• Just Eat

  • One Reporter's Quest for a Weight-Loss Regimen that Works
  • By: Barry Estabrook
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Todd Ross
  • Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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Just Eat  By  cover art

Just Eat

By: Barry Estabrook
Narrated by: Jonathan Todd Ross
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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of Tomatoland test-drives the most popular diets of our time, investigating the diet gurus, contradictory advice, and science behind the programs to reveal how we should - and shouldn't - be dieting.

“Essential reading... This will completely change your ideas about what you should be eating.” (Ruth Reichl, author of Save Me the Plums)

Investigative journalist Barry Estabrook was often on the receiving end of his doctor's scowl. Realizing he had two options - take more medication or lose weight - Estabrook chose the latter, but was paralyzed by the options. Which diet would keep the weight off? What program could he maintain over time? What diet works best - or even at all? 

Over the course of three years, Estabrook tried the regimens behind the most popular diets of the past 40 years - from paleo, keto, gluten-free, and veganism to the Master Cleanse, Whole30, Atkins, Weight Watchers - examining the people, claims, and science behind the fads, all while recording his mental and physical experience of following each one. Along the way, he discovered that all the branded programs are derived from just three diets. That there are effective, scientifically valid take-aways to be cherry-picked...and the rest is just marketing. Perhaps most alarming, Estabrook uncovered how short-term weight loss can do long-term health damage that may go undetected for years. Estabrook contextualizes his reporting with an analysis of our culture’s bizarre dieting history, dating back to the late 1800s, to create a thorough - and thoroughly entertaining - look at what specific diets do to our bodies, why some are more effective than others, and why our relationship with food is so fraught. 

Estabrook’s account is a relatable, pragmatic look into the ways we try to improve our health through dieting, revealing the answer may be to just eat. 

©2021 Barry Estabrook (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“The problem with many diets, as Barry Estabrook points out in his excellent new book, Just Eat, is that they ‘play down or completely ignore the important, sensual role’ of food.” (Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker)

“...an enlightening first-person account focused on the diets that Americans attempt to follow and the cultures that seem to have found a healthy relationship with food.” (Matthew Rees, Wall Street Journal

Just Eat is unlike any diet book I’ve ever read. It is exhaustively researched, yet is an accessible, witty - sometimes laugh-out-loud - read that shines a light on the real reasons it’s so hard to lose weight and what the science shows can actually work.” (Shaun Dreisbach, nutrition and features editor of EatingWell

What listeners say about Just Eat

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

An interesting history of diets

Jonathan Todd Ross does a great job of narrating this audiobook, which goes into detail about pretty much every diet plan throughout history. Some of them are quite shocking! There's enough humor and sarcasm to keep things interesting. Each diet seems to have pros and cons, and all seem destined to fail. The author interviewed all the well-known modern diet gurus and tried their diets with temporary success. In the end, he says it's up to each person to discover what works for them.

Overall, this book left me feeling disgusted with the diet industry!

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Informative yet easy to comprehend

The writer is like most of us. He tells a very common story: he’s told he should lose weight and then is faced with a mountain is contradictory books and information about how to do it. He tells of his journey with humor and common sense and concludes with a practical summary of what he learned and applied to his life.