• My Favorite Weight Loss & Health Books

    April 6, 2011

    I thought today was the day that our Back on My Feet team would run outside, but, sadly, it was still too cold. It was just 37 degrees at 5:15 this morning. Maybe next week we’ll get outside? Rumor has it that it’s supposed to warm up here in Boston! 😎

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    When I got home, I made myself two pieces of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana slices. It was nothing fancy, but it was exactly what I wanted.

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    I also drank an iced coffee with breakfast.

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    As you probably know, I started Carrots ‘N’ Cake as a way to keep me on track with healthy eating and exercise in preparation for my wedding day. I wanted to lose a few pounds, but shaping up and looking great for the big day was just as important. Health blogs, magazines, and a book called Fit from Within were key to keeping me motivated. Once I was married, books, such as Bethenny Frankel’s Naturally Thin and Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, continue to inspire me to strive for a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle that works for me.


    I’ve always enjoyed reading about health, wellness, and nutrition, and often find that this type of information provides me with motivation for maintaining my weight. Here are a few of the books that helped me lose weight and continue to motivate me to live a healthy lifestyle: 3 Helpful Weight Loss Books.

    Question of the Day

    What books have inspired you to lose weight and/or live a healthier lifestyle?

    P.S. Be sure to check back later this morning for the BEST giveaway ever on CNC!!!!!

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    { 51 comments… read them below or add one }

    steph April 6, 2011 at 10:15 am

    The Veganist! I’m slowly on my way to veganism…


    Jamie April 6, 2011 at 10:15 am

    My favorite “diet” book is called, Think Thin, Be Thin. Now that I think about it, I don’t know who wrote it. There are no meal plans or exercise tips, it’s 101 psychological ways to be a thinner, healthier person. It works so well, it was on the news in St. Louis! Every time I feel myself losing motivation, I pick up this book and I’m back on track!


    staceyhealthylife April 6, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Food rules is like my bible. It’s so how I live my life and I agree with every part of it.


    Laurie April 6, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Great post Tina! I also recommend Jackie Warner’s book, ‘This is why you’re fat’. Very informative! It has helped me alot! I would like to read Bethenny’s book.


    Ashley (The Vegetable Life) April 6, 2011 at 10:26 am

    All of the healthy living blogs that I read daily such as CNC, healthy tipping point, katheats, the daily garnish help me to stay on track! I love reading all of the new posts with my morning coffee!


    Flo (Coconut Chronicles) April 6, 2011 at 10:27 am

    PB & banana toast is an AMAZING, simple combo! This has reminded me that I really need to have it more often!


    Kristi @ KristiAteIt April 6, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I don’t think I have a favorite book. I like to keep motivated by reading the various healthy blogs. I find that I can relate to someone better by reading about them on their blog, then if they wrote a book.


    Amanda@LessonsinModeration April 6, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I agree with you on “Naturally Thin” by Bethenny. I’m currently reading her new book “Place of Yes” and that’s a great one too, not a straight forward fitness/nutrition book, but it can definitely inspire you to take control of that aspect of your life.


    Ally @Tiny Wallet Style April 6, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I loved Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals”. It helped me make the choice to eat consciously and deliberately. Very cool.


    Steph April 6, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    @Ally @Tiny Wallet Style: Couldn’t agree more. This book blew me away.


    Stacy April 6, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Although I’m only vegetarian I have enjoyed reading The Kind Diet and Skinny Bitch for nutrition advice. I also love health and fitness magazines. Shape is my favorite!


    Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me April 6, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Bummer for not running outside! But kudos for the early morning!

    I want to check out Food Rules. I’ve read a couple other Michael Pollan books so this one should be interesting also.


    Ellie @ The Mommyist April 6, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I try not to read weight loss books, though I wouldn’t mind losing a couple pounds. My favoriet book about health is Food is Your Best Medicine by Henry G. Bieler MD. I drink a big mug of Bieler’s Broth every morning between my first and second cup of coffee. Dr. Bieler would disapprove of my coffee I’m sure but I’m not perfect…


    sarah (sarah learns) April 6, 2011 at 11:15 am

    i loved fit from within and food rules! and i really want to read bethenny’s book. i think she is awesome! i really loved in defense of food, omnivore’s dilemma, and superfoods HealthStyle too.


