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Hungry: Lessons Learned on the Journey from Fat to Thin

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  474 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Allen Zadoff spent years reasoning that a big, healthy man should have a big, healthy appetite and that his rapidly increasing girth was no more than a regular guy thing. At 350 pounds, however, it became clear that what had started as a little weight problem was destroying his life. Desperate to find a new way of living that would carry him into thin and beyond, Zadoff ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 23rd 2007 by Da Capo Lifelong Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Kira FlowerChild Not really. It's a chronicle of the author's eating disorder, which began when he was a child. So although he does give some details about his life,…moreNot really. It's a chronicle of the author's eating disorder, which began when he was a child. So although he does give some details about his life, the focus is on food and his eating disorder.(less)

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Dec 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: everyone who struggles with food, weight, or their body
At last, Hungry is an e-book! It's hard to believe that when it was published only a few years ago, e-editions were nowhere near a sure thing. I've updated, edited, and added new sections and made it available in all formats. I'm happy to be able to share it as an "alternate" take on the food/diet issue for those who might be struggling.

Rather than review my own book, I'll share this piece from the Los Angeles Times Book Review:

Los Angeles Times | Discoveries
THERE'S no shortage of books on
Paul  Hankins
I've been reading Allen Zadoff's book in this first month of my own journey with weight loss through Weight Watchers. Allen's book has been on my radar for some time.

Allen was among those first authors that came on board RAW INK Online with this title, FOOD, GIRLS, AND OTHER THINGS I CANNOT HAVE. I remember seeing a picture of Allen that didn't seem to connect. If I remember correctly, he is wearing a red-striped shirt at the beach. His hair is curly and he is notably (using observation, not
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
My sister convinced me to read this by telling me her favorite line from the book, which I have copied and pasted from her review:

"I'd like to try the bunny," I said, pretending I hadn't already eaten three or four pieces. "But how?"

I tried to decide from Zadoff's description whether I was a normal eater or a problem eater (I could tell quite easily that I wasn't a compulsive eater). Eventually I decided that I was a normal eater who happens to enjoy thinking about food, but who strangely does
Connie N.
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'd rate this 4.5 stars, if I could, but I'll round up because it left me with such a good and positive feeling. This is basically a pep talk from a coach who's "been there." Zadoff was very overweight, a chronic overeater for most of his life. At Age 27, he finally recognized his problem as a disease, much like alcoholism, and treated it as such, finding a therapist and other support groups. This book is a very easy-to-read group of notes about what he's learned along the way and what has ...more
Kira FlowerChild
This book is an easy, quick read that deals with a very serious topic in a positive and upbeat way. If you are ready to hear the author's message, this book may change your life. So regardless of where you are on your journey, if you have an eating disorder of any kind, give this book a try. It won't take much of your time and it just might help you - a lot.
Cynthia Vogel
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people struggling with food issues
A great peek into the secrets of a food addict; the classic overeater. Allen shows us the shameful secrets that he spent half a life time hiding as he struggled to overcome a life lived solely for the purpose of much as possible, as often as possible. As his health was being destroyed; as his social life was non existent; as his emotional life was stunted; as his professional life too was harmed....all by the toxic effects of a food addiction; Allen searched for the key: the magic ...more
Kim Ferguson
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book came to me at the right time, and it was eye-opening to say the least. This isn't a self-help book. This is just the true story of a man who changed his relationship with food, eating, and most importantly, the way he began to live his life after 28 years of hiding behind food. As someone who overeats, this book showed me that I'm not alone in my own experiences, and that a lot of work and support is needed into order to change. Throughout the book, Allen clearly states that this is ...more
May 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I feel the need to qualify my 5-star rating, in that it's not like I think this book deserves a Pulitzer or even a screen adaptation. It's more about the authenticity and relatability of the book to my life. I've read a lot of self-help weight loss books (which this book purports *not* to be) and there seems to be an unspoken competition among them as to who can have the worst food disorder and be the sickest. This one was different in that a guy was just getting very real about his behaviors ...more
Shanda Kinkade
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book has changed my life. I honestly don't throw that statement around very frequently. This book and the author's experiences resonated deeply with me. I have had a life-long battle with food and even though I know this, it wasn't until I read Mr. Zadoff's words that I actually got it...and it only took me 39 years.

If you have food issues or an eating disorder, give this book a chance.
Jan 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I struggle with whether to go with 3 or 4 stars. It's a solid 3 1/2 for me.

Zadoff tells his story with humor and great candor. I appreciate his honesty. I've always felt like I have an unhealthy attitude toward food, and while I don't know that my problem is as severe as his, I learned a lot from his journey and am grateful he shared his story.

This is an easy read in one day, although I went a little slower and finished in two.

Catherine Just
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I love how he writes and how short the chapters are. Like a thought is a chapter. It can be as short as a paragraph. LOVE that. I'm half way through. Want to give all of my female friends a copy. Especially the ones who relate to the dilemma of weight, self esteem, yo yo diets, obsessing about how we look etc....This book will make you laugh and it will make you think. I like books that do both of these things!
Eating disorders are no laughing matter, but Allen Zadoff manages to inject alot of humor into the story of his own struggle with overeating. He does not propose that what works for him will be for everyone, but he does offer some good insights into possible management for sufferers of an eating disorder.
Jan 21, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the part where he chronicles his journey through food obsession. It was a bit light on how he finally managed to stick with the plan, but clearly he used a 12 Step program. I would liked to have heard more about the type of support he received from OA and how that helped at the beginning of his journey into sane eating.
Marietta Allen
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Over eating

I have this book a score of five because it's not just another diet book. It causes one to think about why they eat the way they do. It helps us to see their are reasons we do not eat the normal way others do. It helps us to see and understand a little of the why reason. It points us to a few things we may need to do that can help us to stop overeating. People who are able to help. This does not cost a lot of money, only the gas to get us there. Gives us names and telephone numbers
karolyn veselka
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Great approach.

