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Why Diets Fail (Because You're Addicted to Sugar)

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Science Explains How to End Cravings, Lose Weight, and Get Healthy

Written by Nicole M. Avena, Ph.D.Author Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Nicole M. Avena, Ph.D. and John R. TalbottAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by John R. Talbott


List Price: $12.99


On Sale: December 31, 2013
Pages: 240 | ISBN: 978-1-60774-487-0
Published by : Ten Speed Press Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony
Why Diets Fail (Because You're Addicted to Sugar) Cover

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Synopsis|Excerpt|Table of Contents


This revolutionary eating plan reveals definitive proof that sugar is addictive, and presents the first science-based program to cut out the sugar, stop the cravings that cause most diets to eventually fail, and lose weight--permanently.
If you’re like most people, you’ve tried a few  (or maybe many) different diets without success. The truth is, most diets work for a while, but there’s usually a point at which the dietary restrictions become too difficult to maintain. Why? Because whether you’re following a low-carb, paleo, gluten-free, or even an all-liquid green juice diet, the addictive nature of sugar causes cravings to take over and sabotage your diet-of-the-moment.

In Why Diets Fail, Dr. Nicole M. Avena and John  R. Talbott reveal definitive proof that sugar is addictive and present the first science-based program to stop the cravings and lose weight—permanently. A neuroscientist and food addiction expert, Dr. Avena has conducted groundbreaking research showing that sugar triggers the same responses in the brain as addictive drugs like cocaine, nicotine, and alcohol. And like those other substances, the more sugar you eat, the more you need to get the same pleasurable feelings. (No wonder your last diet didn’t stick.)

Avena and Talbott’s eight-step plan walks you through the process of going sugar-free and surviving the make-or-break withdrawal period—those first few weeks when your body feels the absence of its favorite sweetener most acutely. An easy-to-use Sugar Equivalency Table developed by Talbott lists the amount of sugar in hundreds of common foods so you know precisely what to eat and what to avoid. And when it comes to what you can eat, you have a lot to choose from. In fact, you’ll probably eat more on this diet than you normally do—while continuing to lose weight.

This science-based program is the diet to end all diets. It will help you break the yo-yo dieting cycle, end those maddening sugar cravings, and develop a new longing for the good food that will keep you fit, healthy, and happy. 


Why You Need to Read This “Diet” Book
These days, diet books are a dime a dozen, but few books combine the lived experience of someone who has implemented that diet and seen amazing results with the scientific research that supports and explains why the eating plan works. In Why Diets Fail, you gain all the latest scientific knowledge and expertise from Dr. Avena, who has a PhD in psychology and neuroscience and is an expert in the fields of addiction, nutrition, and obesity, informed by insights from John, who has lived through this experience.
     Moreover, you will learn about some fascinating research discoveries that you may not yet be aware of, many of which may explain why certain approaches that you have taken in the past to lose weight have been unsuccessful. All too often, research findings are reported in scholarly journals or discussed among researchers and members of the scientific community, and even though they may have direct application to human life, they rarely reach the larger public. Thus, such findings fail to have a significant effect on the day-to-day lives of the people who could benefit. That’s why this book is so valuable. Together, we’ll explain why John’s revelation, and resolution, regarding addiction to sugars was beneficial to his life, and could be to yours, in so many ways.
     Although diet will certainly be discussed, we’re reticent to call this a “diet” book, as that term doesn’t necessarily reflect how extremely valuable this book can be to individuals who struggle to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. But trust us, when you implement the diet, like John did, you can reawaken to a life that is more fulfilling, fun, and rewarding than anything you could have imagined.

Table of Contents

Part One How Sugar Causes You to Overeat
Step 1: Why Your Past Diet Attempts Have Failed 
Step 2: Weigh In on Your Sugar Intake
Step 3: The New Science of Sugar Addiction
Part Two  How To Overcome Your Addiction To Sugar
Step 4: The Sugar Freedom Plan for Breaking Your Addiction 
Step 5: What to Eat and What Not to Eat 
Step 6: Managing Your Withdrawal 
Step 7: Managing Your Cravings 
Step 8: Avoiding a Relapse  (and What to Do If One Occurs) 
Conclusion  How to Maintain Your New,  Addiction-Free Way of Eating 
Appendix: Sugar Equivalency Table 
John R. Talbott

About John R. Talbott

John R. Talbott - Why Diets Fail (Because You're Addicted to Sugar)

Photo © Mike Jaffey

JOHN R. TALBOTT is the bestselling author of nine books whose work has appeared in the Wall Street JournalFinancial TimesBoston GlobeSan Francisco Chronicle, and The New Republic, and on the Huffington Post and Salon.com; he has appeared as a commentator on CNBC, Fox News, CBS, MSNBC, Fox Business News, and CSPAN, as well as on hundreds of radio programs.


Sugar, fat, salt—a daunting combination. Avena and Talbott do an excellent job of analyzing the role that sugar plays in the obesity epidemic.”
—David A. Kessler, MD, author of The End of Overeating
“This book not only offers an in-depth explanation of our society’s dependence on sugar, it also provides a realistic, step-wise approach to managing it and improving your health.”
—Dr. Melina B. Jampolis, CNN diet and fitness expert
Why Diets Fail describes the new science of sugar addiction and teaches us how we can use it to beat cravings and overeating—even in our modern food environment, which is plagued by sugary, hyperpalatable fake food. This book teaches you not only to think differently about how you eat, but also shows you how to do it.”
—Sara Gottfried, MD, New York Times bestselling author of The Hormone Cure
“In Why Diets Fail, Dr. Nicole Avena and John Talbott discuss the addictive powers that certain foods possess over the mind and offer insight on conquering the addictive cycle. Following the guidelines in this book, you will learn how to turn your new diet into a lasting lifestyle, understand the science behind food addiction, and use this knowledge to approach your food as healthful nourishment rather than a source of guilt and frustration.”
—Andrew Larson, MD, medical director of JFK Medical Center Bariatric Wellness & Surgical Institute and author of The Gold Coast Cure and Clean Cuisine

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