July 14, 2008

You Ask, I Answer: Book Recommendations

Is there a current diet/cookbook you can recommend for health and weight loss?

-- Greg (last name withheld)

(City withheld), IA

I don’t like the term “diet book,” so let’s make this a list of cookbooks and "health books", shall we?

Books that teach actual nutrition principles and lifelong healthy eating patterns are more useful than the latest diet fad telling you to clear your cupboards of anything with sugar and spend the first two weeks on “phase/wave” one, where you basically spend 14 days craving all the foods you are now FORBIDDEN to even have a single bite of.

Anyhow, What To Eat by Marion Nestle is a great book for anyone looking to delve deeper into the food industry and how marketing and advertisement play a huge role in what we are eating.

Don't be confused by the title -- this book does not tell you what to eat to lose weight. However, it helps you separate marketing hype from reality, a very useful skill to have when navigating the extensive supermarket aisles.

Lisa Young’s The Portion Teller is a fascinating read. Not only does it highlight the increasing “portion distortion” epidemic that has increased caloric intake over the past few decades, it also communicates a pleasant message. If you’re looking to lose weight, don’t think so much about WHAT you’re eating, but how much of it!

I have mentioned Buff Dad on this website before (click here to read my interview with author Mike Levinson). I appreciate its "no nonsense" approach rooted in nutrition science as well as its particular tailoring to men (too many weight loss books specifically target a female demographic).

Linda Arpino, MA, RD, CDN, released a wonderful book titled Eat Fit, Be Fit: Health and Weight Management Solutions (pictured right.) It explains nutrition concepts simply yet thoroughly, and provides over 250 healthy -- and very tasty -- recipes.

I also think Eat This, Not That by the Men's Health team is a great guide to have handy when it comes to eating fast food. It can help you replace a 1,200 calorie lunch with one containing 500 fewer calories!

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