Event Calendar
Prev MonthPrev Month Next MonthNext Month
Distinguished Scholar Lecture: Why Diets Fail: The Myth of Willpower and Strategies for Being Healthy Without It
Macalester College, Olin-Rice Science Center, Room 350
166 Macalester Street
St. Paul, MN 55105

View additional information
Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM CDT
Category: Distinguished Scholar Lectures

Why Diets Fail: The Myth of Willpower and Strategies for Being Healthy Without It

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Registration: 5:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Program: 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Location: Olin-Rice Science Center, Room 350, 166 Macalester Street, St. Paul, MN 55105 - Campus Map

The Minnesota Psychological Association cosponsors Distinguished Scholar Lectures with Macalester College's Psychology Department

This presentation is designed for psychologists, other mental health professionals, and students and faculty.
Intermediate Level: Assumes post-doctoral education status and general familiarity with topic.

About the Program

A large percentage of Americans are dieting at any given time, but the evidence is clear that they do not lead to long-term weight loss. After describing that evidence, Dr. Mann will discuss physiological and psychological reasons why diets fail. The physiological reasons involve the metabolic, hormonal, and cognitive/intentional responses to calorie deprivation. Those changes make it difficult, but not impossible, to continue restricting one’s calorie intake. The psychological frustration due to those difficulties further adds to the likelihood of diet failure. Dr. Mann will also discuss why weight regain after dieting is not due to dieters having uniquely poor willpower (because they don’t), and will argue that willpower plays a much smaller role in weight and dieting than most people think. Dr. Mann will end by giving evidence-based strategies for improving health that do not require dieting or willpower. Those strategies aim to keep individuals from encountering situations that would require willpower.

This session qualifies for 1.5 continuing education credits. You must attend the full 1.5-hour program to get continuing education credit for the event.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the evidence on long-term effects of dieting.
  2. Identify three reasons (psychological or physiological) why diets fail to lead to long-term weight loss.
  3. Recommend three strategies for health improvement that do not require dieting or willpower.

About the Presenter:

Traci Mann, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the University of Minnesota. She received her Ph.D. in psychology in 1995 from Stanford University, spent ten years on the faculty at UCLA, then moved to Minnesota and started the Health and Eating Lab. Her research has been funded by NIH, NASA, and USDA, and she just completed her term as president of the Social, Personality, and Health Network. Her book, Secrets from the Eating Lab: The Science of Weight Loss, the Myth of Willpower, and Why You Should Never Diet Again, was published in 2015 by HarperCollins.

To Register:

Online registration is now closed. Walk-up registrations are welcome!

Click here for a PDF Registration Form and Flyer

Walk-up registrations are welcome the day of, but pre-registration is preferred.

Registration Type Pricing
No CE Credit Free
Professional Seeking CE Certificate $20
Student Seeking CE Certificate $5


Refund/Cancellation Policy: A 100% refund will be made if the event is cancelled. Refunds, less a $5 handling fee, will be given if a written cancellation is received at least two working days before the scheduled program begins. Transfer of fee to another program is granted if written cancellation notice is received at least one day before the program. No refund or transfer is given the day of the program.

Diversity Statement

The Minnesota Psychological Association actively encourages the participation of all psychologists regardless of age, creed, race, ethnic background, gender, socio-economic status, region of residence, physical or mental status, political beliefs, religious or spiritual affiliation, and sexual or affectional orientation.Although we are an organization of individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds, the Minnesota Psychological Association also recognizes our core unifying identities as Psychologists who practice in America. We also recognize that we may hold unintentional attitudes and beliefs that influence our perceptions of and interactions with others. Within this context of unity and self-exploration, we are committed to increasing our sensitivity to all aspects of diversity as well as our knowledge and appreciation of the unique qualities of different cultures and backgrounds.We aspire to becoming alert to aspects of diversity, previously unseen or unacknowledged in our culture. In this spirit, we are committed to collaborating with multicultural groups to combat racism and other forms of prejudice as we seek to promote diversity in our society. To this end, we are dedicated to increasing our multicultural competencies and effectiveness as educators, researchers, administrators, policy makers, and practitioners.