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Stop the Insanity! by Susan Powter
03/09/2016 | by Susan Powter
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Take control of your life and stop the insanity! You’ve seen Susan Powter on the “Home Show” and on her “Stop the Insanity” infomercial, explaining health and wellness to millions of viewers. Taken from the “insanity” she experienced with the diet and fitness industries, Susan’s step-by-step motivational book, now read by Susan herself on audio tape, will empower women everywhere to take control of their lives. In “Stop the Insanity!,” Susan tells you how you can get lean, strong, and healthy without starvation and deprivation. Her practical, proven program designed for women of all ages, weights, and fitness levels can change the way you look and feel just like it did for Susan. Funny, poignant and powerful, “Stop the Insanity!” is more than Susan’s encouraging success story of how she went from fat to fit—and stayed there. It is a message of hope for women everywhere.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Take control of your life and stop the insanity! You’ve seen Susan Powter on the Home Show and on her Stop the Insanity infomercial, explaining health and wellness to millions of viewers. Taken from the “insanity” she experienced with the diet and fitness industries, Susan’s step-by-step motivational book, now read by Susan herself on audio tape, will empower women everywhere to take control of their lives. In Stop the Insanity!, Susan tells you how you can get lean, strong, and healthy without starvation and deprivation. Her practical, proven program designed for women of all ages, weights, and fitness levels can change the way you look and feel just like it did for Susan. Funny, poignant and powerful, Stop the Insanity! is more than Susan’s encouraging success story of how she went from fat to fit—and stayed there. It is a message of hope for women everywhere. END—This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author
Susan Powter is the New York Times bestselling author of Stop the Insanity! The Pocket Powter; Food; C’Mon America, Let’s Eat! and Hey, Mom! I’m Hungry! For many years she has been inspiring audiences worldwide with her books, audios, videos, and record-breaking life-changing seminars. Visit her online at—This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  Publisher: Pocket (February 1, 1995)
  Language: English
  ISBN-10: 0671522922
  ISBN-13: 978-0671522926
  Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.1 x 1.1 inches
  Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces


Good then and now
I’m sure someone will think this is weird, but I still like this book.

I remember reading this book when I was in college, maybe 20 years ago, and at that time I really didn’t have a lot of weight to lose. In fact, I’m about 30 pounds heavier now. But I digress.

Anyhow, I just remember that at the time I wanted to lose about 10 pounds, so I read her book and started following it. And all of these years later, it’s one of the few things that I have tried that got me moving and eating right.

I actually am looking Susan Powter up now because I’m wondering if her program still works. Back then, everything was about low fat. These days, everything is low carb. But I lost weight back then eating low fat. Low carb is also high protein, and I already have too much protein in my system.

Have our bodies changed in 20 years? Probably not. Anyhow, it was a good book then, and I’m reading it again because I suspect it’s still a good book now.

Great Book On How To Lose Weight And Keep It Off
This book is one of my all-time favorite self-help books when it comes to weight-loss. Ms. Powter provides the inspiration and knowledge you need to take control of your health by learning how to eat, breath and move your way to permanent weight loss.


20 years later and Susan Powter is still the Queen!
I read this book 20 years ago when it first came out and have re-read it at least 5 times since then. It never ceases to amaze me how everything in this book is now being “discovered” by the AMA. She was soo way ahead of her time and she is was right then and is still right.

Eat real, whole, unprocessed, organic food and lots of it to support your daily activities, move 5-7 times a week in oxygen and within your current fitness level ( so that you will be motivated to keep doing it) for 30 minutes to burn all the fat you have stored all over your body and add some strength training a few times a week to build lean muscle mass, the most active tissue in the body.

Susan Powter (born 1957) is an Australian-born motivational speaker, nutritionist, personal trainer and author, who hosted her own talk show, “The Susan Powter Show,” for one season in 1994.

