The Diet-Free Revolution is a captivating alternative to typical diet books. It focuses on mindfulness and self-acceptance, rather than on rules and restrictions.
The book’s premise seems simple: eat when you’re hungry, choose any food that tastes good, and stop when you’re full. But those common sense principles are at odds with diet culture and the array of diet plans available, which tend to dictate what, when, and how much a person can eat.
With wisdom and gentle humor, Alexis Conason strips away assumptions about weight, body image, and self-denial: “My body took the blame for my unhappiness … I found myself caught in a vicious cycle. The more I dieted, the more out of control I felt around food. The more I ate, the more I hated my body.”
Packed with keen psychological and scientific insights, the book examines the historical underpinnings of diet culture and outlines practical exercises to foster awareness and recovery, such as: write a break-up letter to dieting. Follow guided meditations for five or ten minutes a day. Use a five-point scale to gauge, with accuracy, when you’re hungry or full. Recognize when you’re craving food for emotional rather than physical reasons. Intertwined with such advice are the relatable stories of four hypothetical characters, based on composite themes from Conason’s clients and personal experiences.
Letting go of prescriptive rules may seem like a leap of faith; not everyone loses weight with such newfound freedom. But Conason’s point is “to reclaim all that dieting has stolen from you, to capture the pleasure that is rightfully yours.” With its compelling critique of the cultural obsession with weight and dieting, The Diet-Free Revolution is an intelligent, compassionate book that describes a way to reconnect with our bodies, and to reflect on what brings meaning.
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