Critically-acclaimed Doctor Claims the Number One Cause of Obesity is Not Food, Trans Fat, Sugar, Supersized Portions or Lack of Exercise: It's Emotional Eating

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In this country, the average person starts and stops at least four diets within a given year and 99% of those diets fail. And as anyone who perpetually struggles with weight issues knows, the latest fad diet or prepaid gym membership - no matter how well-intentioned - won't keep weight off. That's because losing weight is not simply about what we eat, it's about why we eat. The only effective way to face down your weight, says internationally renowned psychotherapist Dr. Roger Gould, is to get to the root of feelings of powerlessness that make you eat for reasons that have nothing to do with physical hunger.

"The issue of powerlessness is the key to controlling your weight," says Dr. Gould, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA and founder of "It's the missing link. It's the reason your attempts to lose weight have failed or why your successes have only been temporary." In his new breakthrough book SHRINK YOURSELF: Break Free from Emotional Eating Forever, (Wiley, May 2007, $24.95/Cloth, ISBN: 978-0-470-04485-8), Dr. Gould draws on twenty-five years of his own clinical work with thousands of patients, in his office and online, to offer a practical, systematic program for stowing the psychological baggage that causes emotional eating. "Taking your power back, through insight, one choice at a time, is in fact the only way to take control of your weight forever."

Why is emotional eating so hard to stop? For emotional eaters, food is an "over-the-counter tranquilizer," a psychological tool for avoiding feelings that are too intense or anxiety-provoking. In an Internet survey performed by Dr. Gould asking 17,000 dieters why they broke their diets, almost 100% said it was either because of stress, depression, or boredom. Additionally, over 50% also said that they were going through a major life transition and needed food to cope. Using food to deal with feelings, however, creates a vicious cycle - it may temporarily assuage the problem, but left unattended, the problem will only intensify over time, calling for more emotional eating. Ironically, food protects you from bad feelings, but ultimately it reinforces your feelings of powerlessness.

Dr. Gould identifies and dissects five layers of powerlessness:
•Your Self-Doubt Layer - some triggered by others, some unprovoked
•Your Frustration/Reward Layer - dissatisfaction with life leads to food as a reward
•Your Safety Layer - eating gives you the illusion of being safe or independent
•Your Rebellion Layer - eating becomes a way of controlling anger
•Your Emptiness Layer - eating to combat loneliness or feelings of abandonment

In the second part of SHRINK YOURSELF,, Dr. Gould helps initiate change by a slow and steady integration of new learning based on new experiences. In eight "sessions," modeled on actual private therapy sessions, he leads readers through the process of peeling away the layers of defenses that have been controlling their unhealthy relationship with food. This step-by-step course of action involves learning to change the pattern that leads to emotional eating, so that when something happens that would normally turn on the emotional hunger switch, you acquire the power to pause and analyze what you're feeling. After successfully following Dr. Gould's program, you'll learn how to understand your inner reality and know what to do about it. This will eventually eliminate the need to block feelings with food.

SHRINK YOURSELF allows you to take control in the long-term weight war through a series of hands-on exercises that help you first understand the difference between phantom hunger and physical hunger, then conquer your feelings "phobia," escape from the "food trance" that eating provides, challenge your self-doubts, reclaim control over fears and frustrations, create a true sense of safety unrelated to food, deal with anger, and understand the cause of the empty feelings inside you that food cannot really fill.

Dr. Gould also supplies a myriad of real stories drawn from his clinical practice and from participants that underscore the universality of the layers of powerlessness, giving readers a strong sense of connection with others who have waged the same battle. "Food, when used to make you feel better, actually impedes your ability to be informed by your feelings, to complete your emotional maturation, and to have the fulfilling life that you dream about," Dr. Gould says. SHRNK YOURSELF provides the tools to once and for all manage your relationship with food.

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About the Author
Roger Gould, M.D., is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA. He received his medical degree at Northwestern University in Chicago where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honors society. Following his training in psychiatry at UCLA he became the head of community and outpatient psychiatry at the Neuropsychiatric Institute. There he started his research on adult development, which culminated in eighteen published articles and chapters in professional journals and books. He was the original co-author of Passages; and his best-selling book Transformations: Growth and Change in Adult Life, was published in 1978. His work has been covered in Time, The New York Times, and Psychology Today as well as on national television shows.

SHRINK YOURSELF: Break Free from Emotional Eating Forever
By Roger Gould, MD
Published by:    Wiley
Pub Date:        May 2007
ISBN:        978-0-470-04485-8
Price:        $24.95
Format:        Hardcover    
Publicity:        National Television, Radio and Print; Local Publicity in NYC and LA


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