"Knowledge is power. Power is protection" -Joan Ifland

 The wrong books can leave you in the grip of food addiction.  Here are some common problems with books about "healthy eating" or "weight-loss."


  • The food plan is not clean enough to stop cravings   Unprocessed Food List.      Read books with these lists in mind. Watch for dairy, nuts, high-sugar fruits, soy, corn, gluten, sweeteners, flour, etc. which can trigger food addicts.
  • The book cover has triggering foods on it which might indicate that the authors aren't aware that food cues are a primary cause of relapse. What is the author's expertise?
  • The suggested meals are out of balance, i.e. the protein/carb/vegetable/fruit/fat ratio is not appropriate for food addicts. This includes low-protein, low-fat, and no-salt food plans.  Check out meal ratios in the Clean Food Plan
  • It's a restricted calorie plan which would make a food addict hungry and promote cravings.
  • The author encourages fasting which research has shown to increase food obsession.
  • The book advocates partial foods such as egg whites or skinless chicken. The body craves what's missing.
  • The writer encourages processing foods at home such as smoothies and juicing. Processing can make foods addictive.
  • The book suggests calorie-counting which has been shown to lead to weight regain.
  • The book promotes exercise as a means of burning calories rather than calming cravings.
  • There is a section for triggering desserts or drinks in the book.


If you see one of these characteristics in a book, please don't buy it!  Although very few books are perfect, you can learn how to filter out advice to use addictive foods by studying the Food Lists and Food Plan found under the Handouts tab of this website


Food addiction is a serious and misunderstood disease.  It is easy to get the wrong advice and suffer poor results.  At Food Addiction Reset we use the latest research to guide you to information that will help you understand what has happened to you and how to recover from it.  We also help you avoid books that are naive or misguided.  Getting the right information is as important as avoiding misleading information.


The Science

Processed Food Addiction: Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery

by Joan Ifland,   Marcus & Preuss (Eds.). 

The worlds first scientific textbook on processed food addiction.

The Hacking of the American Mind

by Robert Lustig

This book confirms and broadens what we know about the addictive properties of processed foods. Dr. Lustig explains our behavior by linking it to science. This really helps us understand and forgive ourselves, as well as focus our recovery on what works

Fat Loss Pharmacy 

by Harry Preuss and Bill Gottlieb

Dr. Preuss is considered to be the world's leading authority on supplements for weight management. This is a very handy reference for supplements that could be useful for stabilizing blood glucose early in recovery from food addiction.

Lick the Sugar Habit

by Nancy Appleton

This was an early classic in the field of food addiction. Nancy Appleton pulled together the research to show the harmful effects of sugar. Today, we know that the recommendation to use wheat flour at the end of the book is not a good idea for food addicts. Otherwise, the book is still a persuasive look at the toxic effects of sugar.


Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences

by Nancy Duarte

This is an important book for food addicts for the simple reason that it tells us how to tell stores.  When we can tell our stories, we become powerful.  So telling stories about what happened to us allows us to move past our past.   Telling stories about how we would like to be allows us to control how we move into the future of our choice.   

The Undoing Project

by Michael Lewis

This is basically the history of how scientists realized that they could employ science to manipulate us into buying stuff we don’t need, even stuff that would harm us. It’s also the beautiful story of a friendship between two psychologists, one of whom won the Noble Prize for their work. Great stories ranging from France in WWII to the birth of Israel to the academic institutions of the west coast of the US. Totally fascinating

Salt Sugar Fat
by Michael Moss
Salt Sugar Fat: How the 
For food addicts, this well-researched book helps us understand how we came to have food addiction. It looks at the ruthless nature of the food industry neuroscientists who design products that stimulate cravings while thwarting the natural satiation mechanisms in the brain. This book should persuade anyone who doubts that the food industry has deliberately addicted the public.

Fat Chance

by Robert Lustig

Although this book seems to have been written in a stream-of-consciousness style,  Robert Lustig has written a masterpiece showing how sugar and high fructose corn syrup affect people. He has an in-depth command of the research on this topic and weaves it into a convincing portrayal of an industry which has lost its moral bearings. This is a classic in the field.

Food Politics 

by Marion Nestle

Marian Nestle is a pre-eminent scholar in the field of how the food industry exploits the public. The book is a classic explanation of why the food industry is allowed to prey on the public with adulterated processed foods. There are important lessons for food addicts in this book. Primarily, food addicts will gain an understanding of why the food industry is allowed to condition the brain to crave to the point of addiction. Knowing that government is complicit in the development of food addiction can help persuade us food addicts that indeed, development of food addiction is not our fault. Knowing that government is not preventing the disease helps food addicts believe that its' possible that the food industry is allowed to harm us.

