Tennie McCarty

Tennie McCarty, a certified addictions specialist and licensed counselor in chemical dependency, is one of the foremost experts in treating addiction to behaviors and substances, especially food. Almost twenty-five years ago she cofounded Shades of Hope Treatment Center. Her three daughters now work with her at Shades of Hope, where, as Tennie says, they love people into recovery. Tennie lives with her husband in Buffalo Gap, Texas. Visit her website here.



  • Appearances as the food addiction expert on Dr. Oz, A&E, Ruby, and ABC’s “Nightline” as well as having her own reality show called “Addicted to Food” on the OWN nextwork.
  • Introduction by Ashley Judd

There are millions of people who bounce from one diet to another with no understanding of the link between emotional eating (compulsive overeating) and not being able to keep off the weight. Author Tennie McCarty was herself an overeater, food addict, and bulimic. Tennie believes that food addiction is a physical and mental problem with a spiritual solution. Tennie confronted her addictions to unhealthy relationships, food, work, and was finally able to find the one thing we all ultimately crave—serenity. In her work with clients, Tennie helps them uncover why they yo-yo diet, why they compromise their health with a diseased relationship to food, why their uncontrollable need for control has left them feeling broken, and what it is about their past or present that leads them to seek comfort in the oscillating consumption and restriction of food. As Ashley Judd, a former patient says, “Because if there was hope for Tennie McCarty, there was hope for me.”  

Using her trademark humor, in Shades of Hope Tennie offers real-life solutions and a step-by-step program that teaches you how to let go of the bad feelings that have imprisoned you and the never-ending cycle of diets, binges, negative behaviors and broken promises.

“A pioneer in her field who is highly regarded by her peers, [Tennie] combines canny knowledge with intuitive genius, welded together by the hard-earned gifts of her exquisite empathy. She is brilliant.” —Ashley Judd, from the foreword

“Tennie has given a miraculous gift to us all.  [This book] will open your eyes, and you will start living.”—Ruby Gettinger, star of the television show Ruby

“Tennie’s book provides a way out for those who live the hell of having food as their master. ” —Ted Klontz, Ph.D.

“… this book will touch on you and change your life. Whether struggling with stuff like food, relationships, shopping, or bottom-basement self-esteem, Tennie shows you how to interrupt the blame, shame and guilt to find your inner good-good self, whatever that may be. The only question now is: Are you ready for her? I hope so. Here’s to that hope . . . in every shade you find it!”—Brad Lamm, Addiction Specialist

“I identified with so many thing Tennie was saying that I felt a veil was lifted from my eyes awakening me to the fact that I am a food addict.  I quickly began reading Tennie’s book, Shades of Hope: A Program to Stop Dieting and Start Living, and now I feel I am better equipped to recognize and deal with my issues with food. While my waltz with food is in the middle of its long dance through life, I feel like I am now in the leading role and the food is following my lead. The book has given me so many tools and so much understanding, making me more confident in my daily encounters with my addiction.”—Danny Cahill, winner of The Biggest Loser

“Tennie McCarty knows what it’s like to suffer from the food addiction that forces so many to struggle in silence. Over the years, I have watched her transform from one of the worst cases I have ever met to a leader in her field. This book beautifully shows how she did that and how anyone can follow in her footsteps, finally living a healthy life, free of fear and disordered eating.”—Judi Hollis, Ph.D.

Rights: Amy Einhorn Books/Penguin USA, World