cover image Eat.Q.: Unlock the Weight-Loss Power of Emotional Intelligence

Eat.Q.: Unlock the Weight-Loss Power of Emotional Intelligence

Susan Albers. HarperOne, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-222276-3

This book offers a clear voice of sanity in a world where attitudes toward eating are increasingly dominated by detox manifestos. Clinical psychologist Albers advocates flexible, mindful eating rather than restricting or eliminating certain foods. On a “gut level,” she explains, most people are aware that dieting doesn’t work in the long run, and they are right. “The more you restrict your diet, the more you obsess about food,” Albers notes. She cites studies that show how dieters’ behavior conforms to patterns of “restrained eating” followed by “overeating, guilt, and more overeating.” In diet mode, you “fight your cravings,” while under what she calls the Eat.Q. method, “you accept them.” Albers says that Eat.Q is a “synthesis of three concepts”: emotional eating, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence (“how well you understand your own and others’ feelings”). A primary tool of Eat.Q. is the “mindful pause,” when, before eating, you stop to assess your emotions and level of hunger. You can then calmly consider options, including nonfood alternatives like taking a walk, and make a rational decision. Breaking down this approach into accessible steps, Albers also weaves in patient histories and relevant clinical studies. Readers will be empowered by this eating strategy, which emphasizes listening to yourself rather than following rules. Agent: Celeste Fine, Sterling Lord. (Oct.)