    Lauren April 6, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I also love Jackie Warner’s “This is Why You are Fat” book. Although I think the title might a little harsh the content in the book is really informational. I have a science background and this book explains some of the science behind what sugar does to your body and how important some different nutrients are. Quick and easy read that includes meal plans and exercises if you are into that as well. I’m going to pick up Bethenny’s book for sure…I LOVE her sense of humor!


    Cynthia April 6, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Thanks for the tips on the books. I am always looking for extra motivation. One book that REALLY made me think was Women, Food, and God. I am not a religious person at all but this book gave me so many ephiphanies. It talks about disordered eating and how to have a relationship with food. It also talks about having a better relationship with yourself so that you can avoid binge eating. When you do that, the weight will be easier to lose. It is an awesome book!


    Stephanie April 6, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I’m currently reading In Defense of Food and I love it! I have heard Food Rules is another good one by him though 🙂


    Jamie aka "Sometimes Healthy" Girl April 6, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Honestly blogs like yours are what inspires me! Seeing someone live a healthy live day in and day out makes me want to strive for better!


    Heather @ GirlyEverAfter April 6, 2011 at 11:38 am

    The Omnivore’s Dilemma really got me to think about where my food comes from. I eat mostly vegetarian, but when I eat meat I make sure I know where it comes from and doesn’t contain tons of hormones, antibiotics, etc.


    becca @ bellebottoms April 6, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I don’t have any inspiring books as I do magazines…I have really loved Shape and Self for their promotion of powerful women. I love that it isn’t just about looking good, but feeling good as well….and everything is simplifed into everyday life….love!


    Clare @ Fitting It All In April 6, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I absolutely love all of Michael Pollan’s books, but have also read Skinny Bitch and The China Study. Skinny Bitch is definitely tough love and not for everyone, but it whips me back into shape when my eating habits fall off the wayside.


    Laura April 6, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I may have to check out Bethenny’s book. I love her sense of humor, and she doesn’t seem like the type that eliminates things from her diet. I’m not really one for weight loss books though. I’ve been reading the Omnivore’s Dilemma, and I enjoy health/food articles, but my motivation is really for maintaining my health.


    Heather April 6, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Right now I’m reading Perfect Weight America by Jordan Rubin, and I also just bought Bethenny’s A Place of Yes. I love Bethenny, and I think the book looks like it offers some great advice on living your best life!


    Christine @ Burning It Off April 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    The only diet/fitness book I’ve read so far is Tom Venuto’s “The Body Fat Solution.” It has a lot of very sensible advice for healthy eating and weight loss/maintenance, plus the chapters on goal setting and setting yourself up for success were very inspiring (not just for weight loss but for success in any area of your life)


    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey April 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I’ve never read Food Rules but I love Michael Pollen, so I’m sure I would like it!


    Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I’ve never really read any weight loss books, but Food Matters by Mark Bittman really made me more aware about the kinds of food I was eating.


    Lauren April 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    “Intuitive Eating” was a very influential book for me — I had committed to overcoming an eating disorder when I read it. Learning to honor my hunger, stop proscribing foods as “bad” and “good,” etc. played a huge role in helping me get well.


    Alaina April 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I’ve heard so many good things about Michael Pollan. I haven’t read his books yet though.

    I can’t wait for the warm weather to come! 🙂


    Maggie April 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I was surprised to see Bethany Frankel’s book here – after all, she’s a Real Housewife! I would have assumed that this was more celebrity drivel, not proper content, but if YOU liked it, I thought it was probably worth a look.
    So I looked on Amazon, and this was the very first review (copied below). And now I’m even more puzzled that you liked this!
    Since you’ve read it and I haven’t, I’m really curious to learn your opinion on what this reviewer had to say….

