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Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting
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Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,425 ratings  ·  158 reviews
In Foodist, Darya Pino Rose, a neuroscientist, food writer, and the creator of, delivers a savvy, practical guide to ending the diet cycle and discovering lasting weight-loss through the love of food and the fundamentals of science. 

A foodist simply has a different way of looking at food, and makes decisions with a clear understanding of how to optimiz
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by HarperOne (first published September 10th 2009)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,425 ratings  ·  158 reviews

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May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've read all the foodie books, The Omnivores Dilemma, Food Matters, Real Food, to name a few. Now, I will add Foodist to the list. Why bother reading another food book? Don't they all say the same thing? Well, yes and no. Some of the books come from the perspective that you should be mindful of what you eat for the good of the planet and for the good of the animals. Some want you to eat good because it's good for you. Some want you to eat real food, which means whole milk and full fat dairy bec ...more
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing

As a longtime reader of Summer Tomato, I am so glad Foodist is here.

This isn’t a diet book. It's a healthstyle book.

I've been on every diet under the sun and each time I start a plan, I find things about it I don't like. If I can't eat carbs, carbs are the only thing I suddenly want to eat and therefore binge on. If I was supposed to drink two shakes a day and have a sensible dinner, I wolfed down my "sensible" dinner should of burger and fries because I was starving. If I was s
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, health
2nd reading: I've read more than a few books on health, nutrition and diet in the last few years and this has to be one of my favorites. I like the emphasis the author places on whole foods and exercise. There is a positive vibe to this because the author doesn't take up space slamming the research of others. She mentions some of the other "diet plans" out there, but yet manages to use it to anchor her own ideas. I liked that. I liked this no-nonsense approach to improving health. So 4 stars ... ...more
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Jennifer by: Jae
Shelves: 2015
Not impressed - the same "eat real food" message that can be found in a hundred other places. The "science" is pretty non-existent, unless you count Dr. Rose mentioning lab birthday parties or saying "insulin resistance" about 100 times.

I'm sure people that stop eating processed foods and start eating vegetables will feel better, but I don't think this book is the magic bullet it pretends to be.

Finally I found the tone of the book a bit too snobby. I get the impression I wouldn't want to be se
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The gist of this book is to eat whole, clean, real food. It's more of a reference book for someone who has never cooked before and don't own many kitchen appliances. It is very basic, such as what foods and seasonings to have in your pantry, types of pot/pans/utensils to have, and how to make vegetables/legumes/grains more flavorful. It isn't useful for people who are already familiar with food nutrition.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
At some point, Michael Pollan gets quoted, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." That also happens to be most of the advice in this book. The rest is the "move more" part of the eat less+move more equation.

The promise of "real science" from the title was not delivered.
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
This book's approach - re-wiring bad habits to make healthy choices more automatic - has definitely hit home with me. I'm a whole-foods devotee, but I occasionally get stuck in unhealthy patterns promoted by old, bad habits. Foodist offers strategies to rewrite those patterns. I feel a turning point coming on!
Sep 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
The author claims to give you a way to lose weight without dieting, but then tells you to track your food, exercise, give up bread and sugar (though later says you can eat a little bit)...sounds suspiciously like a diet to me. I'm sure if you followed her directives, you'd be physically healthier (if hungrier) and you might even lose some weight. It is, however, most definitely dieting.
Sep 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Though I highly recommend reading Intuitive Eating along with it to really get a grasp of the mindful eating and looking deeper into the psychology of a dieters way of thinking about food. Foodist ties in all the other material I've read on the subject into one approachable reference. Darya's way of breaking down what it is to be a foodist with a dash of humor and backing it with intellect makes it really relatable. I would gladly read this again. It was such a relief to find ...more
Jan Costas
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I agree with Michael Pollack's "Eat real food, mostly vegetables, not too much."
Darya Rose tells you exactly how to do that, along with the why-- the science behind it. This has been the most helpful, real book about how to change your eating, be satisfied and happy, get to where your body needs to be, and just live. No dieting, no on-again off-again, lose and regain. Freedom!
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: health
Another book I am glad I borrowed from the library. Even better, the library was able to lend it to me as a kindle-book so it just "evaporated" on the due date without me having to remember to take it back! I say this to qualify that my notes here are impressions and recollections, no quotes exactly from the book. It's pretty amazing to think that our society is in a place where people are writing books to remind you to eat only food. Don't eat things that are not food. There is a flow chart in ...more
Andrea James
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
A caveat before I write this review, I was already a "foodist" by Darya's definition before I picked up this book. I bought it because I was curious to find out how she presented the information (and I generally prefer reading books to blogs). I mention this because my interest is academic rather than personal so I can't say how effective the book has been for me personally.

