Secrets from the Eating Lab: My Interview with Traci Mann Ph.D.

If you’ve noticed that diets don’t work and that you can never muster up enough willpower to resist those cookies, this episode is for you! Traci Mann, Ph.D. gives you the hard data and science to explain why diets can actually lead to weight gain and why obesity is not a death sentence. Traci shares unbiased truth about dieting, weight and exercise and why you should never diet again!

Traci Mann PhD

Traci Mann, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, University of Minnesota

Traci Mann grew up in Highland Park, Illinois, and went to college at the University of Virginia, where she thought she would become a mathematician or engineer. She abandoned those plans after taking her first psychology course, and went on to attain her Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University in 1995. She was a professor at UCLA for nine years before moving to the University of Minnesota and founding the Health and Eating Lab. Her research has been funded by the NIH, the USDA, and NASA, and is published in dozens of scholarly journals. She has received teaching awards at Stanford, UCLA, and the University of Minnesota, is the president of the Social Personality and Health (SPH) Network, and is an elected fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, The Society for Experimental Social Psychology, and the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Mann is uniquely qualified to provide the real truth about dieting, eating, obesity, and self-control. She is a widely cited expert, but she does not run a diet clinic or test diets, and she has never taken a penny from commercial diet companies, sat on their boards of directors, or endorsed one of their products. Because of this, her livelihood, research funding, and reputation are not dependent on her reporting that diets work or that obesity is unhealthy. This sets her apart from nearly all diet and obesity researchers and allows her to speak the truth about these topics, which she does with abandon.

She lives with her husband, Stephen Engel (who is also a professor at the University of Minnesota), and two Engelmann boys, in Edina, Minnesota.

Secrets from the Eating Lab - Dr Traci Mann

Secrets from the Eating Lab: The Science of Weight Loss, the Myth of Willpower, and Why You Should Never Diet Again

A provocative expose of the dieting industry from one of the nation’s leading researchers in self-control and the psychology of weight loss that offers proven strategies for sustainable weight loss.

From her office in the University of Minnesota’s Health and Eating Lab, professor Traci Mann researches self-control and dieting. And what she has discovered is groundbreaking. Not only do diets not work; they often result in weight gain. Americans are losing the battle of the bulge because our bodies and brains are not hardwired to resist food—the very idea of it works against our biological imperative to survive.

In Secrets From the Eating Lab, Mann challenges assumptions—including those that make up the very foundation of the weight loss industry—about how diets work and why they fail. The result of more than two decades of research, it offers cutting-edge science and exciting new insights into the American obesity epidemic and our relationship with eating and food.

Secrets From the Eating Lab also gives readers the practical tools they need to actually lose weight and get healthy. Mann argues that the idea of willpower is a myth—we shouldn’t waste time and money trying to combat our natural tendencies. Instead, she offers 12 simple, effective strategies that take advantage of human nature instead of fighting it—from changing the size of your plates to socializing with people with healthy habits, removing “healthy” labels that send negative messages to redefining comfort food.

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Secrets from the Eating Lab: My Interview with Traci Mann Ph.D.

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