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!
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.
- 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.
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?