She wrote in the Introduction to this 1993 book, “My passion (maybe there IS a little anger) comes from having been through ‘it’ myself. I was a 260-pound housewife, feeling desperately out of control, afraid, hurting physically and emotionally, trying every diet out there and… failing. Failure—-not being able to regain the control I needed so desperately, the breakup of my marriage, single parenthood, and all the emotions that went along with watching my life take a nosedive toward the gutter… I am not a physician, dietician, nutritionist, or diet or fitness expert. I am a housewife, who figured it out. Broke the system. Busted them… My motivation was desperation… I could wait until it got worse or I could change my life-style… ‘Stop the Insanity!’ is about how I broke the system. How I figured it out and started talking. I have a story to tell… Stopping insanity in my life was more than a physical journey. It was an emotional journey… I’ve written it all down, just the way it happened, and told you exactly how I handled it… This is a book for women, about women getting well… who have stopped the insanity in their lives, and it can be about you stopping it in your life.” (Pg. 8-13)

She says, “The first thing that happens to the human body… when you take in less than you expend is this: Your body… will crave high-calorie foods. This is not, I repeat, not an eating disorder. This is a physiological response to starvation… The first symptom of starvation is bingeing. Dieting is starvation, so you, like all of us, are going to end up bingeing.” (Pg. 97-98)

She observes, “Heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes run rampant in this country. Most of us are getting way, way, way too much fat, not enough fuel, too much sugary, chemical junk, and too little nutritional value in the foods we eat. There is no better testimony to our brilliant machines… than the stuff we give our bodies to live on and the fact that they just keep right on going.” (Pg. 137)

She states, “I have not eaten meat in years. Not because I care about cows (sorry, you animal lovers) but because I can’t digest meat and it looks gross. I gained 133 pounds as a vegetarian. Some of the fattest clients I’ve had have been vegetarians. Anybody who eats dairy, nuts, tofu, and all the other high-fat ‘natural nonanimal goods’ can get fat just as easily as the animal-eating, bacteria-filled, clogged-colon meat eaters.” (Pg. 274)

Powter’s writing style is lively, and her story (well-illustrated with photos) is interesting.

True, we have been lied to by the diet industry!!!
This book is the bible of diets. Because it exposes the con behind the diet industry. I wish Susan Powter’s had remained on television and not gone off the air with her radio show. The minute she disappeared from the public eye, the diets cons started to show up again. and worst than ever!!! I remember going into an “health food store” in my neighborhood, and a sales woman trying to convince me that to “hold a medal rod” over my head, would make me lose weight !!! I promptly went home and called Oregon’s attorney general’s office and filed a fraud complaint. Many of the diet cons listed in her book, are still or have resurfaced in the diet market today. She not only tells you the cons, but why the cons don’t work, and what may happen to you and your body if you follow one of these diet scams.

I lost weight with Susan
Years ago when Susan Powter first came out… the book with the workout tape, etc. I bought it. I had knee surgery & during my recovery time had packed on the pounds. I knew the basics of weightloss but was still unsure of the details. How many calories are too many? You know the deal. The workout tape was great because it wasn’t high impact, it worked for my recovered knee. The basics of her diet were easy to understand & easy to work into my daily life. I could easily go through a supermarket & look at the nutritional list & decide if it was ok or not without a calculator, book, cheat sheet, etc. I am horrible at math so this was quite an accomplishment. I’ve recently bought some of the newer diet books, the ones that focus on the mentality & emotional parts of weight gain & quite frankly been bored silly. Susan Powter did have a lot of hype, etc. but you know what? She was alive & fun & didn’t bore me silly & made it very easy to understand. She also makes it clear that you do what you can do. Can’t follow an excersize video because you are too large or have a bad joint, then modify it & do what you can because something is better then nothing. You can tweak the diet, it’s not an exact science but it gives you a place to start. I should add, that I lost over 30 pounds and her way of watching what you eat & working out was the only one that worked for me.

It Really does work!
I was first introduced to Susan by a friend who weighed before I met her 350 pounds. When I started to gain weight I met my friend who was smaller than me. She would always telling me to watch what I ate. She one day showed me a picture of herself and she was really fat. She explained everything about the Susan Powter program and I now weighing 210 wanted to know more. So I went out and bought her book and tapes. Threw my scale away and never looked back. I began to walk 20 minutes a day. I begin to eat, eat and eat and I watched what I ate. NOw 125 I eat when I want and what I want. If I want steak I have steak. but I also eat my vegetables and fruits. And I love rice and bake potatoes.I have a six pack and two children, born after losing the weight. I don’t see my friend that often but I am really happy to have met her. The most important thing I learned was that I had to know what I was putting in my mouth and how much. I had to move, walk, jump and run, I couldn’t sit on the couch and expect to lose weight because I knew how much fat I was eating. Knowing wasn’t enough. I had to burn off the fat already on my body. And it took me a little over eight months. It works. It really does.

