout the book. Kessler explains that what drives us to eat too much is a combination of brain chemistry and the availability of food that has the perfect balance of sugar, fat, and salt. As Kessler says, “Chronic exposure to highly palatable foods changes our brains, conditioning us to seek continued stimulation. Over time, a powerful drive for a combination of sugar, fat, and salt competes with our conscious capacity to say no.”
  • Kessler also talked about ways to “Reverse the Habit” of overeating with four steps: Awareness, engaging in competing behaviors, formulating thoughts to compete with the old ones, and support.
  • The Food Rehab section of the book offered some very interesting insights into how we lose control of eating in the first place, and how we can use that knowledge to our advantage. Kessler goes through several steps that can help readers change their perception of food and how they eat. Some of these steps, such as learning to eat “just-right” meals and figuring out what foods keep you satisfied yet are still enjoyable, are nothing new. But he does focus on the need to let go of past actions and realize that it takes time to overcome such long-established habits.

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  • Kessler does not offer any kinds of diet or meal plans in this book; instead, he offers advice on how to take control of food decisions by figuring out what leads to overeating, limiting your exposure to “trigger” foods, and using certain techniques for dealing with the urges.

My opinions on the book:

I found a lot of the information given in this book to be very interesting, and totally relatable. Some of the sections where Kessler talks with various food industry insiders were a total eye-opener, and actually a little disgusting at times.

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But what I liked about the book is that Kessler acknowledges that most people already know how to eat healthfully. I would say that I tend to eat fairly healthy, with the occasional treats here and there; but I still struggle with urges when it comes to foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat.

After reading the book, it finally started to make sense as to why I crave sweets immediately after dinner: it’s because I have hardwired my brain to expect a sweet treat after eating dinner. I can eat lunch without needing a sweet treat no problem. But once I’m finished with dinner, it’s like an immediate reaction… “Bring on the sweet stuff”!” This is where I could relate to Kessler’s advice on learning on how to deal with the cravings, temptations, and ingrained habits that cause us to overeat.

Question for the Night:

Do you think you would ever read this book? Did you find anything in this review interesting or useful?

Comments

  1. says

    I think this review is very interesting and useful and I’d be interested to read the book too. I definitely have it hardwired in my brain to have a sweet treat after dinner…and I always seem to overeat more when I get home after work. During the day I’m fine, but once it’s evening at home and in my pj’s, the food monster comes out in full force! :)

  2. says

    I just finished this book as of a couple days ago – a great read. I learned quite a bit from it. The whole section about how when we eat sugar, fat and salt we then crave sugar, fat and salt. Do I try to stay away from these things? Absolutely. Is it possible to ALWAYS stay away from the stuff? Definitely not. Moderation is key in each and every single person’s diet.

    My strategy for avoiding that “sweet treat” craving after dinner is to A) eat dinner on the later side (around 8 or 8:30) and B) fill my plate with 75% vegetables. Yes – 75%. It’s what makes me nice and full without the junk (or guilt, for that matter). By 10PM I’m still full and start wrapping it up for the night to head to bed. It works for me :)

  3. says

    I would read this! I’m very science minded and know how to eat very well. I find myself just mentally telling myself that I “deserve” or “need” dessert…and my love for baking doesn’t help! I am going to add this to my list! Your review was great.

  4. says

    I really enjoyed this book. It shed a lot of light on the way our brain works in relation to food. I found the whole comparison of food cravings as comparable to drug cravings especially interesting!

  5. says

    I bought the audible version of the book. I thought it was def on the science side but also informative tho alot if things i already knew or were pretty common sense. I bought after seeing Julie reading it over at pbfingers.

  6. says

    Great review, girl! I’ve never heard of this book (until now) so I can’t wait to pick up a copy. I definitely have that issue too, mostly where I just want to eat a lot at night. Maybe this will help me solve my problem! <3

  7. says

    never heard of this book, thanks for the review! It takes me a while to get through books like these, my mind definitely starts wandering too when they get all sciency but it seems like this one has some points worth reading it for.

  8. says

    Great review! I don’t know if I would the book myself because it sounds a little too “sciency” (using your word haha) for me. But it sounds like it’s helped other people, which is great.

    I do struggle with the constant urge to want to eat more sweets. Some days I’m successful at controlling the urges, other days I’m not as much. I think like anything, it’s a balancing act. I wouldn’t want to give up sweets completely because I enjoy them too much. But I also have to constantly remind myself that they don’t give me the nutrients I need. So the nutritious foods need to take up 90% of my diet, and then there’s always room for a little dessert. ;)

  9. Lily says

    I just finished this book about 3 weeks ago, I liked it, but I agree with you that the sciency type things left my mind to wander a bit. I also liked that he brought up the fact that fat and sugar make you crave even more fat and sugar! I find this sometimes when I have a treat, I just want MORE! And its most likley not that I’m hungry!

    Great book review! :D

  10. says

    We have the same problem with sweets or really anything after dinner. We have done it our whole life, so a hard habit to break. So I am trying just to have smaller amounts of sweets after dinner, that way I can still enjoy it without feeling guilty. But over eating sweets is hard, especially when you run a bakery.

  11. says

    I have that same mindset for after dinner! it’s so hard to break out of it so I’ll try to limit myself to one treat a day and have it at that time, whether
    It’s a cookie or a Chobani with chocolate chips and a bit of PB, just to keep it in moderation in one place. I know exactly what you mean though!!!

  12. Jessica says

    I’m currently reading the End of Overeating and having the same problem as you trying to get through it…and I’m a sciency person! It is filled to the brim with a lot of interesting research facts. I feel like I need to re-read the beginning parts just to absorb it all. The book seems less focused on changing your behavior and more understanding what is happening to your body and why.

  13. says

    I had this book on my reading list but I am even more encouraged now that I know a little bit more about it. Thanks for the review Courtney :)

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