The 8 best weight loss books to read in 2021
Lots of people are constantly trying to lose weight, and pounds can be a very useful resource when looking to reduce your waistline. The problem is, a lot of the books just focus on how to lose weight or what diet to try instead of seeing it as a holistic journey.
Too often, these books focus on losing weight as an aesthetic goal instead of encouraging you to make healthy lifestyle changes that will help you lose weight gradually and truly love the body you are in.
With that in mind, we asked a few experts to recommend the best weight loss books to read in 2021 that follow the principles of self-love and self-care.
Best books on body positivity
1. âFierce Self-Compassionâ by Kristin Neff
âThe book’s tagline says it all,â says Cassie Christopher, RD, registered dietitian and founder of Stress Less Weight Mastery. “It’s about how women can harness kindness to express themselves, claim their power and thrive.”
Drawing on a wealth of research and personal history, Neff’s book shows how taking control of your weight begins with regaining balance in your life.
“Create space in your life for the healthy behaviors required [for weight loss] often requires connecting to deeper reasons and setting firm boundaries, âsays Christopher. “Dr. Neff’s work shows us how to use self-compassion to effect radical change in our lives and in the world.”
2. âEmbody: Learn to Love Your Unique Bodyâ by Connie Sobczak
If you think that critical inner voice telling you that you are just not good enough is helping you lose weight, you may want to think again.
This book helps readers silence that voice by guiding them through five basic skills: recovering health, practicing intuitive self-care, cultivating self-love, declaring one’s own authentic beauty, and building community.
Christopher says this is a body-positive book that aligns with the Healthy Every Size (HAES) movement.
âThis explains in detail why traditional diets are harmful to physical and mental health and offers a way forward with intuitive self-care,â she says. “I love the reflective exercises at the end of each chapter, which provide concrete ways to unlearn unnecessary patterns and beliefs.”
She adds that it’s a great choice for anyone struggling with self-criticism, whether it’s their body or when they are failing “perfect” health routines.
Best Books on Science-Based Diets
3. “Anti-inflammatory diet meal preparation” by Ginger Hultin
Inflammation has been linked to several chronic diseases and can also make it harder to lose weight. With that in mind, this book offers 84 easy recipes for a six week anti-inflammatory meal plan.
âUsing Hultin’s Quick and Easy Recipes, you can whip up a week’s worth of anti-inflammatory meals during a weekend prep session,â says Christopher. “Her recipes are a great choice for anyone looking to balance their blood sugar, lower their cholesterol or lose weight.”
4. “Fast This Way” by Dave Asprey
âThis book is specific to intermittent fasting and includes the most recent research studies on timed eating,â says dietitian Kayla Girgen, RD, founder of Nutrition Untapped. âAsprey does a wonderful job discussing the physical and emotional benefits of intermittent fasting and feeling good about yourself. Weight management is a personal journey, and this book focuses on finding the path that’s right for you. “
5. âFeeding the whole familyâ by Cynthia Lair
Losing weight on your own is hard enough. When you’re in charge of the kitchen and have a family to feed, it presents a whole other challenge.
Luckily, this iconic cookbook features tips and recipes that will get the whole family healthy – yes, kids included.
âLair explains the benefits of whole foods, how to prepare them and what foods to incorporate for maximum nutrition,â says Christopher. âI have personally cooked almost all of the recipes in this book and can attest that they are all healthy winners. It includes an entire section on topics specific to children, such as how to help your children become healthy eaters. and how to present solids to kids, plus each recipe has slight modifications for babies and toddlers. “
Best Psychology Based Book
6. “Thinsanity” by Glenn Mackintosh
âMackintosh is a psychologist specializing in body image and weight management,â says Girgen. “SlimmingBreaks down food culture as well as social and medical “norms” such as BMI and our ardent pursuit of “lean.” It offers deep dives into personal reflection and how a person sees themselves. “
This book includes several activities to promote a positive body image and combat the art of comparison.
Best books with personal testimonials
7. âEmbrace You: Your Guide to Turning Misconceptions About Weight Loss into Lifelong Wellnessâ by Sylvia Gonsahn-Bollie
Author Sylvia Gonsahn-Bollie, MD, is a dual board certified internal medicine physician and obesity medicine specialist. She has also struggled with weight loss on her own. After finally developing a plan that helped her lose 40 pounds in one year, she decided to write a book to help others achieve their own weight loss goals.
“This guide takes you on a journey to unleash old restrictive tools in weight loss such as generalized body mass index (BMI) charts, crash diets and ‘all or nothing’ mindsets,” writes Dr. Gonsahn-Bollie. âInstead, the reader thoughtfully embraces your healthy weight, happy weight, sleep and mindset tools on your positive individualized weight and wellness journey so you can stop obsessing. by the balance and standards of others. “
8. “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat” by Michelle May
“This is by far the number one book I recommend to patients,” says Girgen. “First of all, Dr May took the plunge, and given that she struggled to manage her own weight, this book is extremely relevant.”
Michelle May, MD, describes herself as a ârecovered yo-yo dieterâ and the founder of Am I Hungry? Mindful eating programs and training. Drawing on her own personal experiences, she helps readers work through their struggles with emergency diets in favor of a more mindful approach to food.
âI often hear from patients that they log on to the book,â Girgen says. “This book offers a number of concrete steps for avoiding ‘dieting’ and starting to eat intuitively in a way that helps you achieve your long-term health goals.”
How to choose the right book for you
Ultimately, only you can decide which weight loss approach is right for you, and chances are you’ll feel it in your gut when you find the right one. But here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a safe and sustainable weight loss book, according to Christopher:
Red flags to watch out for
1. Overly restrictive advice:For example, remove whole food groups. âBesides missing out on important nutrients, if you can’t easily go on vacation and stick to the plan, you won’t be able to stick to it in the long run,â she says.
2. All or nothing language:She also advises against books that don’t include the type of food you like, or those that include all-or-nothing language, like “cheat days.”
âLong-term sustainability means learning to be content and use moderate indulgence all the time rather than jumping between restrictive diets and binge eating,â says Christopher.
Signs that a book might be a good fit
1. Based on evidence:âThe Mediterranean diet, the MIND diet and the DASH diet are specific diets based on good science for promoting health and are not overly complicated,â says Christopher.
2. Body positive:She also advises sticking to books that have positive body language and allow you to accept and be kind to yourself even when making changes.
3. Preview:Finally, “make sure the authors seem to like the food,” Christopher says. “If you feel like you can go out to dinner with the author, eat well, and have fun, this is a good indication that his advice will fit your lifestyle well.”