Daring & Ruthless Attack on Stifling Corporate Diet Machines
Those who know the contemporary icon “Susan Powter” see the motivational tigress who ruled the infomercial circuit a few years back. Not only must we retain any and all wisdom she put forth on those TV spots, we must keep “Stop the Insanity” on our bookshelves for future generations of potential victims of corporate fast-food henchman and diet fanatics who prey on the innocent Gazzellian souls whose only wish is to find peace in a society that tries to slash the very thurrock of everyman’s soul, dooming it to a voyage of despair.
Ms. Powter puts a literary lime twist into Kafkaesque prose, cleverly diced into motivational rants against the commercial food industry. It might look simplistic at first glance; try reading a few pages out loud, and when I say “out loud,” I mean add a slightly wrung tension to your voice with a medium toned shout. The depths of such writing will reveal themselves through such spoken word, as can be done with Dylan Thomas’work, or Rod McKuen’s translations of Jacques Brel’s lyrics.
If we decide to gain from Ms. Powter’s writings, future generations will see not a TV pitchperson but the ultimate revelator, an Amazon brave enough to crush all tools of money grubbing executives who are nothing more than suited stalagmite. “Stop the Insanity” is not just a book, it is a movement that delivers us greatest source of optimism since Norman Vincent Peale.

First book you should read to lose weight
I have read many weight loss books and have decided to review a couple of the ones I think have come out tops. My favourites would have to be this one and Volumetrics.
Susan’s book was an eye opener for me as I had not realised that so much food that is labelled ‘low fat’ or ‘lite’ or even outright 3% fat is anything but! Fat percentage is only relevant in terms of total calories - not total weight! Susan’s story made me laugh out loud and she is a super-motivator - I would recommend reading this book before any other more ‘serious’ diet book. Her over the top enthusiasm is infectious and would probably make a good primer before getting into my top weight-loss book, Volumetrics.
The approach in ‘stop the Insanity’ is a very low fat one (ignoring the amount of acalories consumed, which is probably not such a good idea..) but the she explains this in a very clear manner and I find this invaluable and rare and it can easily be adapted to the Volumetrics plan too. See my review for that book for further details.

The Truth About Health, Fitness - and how YOU can do it!
Like so many, I have tried the diets - I thought I knew it all, did all that calorie counting stuff. IT JUST DOESN’T WORK! Susan Powter smashes through the myths and misinformation of the diet & fitness industry, explaining why every calorie reducing/starvation diet is doomed to fail in the long-term. She makes it all so simple and shows you how food can become your friend, not something you have to deny yourself or agonise over. I am following her advice and as a result, I’m getting fitter, leaner, feeling great and enjoying as much food as I want - whenever I want it. It’s soooo much fun! Much of it is common sense, but she tells you how to avoid the pitfalls and cons, especially where food labelling is concerned. She also teaches the MOST EFFECTIVE way of getting the body you want. There are times when you think this woman is a little crazy! (She even says so herself) But you will come to realise that every line is relevant in making you understand where she came from, what she put up with and how she survived it all to become the wonderful person and teacher she now is. When I read her story; starting out 18+ stone (250+ pounds), alone, broke and miserable - then to the day she went shopping and bought a size 8, black string bikini - I couldn’t help the tears. It gets me every time I re-read it. You too often see reviews which say “This book will change your life…”. Well this book will NOT change your life if you only read HALF of it, or if you don’t FOLLOW the advice properly. However, if you buy into Susan’s philosophy and stick with it (at least 85% of the time!) you WILL improve - it’s that good. The results are tremendous, but even better is the freedom from diet agony and knowing that you won’t ever have to go through it again - that and all the many other benefits of health, strength and energy! If I could speak with Susan, I would tell her that I am learning to enjoy the process, I’m watching my body improve and I’m feeling very pleased with myself. I have a long way to go yet (only started a couple of months ago), but for the first time in my life I’m getting slimmer without being hungry or cutting out beer! Friends and colleagues are noticing and asking me “how?” and I’m spreading the word. I’m on course for that black string bikini (not I concept I have ever dared to entertain before) and to Susan Powter, I say thankyou, thankyou, THANKYOU!


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