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The Instinct Diet: Use Your Five Food Instincts to Lose Weight and Keep it Off Hardcover – December 17, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (December 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761150196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761150190
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The Instinct Diet is breakthrough, a diet based on impeccable research. A diet that genuinely deals with problems like feeling hungry or deprived. A diet unequivocally healthy for you, grounded in the metabolic, genetic and psychological workings of the human body. A diet where the dieter gets to eat delicious foods like Orange-Crumbed French Toast, Tuscan Minestrone, Cajun Cod and Chocolate Bread Pudding or opt for tasty no-cook meals.

And it’s a diet that works, combining proven strategies from Dr. Roberts’ research at Tufts—where volunteers lost 10 to 50 pounds and kept the weight off for at least a year—with the latest cutting-edge research from around the world.

The secret of The Instinct Diet lies in understanding that five built-in food instincts control our eating habits, and then in learning how we can control the controls. To satisfy hunger, build meals around foods that are proven to make you feel full. To counter the availability instinct in our food-food-everywhere culture, learn to fight the Gulping Syndrome and why simple strategies like eating at regular times help weight loss. Cope with cravings for calorie-dense foods with effective strategies, including the “I” Diet bonus treats—without losing the pleasure of eating. And learn how to deal with the bookend problems of familiarity, with its powerful “comfort food” triggers, and variety, which turns us into passive overeaters.

Organized into a two-week Stage I, six-week Stage II and lifelong maintenance Stage III program, The Instinct Diet includes a full range of weekly menus—for both omnivores and vegetarians—and over 100 recipes. Throughout are dozens of new motivational and behavioral tips. For example, did you know that tapping your forehead is an emergency measure to quell a sudden craving?

 Don’t follow your instincts—lead them. And discover a life-changing diet.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Learn how to control the controls. For millions of years, humans survived by obeying five basic food instincts, for example, Eat whenever food is available and Choose foods dense in calories. But today these same hardwired behaviors are leading many of us down the path of weight gain. No longer. Inspired by Dr. Susan B. Roberts' stunningly successful research program, as well as her deep understanding of hundreds of independent scientific studies, The Instinct Diet shows how to take charge of our food instincts and turn them into an engine for permanent, healthy weight loss. Its publication marks a brand-new approach to dieting.

Customer Reviews

I have been on the diet for 5 weeks and I have already lost 12 pounds!
This book is written by a true nutritionist, Dr. Susan Roberts, who is recognized in the scientific community for understanding how this stuff actually works.
d jackel
The Instinct Diet is working for me and has given me hope and confidence that I will continue to lose weight until I reach my target healthy weight.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

133 of 135 people found the following review helpful By OrangeSamurai on February 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've wanted to write this review for a while, but decided to wait until I had been on the Instinct Diet for a few weeks. I have been following the program very closely for one month, and have lost seven pounds. Previously, I had done the South Beach Diet and Weight Watchers. I initially lost weight on both, but found those plans very hard to sustain.

The Instinct Diet is different. The information about our five innate, immutable food instincts was incredibly eye opening. Finally, I understood why all my previous attempts to lose weight had failed - I had mistakenly thought that I could overcome hunger (I'm talking about real hunger, not a purely emotional urge to eat) with willpower alone. The Instinct Diet is designed to work WITH those instincts, instead of against them.

For me, the best part of the Instinct Diet is the menu. It is very structured, but still has room for flexibility (each day has meat or vegetarian menus, and within that, there are options for home cooking or prepared foods). The structure eliminates guesswork, making it much easier to stick with a plan. With Weight Watchers, I would start out strong on Mondays, tracking all my food, but run out of steam by Thursday and then eat whatever I wanted. With the Instinct Diet, everything is pre-planned, but again, you do have some choices within that structure.

The recipes are all designed to be satisfying and to control your hunger. They are healthy, full of whole grains, lean proteins, and lots of fruit and vegetables. Although some low-fat versions of ingredients such as peanut butter, sour cream, and salad dressing are recommended, the recipes are centered around reasonable portions of whole foods, not artificial diet products.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By E Frank on March 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I HATE reviews of diet books that start out, "This is a fantastic book! Common sense, delicious food! I haven't started this diet yet, but I can't wait to see what is going to happen!"

Well, this isn't one of those. I have been on the Instict Diet for 8 weeks now and have lost 10 pounds. I have been trying to lose this weight for 15 years, since the birth of my older daughter, and I now I finally made significant progress. I still have a way to go, but feel confident I can do it with the Instinct Diet.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a magic bullet, it is still a diet. But there are a couple of things about this diet that make it really different and make it work. First and foremost, if you eat what Dr. Roberts tells you to eat when you are supposed to eat it, YOU WILL NOT BE HUNGRY. That made all the difference to me. I started lots of diets but always failed because I was simply too hungry. That is not the case with the Instinct Diet. I definitely feel satisfied all day, even on fewer calories.

The second important difference is that it really reduces crvings. I lost weight on one of the high-protein, no carb-diets, but I started craving bread so badly after the 2nd week, there was no way I could stick with it. While there is some restriction of variety on Phase I, there is still a little bit of something from all food groups (even dessert!), so I never feel deprived.

Third, the food really is good. I love the Chicken Parm recipe from Phase 1 and eat it often. It's not only delicious, it's so easy that its the perfect food for a busy weeknight. The Instinct Ice Cream Sundae is a staple in our house. The Instinct Hamburger is great, too. I love the Spicy Chili Soup (super easy), the Tanzanian Chicken Kabobs, and the North African Stew.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Lunada Bay Lady on May 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Others have tried to explain why we overeat, often saying that cravings for rich, comforting food are our way of filling some underlying emotional or psychological void. They imply that if we could only satisfy these emotional or psychological needs, the need to stuff our stomachs would miraculously disappear.

This never rang true for me. Try as I may, I could never figure out why, when I saw a plate of baked brie, I couldn't resist having some even if I had just eaten six other appetizers. I really tried to identify those deeply hidden emotional or psychological deficiencies, but I kept drawing blanks.

Perhaps it's true that some people overeat in an attempt to sooth their damaged souls, but I think that most of us overeat for the reason Susan Roberts gives: we are programmed to eat for survival in a world where the food supply is scarce or at best spotty. To eat the same way in a world where food is every-present and plentiful is to eat too much.

HUNGER is our most basic food instinct, but Roberts identifies four others that help ensure that we eat enough food - and the right food - to survive. AVAILABILITY causes us to eat food when we see it, since we may not see it again any time soon. FAMILIARITY causes us to choose foods we know, since foods we've never eaten before may not be safe. We choose foods HIGH IN CALORIES because they provide the most energy. And we seek out VARIETY to maximize our chances of getting all the nutrients we need.

So, even though my hunger may be satisfied, I find it hard to resist the baked brie because it's there, because I've enjoyed it many times before, because it's loaded with calories, and because it's different from the other six appetizers.
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