The Cigarette Century

by Allan M. Brandt

This book describes in chilling detail how the tobacco companies addicted millions of adults in the 20th Century. This book is very important to understanding the business practices of the food industry. As is generally known, the tobacco industry bought major corporations in the food industry starting in the mid-1980s. The tobacco executives taught the food industry the business practices described in this book. The ruthless marketing of processed foods to children, easy availability, cheap prices, heavy advertising, and reinforced addictive properties in the product have all been passed down from the tobacco industry to the food industry. This is a compelling read. Dr. Brandt is a professor of History and Science at Harvard University.

Consuming Kids

by Susan Linn

Linn's knowledge of how children and parents are manipulated by commercialism is extensive. Commercial interests deliberately drive a wedge between sensible parents and children by teaching  children how to nag parents for branded products. This book will give parents the courage to shield their children from harmful commercial exposure.


Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition and Modern Medicine

by Robert Lustig

You can’t solve a problem if you don’t know what the problem is. One of Lustig’s singular gifts as a communicator is his ability to “connect the dots” for the general reader, in order to unpack the scientific data and concepts behind his arguments, as he tells the “real story of food” and “the story of real food.”


Hooked: Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploited Our Addictions 

by Michael Moss

Everyone knows how hard it can be to maintain a healthy diet. But what if some of the decisions we make about what to eat are beyond our control? Is it possible that food is addictive, like drugs or alcohol? And to what extent does the food industry know, or care, about these vulnerabilities? In Hooked, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Michael Moss sets out to answer these questions—and to find the true peril in our food.


Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal

by Mark Bittman

The story of humankind is usually told as one of technological innovation and economic influence—of arrowheads and atomic bombs, settlers and stock markets. But behind it all, there is an even more fundamental driver: Food.

 The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

by Shoshana Zuboff

In this masterwork of original thinking and research, Shoshana Zuboff provides startling insights into the phenomenon that she has named surveillance capitalism. The stakes could not be higher: a global architecture of behavior modification threatens human nature in the twenty-first century just as industrial capitalism disfigured the natural world in the twentieth.


Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-deceiving brain

by Shanker Vedantam and Brain Mesler

Self-deception does terrible harm to us, to our communities, and to the planet. But if it is so bad for us, why is it ubiquitous? In Useful Delusions, Shankar Vedantam and Bill Mesler argue that, paradoxically, self-deception can also play a vital role in our success and well-being.



by James Nestor

There is nothing more essential to our health and wellbeing than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. In Breath, journalist James Nestor travels the world to discover the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.



by Carol S. Dweck

One of the best books I've read on this subject.  Dweck's book is grounded in solid psychology and insightful research. This book comes as a challenge which will leave you wanting to develop the growth mindset. Changing  our perception is crucial in finding our way out of processed food addiction.


by Rick Hanson

This is one of the most useful books I have ever read.  We read this book in the Addiction Reset Community (ARC) to re-frame how we view ourselves and increase the positives. I am truly grateful for this book and the gentle, loving spirit that runs through every chapter.

The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook

by Kristen Neff and Christopher Germer

Do you beat yourself up a lot? Are you harshly self-critical? Then Neff and Germer’s  workbook on self-compassion might be the exact book for you. It has certainly been very helpful to me. It is very well written with a reader-friendly layout.

Taming Your Gremlin

by Rick Carson

Carson does a wonderful job covering the negative chit chat in our head. The book is a great ally to put in your arsenal of fighting equipment and tools for a good life. The idea of a gremlin is very powerful as it helps without going to much into the theory, even though it is solidly based on psychology, to win the peace of mind and tame bad thoughts.

From the First Bite

by Kay Sheppard

This book reveals so much about food addiction. Sheppard is no-nonsense in her approach which is much needed by food addicts. In a world of fuzzy, unfocused books about overeating, this book is a bright light of clarity. Kay Sheppard has really defined the field of food addiction and all food addicts should be familiar with her work. 

Food Addiction - Healing Day by Day

By Kay Sheppard

Affirmations are incredibly powerful in recovering from food addiction.  Kay Sheppard puts decades of experience into these helpful sayings that can make an important impact on our recovery.  Where would we be without Kay Sheppard?

Sugars and Flours

by Joan Ifland

Although this book was published in 2000, it still offers valuable guidance for recovering food addiction. However, the food list is out of date. Please click HERE for an up-to-date food plan.

Fat Boy Thin Man

by Michael Prager

This book reveals the devastation of food addiction for men. It is an eye-opener for anyone who thinks that food addiction affects women only. Prager is a former reporter for the Boston Globe. His writing style is easy and accessible.

A Guide to the Food Addiction Reset Community (formerly know as the Intensive) Dr Joan Ifland's ARC program

by Julie Bennett

Many people who are addicted to processed foods wonder how to start down the path of recovery. Bennett does a fine job of describing simple meals that can be the beginning of a new life. The point? Clean is easy and beautiful. Bennett shows us how. 

