Why Diets Fail

Apr 29, 2014

Credit Umberto Salvagnin/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Many have blamed sugar for dieting failures, but this new book, Why Diets Fail, is the first one backed by current research from the food addiction lab at Princeton University, and it zeroes in on how dieters can get through the make-or-break withdrawal period.

Diets usually fail early, especially in the first three to four weeks when the body craves a return to sugar. According to neuroscientist Dr. Nicole Avena, author of Why Diets Fail, sugar is addictive and triggers the same powerful responses in the brain as cocaine, nicotine, and alcohol. The more sugar that is consumed, she says, the more sugar is needed to get the same pleasurable response.

The book focuses on getting through the tough cravings period, and what to do if you experience a relapse.

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  • Dr. Nicole M. Avena is the co-author, with John R. Talbott, of Why Diets Fail and an expert in diet, nutrition, and addiction. She received her doctorate in neuroscience and psychology from Princeton and did her post doctoral research at The Rockefeller University in New York.


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