EP 04: Neuroscientist explains "Why Diets Make Us Fat" with Sandra Aamodt

Every year, millions of Americans turn to diets to lose weight, but an increasing number of studies are showing that dieters are more likely to gain more weight over the next two to 15 years than those who don’t diet. Many people hear phrases like “diets don’t work” and “diets make you fat,” but rarely believe these concepts are true – until they experience it themselves.

On today’s episode, I’m talking with neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt. Sandra serves on the board of The Center for Mindful Eating and is the author of the recently published book – Why Diets Make Us Fat: The Unintended Consequences of Our Obsession with Weight Loss. She joins me today to share her journey through dieting, starvation, and explains what happens in the brain when we diet.

Low fitness, smoking, high blood pressure, low income, and loneliness are better predictors of early death than obesity when considered individually.
— Sandra Aamodt

This Week on the Every Body Podcast:

  • Our culture’s “amazing brainwashing job” regarding dieting and weight loss
  • What long-term diet studies reveal
  • The physiological effects of losing weight
  • How human evolution and food availability has impacted our body’s natural weight regulation
  • Genetic disposition and environmental factors influencing our body’s natural weight regulation
  • Sandra’s personal journey with dieting, when she chose to stop dieting, and her results
  • Shifting your mindset around exercise
  • Study conclusions on health and weight connections
  • Defining what a “healthy diet” really means
  • Society’s impact on dieting and the money-making aspect of it
  • New, exciting research studies becoming known in the industry
  • Encouraging children to eat healthy without dieting
  • Sandra’s experience as a Ted Talk speaker and its success
  • Marketing shifts around the words “health” and “diet”

Sandra’s Advice to Dieters:

  • Do not pay attention to short-run studies.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables. Avoid processed foods.
  • Find ways to seek pleasure in moving your body.


Thank you for joining me this week on the Every Body podcast. If you enjoyed this week’s episode, head over to iTunes, subscribe to the show and leave a review to help us spread the word to Every Body!

Don’t forget to visit our website, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and join our mailing list so you never miss an episode!

Daria Matza