In celebration of National Book Month, check out my Amazon reviews of the 10 Weight Loss Books that will Change your Life.
According to Brian Tracy, “If you only read one book per month, that will put you into the top 1% of income earners in our society…regular reading will transform your life completely”.
Well, you may know that I am all about transformation- just not in a monetary way. I prefer to talk complete body and mind transformation. Considering that I have been reading at least 2 books a week since I was about 10 years (with a small break after I had my children), I thought I would share the best of the best in the health world.
By the way, did you know that 25% of people have not read a book in the last year (courtesy of www.pickthebrain.com?) As we approach the dreaded holiday season (and average 10 pound weight gain), it is my solemn duty to share these amazing weight loss books with you.
Need some help getting through the holiday season? Check out Hot for the Holidays (starts November 21!)
1. The Art of Weight Maintenance
This book is quite different, because the focus is not just on losing weight, but maintaining it. In a world where everyone is obsessed with “lose it quick, who cares what happens after?”, I knew I had to be a part of this one. Heather Robertson of Half Size Me put together this e-book, and included over 6 hours of interviews with folks like me who also kept the weight off. Yes, I am also in it.
Because I was lucky enough to be a part of this book, I can offer a special discounted rate. Simply enter coupon “jennbook2016” to download this e-book and the interviews for only. Get the Art of Weight Maintenance.
2. Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (Tom Venuto)
Few gurus have had as big an impact on my own weight loss as the natural body-builder Tom Venuto. Initially, when I was looking for a program that worked for me, I had just dropped the Zone diet like a hot potato. The Zone diet was a disaster that had me discontentedly chewing on lettuce leaves covered in balsamic while I dreamed of potatoes and rice. Well, lo and behold, potatoes and rice are perfectly acceptable under Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle!
It was a match made in Heaven. Tom also introduced me to weight lifting, which I had never done with any consistenty or intent. Once I started lifting using his simple techniques, I found a strength I didn’t think possible. Watch the video for a fan’s review of this amazing book (available in both physical and e-book forms).
3. The Dorito Effect (Mark Schatzker)
You may not know this, but I have been a Certified Fraud Examiner for 5 years. No, this doesn’t mean I will expose fraudsters no matter where they lurk. However, it means that I am a natural skeptic who has ways of finding out the truth using paper trails and good old-fashioned research.
While listening to the On Air with Ella podcast, I discovered the episode with Mark Schatzker as a guest. I had never heard of him, but was immediately intrigued by his interest in exposing the secrets of the food science industry. More specifically, how the food industry does everything in their power to mimic natural food flavors so that your body is tricked into thinking food is nutritious.
Plus, I had a major hankering for Doritos as a kid. Surely, there was some magic in this?
4. Better than Before (Gretchen Rubin)
Rubin has long been a favorite of mine, since she came out with The Happiness Project. I had never experienced someone who took such a diligent, consistent approach to improving her life before. Well, I guess that’s not entirely true…
When she came out with Better than Before, which is not strictly a health book, I knew I had to read it. After all, there was a handy-dandy quiz that came with it (I can’t resist quizzes). Plus, this quiz actually provided some interesting insights into intrinsic motivation, which is something I help my health coaching clients discover on their path to body bliss.
By the way, I’m a lifelong Questioner. What type are you?
5. Secrets of a Former Fat Girl (Lisa Delaney)
This was one of the first weight loss books I read after I created Weightless. Delaney had such a huge impact on how I reflected on my own weight loss. You see, I had never considered the mental shifts that had to happen as I was meeting my milestones, so it was utterly fascinating to hear it from Delaney’s perspective. Her perspective is to beat the stuffing out of the “fat girl” mentality!
Plus, Delaney has a magazine writing and editing background, so this book is deliciously written. Her story is quite beautiful, and very real as you shift from “fat girl” to “healthy girl” mentally.
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6. Mother Food (Hilary Jacobson)
This is a niche book geared towards breast-feeding moms who are looking to increase their lactation. As a full-time working mom, I spent ALL of my available break and lunch time pumping up some nutrition for my little girl. Unfortunately, even with all of the techniques I learned to increase supply, I found myself at the point of needing to supplement with formula.
My ultimate goal was feed my child ONLY milk. Which really put me through some psychological stress. I obsessed about my milk supply. Fortunately, I was involved in many mom forums, and realized there were some supplements that helped with this.
Let me say that Mother’s Milk tea and fenugreek capsules did very little for my dwindling milk supply. Though I wasn’t even a health coach at the time, I always believed in natural and food-based ways to feed not just myself, but also my child. Enter Mother Food, by holistic health expert Hilary Jacobson. I couldn’t recommend it more!
As a bonus, the types of foods that increase lactation can also help in weight loss. Plus, Jacobson shares certain favorite foods that may decrease your milk supply.
7. Bread is the Devil (Heather Bauer)
In the latest Weight Watchers commercials, queen Oprah says “I love bread!” Well, don’t we all? I toyed with a gluten-free diet several times in my life, but the truth hurts. And, that truth is- bread is a part of my life. For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and health…
That is why Bread is the Devil caught my eye. I am no stranger to the ridiculous claims out there of “eat this, don’t eat that”, or eat these 5 superfoods to melt fat. Really? The world supply of acai and chia would be extinct if those foods did half of what was promised.
As it is, this book talks about WHY you eat the way you do, rather than harp on the guilt-laden, traditional, restrictive ways you SHOULD eat. Yes, you can have your bread and eat it, too (preferably slathered with some butter). You can thank me later.
You may have seen this gorgeous specimen as a werewolf in TrueBlood. Or, dancing it up in Magic Mike. Either way, this man clearly knows how to train with the best of them.
When he added “author” to his list of accomplishments, I had to check it out. Sadly, his training regimen is a bit too intense for my abilities, yet he definitely offered some techniques that can really get results.
Plus, he and I share a love for my favorite protein bars. I don’t often eat protein bars, but Think Thin is one that doesn’t taste like cardboard and actually has a good balance of protein, fat, and fiber.
9. Wheat Belly (William Davis)
What was all the fuss about? Admittedly, I had to check out this fellow Wisconsite’s perspective on the dangers of gluten, and check out some of his grain-free recipes.
All in all, while he did his best as a doctor to research how grains have resulted in bloating, poor gut health, and obesity, I am still unconvinced. Plus, a flax seed wrap just doesn’t have the same appeal to me as a tortilla shell. As a former vegetarian, I would more likely look to the China Study than this book as the cure to my woes.
In general, I believe that various doctors feel pressure to find the root cause of obesity, which is like finding the root cause of political corruption. It has so many layers and levels that you can dedicate your entire life to it with still no clear answers.
This is not a book I would turn to for answers. However, I am all about expanding my horizons, which is why I included it on this list. Davis spurred a huge interest in the idea of grain-free diets, which has many converts to this cause. Who am I to judge another persons’ choices?
10. Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity and Disease (Robert H. Lustig)
Lustig fascinates me. Considering that his name translates to “funny” in German, it’s no wonder. I ate a lot of processed foods and especially sugar in the low-fat diet craze when I was growing up, so this book was very pertinent for me. Since I read this book, I have heard him interviewed by Dr. Mark Hyman and other influential folks in the wellness industry.
His approach focuses more on children as well, unlike the other books on this list. Did you know that the fastest-growing demographic of obese people are kids from ages 2-3? Yikes!
I still find him fascinating, as well as his book. That doesn’t mean that I agree with all of it. Good thing I never needed to agree with anyone to find value in their opinions. This book does not offer concrete solutions, but is a great read on the causes of obesity.