    “I felt very conflicted by this book. A lot of the advice was the sound advice that you’ve already read in all those women’s magazine and seen on TV. You know, things like “calories in need to equal calories out”, and try to eat a balanced diet, etc. Then the rest of the book teaches you neurotic, eating disordered behaviors.

    Bethenny talks about how you shouldn’t have to settle for a filling, healthy meal, when what you really want is a steak. Go ahead and order the steak, BUT you can only have 3 bites. Yep, 3 bites, she repeats that over and over again through the book. I don’t know how you’re supposed to live off of 3 bites. I can just imagine how concerned my friends and family would be if they saw me ordering food and then only have 3 bites. So what do you do with the rest of your food? You either A) throw it away B) pawn it off on your dinner companions or C) take it home and make your kids eat it. Frankly, I know a woman like this and I dread being around her whenever food is involved. She’s constantly trying to pass off her food on everyone, including drinks (which Bethenny recommends). It’s one thing if I’m like, “wow, that looks good”, but I’ve never shown any interest in her meal. If I wanted to eat it, I would have ordered it! Then, if she does try to get some bland healthy meal, she stares at what I ordered, and begs for some. It’s rude, annoying, and I hate going out to eat with her.

    Next, Bethenny talks alot how when you’re on a “diet” you act neurotic about food and obsess. Then she gives tips like, never eat a whole bagel, take half a bagel and then pull the bread out of it and eat only the crust. Same goes for english muffins. It also annoys me that she says repeatedly that she learned these eating habits from living in Italy. I’m a thin Italian woman and I EAT food.

    Well, I guess if you ever wondered how these celebrities stay so thin, this book is the harsh reality. She gives a list of what she ate for 3 weeks as an example of how she lives. Here’s one of the days: breakfast was 1/2 cup of coffee (couldn’t possibly drink a whole cup!) and half of a egg white veggie omelet. Lunch was miso soup, glass of chardonnay, 2 prawns, and arugula salad with mushrooms. Dinner was a medium greek salad, a “skinnygirl” margarita, a couple chips with a small scoop of guacamole and roasted vegetables. Snack was a small handful of blueberry granola and almonds. I added that up to about 778 calories, and it’s probably less than that since she never actually finishes food. Keep in mind she also exercises quite a bit.

    While some of the advice in this book is solid, like “sit down to eat, eat slowly”, the rest is actually quite unhealthy and eating disordered. Maybe Bethenny is confusing “naturally thin girls” with anorexics. “


    Tina April 6, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    @Maggie: I pretty much said the same thing in my original review of her book: http://carrotsncake.com/2009/05/review-of-naturally-thin.html I focused on the positive aspects for my FGW post because parts of Bethenny’s book really helped me, but I agree that not all of it is good advice.


    Maggie April 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks for posting back to that! I hadn’t seen it before. All seems right in the world again!


    Elisabeth April 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve read a lot of good healthy living books. Some favorites are:
    -Anything Michael Pollan (especially Food Rules and The Omnivore’s Dilemma & Omnivore’s Dilemma for Kids)
    -What to Eat by Marion Nestle
    -Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes


    Melissa @ Hungry Healthy Happy April 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I liked Bethenny’s books, too, but I think just like anything else, you take from it what’s useful to you and leave the rest. I looked at it more as an approach to eating. Of course you’re not going to live off of 3 bites of steak, but if you do have a steak for dinner, eat slowly, really enjoy it, and stop when you’re full. And then maybe you have a salad for dinner tomorrow. That’s what I took away from her, anyway.

    A book that I really liked was Intuitive Eating. It talks about listening to your body’s natural cues–as in, am I really hungry or am I just eating to eat??? Also, remember that you can always have more . . . but you don’t have to have it all now. I tend to fall into the crazy mentality of “if I eat all the cookies, then I won’t have them around to eat tomorrow.” That’s just nuts! This book helped me balance that out.


