Easyway or Easyweigh: Personal Takes


Allen Carr built an empire of influence that extends around the globe, and the organization he left behind claims 30 million satisfied customers who shook off their addictions — mainly to nicotine, but a good number of folks come from the weight loss community. Rose Shepherd, who met Carr in real life, wrote about his book Easyweigh To Lose Weight:

There are no menu plans, no calorie charts, no recipes, just lots of Carr’s own homespun wisdom, homilies, analogies, nature notes, apercus, a cheeky hint of hubris, and personal revelation.

Carr evidently felt that “a simple appeal to reason” is all it takes to turn somebody’s life around. In Shepherd’s opinion, his claim that we can lose weight without making any sacrifice falls into the category of “cunningly dissembling.”

In 2016 a blogger with lifelong food and weight issues published a review of Easy Way to Quit Smoking, not because she had ever smoked, but because it might hold a clue to her own struggles. She connected with the material right away, and told the world:

Allen Carr systematically debunks the reasons that you think you want to consume your substance of choice, dismantling the brainwashing, until you realise that there is only one reason: a mild physical addiction that has no more power over you than a common cold…

You must identify what exactly is addictive about the myriad of edible foodstuffs and drinks that we consume and/or the behaviour or style of eating. I was under no illusion that my overeating seemed addictive.

The anonymous blogger points out Carr’s astute ability to differentiate between a lack of willpower (which is not the addict’s problem) and a conflict of will (which is.) It’s not that a person doesn’t wish to expunge a habit. It’s just that there is something else she desires more — to keep it.

She provides a list of auxiliary problems that tallies with the official description of addiction:

One part of my brain wanted to stop eating junk food entirely; another seemed insistent upon consuming it at all costs. I had never suffered a “hard” drug addiction, but this thing was costing me my self confidence, my health, my fitness, my money, my time and my self respect. It was also affecting my relationships with some of the most important people in my life.

Parting ways with Carr, the writer later came to believe that the cause of the obesity epidemic is something other than sugar addiction. In her view, the addictive quality of food does not originate in the presence of sugar or any particular villain, but in the absence of everything else that ought to be there. We keep on eating and eating because essential things — like vitamins, minerals, and protein, are not coming in — so the body never experiences the “enough” state, and never sends out the signal to stop consuming.

Of course, the hyped-up flavoring that often signifies empty calories is part of the problem. Another huge, ubiquitous element of the problem is the advertising industry, which unrelentingly teaches humans that the answer to every bad feeling and negative circumstance can be banished by putting something in your mouth. Temptation is always out there, waiting for the chance to pounce.

But this person, whose life was changed by Carr, says:

The moment you see that repeatedly consuming fake food is not your escape from pain, but rather the primary cause of your pain, there is an easy, straight forward way to escape and the solution is easy.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “The man who saved smokers has turned his attention to the fat of the land,” Independent.co.uk, 01/11/97
Source: “How anti-smoking guru Allen Carr saved me from obesity,” EatLikeANormalPerson.com, 10/23/16
Photo credit: Photo Extremist on Visualhunt/CC BY-ND

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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