Such a lighthearted read on a serious subject. He lays it all out on the table and openly discusses the biting (no pun intended) emotions and habits that accompany over eating.
Sarah Emmons
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book provides enlightening details and anecdotes for fellow food addicts. I kept waiting (and hoping) for more in-depth discussion about Overeaters Anonymous. As the author notes, this is not a self-help book...but can certainly offer assistance with self-discovery.
Cassandra Galley
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
The author was very relatable but I found the writing to be at a high school level... He would repeat the same things over and over and had a new chapter every other page. Felt like the message could have been concisely written in a 10/15 page paper. I do hope its helped others though ...more
Stacey Conrad
Apr 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, nonfiction, memoir
Cleaning off my kindle, and decided to read this one first. It was quite interesting.
Neil Rischall
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm finished with Hungry: Great book with some very good insights. I went to town highlighting many of the concepts that I think are really important as well as some cute quotes.
Laura Boram
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quick read - good honest auto-biography.
Ashleigh Heaton
Aug 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
*Originally posted on *

I hadnt meant for this to be my novel this week; that was supposed to go to Eli Browns Cinnamon and Gunpowder, which I am about halfway through. I ended up picking up Hungry at work, where it was amongst a stack of free books from the publisher. I started reading it during my breakand finished it in record time. Granted, the novel is pretty short on its own, but the prose is relatively speedy, as well.

Hungry is a memoir by Allen Zadoff, in which he
Dec 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health-and-diet
I binged on and quickly devoured this book. As someone who treats mostly obese diabetic patients, I appreciated his insightful and compassionate perspective on his own eating disorder. Its not about the food its about what the food compulsion is covering up. As he says, a bagel never jumped into his mouth and a muffin never tackled him in a grocery store. It was his addiction, his obsessive use of his addictive substance, that was controlling his life and freezing his emotional development.

Rebecca Jo
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
"From the time I was a young boy, I loved to eat"

I love stories of real life - especially ones that have someone overcoming struggles.

I have struggled my whole life with weight, so I was excited to read this story.

While I did enjoy the way it started off, it just became sort of monotonous after awhile.

Allen has SERIOUS struggles with food, learning that he has a eating compulsion. I can understand that. Some people don't believe that food can be an addiction - I totally believe it. Just as drugs
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
(Let me just say that I am probably going to gush over this book.)

I am so glad that I decided to buy this wonderful piece of art! Allen Zadoff has RAPIDLY climbed my 'favorite author' chart. I felt near tears the entire time because everything in this book resonated with me on a very personal level. It only took me a couple of hours to get through this. Once Zadoff grabbed my attention and pulled on my heart strings in the introduction, he didn't let go. Not once!

I loved that this novel was so
Diane Dachota
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Very quick read, most of the chapters are less than three pages long. Hungry, is a sort of memoir, and sort of self help book on losing weight. The author tells us over and over that this is not meant as advise for anyone, this is his story, yet we find out little about him for a memoir. For example, he talks a lot about eating and sitting in his apartment, but very little about family relationships and what his life is like now. Does he have hobbies and interests?

His own journey began as a
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

If you think this is a diet book you would be wrong. It's not a self help, philosophy, or what to do book. It is one man's journey of recognizing that he has a disease. His disease is overeating. This is his story of realization that what he thought was a terrible way of life was actually a disease. You may look at someone that 'you' consider over weight and say, "why can't they just quit eating, exercise, etc". Allen help us see the struggle, frustration, pain, and recovery from addictive
Preet Sangha
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book a couple of years ago at the library, due to the back cover and the jokes about how being thin didn't lead to all expectations being fulfilled.

I took it home and was unable to put the book down. Alan Zadoff had written my struggle with food and life. For the first time in my life I discovered that I wasn't alone with the demons that plagued me.

So what did I think of the content? Well for me it was life changing. For others it may not be so. It's a short book and easy to
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in eating disorders, addiction
"I'd like to try the bunny," I said, pretending I hadn't already eaten three or four pieces. "But how?"

My favorite line in the whole book. I think it's a nice representation of what the book is about and the style of writing, which is the book's greatest strength. The short vignettes work nicely, Zadoff has a sense of humor, and I love his conversations with his eating disorder.

I have an ARC; it seems like the book was marketed as a memoir, but it doesn't feel like one. He also repeatedly says
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow this is a fantastic story/help book about a man who realized he had major issues with food. He is an over eater, and always will be. However now that he knows his problems he is facing them head on and has lost over 150 pounds! He's right diets do not work, only admitting your problems and working through them your own way will help. I found the book to be inspirational and will use it as a tool on my own journey. It's nice that someone can honestly be funny and use humor when talking about ...more
Dec 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
As you know, I was attracted to this book because of the fabulous cover and, as it turns out, you can't judge a book by the cover, because Hungry isn't at all the book I was expecting. The back cover describes it as "laugh-out-loud funny" as do many of the reviews on Amazon US.

I found it sad, wise, inspiring and interesting, but not funny (I think I might have smiled once or twice...).

Allen Zadoff was overweight from a young age and was, quite literally, killing himself with food. At 350lbs and
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Allen Zadoff is the author of the new thriller series, The Unknown Assassin which earned starred reviews and is being developed as a feature film by Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment. His YA novel, Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have won the Sid Fleischman Humor Award and was a YALSA selection for Most Popular Paperbacks of 2012. His second novel was My Life, the Theater, and Other ...more

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