    Meghan @ StruggleMuffins April 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I have a small problem with buying health and nutrition books, so I’ve amassed quite a collection, but these are a few of my faveys:
    David Kessler’s ‘The End of Overeating’
    T Colin Campbell’s ‘The China Study’
    Michael Pollen’s ‘In Defense of Food’
    Marion Nestle’s ‘What to Eat’


    Amy R (Honey, Love and Other Things) April 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    @Meghan @ StruggleMuffins: I loved “The End of Overeating”, too. I’ve heard so many people talk about “The China Study,” I’m surprised I haven’t read it yet. I’ll have to find it to read next. And “Food Rules” is definitely how I try to live my life everyday.


    Brittany April 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    I really like the Abs Diet for Women. While I don’t like that they don’t put much emphasis on cardio, I love that their food suggestions are very flexible. You have a huge list of “superfoods” and you just have to make sure that you incorporate at least one in your snack and two into each meal. It’s a great way to learn how to include healthy foods into everything you eat.


    Kate April 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I Loved “Skinny Bitch” and “Fries, Thighs and Lies.” They were two of the first books I read 10 lbs ago that taught me how my body works and what makes food “good” or “bad.”


    Elizabeth @ RunWithSneakers April 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I just purchased Fit From Within for my Kindle. I already own/read Food Rules. Thanks for the tips!


    Abby April 6, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Following blogs helps me to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I love reading about other people’s experiences and see new fresh ideas! It also helps me to remember that I am not a crazy person like many people make me out to be in my area related to my interests!


    Lindsey (HIP LIP) April 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I have Bethenny’s book and haven’t read it yet…think I will break it out tonight. Thanks for reminding me!


    AMY April 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I hope it does warm up here! I feel like we never get a “Spring” anymore in New England!


    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I can’t think of any books that influenced my weight loss, but Michael Pollan’s books definitely changed my perspectives on food and where it comes from. I try a lot harder to buy locally when possible now!


    Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife April 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    I love the book “Food Rules.” SO straightforward, so true.


    Karen @Tamalegirl April 6, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    I agree with the many Michael Pollan respones. My favorite for sure is In Defense of Food with Food Rules as a close second (actually, Food Rules is basically the Cliff’s Notes of the first). And actually, I recently read French Women Don’t Get Fat and was surprised how much I enjoyed it; I say “surprised” because I laughed at it every time I saw it in the store for years, but I really liked it. It’s much more about lifestyle and mindset than a prescription for what to eat. Finally, I found that The Beck Diet Solution completely changed my thinking surrounding food and diets.


    Nicole April 6, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    “The Paleo Solution” Robb Wolf

    If you are a crossfitter or interested in how carbs & starches affect your body, read this. The SCIENCE of it works. It’s not a “diet,” it’s a science-based way of eating. After being a vegetarian & sometimes vegan for half of my life – I’ve switched & never felt better.

    Only meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, & seeds for me. I don’t feel deprived & I no longer have issues with sugar cravings, mid-afternoon fatigue, & GI problems I’ve experienced since I was a child.


    Hilary April 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing…I’m always looking for new inspiration. I’m a big fan of the Eat This Not That books.


    Britta April 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Eat Clean and Eat Clean Recharged by Tosca Reno! Super motivating and simple easy recipes with color pictures of each one


    Monica April 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I heard of Fit from Within through your blog months ago and recently read it and have been seriously impacted by that book! There are so many incredible lessons in that book that I try to be mindful of daily.

    Thanks for noting the other 2, I will have to add those to my Kindle Wish List. 🙂


    emma April 15, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Thanks for your share with us friend! i am a fat girl,i am crazy for my fat body,i can’t wear beautiful clothes like other girls,i really want to loss weight,so i make exercise everyday and drink much water,only eat vegetables


    Christine May 2, 2012 at 9:41 am

    The book UltraMetabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman completely changed my life. It’s marketed as a weight loss book, but the first two-thirds of the book are all about the science of what goes on inside your body when you eat bad things (HF Corn Syrup and partially hydrogenated fats, for example) v. good things. It also debunks common weight loss myths and gives case studies about how Dr. Hyman’s “eat clean” approach has cured thousands of their obesity, diabetes, and other diseases and disorders. I could go on forever about this book but the bottom line is, it’s amazing and worth a read!


    Tina May 2, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Thanks for the recommendation! Sounds interesting!


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