I've given it four stars because compared to a lot of crappy information selling you on "THE" way to lose weigh
Gina Grone
Nov 11, 2013 rated it liked it
I was expecting more about the science of nutrition, like why fiber or protein fills you up for longer and how sugar cravings develop. Something that I could apply to my already-solid knowledge of nutrition and dieting. Instead, it's just another book about healthy lifestyle choices. Very little of the information was new to me.

I also found that I couldn't identify with the author - a size 2 who admits she never had a problem with sticking to a diet and exercise regime (but just wasn't 100% hap
Benjamin Torres
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
This book has an ok message if you really have health problems, but for people who want to know how to get in the best shape possible, this is probably not the right book.
She repeats the same message over and over again, "eat real food and not much", but is a little loose when it comes to indulgences.
To a vegetarian like myself this book is not much help, because even when most part of the book she talks about how great vegetables, fruits, lentils and beans are, she also states that there is n
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is my kind of food book. It talks about eating healthier by focusing on real instead of processed foods without focusing on diet deprivation methods. Rose uses her neuroscience background to explain why relying on willpower doesn't work for dieters.

Use your willpower to build better habits instead.

Read the footnotes: they are a mix of funny and informative.

Watch out for the end of chapter 7, "Zen and the Art of Mindful Eating" if you are not currently gro
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
There is a lot to like about Foodist. The author added plenty of personality with stories, recipes, and humor.

I think I have two problems with this book. 1) Rose really pushes hard for getting real food from farmer's markets and the like. She also points out that she lives in San Francisco, a veritable mecca for real food and farmer's markets (by her own admission). To me, this seems out of touch with what many families deal with on a regular basis. I live in a region of the country
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was not ready to read a diet book, but I also realized I needed more insight into how my diet impacts my life and what to do about it.

This is not a diet book, in the sense that if I do these 5 things, don't eat these 3 things, and sacrifice a goat on the full moon my weight will come down and I'll be healthy. That's not what this book is about. It's about creating healthy habits that will last for your life. It uses 'diet' in the correct way - as the things you eat all the bloody t
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is great if you're like me and realizing that your diet could use a little help, but you don't really know where to start. It's pretty simple, relatively concise, and if you've read the blog you'll likely already be pretty familiar with the content. The nice thing about the book is that it's organized into a logical structure, whereas with the blog I find myself clicking around randomly.

