I bought this book out of interest, having been a fat person for most of my life and tried diets multiple times that worked temporarily. I’d lose a couple of stone then plateau before starting to increase again. And before I knew it I’d be back to my old weight. In the last year I’ve put on 10 kg. The nurse has got grumpy with me, I’ve returned to the Wellbeing Service Health Trainer I was seeing three years ago (at least), and she’s referred me to Thrive. I have to fill in a food diary and track everything. It’s already screwing with my head. I’m trying not to restrict but I’m struggling with it. I want to get fitter, my weight will do what it will.
I read this book with interest. Linda Bacon is a good writer and she makes the science understandable. The first half of the book is about the science, which shows that restrictive dieting may actually trigger the body’s anti-starvation mechanisms, making the dieter obsessed with food and binge. She discusses the social and political pressures around body size and health.
The basic idea is that rather than restricting food and exercising as punishment for eating, people should try to listen to their body, eat when they’re hungry and move in ways that feel good. The book tries to help the reader with that. It’s very easy to read, and full of information. Many will find it challenging because it questions everything we’re told about weight and health.
The book is US-centric and doesn’t discuss disability in respect to health and food. It also assumes the reader is in a stable living situation where they can afford and cook ‘real’ food. At times it comes off as a bit preachy.
If you’re struggling with your weight, sick of feeling a failure because the diets don’t work, try reading this book.