Guys: I have a new book crush.
(And yes, I will explain that title, haha.)
Several months ago, I put in a request at the library for a book I’d heard about somewhere on the interweb. There was a long waiting list, so I figured I’d see it in a year, and totally forgot about it.
When I got the email the other day that the book was in, I looked up the title to remind myself what it was about. One word stuck out: diet. Hrmmm? Why did I request another stupid diet book? Everything I read about dieting sounds the same at this point, and I’m pretty over all of it.
Plus, there was a tomato on the cover, with rings around it like an atom. Hmmm. Sounds kinda science-y…aka boring.
I almost didn’t even pick it up.
Obviously, you know where this is going. I got the book, I’m a few chapters in, and already I’m SO wrong. This book is genius. It might be the most genius book I’ve read since Push.
It’s called Foodist. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. And, hey, it’s the perfect time of year to dive into a new book. Grab a hot drink, sit by a fire…and read about food and science?
Yes. Trust me.
The most important thing to know about Foodist is that it’s not about dieting—it’s about not dieting (and what to do instead). It’s about how dieting sucks, doesn’t work, and actually ultimately makes you gain more weight. A lot of us “know” that, but it’s really eye-opening to read the science of why (and in easily digestible, legitimately fun-to-read language).
But what I really love about this book (so far) is its exploration of the psychology of eating. For example, it talks about how the biggest flaw of dieting is that it relies on willpower. I’ve heard that before, but I’ve never read an actual scientific explanation of it. It’s not as simple as “diets don’t work because people generally don’t have enough self control.” (Which makes the dieter think: “well, I’ll just have enough self control! GO TEAM ME!”)
One reason, according to the book, is that willpower is dependent on blood sugar. Willpower comes from the brain, right? And the brain’s primary form of fuel is sugar. So when your blood sugar is low (when you’re hungry), your willpower is truly, biologically downregulated. Your brain wants sugar, and since it, um, controls everything you do, it knows exactly how to get it.
The book also talks about how we only have a single stock of willpower for everything we do. So, if you use up a lot of self control on something completely unrelated to eating (like, not losing your shit-ake mushrooms with your button-pushing toddler—HELLO), you will be less likely to have any willpower leftover to keep you out of the Christmas fudge (or whatever…Christmas fudge is my personal kryptonite).
Long story short: read this book. Not only is it totally on point, content-wise, but the writing is insane. Like, it’s a scientific book about food and I’m gobbling it up like a beach read.
Here’s the author’s blog, if you want to read more about her first. (More genius: putting the word “summer” in her blog title. That’s my happiness trigger word.)
Oh yeah: and the best moment of the book (so far) came on the very first page, with this quote (in reference to dieting):
“I don’t like stuff that sucks.” – Beavis and Butthead
Do you have a favorite health/lifestyle book?
I also loved The Happiness Project, in a completely different way.
Have a great weekend!