Is it revolutionary and groundbreaking? No, but there are some good recipes in here, som
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'm abandoning this book because i have decided I am not it's target audience. I'm getting distracted by the skinny, rich, basic girl tone and it's making me ignore the actual good points of the book, like eat less processed food. Basically, I'm a farmer who lives in the country, I know the value of a fruit or a vegetable in my, I'm going to say it, DIET. But to tout that I need to drive 40 minutes to the closest Whole Foods isn't practical for me. And I'm smart enough to know that I can buy hea ...more
Tina  Lewis
Oct 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Because I like books about food, diets, and healthy eating, I borrowed this title as an audiobook from Hoopla. It turns out to be a waste of a Hoopla download (our library gives us 9 each month). The writing is dull and the ideas are completely unoriginal and boring. The author is the narrator of the audiobook and even SHE sounds bored with her own book. Save your money and your time and "pass" on this title. There are better books on the subject such as "The Dorito Effect" and "The Skinnygirl R ...more
Tom Merritt
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book consolidates a lot of things I've tight about eating and then adds a bunch of stuff I didn't know on top of it. Darya's ability to combine science and common sense are extraordinarily rare, especially in the realm of nutrition books. My only regret is that there isn't a clearer plan to get started, but then again, one of her points is that everybody's different, so one plan wouldn't work for everyone anyway. If you want to be healthier, you owe it to yourself to add this book to your a ...more
Simon James
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Must read book if u r looking to improve your food intake. Mostly about the psychology of food rather than a particular diet. I was needing to move off the low carb diet so this was perfect for me.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
I read this book because I like food. A lot. Too much, maybe. And the prospect of dieting is an absolute no-go for me. Ms. Rose presents lots of common-sense ways to eat more mindfully. Put down your fork between bites, for example. I participated in the two-week insulin imbalance... and spent all 14 days hangry. But, on this side of the two weeks, there were benefits. I've been making changes in what I'm eating. I still have the foods I like, but I'm trying to cook more real food, more often. I ...more
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
There’s a line in this book that warns about eating anything imported from China. Don’t eat anything from China. Period. As an Expat living in Beijing, it suddenly became clear how I am going to lose weight...I hoped this book would go a little bit deeper. It was pretty basic and although it had some good suggestions, I didn’t learn much about how people actually process the foods. There were parts that seemed very elitist and then parts that explained why those parts weren’t elitist. It tried t ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pleasure-reading
I picked this up because I love her podcast so much (available through iTunes). She focuses less on the science of nutrition (although she's certainly willing and able to jump in with some technical explanations when needed), and more on psychological insights into how to build the right habits so that healthy eating becomes automatic. In this sense, the book is really similar to a lot of other books out there right now (e.g., the Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg). Her writing style is far more ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
If the reader is new to the idea of letting go of the diet mentality and learning to have a peaceful, healthy relationship with food, this book might do the job. For me, I found it too repetitive, including referencing an anecdote from a great book on habits multiple times. I can understand citing a study, but in this case it would have been nice for the author to use a new anecdote to illustrate a point.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it
The good:
Encourages the consumption of better quality food, especially vegetables, and not so much at restriction. All in all, promotes better eating habit.

The not-so-good:
Inventing the term healthstyle to refer to eating habit, which is diet before the bastardisation of the meaning of diet. Both are cringeworthy.
Susan Morgan
Good but not great

I liked this book. The author did her homework and has an interesting story to tell. Sometimes I thought she could be more concise; sometimes I thought she oversimplified. But overall, it was good. It is not a substitute for working with a nutritionist but it is a good pep talk.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved the first part of this book. Not so much the rest. Everything about neuroscience was amazing and eye opening, but the practical application seemed lacking for me. Basically I came away with more understanding of why I should eat healthy/exercise/etc, but no closer to understanding how to make these things habits without totally relying on will power (which you're not supposed to do ever).
Lisa Bergquist
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This fantastic - not a diet - lifestyle book is at the top of my list! I cannot recommend this enough! Drop fad diets. Drop negative self-talk. Enjoy your food - really enjoy it! I love this back to basics, no nonsense approach. I read this for the first time about a year ago and I reread sections now and then when I need inspiration.
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Darya is the author of Foodist and creator of Summer Tomato, one of TIME's 50 Best Websites. She received her Ph.D in neuroscience from UCSF and her bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

Darya helps people get healthy and lose weight without dieting. Because life should be awesome.

She spends most of her time thinking and writing about food, health
“Humans are omnivores, which means we are adapted to eat plants, fungi, and animals. The nutrients in the plant foods we consume depend on the genetics of the individual species, the quality of the soil they are grown in, and the weather conditions during that time. For animal foods, nutrient levels are dependent on what the animals eat throughout their lives and are also affected by their stress and hormone levels. Any toxins or environmental pollutants that the animals and plants are subjected to have the power to impact human health as well.” 0 likes
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