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The 50 Greatest Self-Help Books

Best Self Help Books























Eating Disorder
Self Help Books

Anorexia nervosa and bulimia were unfamiliar terms a generation ago, but no longer. Millions of Americans suffer from disordered eating, whether dangerously restricting their food, compulsively overeating, or being caught in the binge-and-purge cycle of bulimia.

Eating disorders strike young women disproportionately, though men and women of all ages may be affected. The self help books listed below offer useful and dependable information on the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders, as well as guides to further resources.

See also: Body Image; Depression; Anxiety and Panic Disorder; Women's Issues; Self Esteem and Self Confidence

Recommended Self Help Books on Eating Disorder

Breaking Free from Emotional Eating by Geneen RothBreaking Free from Emotional Eating
Geneen Roth

A best-selling book from Geneen Roth who eloquently describes her experience of compulsive eating. She explains with empathy and compassion how to stop judging oneself and how to get off the diet merry-go-round. 2003, Plume Books



Dying to be Thin: Understanding and Defeating Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia by Ira Sacker and Marc ZimmerDying to be Thin: Understanding and Defeating Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia - A Practical and Life-Saving Guide
Ira Sacker and Marc Zimmer

This highly rated self help book focuses on the private worlds of anorexics and bulimics. A valuable source of information for persons with an eating disorder, for their family and friends, the book includes personal stories, useful information and valuable resources. The complexity of eating disorders is fully explored, giving the reader insight and helpful information. 2001, Warner Books


Eat, Drink and Be Mindful: How to End Your Struggle with Mindless Eating and Start Savoring Food with Intention and Joy by Susan AlbersEat, Drink and Be Mindful: How to End Your Struggle with Mindless Eating and Start Savoring Food with Intention and Joy
Susan Albers

Mindful eating is a whole new way of looking at food. Instead of rushing through meals, mindful eating emphasizes slowing down and savoring what you eat. Eating Mindfully includes mindfulness tips, activities, and checklists to help you start a mindful eating program, evaluate your progress, and discover a healthier and richer relationship with food. 2009, New Harbinger


The Eating Disorder Sourcebook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Causes, Treatments and Prevention of Eating Disorders by Carolyn CostinThe Eating Disorder Sourcebook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Causes, Treatments and Prevention of Eating Disorders
Carolyn Costin

Costin, a recovered anorexic and an eating disorder specialist, provides a comprehensive look at eating disorders which includes nutritional, psychological and bio-chemical approaches. Up-to-date on information on treatment programs, family therapy and support groups. 2006, McGraw-Hill


Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Bringing Health and Pleasure Back to Eating by andrew WeilEating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Bringing Health and Pleasure Back to Eating
Andrew Weil

After a thorough rundown of nutritional basics and a primer on vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals, Weil unveils what he feels is “the best diet in the world” with 85 recipes that are healthy, tasty, and quick to prepare. He includes a stirring chapter on safe weight loss, tips for eating out, and shopping for food. This self help book is not afraid to lambaste the diet industry and to empower the public with information about which the majority of doctors are ignorant. 2001, Perennial Currents


The End of Overeating: Taking control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David KesslerThe End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite
David Kessler

Conditioned hypereating is a biological challenge, not a character flaw, says Kessler, a former FDA commissioner. He describes how the food industry, the advertising industry and lifestyle changes have short-circuited the body's self-regulating mechanisms, leaving many at the mercy of reward-driven eating. Since the desire to eat can be overstimulated by an almost infinite variety of diabolical combinations of salt, fat and sugar, more people of all ages are being set up for a lifetime of food obsession. Kessler's self help book provides a simple food rehab program to fight back; persistence, he says, is all that is needed to make the perceptual shifts and find new sources of rewards to regain control. 2010, Rodale Books, reprint edition


Feeding the Fame: Celebrities Tell Their Real-life Stories of Eating Disorders and Recovery by Gary Stromberg, Jane MerrillFeeding the Fame: Celebrities Tell Their Real-life Stories of Eating Disorders and Recovery
Gary Stromberg, Jane Merrill

This self help book is a collection of inspiring interviews with famous writers, models, actors, athletes, and other celebrities who have overcome eating disorders and who courageously share their personal struggles and triumphs.  2006, Hazelden



Feeding the Hungry Heart: The Experience of Compulsive Eating by Geneen RothFeeding the Hungry Heart: The Experience of Compulsive Eating
Geneen Roth

