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The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force That Undermines Health & Happiness Hardcover – November, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 165 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A must read for anyone interested in making healthier choices." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

A wake-up call to even the most health conscious people, The Pleasure Trap boldy challenges conventional wisdom about sickness and unhappiness in today's contemporary culture, and offers groundbreaking solutions for achieving change. Authors Douglas Lisel, Ph.D., and Alan Goldhamer, D.C., provide a fascinating new perspective on how modern life can turn so many smart, savvy people into the unwitting saboteurs of their own well-being.

Inspired by stunning original research, comprehensive clinical studies, and their successes with thousands of patients, the authors construct a new paradigm for the psychology of health, offering fresh hope for anyone stuck in a self-destructive rut. Integrating principals of evolutionary biology with trailblazing, proactive strategies for wellness, they argue that people who are chronically overweight, sick and ailing, or junk food junkies aren't that way because they're lazy, undisciplined, or stuck with bad genes. The authors reveal that most are victims of a dilemma that harkens back to our prehistoric past-"the Pleasure Trap."

Drs. Lisle and Goldhamer then call upon their clinical experience, scientific investigations, and a recent revoution of understanding in human motivational psychology to provide you with solutions for the challenges of keeping on a healthful course-and how to make the most of your life.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Healthy Living Publications (November 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570671508
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570671500
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Miller on December 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This slender little volume surprised me. I purchased it after seeing that it was recommended by Dr. Joel Fuhrman (the author of Eat to Live, a perfect companion to this book). Fuhrman's book explains the hard science behind eating a healthful, fresh, green, vegetarian diet. This book is broader in its scope (hence the reason the two books complement one another so well). The authors persuasively explain the evolutionary reasons why our natural desire for dense foods is out of sync with the modern world. In nature we lived in a condition of scarcity; hence, it was to our advantage to seek out calorically-dense foods and eat as much as we could find. For every day of feast there would likely be many days of famine. This otherwise healthy instict is sabatoged by the modern environment of plenty. Now we merely feast -- all the time! This key insight -- that our biology is ill-equipped to deal with the plentifulness of modern life -- can be applied to other areas of life, too. The book is both scientific and historical, and as a whole very compelling. Every person who cares about making rational decisions with regard to eating and living should read it. This book explains what many other books about diet and health leave unsaid. It filled a lot of gaps in my understanding of healthful living.
One observation: some reviewers have indicated that this book advocates moderation. That is false. Indeed, a whole chapter is dedicated to exploring how the myth of "all things in moderation" is dangerous in the modern world. This book is about thinking before acting and about rationally understanding the motives of our actions so that we may make better decisions.
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Format: Hardcover
Although the evidence supporting a healthy diet and lifestyle is now becoming well established, many people find it difficult and sometimes impossible to do so. There are reasons for this. Some are a matter on convenience, some involve a perception of financing, some involve cultural and family tradition, but few are more important than the issue of taste preference.

The Pleasure Trap is very cleverly and professionally articulated by 2 experienced and professional authors to show that dietary change is a matter of our being prisoners to our perception of cultural preferences. We make right choices and suffer--so we believe--while we make the wrong choices and believe that it is pleasure.

Such behavior is a trap that is not in our best interests. It's also a matter of becoming addicted to our felt need for instant pleasure while sacrificing long term health and happiness. This is a crucial element of our behavior that many would like to understand and to put to good use. Read this book and you will get a good insight into what otherwise might appear to be a complex network of organic and social factors that, in reality, can really be quite simple.

Reading this book could be your ticket to a better life--all the way around!
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By A Customer on September 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I grew up in the Midwest, land of fast food, animal and dairy products - caught in the 'Pleasure Trap' like so many others. I carried these habits with me when I moved to California and always wondered why I didn't feel quite as energetic as I should in my 30's.
After reading this book, I was convinced that I needed to change my eating habits, or I would surely continue upon a path toward disease. It's not easy giving up the convenience and, quite frankly, the taste of these foods. But it surely must be easier than dealing with the consequences down the road of a life of high-fat foods concentrated with animal proteins.
I highly recommend this book. If it changed the life of this corn-fed Midwesterner, it should change anybody's.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted to give this book to everyone on my Christmas list. It's an excellent read for anyone interested in psychology or health. This book sheds light on human nature, why we do what we do, and how our behaviors have evolved. We have created for ourselves a life of ease and excess, which, unfortunately, has lead to our collective demise. Because of the way we are hard wired, it is understandable why we eat the way we do (cooked, refined, processed "foods"), for example, but it is very self destructive and goes against our better judgement. We as a species have set up a huge trap for ourselves and we are suffering as a result. It seems the only way to avoid the misery that is inevitable as a result of the diseases of affluence, is to go against the grain, back to what's natural and logical, back to eating what we were designed (or rather evolved) to eat: raw plant based foods. It's not a matter of chance. If we keep doing what we have been doing, it's not a matter of IF we will get a disease, it's WHEN. Disease as a result of eating garbage has become so commonplace we accept it as normal, but it hasn't always been that way, and it doesn't have to be that way now. It's not enough just knowing what to eat, and that we should exercise, drink water and get a good night's sleep. The Pleasure Trap explains why it's so hard for us to follow our own common sense, why we keep backsliding into counterproductive habits and how we can reverse the downward spiral of our own making. I learned a lot about myself and human kind, and I now have a better understanding of why I ate two bean and cheese burritos tonight after nearly 70 days of eating mostly raw plant based foods. I decided not to give this book to anyone after all. The sad fact is, few people care about these matters.Read more ›
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