The Book of Joy

by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams

So many of us have been so sad for so long that we literally don’t know how to be calm and happy. It feels strange. I would recommend this book in audio format (from because it is in the format of a conversation… a beautiful conversation about how to be happy in spite of the worst oppression in the world. If the Dalai Lama can be happy in spite of the Chinese invasion of Tibet, and Desmond Tutu can be happy in spite of the atrocities visited upon South Africa, we also can be happy in spite of traumatic exploitation by the food industry. This book will show you how.

Food for Thought

by Elisabeth L.

If you enjoy setting your mind to all the blessings of recovery, these books are for you.  "Food for Thought" and "Inner Harvest" by Elizabeth L.  are daily readers that remind us how life in recovery is a very good life indeed!

The Eating Addiction Relapse Prevention Workbook

Developed by Dr Stephen F. Grinstead and Dr Shari Stillman-Corbett

This is an excellent book if you are serious about moving from addiction to recovery. The questions are right on target with honest evaluation of attitudes and behaviors.  An invaluable resource. 

Binge Crazy

by Natalie Gold

This is an outstanding book about how food addiction flourishes in the absence of information and support. It also shows how the right information and support can put the disease into remission. Ms. Gold is now a psychotherapist and so does a great job of developing the themes of devastation that food addiction can bring to a family. Gold also provides a thorough list of triggers at the end of the book which is very valuable. It is a worthwhile read.

50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food

by Susan Albers

A lovely element of recovery from food addiction is recovery of brain function. This means release from cravings and reestablishment of functions such as learning, decision-making, memory, restraint, and satiation. We do this by soothing the brain. The suggestions in this book are valuable. However, brain-soothing alone is likely not enough to maintain steady recovery. We need a clean food plan and the company of like-minded people.

Codependent No More

by Melody Beattie

Food addicts come into recovery with relationship sensitivity from being harshly and unfairly criticized for eating patterns. This is a serious issue for food addicts because stress from relationships can be a leading cause of relapse. This book helps us detach from other people's behavior and keep ourselves safe from stressful reactions that could lead to relapse.

Body Keeps the Score

by Bessel Van Der Kolk

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors.

 My Grandmothers Hands

by Resmaa Menakem

"My Grandmother's Hands will change the direction of the movement for racial justice." (Robin DiAngelo, New York Times best-selling author of White Fragility)

In this groundbreaking book, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology.

Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance

by Angela Duckworth

The daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Angela Duckworth is now a celebrated researcher and professor. It was her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience that led to her hypothesis about what really drives success: not genius, but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.


The Mindfulness Toolbox for Relationships

by Donald Altman

Whether loving or stressful, or both, balancing these relationships is tough. Fortunately, mindfulness practices show you how to make lasting relationships that are more manageable, meaningful, compassionate, and collaborative.


In recovery from food addiction, we realize that a clean, balanced food plan is only about 25% of a comprehensive program.  It's very helpful to find activities that restore brain function while protecting the brain from damaging exposure to stress and food cues. Reading for pleasure is one of those restorative activities.  This page contains books which are fun to read and avoid strongly triggering passages.  Reading is a great way to reduce harmful activities such as watching television.  Enjoy!

The Goldfinch

by Donna Tartt

This is a long book that starts with a loss and moves through passages of great difficulty before arriving at peace.  The central character starts as a young boy.  His process of becoming a man of integrity could be an analogy for food addicts' passage from painful dependence to glorious freedom from doubt and confusion

Love in the Time of Cholera

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This book is a triumph of patience and determination against great odds. The central character is a relationship.  The clarity of the protagonist is striking as he identifies his desire and waits decades for fulfillment. Many food addicts have also had to wait for decades to realize their desires.  This book will encourage us to wait with expectation of success.


by Tina Fey

While this is certainly a book of humor, it is also an uplifting story of one woman's triumph over a childhood assault.  Ms. Fey's creativity and perseverance  will inspire us to crank up our own creative urges and enjoy the result.

The Art of Fielding

by Chad Harbach

This friendly book is full of appealing characters triumphing over surprising foibles and weaknesses.  It's a fun read.  All my guesses about what would happen next were enjoyably off!

Other Recovery Items


Megahome Countertop Water Distiller, White, Glass Collection.  This has saved us from horrible filtered and especially tap water. 

Our most commonly used kitchen tool for clean foods.  It's a must for batch cooking and convenience.  You can be cooking at home while at work with a crock pot.  

If you are on a quest to get rid of plastic measuring cups and spoons, I highly recommend these.  They are durable, heavy, good quality, and will last you many years. 

Having a food scale is a must for a strong recovery from processed food.  It is such a freeing concept to eat just the right amount:  Not too much and not too little.


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