Best-selling author Geneen Roth describes her time as an emotional overeater and self-starver. After years of struggle, she finally broke free from the destructive cycle of binging and purging. This is an inspiring self help book, helping the reader win the battle against the hunger that goes deeper than a need for food. 1993, Plume Books


Feeding the Starving Mind: a Personalized, Comprehensive Approach to Overcoming Anorexia and Other Starvation Eating Disorders by Droeen A. SamelsonFeeding the Starving Mind: A Personalized, Comprehensive Approach to Overcoming Anorexia and Other Starvation Eating Disorders
Doreen A. Samelson

If you're ready to stop letting your eating disorder run your life, Feeding the Starving Mind can help. As you work through the program in this self help book, you'll discover the source of your eating disorder, identify the compulsive thoughts that contribute to it, and take steps toward developing a healthy relationship with food and exercise. 2009, New Harbinger


Feminist Perspectives on Eating Disorders by Patricia Fallon et.al., edsFeminist Perspectives on Eating Disorders
Patricia Fallon et.al., eds.

A collection of twenty-two essays by therapists, academics and philosophers which explores the phenomenon of eating disorders from a feminist perspective. The history of eating disorders, treatment issues, the effects of media and the need for further education and research are addressed. 1996, Guilford


Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder by James Lock, Daniel le GrangeHelp Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder
James Lock, Daniel le Grange

The authors emphasize the need for parents to take immediate action in obtaining help for their teens and not to dwell on the "why." This comprehensive self help book summarizes recent research and moves on to help parents understand eating disorders, looking at the distorted thinking behind a teenagers behavior and what the research says about the best ways to treat anorexia and bulimia. 2005, The Guilford Press


Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, Elyse ReschIntuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works
Evelyn Tribole, Elyse Resch

Publishers Weekly calls this self help book "sound and supportive . . . This nurturing volume will find an eager audience in all those who are tired of living in the land of forbidden foods and the latest, greatest diet fad." Written by two prominent nutritionists, Intuitive Eating focuses on nurturing your body rather than starving it, encourages natural weight loss, and helps you find the weight you were meant to be. 2003, St. Martin's Griffin


It's Not about Food; Change Your Mind; Change Your Life; End Your Obsession with Food and Weight by Carol emery Normandi, Laurelee RoarkIt's Not about Food; Change Your Mind; Change Your Life; End Your Obsession with Food and Weight
Carol Emery Normandi, Laurelee Roark

The authors address the physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds that lie at the core of unhealthy eating behavior. This compassionate, supportive self help book shows how women can change their minds about food and weight and put an end to the roller coaster of dieting and bingeing once and for all. 2008, Perigee Trade


Overcoming Binge Eating by Christopher FairburnOvercoming Binge Eating
Christopher Fairburn

This is a lucid and comprehensive account of the nature and treatment of binge eating by one of the world's leading clinical researchers. It includes a detailed self-help program with state of the art techniques for overcoming binge eating. 1995, The Guildord Press; Reissue edition


Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat HanhSavor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life
Thich Nhat Hanh

Vietnamese Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh urges mindfulness about what people put in their mouths. Savor is a diet book and a meditation book, an unusual hybrid that makes sense because it applies his essential wisdom: pay attention; breathe. If you consistently do that, you'll eat less! This could be the diet-and-exercise self help book for those who have failed using other methods and need a fresh approach. 2010, HarperOne


When Women Stop Hating their bodies: Freeing yourself from Food and Weight Obsession by Jane Hirschmann and Carol MunterWhen Women Stop Hating Their Bodies: Freeing Yourself From Food and Weight Obsession
Jane Hirschmann and Carol Munter

“I am a recovering anorexic and reading this book has been the biggest help on my road to recovery . . . I read this book like I read the Bible, and I want every woman out there to know that fat is not bad, food is not the enemy and that there is nothing wrong with the way you are at this very moment.” (from an Amazon reviewer) 1997, Ballantine Books


When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull up a Chair by Geneen RothWhen You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair
Geneen Roth

Laced with humor and feet-on-the-ground telling the truth, this self help book addresses the secret ways in which we undermine our best intentions. 1999, Hyperion

 


Women, Food and God by Geneen RothWomen, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
Geneen Roth

Geneen adds a profound new dimension to her work in Women, Food and God. She begins with her most basic concept: The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. Your relationship with food is an exact mirror of your feelings about love, fear, anger, meaning, transformation and, yes, even God. But it doesn't stop there. Geneen shows how going beyond both the food and your feelings takes you deeper into realms of spirit and soul to the bright center of your own life. 2010, Scribner


Eating Disorder Self Help Resources