Life is Hard, Food Is Easy: The 5-Step Plan to Overcome Emotional Eating and Lose Weight on Any Diet

By Linda Spangle

178 ratings - 3.74* vote

Linda Spangle explains why emotional eating dooms all your dieting efforts. Over the past 15 years, Linda Spangle has helped thousands of clients to learn to cope with their emotions, thereby allowing them to lose weight successfully and keep it off -- permanently. In this book, Spangle shares her fool-proof method for beating emotional eating -- the method that accounts f Linda Spangle explains why emotional eating dooms all your dieting efforts. Over the past 15 years, Linda Spangle has

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Book details

Hardcover, 256 pages
December 1st 2002 by LifeLine Press
Original Title
Life Is Hard, Food Is Easy: The 5-Step Plan to Overcome Emotional Eating and Lose Weight on Any Diet
0895261456 (ISBN13: 9780895261458)
Edition Language

Community Reviews


So far I'm loving it. I don't think I'm an "emotional eater"--I just like the taste of yummy food and would like to keep on tasting it. But I heard some glowing reviews of the book and thought it would be an interesting read. It totally is, so far. I'm about halfway through. Some of her theories that I think are fascinating is that kind of foods you are craving can be used to decode what you are worrying about/feeling. For example, a specific food that you suddenly crave, especially one with crunchy or chewy texture (like candy bars or chips), is more likely due to stress, deadlines, anger, resentment type of thoughts. Whereas a craving for something, but you're just not sure what, especially with soft texture (like mac & cheese, breads or ice cream), is more related to feelings of loneliness, boredom, depression, hurt, etc. In the book she then talks about a more healthy way of dealing with these emotions besides eating.

I'm in the chapter about rebuilding self-esteem (she says lack of self-esteem is at the core of emotional eating). It's great. I'm buying my own copy because I keep wanting to dog ear pages and underline stuff. Plus it's overdue at the library.

I was worried this book would be a "Food as Fuel" book, which I don't want to live like that. But it's very sensible and moderate, and overall the book is filled with great tips and advice and making better choices about eating. I'm liking this book, hopefully it will help me to be a more aware eater and help others, especially my kids, to be healthy and aware with great self esteem.


I found this book to be helpful for me and issues of overeating and emotional eating. There are concrete steps, examples, and exercises. I wanted to read the whole book before doing the exercises, but it seemed like she encouraged doing them as you read. The examples from other people's lives weren't my favorite because I couldn't generally relate, but they were useful in some instances to show how an exercise could be done. I like the set-up of the book and I think it's organized well. I'd recommend the book if you're interested in examining your relationship with food and emotions.

Mary Kenyon

Well researched and well written. I have been more mindful of my eating since reading this wonderful book. One caveat, however~ when the author talked about how important human touch and contact is, and to find someone to hug, I had to stop myself from crying. I am a widow and I live in a house with two teenage girls who resist hugs. I can go days, and even weeks, without a touch or a hug, and I'm only 57 years old. I bet my widowed mother went even longer. This advice is not realistic for some of us, and unfortunately, it made me feel even more alone. I crave hugs. I miss holding my husband's hand and hugging him. But I can't just ask a stranger for that. I hope someday I have it again, but that section of the book was NOT helpful for someone in my situation.

Sharon Easterling

This was a great book! I used it in a book club with some of my Weight watchers members. It really helped us talk about and address some of the reasons we struggle with emotional eating. It provided many strategies to help us cope and build a better foundation for our weight loss journey. Personally, it helped me not only with my weight loss thoughts and feelings but also about my struggles with my anxiety as well as my thoughts and feelings as I work on being a better leader. This is definitely a book that I will be re-reading over again!

Sus Ana

Anyone who has struggled with an eating disorder knows that it's not about the food. Food is used as a buffer against those uncomfortable and painful feelings we try hard to suppress. Spangle not only digs deep into finding out why we eat when we're not physically hungry, but also gives a myriad of ways we can start to overcome our disorder, to the point where we ingest food for only two reasons: 1) as fuel, and 2)because we enjoy the taste of the particular food item.


I have to admit - I didn't finish it...I didn't make the time before it was due back at the library. HOWEVER, I read about half and it was very interesting and applicable! It really helped me open my eyes about how much of my eating is emotional. When I'm really ready to do something about it I may come back to this book for ideas.

Mary Jedlicka Humston

This book is an excellent tool to have while journeying along the weight loss path. I found the steps and suggestions quite helpful. I intend to re-read this because I know I will gain new insights each time. This is a "must-read" for all those challenged with emotional eating or those who want sound advice and help while losing weight and keeping it off.


This book discusses types of emotional eating and processes for overcoming it. It acknowledges grief and other changes in life that lead to emotional eating. It has helpful discussions about re-framing emotions and thinking about feelings. The primary focus is to address emotions.


The best book I've ever read on weightloss. This book isn't about dieting, it's about finding yourself. Learning new ways to do things,new ways to think. If your thinking of dieting you NEED to read this book. It will change everything.


I thought this was an insightful book on emotional eating.